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  • Jancis Robinson
Written by
  • Jancis Robinson
6 Oct 2016

6 October 2016 We are unpinning this article because we have had such an overwhelming response to this invitation to write about wine. Thank you all! If you are planning to send us material, you have until the end of October 2016 to apply - although please do read the detailed instructions below. We will announce the results before the end of the year.

20 September 2016 Today we launch a wine writing competition. The winner will be rewarded with a copy of Wine Grapes, our multi-award-winning 1,242-page guide to 1,368 grape varieties worth £120/$200, five years' membership of our Purple Pages and, possibly, a position as a columnist on JancisRobinson.com. 

Much to our dismay, our esteemed bi-monthly columnist Alex Hunt MW has decided that he ought to concentrate on his very demanding job as buying director of Berkmann Wines, one of the UK's bigger wine importers. 

Here's his resignation message, written with characteristic aplomb:

I've reached the view, after a long week of rumination, that the time has come to wrap up Alex on taste. The problem I face is failure to replenish the basket-press of ideas quickly enough; my preoccupations are becoming increasingly commercial rather than aesthetic, and with the tricky times our industry is heading into post-referendum, I only expect this to intensify. As such, having given you my cuvée and probably a bit of taille already, to continue would I fear mean delivering ever coarser extracts from the same raw material. This I would never want to do.

So on those grounds, I am with some reluctance relinquishing the column. I have greatly appreciated the chance to share such a respected platform with you and your amazing team, and am very proud of the 52,000-odd words you have generously encouraged me to produce. I neither want that pride to diminish nor to undermine the quality of the site, hence my hard-reached decision.

I have admired him enormously ever since I met him when he was competing in the Oxbridge wine tasting competition and I'm sure we will all miss him. We will leave his image on our home page for the moment.

It struck us that there may well be wine writing talent lurking out there of which we are unaware, so we have decided to launch a wine writing competition.

Here are the rules.

What you should do:

  • Send a couple of (previously unpublished) samples of your wine writing to editorial@jancisrobinson.com – preferably thoughtful and/or entertaining text rather than tasting notes.
  • An ideal length for each article would be 1,000 words, and certainly between 500 and 2,000 words, but the length is up to you.
  • Please send your two samples together in a single Word document (NOT PDFs) attached to the email rather than embedded in the email, with Writing competition in the subject line.
  • Your articles shouldn't be a copy of Alex's or anyone else's style or content. We're looking for an original voice.
  • You may be based anywhere, may be any age, may be a wine professional or amateur, but we would like you to send us, at the top of the Word document with your contributions, a brief description of yourself including your sex, approximate age, employment (if at all) and location.

What we will do:

  • We undertake to read all contributions and hope very much to publish the best, with due credit.
  • If we decide to publish an article by you, we may ask you to help find a suitable image or two to illustrate it.
  • We may publish submitted material any time but reserve the right to call a halt to our search for a new wine writer whenever seems sensible. However, we will try to give you until at least the end of October to submit two examples of your writing – in the same Word document please.
  • The winner of the competition will be offered five years' free membership of JancisRobinson.com plus a copy of Wine Grapes (£120/$200 RRP)
  • We hope to offer the winner of this competition a regular paid slot on JancisRobinson.com but will do this only if we feel the quality of writing merits it. Meanwhile we will also be looking at other ways of filling Alex's slot.