Just as I started losing sleep over the demise of Wine X, the magazine that got more buzz at its folding than while it was still in print, I fell face first into The Second Glass. I'm not quite sure how to encapsulate this infant effort except to say that I'd really like to see this magazine succeed. Based in my hometown of Boston (yee-haw) and run by what looks to be a group of sweet, dorky-chic youngsters (at 31, I can't possibly be older than all of them, can I?), they aim to "demystify wine and help everyone from the occasional drinker to the everyday buyer further explore the world of wine." Great! We need one of those.
Since they've only got distribution in Boston yet, I've just got their online version to go by. Based on what I've seen thus far, it's a little hard to find the excitement and—dare I use the word passion—that I can sense lies beneath the surface. These are kids who clearly like to drink and like to drink wine; I can't argue with that. But I can't help feeling that they may be falling into the typical trap of trying to be too goofy and too irreverent, to the point of...missing the point. Their recent recommendation of two-buck Chuck is an easy example, but so is their "Meet Dr. Wino, PhD: Tales of a New Superhero" column. Perhaps I really am out of touch with those a few years younger than myself, but who is this really supposed to appeal to?
I do think The Second Glass has something to offer its particular audience: the tone is irreverent without being whiny, the staff clearly cares about its subject matter, and resident columnist and bartender Jessie Pray offers some great insight into upscale bartending (hmmm, a bartender named Jessie? I swear I'm not biased...). That said, the magazine has a learning curve to overcome. Writing on the site is a little too loose (read: unedited) for my taste, and this really reflects on the content. If you're going to be wacky and flaunt traditional rules, you need to be tight and know exactly what you're doing. Or maybe not. I am over 30 after all—I clearly can't be trusted.