A long time friend and wine associate, Jonathon Alsop is also is the owner of the Boston Wine School. In the early years of my wine blogging (2006), this was one of my first focused blog posts, being duly fed up with wine’s pomposity. I wrote, Everyone Has a Palate.
Wine doesn’t deserve the elitist hype that it gets, in many regards. Granted, certain regions of the world still scoff at most people enjoying wine as neophiliacs; and they’ve set it all up, so that people without a bankroll don’t even dare to ask or talk about wine.
Well, that’s just about over, although China’s started their own learning curve all over again. They’ll catch up at some point; meanwhile, the rest of us neophiliacs are over being duped that we’re not worthy.
Jonathon just reminded me of my own thoughts, as I watched a video of him bringing that message to the people of Boston, at his Boston Wine School.
A video called Wine School: Swishing, Spitting, Spewing is found on this link.
For a while now, I’ve wanted to have him on Wine-Blog. Now, we have his answers. Here’s my Q&A: Wine writer Jonathon Alsop deserves to be on my list of wine writers, whom I greatly admire.
[Q] Many wine writers also have a day job. If wine isn’t your job, what is and for whom?
[Jonathon] For the past 9+ years, wine writing and Boston Wine School have been my day and night job!
[Q] When did you start writing about wine?
[Jonathon] I first wrote about wine in 1988.
[Q] What prompted you to start writing about wine?
[Jonathon] I was working as a corporate speech writer, and my client was hosting a big wine tasting at a sales meeting. I wrote all the signage, tasting notes, info sheets, comments by the client, etc.
[Q] What aspect(s) of wine do you most enjoy covering?
[Jonathon] The story behind the story. How this wine came to be in the first place, how the wine maker started making wine, anything that’s not writing about wine as an object.
[Q] How has your job changed since you’ve started?
[Jonathon] The education component has expanded over the years, but you could argue that articles and columns are teaching in writing.
[Q] What’s the most memorable wine you’ve ever tasted?
[Jonathon] Vin jaune du Jura… must be what wine tasted like 1,000 years ago.
[Q] What’s your favorite variety?
[Jonathon] White: Gewurztraminer – red: Zinfandel.
[Q] Do you believe that there are better quality, lower priced wines today, than in past vintages?
[Jonathon] I do! It feels like we’re living in a golden age of cheap wine. Chateau St. Jean Fume Blanc is $8.99 today and it was $7.99 in 1988!
[Q] What’s your favorite innovation in the wine industry over the past few years?
[Jonathon] The rise of the socially acceptable screw cap. Next, boxes of wine for everyone!
[Q] What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?
[Jonathon] Slow roasted lamb shanks + any Cotes-du-Rhone
[Q] What are your interests outside of the wine business?
[Jonathon] Basketball, cooking, travel, reading…
[Q] Who inspires you (wine business or outside of it, doesn’t matter)?
[Jonathon] I recently met a wine maker in China making single varietal, single paddy, single water source rice wine that was like fine sherry. His vision was inspiring.
[Q] What single project or task would you consider your most significant accomplishment in your career to date?
[Jonathon] Founding the Boston Wine School
[Q] For what would you like to be remembered?
[Jonathon] In the words of the immortal Firesign Theatre, “Give me immortality, or give me death!”
Funny, fun man… Jonathon Alsop