Friday, February 11, 2011

Part II of my Conversation with Sarah Kemp, Publishing Director, Decanter

On Friday February 4th, I sat down with Sarah Kemp, Decanter Publishing Director and founder of, to discuss Decanter, its readers, and key wine industry issues.  I reported on Sarah's entry into the business in a previous post and now turn to a discussion of Decanter and its readers.

Sarah sees Decanter as a magazine for people who are interested in wines with personality; non-commodity wines.  Wine, according to Sarah, has a language all its own and exerts a socializing influence on its adherents.  She cited the Yquem Bordeaux Weekend experience to illustrate her point.  The weekend brought together people from different countries and backgrounds yet, within a few minutes, attendees had "gelled."  They shared a love of wine and a common language and could converse at length on the subject without the eyes of the other party "glazing over."

Decanter is a communication tool and a reader is making a statement when he/she take out a subscription to the magazine; according to Sarah, "they have crossed a bridge."  Decanter strives to meet that customer's expectations by providing content and events that entertain, guide, and educate on old and new regions, personalities and estates.  Decanter accomplishes these objectives by bringing a "broad church" of experts to the table.  One of Sarah's jobs is to find the best and most authoritative experts and provide them a platform and, in so doing, expose the reader to a broad range of views on any single topic.  Decanter will have done its job if the information and events that it provide increases the confidence of the reader in his/her own taste.

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