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outside the bottle with talia baiocchi

A Farewell Blog

And an appreciation for Wine Spectator’s welcome

Posted: Jan 7, 2013 12:00pm ET

I don't know a lot of things, but I do know that decisions are hard and adulthood isn't exactly as advertised. I also realize how right my grandfather was when he said to me, when I was seven years old, "Don't worry, 'cause nothing's gonna be OK." He was a cynic, no doubt, and it was a half-humored resignation to doom and disappointment, but I interpret it differently. I see it as a wise acknowledgement that things never really go according to plan. Timing isn't everything; rolling with it is.

This is my eleventh column for Wine Spectator and, sadly, as less-than-ideal timing would have it, it's also my last. Just before Christmas I received an offer to take an editor-in-chief position with a new project (that must, at the moment, remain mysterious) guided by people I respect a great deal. I've accepted the new position, and that means ending my current commitments.

I've had to say goodbye to Eater.com, which took a gamble on a column called "Decanted" more than three years ago, and gave me a platform to build a career writing about wine and drinks for a website about food and restaurants. I thank the team there for their support.

Here at Wine Spectator, I have Marvin Shanken, Tom Matthews and Dana Nigro to thank for giving me freedom and a (very important) platform to share my thoughts about wine and wine culture. Six years ago, when I was a wide-eyed portfolio manager at Italian Wine Merchants, I would have never imagined that I'd be writing a column for Wine Spectator. So, I appreciate your faith and for trusting me enough to let me choose my topics and angles. A special thanks to Dana, who is a smart editor with an eagle eye, and to Tom, whose propensity to play devil's advocate has made me a better journalist.

If my relationship with Wine Spectator is an indication of anything, it's that the magazine and its online arm are far more open-minded than many people, myself formerly included, give them credit for. My views were sometimes at odds with some of the values of the magazine, but no one ever asked me to temper my beliefs. Hopefully this relationship, however brief, is proof that as political and divisive as the wine world may seem, diversity and tolerance have a shot at becoming the new normal. So, thank you to everyone at Wine Spectator, and thanks to you all for reading.

Clear eyes, full cups, can't lose.

Thomas Matthews
New York —  January 7, 2013 12:35pm ET
We are sorry to say farewell to Talia’s blog, but wish her the best in her new venture.

“Outside the Bottle” brought a new voice into our on-going conversation about wine. Just as we are constantly searching for exciting new wines and talented new vintners and chefs, so we try to present diverse and informative new points of view on issues of interest to our readers.

This diversity is exemplified in our long roster of guest bloggers, ranging from winemakers to chefs to rock stars. We are also showcasing some of Wine Spectator’s up-and-coming editors in our ongoing Mixed Case blog. Of course, Matt Kramer has been provoking and enlightening our readers for many years now. And our senior editors continue to share insights derived from their decades of experience with wine.

Talia expresses a hope that “diversity and tolerance” will become “the new normal” in a wine world that is too often “political and divisive.” We believe that her blog, and the varied points of view expressed by our many other contributors, testifies that at Wine Spectator diversity is more than tolerated, it is encouraged. And extending broadly into the wines of the world. After all, diversity is one of wine’s great virtues, and a fundamental reason it gives us so much to talk about.

Thomas Matthews
Executive editor
Bernard Sun
New York —  January 7, 2013 1:32pm ET
Talia -

Thank you so much for sharing your refreshing views of the wine world with us these past few years. Your writing shows your passion and honesty so clearly, it was always a pleasure for me to follow. I'll miss your Wine Spectator Blog (It was too brief!) but am looking forward to finding out what is next on your horizon.

Best always,
Bernie
Adam Lee
Sonoma County, CA —  January 7, 2013 8:45pm ET
Talia,

Sorry to see you go so quickly....I enjoyed the blogs....but sure I will see you around the internet!

Cheers,

Adam Lee
Siduri Wines
Delmonico Stkhse @ Venetian
Las Vegas, NV, USA —  January 8, 2013 4:21am ET
Talia,

As one of the first guest (Sommelier) bloggers for the Wine Spectator back in 2006, I certainly understand your reluctance to depart. Although I'm not a journalist by profession, the opportunity to write for such an amazing group of people is, and will continue to be, one of the highlights of my career.

I also agree with you about the level of tolerance that the Spectator shows in choice of topics and opinions. I once wrote a wine blog here called "Why Women Taste Better"… Enough said.

Thank you for your time and effort over the last few months. Your insight and writing style kept me intrigued.

All the best and I wish you great success in your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

Kevin M. Vogt, Master Sommelier
Wine Director - Emeril's Restaurants Las Vegas
Dave Pramuk
Napa —  January 8, 2013 12:30pm ET
Best wishes on the new project, Talia.

I sense that we will all be reading lots more from you in the future.

Thank you for your fresh perspectives and entertaining blogs.

Dave Pramuk
Co-Founder
Robert Biale Vineyards
David Rossi
Napa, CA —  January 8, 2013 12:46pm ET
Good Luck Talia. I enjoyed your writing.

David Rossi
Fulcrum Wines
Anna Maria Sorrentino
Short Hills, NJ USA —  January 9, 2013 2:56pm ET
Talia, wow, it's been a while since our planning for the Tuscany trip but I had no doubt that you had a long,splendid and unconventional "wine road" to follow.

I will do my best to keep up with your travels and writings in the future so please keep in touch!

Un'abbraccio
Anna Maria Sorrentino
Shop Wine and Dine/Food & Wine Travel Concepts
Sao Anash
santa barbara —  January 9, 2013 5:34pm ET
Best of luck in your next venture and I have renewed faith in the WS. If they had the where with all to bring on such an exciting new writer such as yourself, they'll no doubt be able to find another contemporary writer with fresh insights into a very dynamic business.

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