Wine Appreciation Guild ~ Elliott Mackey

Yesterday I received an Email from Matt Apsokardu of Classic Wines, asking if I’d provide a link for his retail Web site on my blog. Honestly, I haven’t even thought about a retail advocacy category. As I told Matt, this blog primarily has links for others who are also blogging (in reciprocity), my wine clients (wineries that are listed in “links”), podcasters, publications, etc.

This blog’s just my own ramblings, and I don’t have a clue where it’s all headed… For now, it’s a place for me to write about things that I feel like writing, has nothing to do with assignments, and is just stream of consciousness.

Then, later in the day, I received my annual invite from Elliott Mackey of the Wine Appreciation Guild.

Bingo… inspiration… And most likely because I have history worth sharing.

Every year, the Wine Appreciation Guild (San Francisco) holds one of the most unique events in the wine industry. It provides wine journalists with one of the most – probably the most – comprehensive tastings of American wines (an entire ballroom full of wines from around the country). It also allows wineries an opportunity to show support for wine writers, and it also recognizes an annual wine author for his or her contribution to the literature of wine. I look forward to this event as a highlight of my year, because I can taste in a quiet setting, meet with friends who also love this event, and have a totally unique day in San Francisco away from my day-to-day desk/computer.
Past icons who’ve received the award reads like a who’s who:

  • 1986 Hugh Johnson
  • 1987 Robert Parker, Jr.
  • 1988 Harry Waugh
  • 1989 Hugh Johnson
  • 1991 Leon D. Adams
  • 1992 Dan Berger & Richard P. Hinkle
  • 1993 Bob Thompson
  • 1995 Jancis Robinson
  • 1999 Tom Stevenson
  • 2000 Gerald Asher
  • 2001 Gene Ford
  • 2002 James Halliday
  • 2003 Michael Broadbent
  • 2004 Robert Lawrence Balzer
  • 2005 Andrea (Immer) Robinson
  • 2006 Kevin Zraly
  • 2007 Karen MacNeil

The Wine Appreciation Guild stocks mostly new wine books in print, and stocks a large backlist of hard to find titles: nearly 1000 in and out of print books on wine. WAG is known for its wine literature, both as a publisher and a distributor. (Wine books aren’t their only forte. They have a 30-year history as a wholesale distributor of fine wine accessories.) Their website encapsulates that experience; however, literature is primarily what you’ll find when you hit this Website.

Advocating for a publisher makes sense… For a publisher, it’s all about supporting writers; and since that’s where my life has led me, this seems like a natural category in this vein.

If I’m going to focus on a wine retailer, it’s fitting to take a literary bent… Books surround me. They’re the one item that when I moved from Maine to California probably made our move very expensive… My books and my husband’s extensive record collection gathered during 20 years of rock and roll radio employment. We left most of our furniture and brought our comfort zones with us.

My hat’s off to Elliott Mackey for all that he does to advocate for writers. When I’m looking for a specific wine book, before I go anywhere else, my first thought is the Wine Appreciation Guild… True to its name.

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