I just picked up my latest Wine Enthusiast magazine and headed out the door. Our daughter Melanie told us that Cloverdale was having their 17th Annual Cloverdale Street Celebration, Car and Motorcycle Show. She thought her dad could get some interesting shots for his Jose Photos Website.
Jose was deep in work, and wasn’t sure he wanted to break away. Meanwhile, I was feeling smothered, because I hadn’t left my desk (it felt like) in three straight weeks of writing. I needed to get out and take images, even though going to a car show may not have connected all the dots photographically back to my wine country writing on the blog.
That said, this was happening in wine country, and happens all the time. California weather is so gorgeous, without winter snow, sleet, salt on the road. Cars just don’t rust out here like I remember them doing in New England… in only a few years of wear and tear there.
So, I insisted. “Let’s get outta here”… Grabbing my latest copy of Wine Enthusiast as I went.
As we headed north, I began to thumb through the pages. Wait a minute. Something’s happened. The layout is clean and fresh. It’s now completely black print on a white background. My eyes just gravitate toward that.
I love the Enth⁰ section, maybe because that’s where I first noticed it… Followed by PP (Proof Positive) ~ A spirits section.
Okay, now we’re talking…
And Pairings ~ finally tying food with wine. Then I noticed a “Best Buys” review for the 2009 Oak Grove Reserve Pinot Grigio. It wasn’t just about the flavors of the wine [Absolutely dry and tingly in acidity, this citrus-flavored wine is clean and zesty. It’s a fine appetizer sipper for cleansing the palate.] It was also paired with food suggestions. [Serve it with little munchies, like grilled veggies, goat cheese and crackers with crab salad.] The full gambit of it was revealed, and made me want to jump right in.
This new look, new approach, new package is really great. It’s an amazing process to have watched the wine industry so closely since the early 90s, being so intimately connected with it on so many different levels… Seeing social media’s entrance into the configuration, noting the challenges of print media, and then making time to step away from my desk, so I could stop typing long enough to catch up to real time, real evolving, and stellar growth for what’s been for me one of the greatest resources available to all of us.
What a joy. I’m totally jazzed for Wine Enthusiast, and raise my glass in celebration.
Congratulations, W.E.. Your magazine continues to be a favorite of mine, as it lies here wide open on my desk. Keep up the great work.
Upon returning home, I went through my past issues. I got back as far as July, realizing the switch in layout had happened at least that early. I had to email Joe Czerwinski, Wine Enthusiast’s senior editor… “Joe, when did your layout take its new look?”
Joe’s response… “February 2010.”
I’ve got to get out more!
My favorite car? The Packard.
Driving Ms. Ethel
Short story about the Packard in my family. My great Aunt Ethel had a Packard and an Irish setter. My great grandfather (Ethel’s dad), Governor William T. Haines (Maine) thought she was an embarrassment to the family, because she was into Buddhism (instead of men and/or Christianity). He had the power to have her institutionalized as being crazy, so he did. I have some of her books, including her writings in the margins. She was brilliant and an inspiration to me, but back to the Packard.
My Uncle Joe told me that one day she called him and said, “Joe, I want to go for a ride in the Packard.” He drove to her home, they switched into her car… with her setter riding in the back seat. She then told him where to go. Before long, they ended up at the sanatorium where she would be sent by her father. She exited the car, saying to my uncle, “Joe, the dog and the Packard are yours,” shut her door, and checked herself in for a respite.
I love stories like this. You can’t make them up.