Madeline Puckette is bringing new life to the industry through her humorous and influential website, Wine Folly
MADELINE PUCKETTE is young, talented and winning the world of wine one bottle at a time.
Though wine blogging is waning in favor of conversations on Facebook and Twitter, Puckette, 32, is proving that clever writing, groovy graphics and delicious wine can equal fun and an unexpected career.
The Oregon native took the long way to Seattle — via Southern California through Nevada — but once her love for wine clicked into place and she was able to discover an outlet for her style of communicating, the world became her corkscrew. And with regular twists, she has been able to open a cyberworld of possibilities.
In 2008, Puckette was working as a graphic designer for a newspaper in Reno when she got laid off. She took her sorrow into a wine bar, and her knowledge of what was in her glass impressed the owner so much, he gave her a job. This led to more expertise coming her way, and she eventually became a sommelier — taking her certification test in Seattle. She fell in love with the city and decided to stay.
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In 2011, Puckette launched Wine Folly. She’s a visual person, and that fit perfectly into what she hoped to accomplish with Wine Folly. It’s a graphics-heavy, fact-laden blog that is easily consumable and highly shareable in a world where young wine lovers are influenced by what they find on social media. Let’s just say it’s a time that would seem custom-built for Puckette and her irresistible charm.
These days, wine-shop walls are covered with Wine Folly posters, which show maps and facts about various wine regions. Don’t understand Burgundy? You will have an easier time visualizing it after seeing one of the Wine Folly maps.
And all of this has led to the inevitable: a book. “Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine” came out in September, and it’s been a huge hit, thanks to Puckette’s style of condensing history and information into easily readable graphics and quickly consumable text. She not only guides new wine lovers through myriad details about bottle shapes, wine labels and storage, but she also provides extensive maps and facts about wine regions around the globe.
Late last year, Wine Folly was ranked the most-influential wine blog on Earth by Exel Wines. There wasn’t really a close second place.
Puckette even has appeared on the big screen. She was part of the documentary “SOMM: Into the Bottle,” which came out in November and premiered in Seattle in January.
For decades, wine experts have used dense, 1,000-page scholarly books as a barrier to those who would like to enter their fraternity. Puckette is among the new breed of wine lovers tearing down such snobbish walls, through her book, posters, blog posts, online videos and live events.
The old gatekeepers might not like it, but Puckette and her legion are part of the future of our cherished drink.