Saturday, 8 January 2011

The Drinks Business

So we're a week into the new year, and I'm four days into a new job. The sense of a new beginning brought about by the new year has been heightened in 2011 by a change of employer. I left Decanter magazine before Christmas and started as staff writer at The Drinks Business this week, which recently celebrated its 100th issue.

It's an exciting move for me – the company is young, dynamic and forward thinking, and my new role will give me the freedom and time to do more of what I love – writing. It's a fascinating time for the wine industry. The landscape is changing – who is buying wine, what they're buying, where they're buying it, and how we're communicating about it is in a constant state of flux. We are finally seeing the democratisation of wine, both in terms of who's buying it, and who's writing about it.

Wine is no longer the reserve of middle-aged, middle class, white men. The doors have been flung open and everybody wants a slice of the action. Wine may be enjoying its moment in the sun, and with the revival of the wine bar in London, championed by the likes of Terroirs, 28-50, Vinoteca, Kensington Wine Rooms and more recently Bar Battu and Brawn, this trend is showing no signs of slowing.

So with these exciting times, we need publications that are at the forefront of these changes. We need wine writing to reflect what's going on in the industry – to hold a mirror up to the truth. This week The Drinks Business surpassed 1,000 followers on Twitter. A mini milestone, but a significant one. For any business to flourish in 2011, it can't afford to be out of the loop, and the loop is very much entwined with social media right now. As a society, we are growing ever more impatient. We have come to expect a constant stream of information to be communicated to us the minute it happens. A magazine simply can't do this, so tools like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube are becoming an ever-important way to bridge the communication gap.

So that's where our focus will lie at db as we move further into 2011. I'm intrigued to see what the year has in store for the wine world, and am excited about being able to play an interactive part in these changes – to communicate them as they happen, and contribute to the debate. The new year is a time of hope and reflection. A chance to wipe the slate clean and turn things around. With my new year has come change, which is essential for a fulfilling existence. 'There is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun' – Christopher McCandless.

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