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  • : Le blog de les5duvin.over-blog.com
  • Le blog de les5duvin.over-blog.com
  • : Cinq passionnés du breuvage de Bacchus parlent du vin sous toutes ses facettes.
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POURQUOI CE BLOG?

Ce blog est né de l'heureux hasard d'une rencontre, en 2010, au Salon des Vins de Loire d'Angers, autour d'un verre de rosé de Bourgueil - celui de Pierre Jacques Druet. Il y avait là cinq "plumitifs" du vin. Le rosé aidant, l'idée a germé de créer un espace commun.
Parce qu'à cinq, on peut aborder plus de thèmes.
Parce qu'on peut débattre.
Parce qu'on peut partager. Des coups de coeur, des coups de gueule, de l'expérience.
Et qu'est-ce que le vin sinon une boisson de partage?
De ces cinq, certains sont déjà des blogueurs confirmés, d'autres non.
Comme il y a les 5 sens, il y  a maintenant les 5 du Vin.

Les 5 du Vin

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QUI SOMMES-NOUS?

David Cobbold (Eccevino) est le plus français des journalistes anglais du vin, ou vice versa. Il a reçu en 2011 le Wine Blog Trophy pour  son blog, More than Just Wine.

Jim Budd, sujet de sa Gracieuse Majesté, est journaliste pour diverses revues britanniques. Amoureux des vins de Loire, il leur consacre un blog, Jim's Loire, primé en 2009 du Wine Blog Trophy.

Hervé Lalau est un journaliste français écrivant pour diverses revues et sites français, belges, suisses et canadiens. Son blog "Chroniques Vineuses" lui a valu le Wine Blog Trophy en 2010.

Michel Smith, PourLeVin, est un journaliste français établi en Roussillon, travaillant pour diverses revues et guides en France. Il s'intitule lui-même "Journaliste en Vins et autres Plats de Résistance".

Marc Vanhellemont est un journaliste belge travaillant pour divers magazines en Belgique et en France. Incontournable, sauf par la face nord.

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9 février 2010 2 09 /02 /février /2010 14:05
Yesterday’s news that Tim Atkin’s weekly column for the Observer newspaper (the world’s first Sunday paper, first published in 1791 and now part of the UK Guardian newspaper group) is to be axed from next week has many echoes.  (See here  and here).

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Tim Atkin MW

Firstly it is a further diminution of the place of wine in the UK’s national papers. Richard Ehrlich’s column in the Independent on Sunday was axed two or three years ago, then Joanna Simon’s Sunday Times column was taken in-house after a run for 22 years. Now Tim’s award winning weekly column will be shrunken almost to invisibility. This leaves only Jancis Robinson MW in the Financial Times and Anthony Rose in The Independent as trenchant and interesting writers with regular wine columns in the UK quality papers.

As an aside it is a further mark of The Observer’s descent into mediocrity and irrelevance. When I first heard about the fate of Tim’s column I tried without success to think of the name of the current editor of The Observer. Not a clue – a long way from the era when this paper’s editor was a national figure!  There was a time not long ago that the first part of my Sunday mornings were spent propped up in bed reading The Observer – not anymore. At well over £2 a copy now, it does not merit the price of admission, particularly as the few interesting features left can in any case be accessed on-line.

But the fate of The Observer is not pertinent to this blog. Of more interest is that this is yet another symptom of the decline of Vin Britannia – the fading of the golden age for both UK wine writers and the country’s claim to be the most important, varied and influential wine market in the world.

From the 1970s and for much of the latter part of the 20th century the UK could make a realistic claim to have virtually all of the most influential wine writers – Hugh Johnson, Michael Broadbent, Clive Coates, Jancis Robinson MW, Andrew Jefford, Oz Clarke to cite some of the leaders. All this backed by a vibrant and adventurous wine publishing sector. How many now committed wine drinkers were inspired by Hugh Johnson’s Wine and then his World Atlas of Wine?

It is sad to see UK wine publishing’s current timid and sclerotic state. I can’t remember the last ground breaking book produced by a UK publisher. Instead they are wedded to either new editions of old classics or the promotion of ersatz wine celebrities. Anything new or daring has to be self-published. 
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Perhaps a nadir was reached late last year when it emerged that Matt Skinner, Mitchell Beazley’s celebrity wine writer, hadn’t tasted all of 100 wines selected for his Juice 2010.  No wonder this is called ‘the easy guide to the best wine’! No work involved just a touch of imagination. The most regrettably aspect of this tawdry affair was that a once fine publishing house attempted to defend the indefensible. One should not be surprised as they still list Matt Skinner’s Thirsty Work that is so littered with ludicrously elementary howlers that all remaining copies should have been pulped long ago.

But perhaps it is a question of Gallic humour since Mitchell Beazley is now owned by the Hachette group and they were probably amused that their UK arm chose to publish Rosemary George’s Wines of The South of France with a picture of the hill of Corton on the front cover. 

Now if you want lively, interesting and new wine book publishing in English you have to cross the Atlantic.

This sharp decline is mirrored in the once much vaunted UK wine market. I don’t know if anyone still has the gall to trot out the old boast that the UK is the market where everyone wants to be present. In the past it was a valid claim but no longer as the UK supermarkets have become ever more powerful and less adventurous. Once wedded to innovation, they are now fixated by cut price promotions and the never-ending scrabble for market share and profit.
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I’ve lost count of the number of good and excellent producers, who have sensibly decided that trying to export to the UK is not worth the effort. Why would they want to cut prices when there are other markets willing to pay a fair price for quality?

One bright spot amid this gloom is the number of vibrant small independent UK wine merchants. But unfortunately just the sort of business that is likely to be hit by the axing of Tim Atkin’s Observer column.

Can the net and, in particular wine blogs replace this level of exposure and are the independents canny and switched on enough to try to exploit this relatively new resource?


(c) Jim Budd

More info: Tim Atkin on wine critics: click here

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commentaires

Hervé 12/02/2010 23:17


Wow, what a dense and well-based piece of commentary! Food for thought, surely. And coming from you, Mark, I know you mean it.
The path between integrity and survival is narrow for wine journalists, and we surely have to admit that others know at least as much as we do about wine - like sommeliers or wine buyers.
Our difference is that we should be trusted for our independence, and rewarded for it. We are not. But as you say, let us not whine, let's writre the best we can about the drink we love.


Mark Schiettekat 10/02/2010 23:57


Nice initiative “Les 5 du vin” and immediately a dilemma by Hervé: Could it happen in Belgium - or has it already?

Yes, it can happen, as if there is anything Belgium could be spared of. Stop whining, wine is a drink and never before in our country has there been more written about wine than now, never before
subscriptions to quality wine classes have been so many. Is there a long way to go? Sure. Did we come a long way? We sure did. We have managed to get less “pique-assiettes” at tastings and frankly,
I prefer young sommeliers trying to tell their own generation something in their own words over a bunch of dull old men whose number of lines depends on the gastro-orgasm they have had from the
finger-food that was served during the tasting. We have given Michelin stars to restaurants that had not even opened yet and Mega and Mondial wine events are organised by people who never stick
their nose in a glass of wine when someone else is around.

I guess by now, out of all the non-producing countries in the world, we are about the number one wine consumer per capita. If we want to reach a quality driven public it will have to be filtered
out of a bigger volume and a growing interest for authenticity and information. But in order to catch the attention of our younger generation information will have to come in their language and
from their perspective. Start twittering guys!!

Never before have we been flooded on television by so many cooking shows and never before have we been rebuilding our homes that often. And when we are tired of all the cooking and rebuilding there
are even more channels to get safe phone sex. Why would we dine outside, why would we go out at all? Hervé is right, not even for a newspaper! Only to get a better bottle of wine? Yes, surprise,
our average price spent per bottle has increased!

Those who know me also know I have a place in my heart for the professional writers but in a country like ours it is hard to come to a media accepted by all. Not only do we have two, no offense to
our German community, three different languages, but also two different orientations of consumption. Nothing wrong with the free choice of glass and dish, but very hard to get a press-group its
attention, since publishing the best compromise does not help anybody at all, but that is exactly what is happening now. I am afraid and glad at the same time internet is going to become the
professional medium by excellence, a medium in which also press-groups have the chance to become more specific than in a newspaper. Hervé Lalau, Mark Van Hellemont, Frank Van der Auwera, a.o.
Belgian writers in the making, you will have to sell your qualities to editors or edit yourselves, that’s life. Wine professionals should support you with privileged information, but once you
accept to be helped more than that you give up your integrity. At the same time you help professionals to get closer to the consumer, that is what good press and internet are about, but they can
only pay you with recognition and honest respect.

There is a big future out there for people with a free pen, good writers, who bring added value by bringing stories about people, skills, quality, because that is what wine is about. Quality is
like oil, put it in water and it pops up on top, go for it!!


Michel Smith 10/02/2010 09:11


Même chose chez nous les gars. Tim, si tu nous lis puisque ton Français est aussi bon que ton Anglais, vient nous voir de temps en temps dans le Sud où quelques bons vignerons ne t'ont pas oublié.
Jim, je suis d'accord : c'est par la toile que la critique de vins trouvera son salut. The only snag is that it doesn't pay...


Hervé Lalau 10/02/2010 09:04


Here in Belgium, we see the same, although new wine columnists may appear from time to time in some daily newspapers - always free lancers, of course, and not all well paid, I guess, in replacement
of older members of staff. And what's more, none of these new columnists are journalists.

Wine is a topic which appeals to the reader, yet, but the paper versions of newspapers lose readers everyday.

News about wine are not only published in wine sections - but "wine news" in the general intest sections are often the reproduction of dispatches by press agencies. This way, an article can be seen
in many French speaking newspapers, no matter how bad it is.

To sum it up, it seems the gap between the general press and the winepress has never been so wide. Anybody can write about wine in newspapers nowadays, from sommeliers/wine buyers to actors and
other "WIP's", while the trained winewriters have to survive on blogs or consulting fees.