Exec. Wine Editor Food & Wine Magazine Ray Isle

7/10 Exec. Wine Editor Food & Wine Magazine Ray Isle

Ray Isle @islewine

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Welcome to #SommChat everyone! Tell your friends to join us to learn from #Food and #Wine Magazine Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle @Islewine:!

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: We’d like to introduce you to Ray Isle @Islewine: #Food and #Wine Magazine @foodandwine Executive Wine Editor #SommChat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: We're about ready to dive in w/questions, so shout out to Ray Isle @Islewine: to say hello & so he knows you're here! #WineWednesday #SommChat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Don't forget that EVERY tweet during this chat should include the #SommChat hashtag in order for everyone to see it!

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: As we ask our Qs, you can ask Ray your Q’s as well! He'll do his best to answer all Q’s in the order they come #SommChat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: With so many participants lots of great Q's are asked! Even if u don’t ask 1--give a S/O 2 @keepercoll and @islewine 2 let us know u are here! #SommChat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Let's start talking #wine with #Food and #Wine Magazine @foodandwie Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle @Islewine: #WineWednesday #SommChat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: Thrilled to be here, and looking forward to answering a few questions! #sommchat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #SommHave you always wanted to be a writer? Was there anything specific that peaked your interest in becoming a #food/#wine writer?

Ray Isle @IsleWine: Always, from very very early on, wanted to be writer. Didn't realize that #wine was my subject/passion though until random chance took me on a grad fellowship to Bay Area...and I started hanging out at wineries...and that was a slippery slope! #sommchat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: .@islewine we saw a picture of you on a Horse posted by @JuneRodil fr #Aspen @foodandwine festival - please tell us more #SommChat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: Yep. Well, I'm originally from #Texas, for one thing. And we were having a #somm event at Kemo Sabe at the #fwclassic...and the manager said, "Hey, want to ride a horse into the store?" I thought, because what else can you think, hell yeah. So... #SommChat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm How have you seen the #wine world evolve since being in this industry? What training do you think some1 needs to write today @islewine ?

Ray Isle @IsleWine: Wow—well, first question is BIG. But one thing is massive proliferation of #wines in the market, which is both a boon for consumers but also far more perplexity about what to buy... #SommChat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: ...Also, there's tremendously more info (accurate and non) available online than when I started. So, to get to 2nd question, (1) you need to be able to write - not joking. Hone your writing & reporting skills. Wine knowledge is not the same as.... #SommChat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: ...communicating through words. (2) But also, taste and taste and taste and taste, and learn everything possible. Writing about wine is a little like the proverbial iceberg - to write intelligently about one thing, you need deep knowledge beyond that one thing. #SommChat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm How does your work @Travlandleisure differ than @foodandwine and how do you manage both?

Ray Isle @IsleWine: I am still figured out how the heck to manage both! But essentially it's the travel angle at T+L that changes things—the great part is it gives me freedom to cover areas like Swiss #wine or (coming up) German #pinot which aren't much in US market but great for travel... #SommChat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: ...whereas with F&W, there's often a food/restaurant/etc angle built into the story (and often recipes). I love both worlds, and obviously they overlap, but the audience interests are different for both brands - always have to keep that in mind as a writer. #SommChat

Charles Comm PR @CharlesComm: Hello! @islewine @keepercoll Ray, you just finished working as an undercover sommelier, what was the most revealing or surprising aspect to that experience? #Sommchat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Great #SommChat question for @islewine - always enjoy your participation

Ray Isle @IsleWine: Right off top of my head, how quick restaurant interactions (somm w customer) are re wine. You have so little time to ascertain everything about what they might want, and suggest something they'll love. Also, man is it tiring being on your feet for nine hours! #sommchat

Sandy Wasserman CS @SandyWasserman: Good morning @islewine How did you get your start in the #wine biz and who are your mentors? Thanks #SommChat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: Hi - I got my start in wine being a part-time intern at @ClosLaChance winery in Bay Area, then being a supplier rep for the @SymingtonFamily in NYC. I was freelancing as a journalist though - my big mentor for wine writing was Josh Greene at @WineandSpirits #SommChat

Jesse Salazar @JesseInDisguise: Clos la Chance? That’s wild. I spent my childhood summers on the Arabian horse farm next door.

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: welcome back to #SommChat @SandyWasserman and @Path2Wine always enjoy your Qs

Charles Comm PR @CharlesComm: Q: @islewine @keepercoll Where is your next wine trip worldwide? #Sommchat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: Weirdly, I may be going down the Snake River in Oregon with a chef and a winemaker...really hoping I don't get tossed into the rapids!! #SommChat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm How do you decide on topics for #wine articles? Do you attend every @foodandwine festival – how many are there now and how R topics picked to keep fresh info for guests @islewine ?

Ray Isle @IsleWine: First question first: It's a pretty organic process in that I try to keep track of everything (hah!) going on in the wine world, and see where there's some burst of excitement or change or what have you that might provide a good story to tell (that's for features)... #SommChat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: ...for festivals, we sponsor about 17 but I only go to the very wine-centric ones (our #fwclassic in Aspen, #pbfw, #caymancookout, etc). Topics are always a big back and forth discussion - some new-ness, some perenially popular (champagne...), etc #SommChat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: ...for service pieces like #wine recommendation columns, same, but also there are the inevitable "ok what the heck do I do for a Thanksgiving wine column THIS year" questions. (BTW: Riesling. I'm psyched.)... #SommChat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #mixologist! @islewine How have you seen the #cocktail world change since you’ve been @travelandleisure do you write about #Spirits as well?

Ray Isle @IsleWine: I do write about #spirits and #cocktails. The cocktail world has changed enormously since I started - everything, level of ambition, spirits available, the whole mixology culture. It's one of the extraordinary shifts in hospitality, really, I think #SommChat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm Is there any writing assignment you turned down @islewine and if so what was it and why did you turn it down?

Ray Isle @IsleWine: Well, since I'm staff at @foodandwine it's a give and take - sometimes I pitch a story and our EIC might say, meh, maybe not; sometimes a story will come up and I'll think, no, that's not really for me.... #sommChat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: ...But if someone asks me to write something and I've seen it before — hey, Zinfandel with turkey! — I'll let it go. I also get pitched HEAPS of things from PR reps that are just way off what I do. Like suggesting I report on beet harvest in Ukraine, that sort of thing. #SommChat

Sandy Wasserman CS @SandyWasserman: Q @islewine What wines have you drank lately that have impressed you? #sommchat #wine

Ray Isle @IsleWineI: I taste lots of wine (of course) bc it's my job - no complaints. So, this a.m., I was lucky enough to aste '99 Comtes de Champagne which was just spectacular. But I also recently loved '11 @chateaumusar, and '18 @QSoalheiro Alvarinho - pretty eclectic tastes, I guess! #SommChat

Courtney Quinn @Path2Wine: Q. @islewine As Exec Wine Editor @foodandwine you hear a lot from wine consumers. What recommendations do you have for the wine trade to better meet the needs of consumers? #sommchat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: I find that, on or off-prem, a lot of #wine folk default into in-the-biz lingo that consumers simply find competely incomprehensible. They don't usually say anything, bc they feel awkward, but you can see it in people's eyes - always good to think back to... #sommchat

Ray Isle @IsleWine:...when you were first getting into #wine & how little you knew (if you were like me) and sort of tailor your communication as if you were talking to yourself 10 years ago (or however many). #SommChat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm how do you decide (or does someone else) on #wine pairings @foodandwine and what is your typical method @islewine ? hardest pairing you remember?

Ray Isle @IsleWine: I cook a lot (a lot!) and have been doing pairings for @foodandwine for a long time, so these days I sly eyeball the recipe & then narrow down - general realm (unoaked mineral white) specific type (hm, Muscadet?) then brand/vintage.... #sommchat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: ...honestly, cheffy restaurant dishes are the trickiest because they often have multiple components that on their own might call for radically different wines. #SommChat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: ...also, our test kitchen is now in Birmingham, AL, so that sort of complicates things. If I'm baffled, or can't extrapolate from recipe, I get on the phone w/ our senior food editor & discuss it. Hardest pairing ever, tough to say! But... #sommChat

Charles Comm PR: @CharlesComm: Q: @islewine @keepercoll What is the strangest alcoholic beverage you've tried in the line of duty? #Sommchat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: That's easy, because it was so utterly horrible! It was a bottle of something - wine, maybe, though still unclear - recovered from a shipwreck off the coast of Bermuda. 150 years in 72˚ water = bad storage!! But really nice water for scuba diving...! :) #SommChat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm do you keep your #wine recs to a certain retail $ range and if so how is that determined @islewine

Ray Isle @IsleWine: As a writer I try to keep audience in mind — F&W's readers, for instance, are not (mostly) millionaire wine collectors. So, for recommendation columns at least, I skew to the affordable; which doesn't mean I might not throw in a couple of splurges... #SommChat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: ...but it really depends on the column or story. If I'm doing a profile piece on up-and-coming Burgundy talents, by nature the wines will be more $$$ than a value roundup. But I do try to cover a lot of wines you can buy on a whim without panicking about your bank acct #SommChat

Courtney Quinn @Path2Wine: Q. @islewine do you know what the average amount either per bottle or annually a F&W subscriber spends on wine? #sommchat

Mauricio Sanchez @msanchezchef: Interesting question!!!!

Ray Isle @IsleWine: We haven't done a reader survey on that specific question. But I would guess *typical* spend is in the $15-20 per bottle zone; though people also love to splurge occasionally of course! And our audience is huge & pretty wildly varied - home cooks, somms, you name it. #SommChats

Sandy Wasserman CS @SandyWasserman: Q @islewine Have you ever made #wine? If so what & where, if not any desire to do so? Cheers #sommchat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: I got started cleaning out tanks in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but I've never made my own wine. Would love to do so someday!! As to where, it's probably contingent on the realities of time & money, but if someone gave me a #barolo vineyard, I'd be cool with that. #SommChat

Whitney Woodham @Champagnewhit: HEY Y’all... I miss you guys sooo much so thought I would jump in and say hello @islewine when you are not working, where do you travel for leisure #sommchat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: miss you Whitney look forward to this answer from @islewine or does he have any time for leisure #travel??? #SommChat

Whitney Woodham @Champagnewhit: Hahahaha... maybe not.. how about a place you have been for work but would like to go back on your own? #Sommchat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: Hey @Champagnewhit - well, most often my leisure travel takes me to #maine. That's family vacation. But in terms been to for work that I'd like to go back to on my own, I'm doing that this summer w Alto Adige. No work, just fun! (OK, I will drink wine there. True.) #SommChat

Courtney Quinn @Path2Wine: Q. @islewine Earlier in your career you worked for @SymingtonFamily what has been some of your favorite Port vintages and experiences? #sommchat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: I think the #douro valley is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I remember a thunderstorm rolling in over the river in the evening once, and the sight has stuck with me forever-that might be top. Drinking '63 Dow AT Quinta do Bomfim is right up there though. #SommChat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Q fr #SommChat #Somm Is there anything in the #wine and/or #spirits world you foresee becoming a trend in the next few years @islewine ?

Ray Isle @IsleWine: It's already a trend, but canned #wine. I think it's just going to get bigger and bigger. And, on a very different note, wineries & producers actively responding in a range of ways to #climate change - you're seeing that with people signing on to the Porto Protocol etc. #SommChat

Mauricio Sanchez @msanchezchef: G’day everyone! Poping I form Colombia!!!! #sommchat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: g’day to you too #SommChat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: .@islewine Is there anything you are aspiring to #write about in the future @foodandwine or @Travlandleisure that you just haven’t been able to write about yet? #SommChat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: Yes, always! China & wine as a broad topic fascinates me. Ditto the wine world's response to climate change. On a more micro level, I'd love to get to the Jura...and Sardinia...and Swartland...and...you get the idea! #Sommchat

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Time to wrap up! Hope you enjoyed this hour of #wine talk with #Food and #Wine Magazine @foodandwine Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle @Islewine: #WineWednesday #SommChat @Travlandleisure

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: It was great to have #Food and #Wine Magazine @foodandwine Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle @Islewine: join us today for #SommChat. We hope everyone learned as much as we did! #WineWednesday

Keeper Collection @KeeperColl: Please join us in thanking #Food and #Wine Magazine @foodandwine Executive Wine Editor, Wine & #Spirits Editor @Travlandleisure Ray Isle @Islewine: for his time #SommChat

Ray Isle @IsleWine: Thrilled to participate and what a great range of questions! Thanks to everyone who chimed in with one. Cheers, everyone! #SommChat

Courtney Quinn @Path2Wine: Thank you @islewine for sharing your time, thoughts and experiences via #SommChat I look forward to reading more of your articles and hopefully one day enjoy a bottle of wine together in person!