In late October, the publication Sommelier Journal announced it would suspend publication. This was sad news for many, including myself, as I enjoy reading the articles, and I take pleasure in writing for them. I had hoped to propose my next story on Spanish food and wine when the announcement broke that they would cease publication until further notice.
Six weeks later I receive an announcement that TPM Custom Publishing, Meridith May will acquire Sommelier Journal with the intent to rebrand the magazine as SOMM Journal. The new editorial board will comprise of internationally-renowned wine writers, sommeliers and authorities, including Anthony Dias Blue as Editor-in-Chief, David Gadd as Managing Editor, and a team of top wine and hospitality industry writers.
Having worked with Anthony as a judge at the San Francisco International Wine Competition where he is the executive director and founder, I know he is the right person to guide SOMM Journal in the right direction. It might sound silly, but I judge many wine competitions ONCE. Rarely do I return a second time. Why? If the event is not well organized and managed, I have no interest to be part of it. I don’t like disorganized events, and I certainly don’t want to award medals to mediocre wines. Who wants to be pressured to give ‘gold’ to any old wine, especially if it lacks that special character that screams gold? Anthony’s wine comp is the ONLY judging event I beg to come back to. Not only is it a well-run program, it is a joy to be a part of his events. It is also well-managed, and he is a great guy to boot with a wealth of knowledge in wine and spirits, which makes him a perfect fit for SOMM Journal.
SOMM Journal will broaden coverage to include artisan spirits, coffee, tea and food trends. And with Anthony Dias Blue and David Gadd at the helm, this magazine has great potential at succeeding. And if you think magazines are dead, think again. May publishes the TASTING PANEL magazine, which reaches an audience of more than 100,000 readers a month. And guess what? Mr. Blue is leading the helm as the Editor-in-Chief at the Tasting Panel as well.
So things are looking up for SOMM Journal.
I wish them huge success moving forward and look forward to seeing the evolution of what this magazine will become in the coming months and years.