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Books,Wine

Wine Business Monthly ~ And they said magazines were going to die

Since my early days in wine, which started in March of 1993, I’ve watched Wine Business Monthly (WBM) morph. For those of you who aren’t in the wine trade, it’s our professional bible…

When it first arrived, is was akin to a newspaper (same kind of paper) and it was free. Seemingly, their advertising took care of it in the process; and for me, editor Cyril Penn was always there. He was kind; and he helped me with a few steps in my career, even. He still does – taking my calls,w hen I have some kind of an epiphany. I gave him my Road Warrior Survival Guide story in the early 2000s, which – to my surprise – he printed. I just thought it was really funny and he’d enjoy the read. It was a hit, because it was satire; and there wasn’t enough of that going around at the time. Every wine pro who read it could relate. I had labeled the most common behaviors that I – and everyone else – had been watching from behind the tables, during wine festivals around the country.

Here’s an example

Editor:

I can’t tell you how much fun I had literally belly laughing while reading your “Road Warrior Survival Guide.” Oh boy…If I had a penny for every time I’ve wanted to smack a “pusher-upper,” I wouldn’t have to work anymore. Really…your article just made me roar!

Thanks for making my day here at the office (before I hit the road again!) so much brighter.

Then, the paper magazine became subscription based. I liked the direction, because Cyril had always supported me, and turn about fair play is what’s important, right, if you have your head secured to your shoulders. I was immediately in.

Next came a binding with a matte paper cover and matte pages. Quite an improvement, with me quietly marveling at each new advancement for WBM.  When my October 2015 issue arrived, I noticed a semi gloss cover and semi gloss pages. Impressive, I thought, but was also in the thick of things, so I didn’t have time to react and write about it; although I wanted to. I also couldn’t help but think about all the predictions of doom and gloom about paper not being relevant anymore.

I would say that it has still more to do with the importance of the content, versus everyone wanting to read everything on line. Content in this magazine and relevance to us all is what’s keeping this magazine in the hands of its readers. Honestly, I’m going to go down with my physical library… Being raised by books from a very special aunt, I love books. My iPad and or smart phone? Not for reading, thanks a lot. It ruins my internal Feng Shui. Give me a book or magazine any day…

Thanks, Cyril Penn, for always being there. And, thanks to president and publisher Eric Jorgensen, as well as Tamara Leon, associate publisher. You’re very special survivors of our modern age…

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