May 31, 2009 by Wino
Hey, that’s you!
One year ago, in June of 2008, something remarkable happened. A new magazine hit the stands. This magazine. WINO Magazine.
The story of WINO isn’t altogether different than that of many upstarts. The evolution is one of paper types. What is now a comprehensive, didactic, bi-monthly publication on sleek, glossy FSC-approved paper stock, existed on about fifty pages of all-purpose 8.5×11” copy paper in the form of a business plan until just a year ago, which in turn can trace its lineage back just a few months to a wine-soaked, ink-tagged cocktail napkin—the whiteboard of sudden inspiration.
We are frequently asked, with ostensibly genuine curiosity, how WINO came about. The inquiry often dons the unsavory but amused tone that bespeaks the real question, “Are you out of your friggin’ minds?” In an age where print media seems to be falling by the wayside (if you listen to the naysayers who are putting all their eggs in a basket of interwebs), why would we decide to publish a magazine?
The answer is “mouthfeel.”
A glass of wine is so amazing because of its complexity, its layers, its nuance. It’s not just about flavor. If it was, you’d find Chardonnay extract next to vanilla at the grocery store, you’d see Cabernet Cola next to Cherry Coke, and there would be Welch’s Merlot frozen concentrate in the freezer aisle. But, a glass of wine is so much more than that. It’s the color and clarity. It’s the viscosity; it’s the alcohol; it’s the tannins and acids that make up the mouthfeel. It just wouldn’t be wine otherwise.
If winemakers could deliver an identical experience without the expense of barrels, bottles and bars, no doubt many would. But, the fact is, the experience is not identical when it’s rarefied into a thin approximation of the real thing.
In the same way, a magazine offers more than just the flavor of information. It offers something tangible, something sleek, something that exists in a very real form, not merely some abstractions flitting around the ethers of cyberspace.
That’s not to say that the internet is without its usefulness. You’ll notice that WINO Magazine is available online, along with exclusive, timely content including blogs, events and articles that we couldn’t squeeze into the print edition. But we believe that the printed magazine offers the mouthfeel that you just don’t get online. Achieving the big picture is not without its costs.
Is there any better word in the American English language than “free?” From “free country” to “free upgrade,” free has become the beau ideal of any red-blooded consumer. Early on, we decided to make WINO Magazine free to you, our reader. We realized that the best way to get all the exciting information about wine and wine culture in Washington to you was to make this magazine free of charge and easy to snatch up from myriad locations.
That is where our sponsors come in. To do that, we rely on the sponsorship of businesses that enjoy our publication as much as you do. These are businesses comprised of winos like you and us who are as excited about food and drink as anybody. We want to thank our sponsors for their enthusiasm and support. You, dear reader, can thank them by supporting their businesses; by getting out of the house and checking out all that they have to offer. We do.
It’s been an exciting year for us at WINO. But we offer up a toast to you and our sponsors who make WINO Magazine possible.