Last January, the UK based wine writer and Committee Member of the Circle of Wine Writers, Christine Austin, suggested that we apply to the organization housed in England. Having had several people offer a similar suggestion for over a year, it seemed ridiculous for us not to get off our hides and do something about it. So, we figured we’d experiment a bit, where I would apply and test the waters, followed by Ryan’s application soon thereafter.
As taken directly from their website:
The Circle of Wine Writers is an association of authors, broadcasters, journalists, photographers and lecturers who are professionally engaged in communicating about wines and spirits. It was founded in 1960 by the late Cyril Ray and now has more than 280 members and, although most of the membership is based in England, the Circle has members in countries around the world.
The objectives of the Circle of Wine Writers are:
* to improve the standard of communication about wines, spirits and beers
* to contribute to the growing knowledge and interest in wine
* to promote wines and spirits of quality and to comment adversely on faulty products and dubious practices
* to establish and maintain good relations with the news media and the wine trade
* to provide members with a strong voice with which to express their views
* to provide a forum for the exchange of information
* to provide a programme of workshops, meetings, talks and tastings
A month has now passed, as seen by the lush green blanket of leaves hanging right outside my office window, and I have just received my very first packet of information including not only a description of the Circle’s turbulent and exciting past, but also their February and March newsletter chock-full of tasting notes, wine trips and commentaries. To be honest, it was a little strange to receive a newsletter consisting of approximately 27 pages of double-sided text stapled together. Repeat: a stapled newsletter. If I didn’t know better, I could have easily mistaken it for one of a dozen reports I handed in during my high school years, complete with a yellow cover printed with their grape and feather quill pen logo.
Funny newsletter aside, I’m truly honored to be apart of this very prestigious organization. While looking down the list of their 280+ members from all over the world, I think I’m one of only a handful of bloggers, while the rest have enough print publications under their belt to fill my office library. It’s a bit daunting to see my name next to, or even near, those of Jancis Robinson, Hugh Jackson and John Radford, but then again, it gives me a goal to work towards 😉 I’m sure over years, they’ll teach me a thing or two, or twelve, about wine.
My only other hope is that the Circle will incorporate more social networking tools into their website. With such a vast amount of wine knowledge, I think it would be worth their while to make the members more easily accessible to one another.