This year is predicted to be the driest year for drinks news on record, with many magazines saying they haven’t had a decent story in months.
Kashfur Content, publisher of Drinks Trade News International, said his editors were close to despair.
‘Every day, they scour the internet for stories they can repurpose, but there’s barely anything worth the name,’ he said. ‘It’s extraordinary given that typically we’ll publish any old tat.’
The magazine was, he said, relying on pumping up ‘And Finally’ stories from the depths of the internet, but these wouldn’t last for ever.
‘There’s only so many times you can run semi-comic pieces about elephants that get drunk and steal brandy from a bottle-shop in South Africa, or a slice of toast that looks like Robert Parker,’ he told Fake Booze.
‘We need a good downpour of proper news – takeovers, bankruptcies, high-profile deaths. All the good stuff.’
Munifur Oldroap, publisher of International Drinks Trade News agreed, saying no decent news stories had dropped for several months.
‘Obviously, France has been deeply screwed again by the elements,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘But frankly, that’s barely a news story anymore. Apart from intermittently laughing at the Frogs we’re basically running on empty.’
The publication was, he said, lucky to have deep reserves of self-generated content, in the form of utterly uninteresting competitions and paid-for round-tables.
‘But it’s not an efficient way of slaking our readers’ thirst for knowledge,’ he admitted, ‘since a lot of this content is so lightweight that it evaporates as soon as it’s published.’
The spirit is wilting
Journalism consultant Col M Inches said that the situation was as bad as he’s known it.
‘Readers of drinks magazines are pretty hardy,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘They can often go many weeks without getting anything remotely interesting to read and not care too much.
‘But after three months without content even they will be starting to wilt.
‘Without a prolonged spell of heavy news, we could see large numbers of them dying of boredom.’
Content meteorologists blamed the aridity of worthwhile stories on climate change.
Specifically a climate in which social media pumps vast amounts of pointless guff into the atmosphere, and drinks writers don’t have time to research proper stories any more because they are too busy writing advertorials in exchange for cash.
‘We’ll see more extreme conditions like this,’ said Inches. ‘It’s difficult for drinks writing to survive in a world where a video titled How I Opened my Bottle of Beer Using a Dachshund gets more hits than Jancis Robinson’s take on the latest Bordeaux vintage.’
‘Drinks writing is becoming less and less cool,’ warned Extraction Rebellion’s Greta Thunfisch. ‘At this rate in 50 years’ time there will be no drinks magazines left.
‘So it’s not all bad.’
Survival of the dullest
However, scientists believe that some publications have already evolved to live with the new reality.
‘Take a look at the World of Fine Wine,’ said drinks naturalist Darwina Wardz. ‘Its pages are dry as dust and bereft of all signs of life.
‘It hasn’t changed at all.’