Shedding some light on your favorite wine writers.
Cindy Rynning has been writing about wine on her award-winning wine blog, Grape Experiences, since 2011. She passed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 3 program with Merit in 2012. Cindy is based in Chicago, Illinois where she hosts virtual tastings, attends international and national trade tastings and media events, meets and interviews winemakers and others who share their stories, and writes about tastings, food and wine pairings, wine travels, and more. She’s an active member of the judges panel at the Beverage Tasting Institute.
She has written for a variety of print and digital publications including Crave Local, Wine Tourist Magazine, Wine Traveler, Wine Enthusiast, and the wine club newsletter of Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants. Cindy is co-creator of YouTube channel, Crush On This. She received the Drizly Blogger Award as Best Wine Blog – 2017 and her site was one of the Top 100 Most Influential Wine Blogs in the world in 2015 and the Lux International Magazine Best Wine Blog – US in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Two of her articles were finalists in the Millesima Wine Blog Awards – Wine Travel category in 2017 and 2018. Cindy has been recently featured on Good Day Chicago Fox 32, WGN-TV Channel 9, The Jam on Chicago’s WCIU TV, Good Day Sacramento (The CW31), and The Rhode Show WPRI Channel 12.
Grape Experiences is included in Feedspot’s Best 100 Wine Blogs, Websites and Influencers to Follow in 2021 with a consistent #9 ranking and Cindy is ranked as one of the Top 101 Wine Writers of 2020 by Corking Wines.
A former educator, Cindy understands the value of lifelong learning and strives to share her knowledge of wine through writing, social media, personalized wine tastings, and real-life conversation in order to inform, entertain, and inspire others to discover the beauty of our favorite beverage: wine.
1. What was your first job as a writer?
When I was in sixth grade, I was the Editor in Chief of the school newspaper, my first (unpaid) gig! Many years later, I wrote a weekly column about legal research strategies for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin since at the time, I was a law librarian for a major law firm in the city. I found that I loved writing no matter the subject in order to educate and inspire.
2. What led you to becoming a wine writer?
Once I received my WSET Level 3 certification, one of my friends asked me, “So what are you going to do with that?” On a whim, my response was, “I’m going to write about wine.” I started my website and the rest is history in the making!
3. What kind of reader do you have in mind when you’re writing?
I tend to think of my friends and family who love wine and know what they love to drink, but aren’t particularly willing to experiment by trying something new. To help them explore the variety of wines, I want to offer more information about a specific region, variety or bottle so that they can try a wine that might give them an “ah-ha!” moment. Admittedly, I can get a bit geeky in my articles, but I try to hit the backspace on the keyboard when that begins to happen!
4. Where is the most magical place your wine writing has brought you?
Wow, what a tough question! Because of writing, I’ve had the chance to visit wine regions around the world, but I can’t choose the most enchanting place! Whether it’s in a conversation with the winemaker or owner, walking through the vineyards, or sitting down with a few wines to taste, the allure is right there. But that’s the physical part of wine writing. A bit of magic happens in my head when I sit down to write and outline the story.
Owner of Grape Experiences Blog
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5. What was one of your favorite articles to write, and why?
I have many articles that I’m proud to have written. Each seeks to convey the story of a region, a wine, or the people producing the wine. However, during a work trip to Beaujolais in the fall of 2018, I was given opportunities to have in-depth conversations with passionate women and men of all ages who are deeply entrenched in the wine business. My story “On Genders and Generations in Beaujolais: Shoulder to Shoulder not Back to Back” remains one of my favorites.
6. What is the best advice someone has given you on your writing?
Make every sentence meaningful with clarity and simplicity.
7. What would you be doing if you weren’t writing about wine?
Talking about it with a glass in my hand, of course!
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