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Bill Buitenhuys

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An MS said it, so it must be true?

by Bill Buitenhuys » Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:25 pm

I find it interesting to look for various marketing styles for wine that target a specific audience. In this months Jane magazine is an article entitled How to Buy Wine. The mag is targeted towards women under 30-35. This particular article uses extensive quotes from Alpana Singh, 29, "the youngest female MS in the country". I sure hope she was misquoted given the following paragraph:

Crib note No. 3: The vintage, or year a wine was bottled, doesn't really matter with the less-than-$50 range, Alpana says. "The winemaker goes to great lengths to blend the grapes so the wine won't taste different year after year".

[rant] Since when is vintage the year a wine was bottled?
And I guess I really should be buying more 2003 loire whites after all.

I won't even get into her quote about how 10mins in the fridge helps a cheap red wine taste really good.

I'm giving Ms. Singh the benefit of the doubt and passing this off to bad journalism..ack...[/rant]
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Oliver McCrum

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Re: An MS said it, so it must be true?

by Oliver McCrum » Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:35 pm

I met Alpana once, she seemed very serious.

Depending on where you live, I think most red wines drunk in the US could use a few minutes in the fridge.
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Jenise

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Re: An MS said it, so it must be true?

by Jenise » Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:43 pm

Oliver McCrum wrote:I met Alpana once, she seemed very serious.

Depending on where you live, I think most red wines drunk in the US could use a few minutes in the fridge.


But perhaps seriously misinformed? Can't imagine someone seriously knowledgeable making that under-$50 comment.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: An MS said it, so it must be true?

by David M. Bueker » Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:47 pm

More than likely this was a case of bad journalism. The average journalist can't keep three facts straight, so wine discussions are totally beyond them. The one time I was interviewed for a newspaper article they ended up quoting me that my favorite wine "wasn't worth buying." They mixed parts of two separate sentences about two different wines.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Re: An MS said it, so it must be true?

by Jenise » Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:30 pm

The one time I was interviewed for a newspaper article they ended up quoting me that my favorite wine "wasn't worth buying."


Excellent point/example. I was once quoted in the Anchorage Daily News as saying that the most valuable wine in the whole world was DRC Echezaux. And not to knock DRC, but that wasn't quite what I said and I got seriously ribbed about it. [/quote]
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Cynthia Wenslow

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The really sad part...

by Cynthia Wenslow » Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:22 pm

... is that many young women will now be using this advice and information, whether or not it was intended by the interviewee.

Many young women of my acquaintance are already so misguided (or simply uninformed) about dining, wine, and etiquette in general, it seems a shame that a publication like this has compounded the problem.
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Manuel Camblor

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Re: An MS said it, so it must be true?

by Manuel Camblor » Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:33 pm

Bill Buitenhuys wrote:Crib note No. 3: The vintage, or year a wine was bottled, doesn't really matter with the less-than-$50 range, Alpana says. "The winemaker goes to great lengths to blend the grapes so the wine won't taste different year after year".


Ooooooooh myyyyyyyyyy... Many lives, many lawsuits, I guess...
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Re: An MS said it, so it must be true?

by Manuel Camblor » Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:37 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:More than likely this was a case of bad journalism. The average journalist can't keep three facts straight, so wine discussions are totally beyond them. The one time I was interviewed for a newspaper article they ended up quoting me that my favorite wine "wasn't worth buying." They mixed parts of two separate sentences about two different wines.


Well, David, the one time I was interviewed about wine for a newspaper (El diario de la Rioja, to be exact), the article ended up being about foot fetishism. I do beleive I mentioned the word "fetishist" relating to pointy people and all hell broke loose. The journqalist and I were at a Rioja bodega. We had been given plenty of good stuff to drink. In the end, some harm,, some foul, but who gives a damn?
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Oliver McCrum

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Re: An MS said it, so it must be true?

by Oliver McCrum » Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:17 pm

Jenise wrote:
Oliver McCrum wrote:I met Alpana once, she seemed very serious.

Depending on where you live, I think most red wines drunk in the US could use a few minutes in the fridge.


But perhaps seriously misinformed? Can't imagine someone seriously knowledgeable making that under-$50 comment.


I can't either, and Alpana is very well-informed, therefore...

By 'serious' I mean 'knows what she's up to.'
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Paul B.

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Re: An MS said it, so it must be true?

by Paul B. » Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:44 pm

As someone who follows the newswires attentively for stories on my favourite grape and wine-related topics, I very often see mistakes in the articles - sometimes little mistakes, but other times atrocious errors that dive right into the realm of falsehood.

That said, sometimes writers who research topics unknown to them or for which they do not have any particular passion, can end up making blunders for simply not having been around the vinous block as many times as most of us here who can spot these things quickly.

Who was it who said reporters "have to know everything about nothing"? :)
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Neil Courtney

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Re: An MS said it, so it must be true?

by Neil Courtney » Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:57 pm

And then there are the Editors, who can take a sentence, change a couple of words in the middle, and change the whole meaning of the text without realising it. Sue gets a bit hot under the collar sometimes.. :lol:
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Thomas

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Re: An MS said it, so it must be true?

by Thomas » Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:56 pm

Well now, being a freelance journalist who specializes in wine and food, I agree completely with Paul's comment about writers with little or no knowledge screwing up an interview or story. I can't tell you how many times I have been set ablaze by wine articles in newspapers that were written by seriously information-deficient writers. They get interviews wrong mainly because they do not understand enough about the subject to even ask the right questions.

I also know full well that an editor can, and does all too often, make cuts and re-writes (without telling the journalist).

Put the two together and you get a sloppy article.

I've spent the better part of my writing career trying to persuade editors (to no avail) that, while it might lend credibility to have lots of quotes in an article, it is far better to have fewer quotes and a knowledgeable interviewer.

Having said all that, I don't think having achieved an MS makes a person any smarter when dealing with the press. Many people being interviewed get misquoted when they talk over the heads of the interviewer. Few realize that they need to be crystal clear 'cause the interviewer is often less than a novice on the subject.

My bet is that $50 quote got mangled by the MS having made it too complicated and the interviewer (or the editor) constrained by space on the page tried to cut it.

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