1. Take a knowledge of one beverage and assume it automatically makes you qualified to write about another. Being an authority on wine doesn’t qualify you to offer “expert” opinions on single malt whisky, UNLESS you’ve done one hell of a lot of research and tasting.
2. Judge a release negatively on the basis of one or two sips. Everyone and everything deserves a second chance, so try it again before you lambaste it, or say nothing.
3. Get all attitudinal when someone calls you on a mistake or error of judgement. We all screw up from time to time. Take your lashes and move along.
4. Write your blog as if you are a ten year old because it makes it more “real.” You’re supposed to be a professional writer, even when doing something you’re not paid for. Typos are one thing, but frequent errors in grammar, punctuation and structure just reflect badly on you and your craft.
5. Use descriptive words no one is likely to understand. Noting underlying hints of some obscure Amazonian fruit doesn’t help North Americans to understand the flavours you’re describing; it just makes you look like an ass.
(I hope I’m not guilty of any of the above, but let’s face it, I probably am.)
7 Replies to “Sh*t Drinks Writers Do (But Shouldn’t)”
Amen to #2. If there is something I don’t like, I will try it again to see if it was a situation problem, a mood problem, etc. If I still don’t like it, or, better yet, if it doesn’t sync with what I enjoy (someone else might like it), I choose not to write about it.
It’s hard not to do #5 occasionally. Sometimes it just tastes that way.
Kind of agree on that, been there, but…it does come off as pretentious. Sigh. Sometimes, you just can’t win.
Good call – I’m thinking a particular Toronto-based drinks writer for a major publication who is certainly guilty of #1. Particularly galling when there is so much knowledge out there.
There are too many writers, I fear, who think that research means solely consulting the Brewers Publications shelves. It’s how myths get repeated.
Beer, like food, shirts and music (among other things), is a matter of personal taste. (The first time I tasted Gose, for example, I loved it – however, several friends I was with, couldn’t finish what was in their glass.)
Ergo, I see no point in 10 best lists or any kind of best of list of beers.
#1 I see all the time, not being a drinks writer but knowing enough about beer, wine and scotch that I could be if I wanted to. Some wine writers’ takes on beers can be galling, to say the least. One writer I know fairly well says that it’s almost like the only other wine writers they can trust are the ones that head out for great beers after judging wine all day.
I’m seeing #5 all too often. Not impressed by obscure descriptors.