Shedding some light on your favorite wine writers.
Jacqueline Coleman is a published wine + travel writer, wine judge, & consultant. She is the monthly “Vino” columnist for Biscayne Times newspaper, and a regular contributor to Winetraveler.com. Since 2019, she has been a weekly guest host on Linda Gassenheimer’s radio show, “Food, News, and Views” on 88.9FM in Miami covering the wine & drinks segment by interviewing industry professionals. Her new podcast, “Wine Uncorked,” is out on all major podcast sites and the Podmany app.
Additionally, Jacqueline is a regular wine judge for the South Florida-based American Fine Wine Competition invitational & THE Rosé Competition as well as the Key Biscayne Wine & Food Festival wine competition.
Jacqueline has earned wine certifications through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), International Sommelier Guild (ISG), U.S. Sommelier Association, and FIU Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Wine Program. Her greatest joy and education has been as a result of the many relationships she has made through global wine country travels meeting with producers and others as a wine journalist.
1. What was your first job as a writer?
My first paid job as a writer (not including marketing copywriting throughout my career) was being hired as the “Vino” columnist for Miami’s Biscayne Times newspaper. However, I had started writing and self-publishing on my blog, “History and Wine,” about five years prior to that.
2. What led you to becoming a wine writer?
I fell in love with wine in Virginia when I was living outside of Washington, D.C. about 10 years ago. I spent some weekends out exploring the wineries before many of them were well-known or even had tours or big tasting rooms. There was so much history in the area, and I love history. I was inspired to start writing about the history along with the wine I was tasting and the stories of the people behind the bottles, so I started my blog, “History and Wine.”
3. What kind of reader do you have in mind when you’re writing?
Most of my writing is geared toward the consumer, especially when I write Vino. My articles for Winetraveler.com are more for those who have an interest in wine travel & maybe a bit more knowledge than the average consumer. I realize that a lot of folks read about wine because they want to learn more, so I try to add educational components to my articles as well, without getting too technical for consumers who are simply looking for wines to enjoy.
4. Where is the most magical place your wine writing has brought you?
I am a bit of a Francophile when it comes to wine, and I’ve been so honored to be invited to taste in several French wine regions from Roussillon in the south to Champagne in the north. I absolutely fell in love with Banyuls in the south of France, but also Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and also Champagne! They are all so magical in their own ways. This history of it all in France and other Old World regions is what is magical to me. The caves of Champagne served as a refuge for those who lived in Reims and the surrounding areas during WW1. There are castles in the hills of Roussillon and one in the village of CDP, which was the first AOC in France. The magic of French wine regions is endless to me.
Professional wine + travel writer, wine judge, columnist, and consultant based in Miami, FL.
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5. What was one of your favorite articles to write, and why?
One of my favorite articles to write was this one about Domaine Bousquet in Mendoza, Argentina, and their commitment to sustainability. They have been a pioneer in the Tupungato region of Mendoza, and I love how they’ve been at the forefront of a fully sustainable model from organic farming to ensuring that they were investing in the surrounding community. I’ve met Anne Bousquet and her husband, Labid, and they are wonderful people. I just really enjoy writing about, talking about, and drinking their wines.
6. What is the best advice someone has given you on your writing?
Sometimes as a writer, you get stuck in loops when it comes to vocabulary or descriptors, especially when talking about wine. If you’ve been formally trained in wine (i.e., WSET or similar), you are used to tasting and describing according to a formula, but nobody wants to read a formula. I think as a writer, our job is to think outside the bottle and be creative–make it entertaining for the reader. I have to work on that sometimes.
7. What would you be doing if you weren’t writing about wine?
Oh gosh. I wanted to be a lobbyist while I was working in Washington, D.C. and discovered a passion for wine. Maybe I’d be doing that? Probably not. Maybe I’d be working in a marketing department or for a communications firm somewhere? Either way, I’d be drinking wine.
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