Why SnarkyWine? It is an odd name for a wine blog, I’ll admit. Well, as with so many things, the original idea isn’t identical to the nearly-finished product. Things have a tendency to evolve the longer they spend in planning. The name of this blog and its reflection of the inspiration that spawned it are no exception.
I wanted to write about wine, of course. About little-known regions and producers, neglected grape varieties and underappreciated styles, because these are the things that excite me most about wine. Beyond that, I wanted to write about great sources for these wines in the places I travel to: the shops and the people. And about my favourite books on wine; the ones that offer the most insight, interest or utility.
And it was a book that brought me here.
The inspiration behind the blog name and the reason for the creation of the blog itself spring from my frustration with a single book on vineyard management I had been reading. Written by a well-known, highly-qualified and very respected member of the wine world, the book is hailed as the benchmark resource for students needing to understand viticulture, but who are not trying to become viticulturalists. The book is excellent, insofar as your idea of viticulture includes only that which is known as “conventional”, complete with pesticides, herbicides and other interventions. Virtually nothing dealing with the challenges of organic production, let alone such heresies as biodynamics, is covered. Added to this was a very large dose of opinion ridiculing a variety of concepts and methodologies within the wine-world (some of which I, personally, find worthwhile) that didn’t align with the honourable author’s personal perspective. The combination had me foaming at the mouth on more than one occasion, and I started to think that SOMEONE had to write a review of this book that reflected the bias contained within its pages.
So, why “snarky”?
And so it was that I decided it would be a good thing to start writing about this and other books, as well as broader topics in the world of wine. I wanted a format where I could be completely honest, which is easier when I am neither sponsored nor paid by an organisation or individual to review or write about the topics I cover.
In the first heated moments of my brainstorming I had decided on “Snarky Wine” in order to reflect my desire not to dilute my commentary if I felt something was crap. A nice idea at the time, but completely off the rails as far as a blog is concerned, because I had and have no intention of simply writing bitter reviews and articles. The main thrust of this blog is to talk about what is great about wine! But I liked the name, and I decided to keep it because WHEN I approach something that warrants genuine (hopefully constructive) criticism, I won’t pander. I will communicate my genuine feelings.
I will review that book eventually. But I will review a few others first. And there is far more exciting stuff to talk about before that…