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Esther Mobley

11 Podcast Episodes

Latest 18 Sep 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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More Voices in Wine w/ Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle

XChateau Wine Podcast

Esther Mobley, Wine Critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, thought writing would be more of a passion than a career.  Yet, she’s one of two full-time wine writers for newspapers in the US.  Esther discusses how being at a newspaper differs from a wine magazine, the changing wine critic landscape, the impact of wine scoring, and even gives some tips for budding wine bloggers and influencers.  She believes that “More voices are great” when it comes to wine writing and celebrates when there’s a new wine writer hired.  A unique voice and angle in our discussion of the evolving landscape for wine critics. Detailed Show Notes: Esther’s backgroundShe went to Napa to work harvest after college (for fun)Worked in restaurants and wine shopsLanded an internship at Wine EnthusiastShe got a job at the Wine Spectator in the editorial departmentShe was an English major, wanted to be a writerRole as the SF Chron’s wine criticPlays both a new reporter and critic roleNews reporter - cover local news for a major industry (wine)Critic - look at wine through an evaluative lensDoesn’t score wines, writes more narrative reviews of wines“Wine of the Week” column - focus on one bottle of wineThe decline of newspaper wine writersMight be only 2 full time in the US - Eric Asimov (New York Times) & EstherThe local newspaper business model has shiftedAll used to have a wine columnist, and no one goes to the local newspaper now to learn about wineNewspaper wine writers have evolved - more local news-oriented, provides a view on something important to the Bay AreaEveryone works online nowChronicle business modelProfitable and hiring a lot of peopleFocused on subscribers vs. advertisement - would rather have fewer people read an article, but more subscribersNot trying to be a national publicationNewspapers vs. magazinesMagazines score wines, publish less frequently traditionallyNewspapers - more news, though Wine Spectator also doing more wine newsDifferences are narrowing between the twoWine Critic landscape“More voices are great”The barrier of entry is lower than it used to beA lot of people want to know “who’s the next Parker” -> probably will never be a next ParkerMore people covering niches w/in wineSF Chronicle / Esther - cover mostly CA wine, telling the story of Bay Area wines, enables the telling of interesting storiesWine InfluencersSome concern over the blurring lines between sponsored and editorial contentSome people may feel they have made wine too democraticEsther believes most criticism against influencers is sexist -> influencers just doing the best to succeed in their mediumInfluencers working w/in social media algorithms to get their successWine ScoringAnecdotally hear score remain important on the wholesale level - to sell wines to restaurants / retail buyers“Wine of the Week” articles - have heard this does lead to some wines selling out at retail (publishes where wine is available, but sells out after it comes out online but before it hits print) -> recommendations from trusted sources still matterBlind tasting - if someone is scoring wine, this is the best way to do itWine Spectator - tastes blind, includes a “ringer” in every flight (a wine that the critic has scored before) to see if scores are consistentCritics vs. PublicationsSF Chronicle makes Esther’s name more publicThe Wine Advocate invested more in the personal name of critics vs. Wine Spectator less soAverage consumers don’t know the difference between wine critics and their palatesStories that are interesting to Esther“Things that don’t make sense on their face”E.g., Andy Beckstoffer giving away grapes for free from a Lake County vineyardRenaissance Winery in Sierra Foothills - a doomsday cult that craft a world-class wineAdvice to wine bloggers/influencersRead a lot of good, non-wine writing (e.g., The New Yorker, The Atlantic)Don’t assume the reader has much knowledge of wine (e.g., don’t use too many technical terms, wine jargon)User-Generated Content wine forums (e.g., CellarTracker, Vivino)Wine Berserkers - “it’s its own thing,” like a Reddit for wine, very knowledgeable people on it In beer, e.g., Untappd, Rate Beer - are taken more seriously than wineGeneral problem - no one’s figured out how to talk about wine on the internet

46mins

11 Aug 2021

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Esther Mobley on days of wine and smoke

California Sun Podcast

Esther Mobley never thought that being a wine writer would involve covering land use, migrant worker issues, wildfires, and climate change. The San Francisco Chronicle wine critic looks at the lasting impact of these issues on the future of the Napa Valley and the $40 billion California wine industry.

31mins

21 Oct 2020

Similar People

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Next Round: Esther Mobley on California's Devastating Fire Season

VinePair Podcast

Zach speaks with San Francisco Chronice Wine Critic Esther Mobley about the wildfires that have ravaged California in 2020, in particular the still-active Glass Fire that is now the most destructive in Napa Valley history, as well as the real challenge that smoke taint poses to the 2020 vintage in much of the state. Please send any requests or suggestions for future Conversations to podcast@vinepair.com. Thanks for listening, and be well. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

32mins

9 Oct 2020

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The Wine Makers – Esther Mobley

The Wine Makers on Radio Misfits

This week we finally sit down with Esther Mobley, former editor at Wine Spectator in New York and current wine, beer and spirits writer at the San Francisco Chronicle. What we have loved most about Esther since joining the Chronicle in 2015 is her ability to use wine as a backdrop to get at the really interesting stories about the people and issues behind the wine. Iconic wine makers and wineries are sometimes used as a backdrop to cover deeper stories of immigration, climate change and social inequity. Her natural sense of curiosity serves her well and endears her to the readers. We talk about what it’s like to cover the wine industry in these strange times where personal contact is off limits. Pour yourself a Paloma and enjoy… [EP143] Stay safe, order wine, tune in and turn on….. sfchronicle.com esthermobley.com

1hr 24mins

24 Apr 2020

Most Popular

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Covid-19 Conversations: Esther Mobley on Covering Wine in a Pandemic

VinePair Podcast

Zach speaks with Esther Mobley, Wine Critic at the San Francisco Chronicle, about how Covid-19 is affecting the California wine industry, Bay Area restaurants and bars, and is forcing the government to relax alcohol regulations in order to get drinks to the people who want them. If you have suggestions for other conversations in this series, please send them to podcast@vinepair.com, and remember to rate and review VinePair on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever else you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening, and be well. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

16mins

23 Mar 2020

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Esther Mobley on How to Drink Wine

Fifth & Mission

The Chronicle’s wine critic shares her secrets and brings her spit bucket for a tasting session. Plus: How California vintners are adjusting to climate change, which threatens Cabernet Sauvignon, the state’s most important grape. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

29mins

23 Aug 2019

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Episode 116: Esther Mobley, Wine Critic, San Francisco Chronicle

The Grape Nation

Massachussetts born Esther Mobley is the wine critic at the SF Chronicle. After finishing Smith College, Esther pursued a path in wine, working harvests, interning at one wine magazine, Asst. Editor at another, and now the SF Chronicle, where she looks at wine not just as a story, but through the people, place, and culture. Esther predominantly covers California wine, beer, spirits and drinking culture. It's HRN's annual summer fund drive, this is when we turn to our listeners and ask that you make a donation to help ensure a bright future for food radio. Help us keep broadcasting the most thought provoking, entertaining, and educational conversations happening in the world of food and beverage. Become a member today! To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we have brand new member gifts available. So snag your favorite new pizza - themed tee shirt or enamel pin today and show the world how much you love HRN, just go to heritageradionetwork.org/donate. The Grape Nation is powered by Simplecast.

1hr 6mins

19 Jun 2019

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27: Gripping Wine Stories with San Francisco Chronicle Wine Columnist Esther Mobley

Unreserved Wine Talk

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Esther Mobley, on the gripping stories that catapulted her to become the columnist for one of the most prestigious wine columns in North America, the San Francisco Chronicle, at just 24 years of age. Enjoy! Highlights How did Esther’s college admissions essay end up in the New York Times? Should wine writers all experience winemaking? What has changed about California winemaking since Esther started writing for the San Francisco Chronicle in 2015? What is Esther’s opinion on natural wine and its growing popularity? How did Esther connect with Alecia “P!nk” Moore and end up interviewing her? What does the $315 million sale of Meiomi wines mean for the wine industry? Can a brand be authentic without owning a vineyard? What are some interesting insights that Esther uncovered in her exploration of food and wine pairing with Ali Bouzari? About Esther Mobley Esther Mobley is a staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle. She writes primarily about wine, and her beat also includes beer, spirits, drinking culture and, occasionally, doughnuts. In her regular Drink Up column, she reviews Bay Area bars. Before joining The Chronicle, Mobley was an assistant editor at Wine Spectator magazine in New York. She has worked two harvests, in Napa, California and Mendoza, Argentina. She studied English literature at Smith College. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the show notes.

47mins

5 Jun 2019

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27: Gripping Wine Stories with San Francisco Chronicle Wine Columnist Esther Mobley

Unreserved Wine Talk

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Esther Mobley, on the gripping stories that catapulted her to become the columnist for one of the most prestigious wine columns in North America, the San Francisco Chronicle, at just 24 years of age. Enjoy! Highlights How did Esther’s college admissions essay end up in the New York Times? Should wine writers all experience winemaking? What has changed about California winemaking since Esther started writing for the San Francisco Chronicle in 2015? What is Esther’s opinion on natural wine and its growing popularity? How did Esther connect with Alecia “P!nk” Moore and end up interviewing her? What does the $315 million sale of Meiomi wines mean for the wine industry? Can a brand be authentic without owning a vineyard? What are some interesting insights that Esther uncovered in her exploration of food and wine pairing with Ali Bouzari? About Esther Mobley Esther Mobley is a staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle. She writes primarily about wine, and her beat also includes beer, spirits, drinking culture and, occasionally, doughnuts. In her regular Drink Up column, she reviews Bay Area bars. Before joining The Chronicle, Mobley was an assistant editor at Wine Spectator magazine in New York. She has worked two harvests, in Napa, California and Mendoza, Argentina. She studied English literature at Smith College. To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the show notes.

47mins

5 Jun 2019

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2 - Esther Mobley

Women in Wine Podcast

This episode features Esther Mobley the wine critic for San Francisco Chronicle.  We talk about her journey into the wine industry, working harvest in California and Argentina, landing her job at San Francisco Chronicle and much more. Esther is an incredible writer and I highly suggest you read her articles on San Francisco Chronicle. Follow Esther on the following: Instagram:  @EstherMob Twitter: @Esther_mobley Drink with Esther Newsletter San Francisco Chronicle 

47mins

5 Feb 2019

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