Recently, Tony Lombardi wrote this in a blog comment, after reading about my colleague/friend Michael Kinney. I had just written about Micheal, who’s recently segued from wine magazine advertising into the realm of being a copy writer:
You honor your friend with some wonderfully written words and great interview. It was nice to read what Michael’s up to. I always enjoyed our conversations while he was with W&S. Great things happen to great people.
I do find myself writing about my friends on this blog, in order to “honor” them. What a great word chosen by Tony. Many of my friends are turning out to be wine writers, as I’m drawn to them, being one myself. I guess that’s a vocational manifestation. I also write about them, because within the wine community, these people are all very well known and we like keeping up with each other.
The most important point of putting wine writer profiles on this blog is, though, that I’m giving back to my wine community… Here’s how: on the back end of my blog (like going behind the Wizard of Oz’s curtain), I see what is being searched on that brings people to my wine blog. A major factor is people who are searching on a specific wine writer, evidently trying to find out more about that person. I have a lot of people who contact me, asking to get in touch with whomever. they know I’ve got the lifeline. I’m happy to help.
And so, I continue to gather the best and brightest of my wine writing relationships. Lou Marmon is one of those people. His blog is Grapelines.com; and outside of his blog, Lou writes about wine and spirits in the Washington Post, Gazette Newspapers, DC Examiner, The Wine Report, Washington Jewish Week, LA Times, Jewish Exponent, and Capitol File Magazine.
Really alluring for me are the wine writers who have a dual life, and Lou’s one of those people. We’ve known each other since he started writing about wine, and he’s always been such a gentleman and scholar. It’s great to know Lou. We’ve had great times together sharing stories about wine and my clients. I reached out to him this past week, then thought… He’s not on my blog yet! I sent him my Q&A, and the answers came back. I’m impressed… He’s a busy guy, but he took the time. You’ll see how busy, as you read about his day job.
Here are the writer profile questions and answers:
[Q] Many wine writers also have a day job. If wine isn’t your job, what is and for whom?
[Lou] Pediatric Surgeon at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC
- Dr. Marmon is a practicing Pediatric Surgeon licensed in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery in General Surgery, Pediatric Surgery and Surgical Critical Care and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP).
- Louis Marmon, MD, PhD, is a pediatric surgeon at Children’s National Medical Center. His areas of interest include outpatient surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and surgical conditions of newborns. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine.
[Q] When did you start writing about wine?
[Lou] My first wine-related piece was a book review for The Washington Times, Paul Lukacs’ American Vintage: The Rise of American Wine, in 2000.
[Q] What prompted you to start writing about wine?
[Lou] Writing and editing science articles are important parts of my “regular” job. Combining my love for writing with my passion about wine just seemed natural. I still get a thrill seeing my name in a byline.
[Q] What aspect(s) of wine do you most enjoy covering?
[Lou] One of my friends said that the reason I like talking about the “back story” of the wines, wineries and winemakers is due to my science background. I am more comfortable with facts. Tastes are subjective and while I am not shy about stating what I taste, I mostly enjoy meeting the people involved, visiting places and learning the stories.
[Q] How has your job changed since you’ve started?
[Lou] I write regularly for two “traditional” newspapers that still utilize paper and ink with circulations over 1.5 million. The electronic media has extended that reach but has also made the “wine review” space more crowded.
[Q] What’s the most memorable wine you’ve ever tasted?
[Lou] Wine is a lot about where and with whom as well as what is in the bottle. Memories of fabulous wines are made even better with good company. I have not tasted a DRC but would wager that some of the less costly wines I have shared with my wife would be more memorable.
[Q] What’s your favorite variety?
[Lou] At last, an easy question: Pinot Noir
[Q] Do you believe that there are better quality, lower priced wines today, than in past vintages?
[Lou] Just as technology has changed media, it has also transformed winemaking. There are plenty of value-priced wines in the market and more are arriving each year from different varietals and from lesser known regions.
[Q] What’s your favorite innovation in the wine industry over the past few years?
[Lou] Not sure if this counts but I am fascinated with the adoption of different varietals in unique regions and the increase in blending.
[Q] What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?
[Lou] Grilled Ribeye with a great red.
[Q] What are your interests outside of the wine business?
[Lou] Last year I began to seriously discover single malt scotch and other spirits. My other interests vary from triathlons to my electric bass (I am stuck in the 70s)
[Q] Who inspires you (wine business or outside of it, doesn’t matter)?
[Lou] Abraham Joshua Heschell. I wish I could be as noble.
[Q] For what would you like to be remembered?
[Lou] As a good parent, caring physician and loyal friend.