I just came across this idea, again, for the umpteenth time on Enobytes.
I have to hand it to Pamela Heiligenthal, the site’s senior editor. She spent a lot of time and energy putting her thoughts into words. She had read something by someone who wasn’t well schooled in mechanical harvesting, and began to wonder if someone not completely in the know should be putting this kind of information out there.
Yes, it’s misleading. Yes, it wasn’t completely correct. Yes, I have the same frustration every time I see the words Petite Sirah written with a “y” in the word Sirah. And, Yes, I have to put up with the frustration of people supposedly knowing about Petite Sirah (which includes certified wines people, Master Sommeliers, and knowledgeable wine writers) all making this mistake… Misspelling the name of a cultivar and spreading their mistake all over the internet, in papers, books, and magazines. (“How dare they?” I ask myself all the time.)
But, can I pull their ability to write further, unless they all go to Petite Sirah School, and I give them a diploma?
Hey, not a bad idea! If you see someone with his or her name, let’s just say Joe Blow for instance, and it now reads, Joe Blow P.S., you know that the odds are pretty good that Petite Sirah will now only be occasionally misspelled by that person. (I really like it!)
In my opinion, this concept is simply out of whack.
A question presented by Pamela:
“Should wine writers be certified?” That’s a good question. It seems to make sense for some industries. Think of physicians, lawyers, architects, nurses, accountants and teachers—even financial planners. I don’t trust anyone to manage my money, do you? Most finance guys I know wouldn’t trust 90 percent of the (non-certified) people in the field.
The flaw in the ointment:
“…physicians, lawyers, architects, nurses, accountants and teachers—even financial planners” aren’t writers with opinions of physicians, lawyers, architects, nurses, accountants and teachers—even financial planners.
So… we’re back to wine writing, with lots of it being on wine blogs these days, which really spreads the mistakes around.
Wine blog sites don’t pay the bills. The advertising dollars are very low. My Google ads, for instance, in my five years of blogging have netted just over $100.00 for me. The math:
5 years divided by $100 = $20/year divided by 52 weeks/year = $.38 per week. (Yeah… I’m that rich… $20.00 per year before taxes.)
Let’s face it… Blogging for most people is a hobby. (Blogging on this site is my hobby. I have other sites where I blog for clients too busy to write their own stories. They do pay some of my bills, but this is an anomaly for most wine blogging.)
We bloggers love wine and we’re writing about our experiences; it’s a journey, not a destination.
What I wrote to Pamela as a comment, because her statement of professional careers wasn’t about critics of those careers, it was about the actual professions:
Should any critic be Certified? Sports, movies, books, wine, spirits, cigars, toys, fashion, etc…
Those who have taken the time to understand their subject matter, are connected, and know what they’re talking [writing] about will prevail.
Cream still rises to the top, even though it seems homogenized.
No harm, no foul, Pamela. You asked a question about something that was incorrect, because you were miffed to see someone who should know better not be better informed. I’ve asked myself the same question so many times… Actually… each time I see the words Petite Sirah with a “y.” (I won’t even write it incorrectly, so that it’s not on the Internet yet-one-more-time, giving it one more Google cred.) The responses you got back were great. A lot of people have a lot of opinions about this one.
The real issue is making everyone who writes about anything pass through a highly defined screening process. That’s not possible or plausible today in the digital age… But, I know your frustration. Keep up your critical thinking.