Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back Story: Cotes du Bordeaux

Age and experience may not give you wisdom, but they do give you a bookshelf full of trip journals. Some time ago, I started using a separate journal for each reporting sojourn I've gone on, which means that dozens of them now line the back bar opposite my desk. Each one is a collection of facts, interviews, observations, contact info and tasting notes. Although most of this information is related to assignments I have before getting on the airplane, many of the articles that they later generated resulted from pitches I made after returning. My favorite part of the flight home is sipping a handful of Jack Damiels on the rocks while evaluating new article ideas that had come up during the trip and which editors might want them.

So any time I have a new assignment - even if it entails a new reporting trip - I'm always combing through the old journals to see what information is relevant to the new assignment. Of course, I just use this material as a starting point before I start making new calls and firing off new e-mails, but the notebooks provide me a perspective which, I hope, gives the new article some depth, insight and richness. Thus was the case with the Cotes du Bordeaux story below, recently printed in Sommelier Journal. Some of the people I quote were folks I first interviewed a dozen or so years ago. Not that there weren't last-minutes back and forths with sources in Bordeaux for updates and fact checks.

In the past couple of weeks, I've received assignments for articles on Beaujolais (two), France's South West, Toro, New Zealand, Gimblet Gravels and parts of Australia. A couple are mainly travel. Most are mainly wine-related.

It's time to hit the notebooks again.

Until next time...

Roger Morris

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cotes de Bordeaux Heads New Pubs

The last week of Summer before Labor Day has been a good one for harvesting publications:

1. A colorful piece on the new Cotes de Bordeaux appellation for Sommelier Journal (see below).

2. A heady drink of Xtabentun for the Daily Meal at

3. Running the tab at regional breweries in Delaware Today.

4. Putting the Brandywine wineries under the microscope for Sommelier News (

5. A defense of big-*** California wines on my blog at iSante' Magazine (

Until the next time....

Roger Morris