Deborah Parker Wong recently told me, “Your blog is a great resource!”
I’m glad she noticed… Having this blog be a resource is my second reason for keeping it up. My first has always been to journal my process as a wine publicist, as I’ve said many times here.
What I find interesting about the Wine Writers’ page on this blog is that it’s pretty active. It’s almost a daily thing to find someone having clicked on one of the featured wine writers. It seems to serve its purpose well.
I’ll have clients ask me who someone is, as I tell the client we need to communicate with whomever, and the client – mostly new to the wine business – will ask, “Who’s that?” Pre this blog I was saving my explanations on Word documents, trying to cut down on my redundant writings. Once the blog was up and running, I realized I had the perfect place for storing this info, instead of inside my computer; worse, inside my head and having to write it over and over again, which started the writing process…
So, here’s the lovely and sweet…
Deborah Parker Wong, AIWS (Associate member of Institute of Wines & Spirits)
Deborah is based in Northern California. Her background is that she’s in her seventh year as the Northern California Editor and a monthly contributor to The Tasting Panel Magazine. I love this magazine, and have written several articles for it, too. I’ve also featured one of its editors Meridith May on my wine writer page. David Gadd is also one of Deborah’s editors at the Tasting Panel. (Note to self: David Gadd for the page.)
Pay attention to what she’s likely to be remembered for… A girl after my own heart on that personal level… Professionally, she’s also headed in the same direction.
Writer Profile Questions
1. Many wine writers also have a day job. If wine isn’t your job, what is and for whom?
I am a full-time journalist and the mother of two children.
2. When did you start writing about wine?
As early as 1991 but I began working as a journalist in 2004.
3. What prompted you to start writing about wine?
I worked as a chef in residence to put myself through college and one of my first jobs was managing a large private cellar of German wines. In those days, that meant corresponding with producers by mail. Later in life, when my daughter was diagnosed as being Dyslexic, I gave up a long career as a public relations executive in the fine dining and technology industries and took a part-time job directing a consumer wine education program for Beaulieu Vineyards. In 2004, I began writing for The Tasting Panel.
4. What aspect(s) of wine do you most enjoy covering?
I am primarily a trade writer and I cover just about every topic related to the growing, production, sales and consumption of wine. I strive to cultivate a global palate and place an emphasis on production technology and trends.
5. How has your job changed since you’ve started?
I now write for several different trade audiences – The Tasting Panel is a brand and channel publication while Vineyard & Winery primarily reaches producers. Cheers is read by on-premise operators both independent and chain and Sommelier Journal reaches the sommelier and wine buying communities. After several years of intense study, I was awarded the WSET Diploma which gave me more visibility internationally. I have also begun judging wine competitions and lecturing.
6. What’s the most memorable wine you’ve ever tasted?
Recent memory – January 2011, a 1909 port from the piano (the library of wines used for blending) at the Ferreira lodge in Villa Nova de Gaia. Distant memory – in 1981, a trockenbeerenauslese that was my first exposure to Botrytized wine.
7. What’s your favorite variety?
That’s like asking me to name my favorite child. I profess not to have a favorite variety though I do have favorite wine styles bubbles included. When asked which varieties I prefer to judge, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc are always at the top of the list.
8. Do you believe that there are better quality, lower priced wines today, than in past vintages?
Absolutely! I just finished contributing to “1000 Great Wines for Every Day,” a global resource of wines under $35 and, as a result of the high-quality juice that has been finding its way in to second and virtual labels here in Northern California, I am always discovering superb value domestic wines.
9. What’s your favorite innovation in the wine industry over the past few years?
As tricky as it is becoming for producers and journalists, I’d have to say social media. Now that consumers have a voice through social media, we are gaining some freedom from the points system and are finding new ways to communicate about wine.
10. What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?
The heightened contrast of salt and acid; salty foods paired with acid-driven wines make me happy.
11. What are your interests outside of the wine business?
I am an historical costumer which is a geeky hobby that involves a passion for history and costume design that I liken to soft sculpture. I like working in the Regency, Victorian and Edwardian periods and I belong to the Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild.
12. Who inspires you (wine business or outside of it, doesn’t matter)?
My peers inspire me particularly the American women who are among the current reigning opinion leaders. I recently became a member of the Wine Media Guild in New York and the Circle of Wine Writers in London so that I can spend more time collaborating with them on tasting events and the like.
13. For what would you like to be remembered?
Personally, for parenting my children. Professionally, I feel like I have only just begun my journey but, at this moment, for the driving passion that I bring to my work and for my commitment to cultivating a global palate.