Shedding some light on your favorite wine writers.
Amanda Schuster is a freelance drinks writer and the author of New York Cocktails. She has over 15 years’ experience in the industry as a consultant, retail buyer, and writer. And yes, she believes red wine CAN pair with chocolate. Carefully.
1. What was your first job as a writer?
You might say it was writing the staff picks at Astor Wine & Spirits, which was my first job in the industry. They eventually let me write some of the monthly newsletter. I was “discovered” there for my whimsical tasting notes. Arneis that tastes like Flintstones vitamins, anyone?
2. What led you to becoming a wine writer?
When the economy crashed in 2009, I lost my job at Morrell, where I was the spirits buyer, as well as the South American and Spanish wine buyer. “Wine buyer” was a tough job to find again, and I had always enjoyed writing. Blog culture was really coming up then, so I clawed my way from there to where I am now.
3. What kind of reader do you have in mind when you’re writing?
One who actually wants to drink the wine for pleasure, and to try something new maybe, or revisit an old favorite. Basically I’m writing for someone I would also want to drink with!
4. Where is the most magical place your wine writing has brought you?
My two favorite trips based around wine so far have been to Sicily and, believe it or not, Washington State. I was so impressed with the varied terroir and the creativity of the winemakers there.
5. What was one of your favorite articles to write, and why?
Well, aside from the Duran Duran cocktails article for Alcohol Professor, “How a Decade of Drinking Changed the Future of Booze” in Bloomberg was one of my favorites because it really forced me to think about how trends can have a lasting impact on the way we approach the alcohol business. Also, this was my favorite opening line to write ever:
“Drink Baby Yoda cocktail, you will—but only for a little while longer, hopefully. The 2010s saw many ill advised drinking trends, ones the average bar denizen will be happy to see the back of. Still, several are poised to influence the way we imbibe in the coming year and beyond…”
Freelance Drinks Writer and Author
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6. What is the best advice someone has given you on your writing?
Use a thesaurus. Also, to be myself. So many new writers are like cover bands for other writers. I always tell new writers that they should remember drinking wine is supposed to be fun. Don’t write something you, yourself, wouldn’t enjoy reading!
7. What would you be doing if you weren’t writing about wine?
Uh, drinking it? Oh, you mean as a career? I almost went to library school. I enjoy immersing myself in information.
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