We are happy to introduce to you the curator of this month’s #LIQUIDSOCIAL selection, Christian Eedes!
Christian Eedes is the editor of well-known online publication, Winemag.co.za. His experience includes tasting for a range of judging panels, including the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show and Platter’s South African Wine Guide in addition to various other local and international competitions. We caught up with him on a misty Tuesday morning with a few questions, to try and get an idea of what it’s like to be the editor of one of the country’s most well known online wine publications…
How did you get introduced into the world of wine?
My love of wine ultimately comes from my late father. He was a great lover of the world of wine. I grew up with it in the home. There was wine when we had dinner Memorable events were celebrated with wine. Wine was just an integral part of life.
How did you get involved in WineMag.co.za?
My father is actually the founder of WineMag. The first issue was in 1993. I studied Philosophy at Stellenbosch University, after which I started work in the advertising industry. After about 5 years, I decided it was time to tackle something else. So I basically threw myself at my father’s mercy and begged him for a job! He ended up helping me, and in 2000 I became the editor of WineMag. While I knew alot about wine, this was the year 2000, and I knew nothing about the internet (who did?). But I learned on the job and I am still, to this day. WineMag, like Cybercellar is a pioneer in the South African online space.
What advice would you give to others who want to be a wine writer or journalist?
Don’t do it! There are honestly far easier ways to make money. If you really have your heart set on it you must try to expose yourself to as many different aspects of wine as you can. Make peace with the fact that the salary won’t be that great. Journalism is not about the financial reward. You gotta LOVE it.
Wine journalism is particularly challenging. If you are a youngster with your heart set on wine journalism you must know that it is tough, but rewarding. I have found the characters in the wine industry to be a wonderfully warm crowd. This industry is full of non conformists, kind and colourful alike. You know that they are in it for the love.
What do you love most about the world of wine?
I love many things about the world of wine. You never stop learning. The subject matter is just awesome. With the never ending supply of new wines and regions to discover, no two days are the same. Again, I love the people. We all share an outlook on life, which is time well spent over making money for the sake of making money.
Any specific wine or variety you’re raving about at the moment?
I am raving over the fact that South African fine wine has never looked better. Chenin Blanc is our most valuable asset when it comes to white wine. I drink alot of Chenin and can tell you that there is something stunning available at every pricepoint. As for red wines I’m loving the new wave in winemaking that is all about lighter, fresher reds which has less alcohol and is less oak-driven. I’m also loving the meditteranean styles that thrive in our climate, Rhone style blends and Syrah.