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Meet Wine Folly’s Cameraman, Chad Wasser

Written by Chad Wasser
This is Chad Wasser at home.
Chad Wasser at home. That's the face he makes when he relaxes.

Why Wine Folly?

I truly appreciate excellence in craft. I like the process of making things, and the dedication to a caliber of product and obsession in the manner and materials. Winemakers are crazy people who endeavor to do silly things because they are passionate about the product. They are farmer chemists, working in an extremely defined field with variable conditions and huge factors out of their control. I feel like that story is lost on the consumption/point of purchase side of wine, and it’s by far the coolest part. Introductory wines are cheap grocery store shelf fillers that lack vision, identity, and soul; and yet, they are as far as many people ever venture into wine. Wine Folly is for understanding more about wines. It’s about showcasing the factors that make one bottle different from another. It’s also not in bed with a distributor or retailor, meaning our information is part of an agenda to push a certain product or style.

If someone is a reader of our blog and participant of our site, they will have the tools necessary to navigate the seemingly homogenous world of wine and find what they like and support the people and wineries they want to support.

There is a rumor that you hate wine, is it true?

I don’t hate wine, but I think there is something undeservedly inevitable about a glass of wine. I have choices, and they are wider than specific varietals of red wines. I’m spoiled and I want to be sold to, but the wine list isn’t trying very hard. It’s just asking me which one I want.

Coffee has tea. Spirits are plenty diverse. Soda falls in with just about every other nonalcoholic offering. Am I really supposed to believe that wine’s foil is beer? And if so, the wine industry needs to keep up. Beers are much more approachable, and (granted…I am in the northwest) I can get into hundreds of small-batch craft beers for only slightly more money than Miller or Budweiser. Exploration is easier, lower commitment, and there is an accessibility to even the most esoteric brews. Coffee has a similar story; I can get a single origin, artisan roasted coffee for just a little more than a cup at Dunkin Donuts. I can get dried green beans direct from the grower, and roast and brew my coffee at home for even less.

Wine’s industry snobbery is not imagined. Insane price points lock out true exploration, and the homogeny of packaging, labels, and styles makes the field nearly impenetrable to an outsider. There are centuries of sluggish inertia, focusing too much attention on distant European tradition and not enough on better business practices, sustainability, or regionally appropriate varietals. Hey new winery, your Tuscan-style tasting room looks ridiculous. Nice job with that Syrah, tastes just like the French stuff.

But, I don’t hate wine.
It can be quite tasty.
It can tell a story.
It can be unique and incredible.
I just don’t like to be ignored.

What is champagne good for?

Mostly headaches and millionaire role playing. If I want to celebrate New Year’s or a wedding like they do in the movies it’s probably the way to go, but come on. Champagne? You either need a monocle or a big booty ho to pair with that drink.
Sparkling wine is a great way to make certain cocktails bubbly, and has a more nuanced flavor than either soda or tonic, but I digress.

Can you tell us about cocktail porn?

Cocktails are little potions, and they can be so appealing to make and drink. Shooting photos of cocktails is easy, because they are really sexy looking and don’t move very fast.

Here’s a shoot we did for a ginger champagne cocktail:
Get a sense of proportion with position in cocktail photography

muddled ginger, gin, lemon and honey shaken and strained.  Pour over champagne
Muddled ginger, gin, lemon and honey shaken and strained. Pour over champagne.


What’s the best thing about wine?

Wine defines itself as an experiential drink, and I really appreciate that. It is nuanced and carries an innate narrative of origin, history, and memory. If you are having an incredible night, I encourage you to try a wine you have never had before. Unique wines can act like time capsules, and can allow you to revisit experiences you associate with them. That 3 liter bottle of Yellowtale? Save it for a spirited game of drinking Jenga.

Written byChad Wasser

I live in Seattle, where I touch really fragile things with kid gloves for a living.

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