When Your Wine Hero Publishes Your Stories

Newsflash: Thirsty Kitten Stories Published Today by Jancis Robinson

Well, hello there! As many of you have noticed, we have been on a bit of a hiatus from posting here. Rest assured, that does not mean we’ve stopped savoring wine and the stories that go with it. In fact, we’ve been sharing our sipping and travels regularly on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We’re glad that so many of you have found us at our other social media homes. [Nudge, nudge. Find us in one or all of those places if you haven’t already.]

But today, we’re back here at the blog! And our purpose in posting is to share the exciting news that two stories penned by Lucy (yes, me) were chosen as part of a wine writing competition to be published today on the website of renowned British wine author Jancis Robinson. Waste no time, friends! Go ahead and click the link right here [Lucy’s Stories at jancisrobinson.com] (right now!) to enjoy two new “episodes” of ThirstyKitten-style wine stories shared on one of the finest wine websites you’ll ever have the pleasure to visit.

Front Page of jancisrobinson.com 03_13_17

Front page of Jancis Robinson’s website today, March 13th 2017. Hey, that’s me!

Decanter magazine once described Jancis Robinson as “the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world.” Starting her career in 1975, there were few female role models in the wine writing industry. Undaunted, Robinson carved a path that has broken glass ceilings for many. The list of articles and books she has authored is lengthy and includes The Oxford Companion to Wine, a book widely regarded as the “bible” of the wine world. Oh, and she advises Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth on the Royal Household Wine Collection. Yet even with all these accolades, the thing I have actually admired most about Robinson is her down-to-earth style. She makes wine approachable, accessible and understandable whether you are an expert or a novice, offering wine wisdom without any of the pretension that is often associated with the world of fine wine.

Last fall, when I saw a call for writing submissions from Robinson’s website in a contest to possibly win a role as a writer for her site, it was just the kick in the pants I needed to put together two new, unpublished stories to submit. One is a profile of a family-owned winery, Knudsen Vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, a tale in which a father’s wine hobby grows into a passion for winemaking and grape growing that helps found the Oregon wine industry and becomes a legacy connecting his children and grandchildren after his death. The second is an article about the small wine distributors in the U.S. wine world, who I argue are unsung heroes responsible for giving us wine consumers more interesting and tasty wines on our retail shelves than we’d ever be able to discover on our own.

The biggest thrill for me in this process is knowing that Robinson read every single entry herself in addition to vetting each article through her talented team of writers at her website. I am the 38th of a planned 53 writers whose work they are publishing and am humbled and honored that both of my pieces were chosen for publication. They plan to call for a vote during the week of April 7-13 to whittle to a short list of finalists, but I honestly feel I have already won just to be included in such a group.

Geographically, the writers come from (in no particular order): Poland, Switzerland, Scotland, Australia, China, France, Italy, South Africa, England, Turkey, Canada, The Netherlands, Portugal, Israel, Ireland, Spain, and probably a few I’ve missed. Only a handful of us are from the United States. Wine experience ranges from those who are relatively new wine aficionados, to those who have earned WSET credentials and even a few who hold the coveted Master of Wine designation. There are some for whom this is the first wine article they’ve ever written and others who’ve published numerous books. There are professional wine makers, wine sellers, wine growers, wine educators, in addition to the many of us who write about wine on the side while having very different careers in “real life.” For instance, there’s a biophysicist, a psychiatrist, an engineer, a free-lance photographer, and a surprising number of IT consultants. One of my personal favorites is an entrant from Veneto, Italy who says, “My job is producing quality pasta. My hobby is eating quality pasta.”

All of the submissions can be found here [Jancis Robinson WineWritingContest], with more to be published between now and April 6th. If you’d like a seriously fresh and refreshing dose of perspectives on wine from around the world, I highly recommend visiting the page and reading as many as you have time for. When you’re done, you’ll likely want to get acquainted with all of the wine resources and columns on the Jancis Robinson site, as well. While Robinson has earned the right to travel in the loftiest of wine circles, she still invites well considered voices, no matter their stature or experience, to join the conversation. To me, that’s the mark of a world class teacher and expert.

5 replies »

  1. Keep up the good work–and maybe Kip can retire to the life of a wine taster.

    Congratulations.

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