Archive for July, 2008
A few days ago I published a somewhat controversial post giving you three reasons why you shouldn’t become a wine blogger.
Now, I’m about to give you three reasons why you should wine blog. [Editor’s note: is ‘wine blog’ a verb now?]
My intention is not to flip-flop a position. I’m just trying to give you both sides of the bogger coin. And this is definitely the shinier, more polished, ‘much-more-coolly-embossed with some awesome emblem’ side of that coin. [Editor’s note: is ‘coolly’ an adverb? My god, man, we’re off to a shaky start here!!]
Anyway, let’s get down to business; here’s my Top Three Reasons Why YOU Should Be a Wine Blogger…:
1) You need to be original from day one.
No, you’re not going crazy. Yes, this is the #3 reason I listed previously for why you shouldn’t be a wine blogger. No, it’s not easy to offer an original voice in the wine blogging community. Or is it…? The positive flipside of this coin is that you have a no-to-low cost opportunity to have your voice heard on a topic that you are passionate about – and in time, people will listen to that voice. The line between professional/expert opinions and the voice of the on-line masses is blurring. There’s never been a better time to be a part of any topic for which you have a passion.
2) Two’s company, Three’s a crowd, and 600 is a Wine Blogging Community.
This one might look familar to you also [Editor’s note: Sensing a theme here? ]. According to some sources, social media has overtaken porn in on-line popularity. We musicians in the rythym section often say “if you’re not part of the groove, you’re part of the problem.” Well, if you’re not part of social media, you’re really not part of the Internet. Not only is it a great time to be a part of the wine blogging community, it’s ridiculously easy to do so. Hop on over to OpenWineConsortium.org, join (for free), friend me up, and start blogging. Total cost: $0.00. Total time: about 6 minutes.
3) Democratize the Wine World.
It’s not often that you get to be a part of history. And history is being made in the world of wine, on the web, right now as you read this. It might sound a bit overly dramatic [Editor’s note: OK, a lot], but can you think of a better term to describe a movement that gathers people together (albeit virtually) from all over the globe and tries to put the power back into the hands of the people? That is what is going down in the Wine 2.0 movement; the view of what is considered quality wine is shifting from the hands of a few influential critics, and into the masses. Don’t miss out – we just might be onto something special here.
There you have it. Enough positivity to rescue from the depression of my previous post. Come on in – the water’s (or is it the vino’s?) fine…
(images: gapingvoid.com, suzylamplugh.org, biziki.com, preston.gov.uk )
I recently had the pleasure of attending a wine/plate pairing at the fabulous Teikoku restaurant in PA. The food, as always, was stellar (I suppose that’s par for the course for anything prepared by Iron Chef Takao Iinuma).
The wines (selected and poured by wine educator, Matthew Esser from Shiffrin Selections and wine educator and consultant, Heather Wright from Cellar Door Imports, both personal friends) were fine examples of vino that matches up perfectly with summer fare. My ‘mini-reviews‘ of the wines are below – I recommend any of these if you’re looking for great summer wines that won’t break the bank:
Next up, I’ve got two more tasting events that I should probably be plugging so here goes…:
1) There’s a Sake Tasting taking event tomorrow (July 15) on the deck at Azie’s in Media, PA. I don’t know much about sake so this is going to be one of my inaugural (a.k.a trial-by-fire) journeys into the heart of all things sake. 6:30-8:30PM, $30 per person. The menu:
Kumamoto Oysters & Harushika Tokimeki Sparkling
Gobuo Quick Fry & Bishonen “Beautiful Boy” Ginjo
Sushi “Big Eye” tuna, hamachi and bass & Ohyama “Big Mountain” Junmai
Pork belly “Kakuni” stew &Taiheizan Tenko Daiginjo
2) BinEndsWine.com will be holding their monthly “twitter taste live” on July 17 at 7PM ET. This month’s installment will feature Spanish wines selected by European Cellars’ Solomon. Eric will join Ryan & Gabriella Opaz of Catavino.net live via twitter.com to taste and discuss the wines. Also taking part via twitter.com will be yours truly. Here’s the skinny on how to follow the action on twitter.com:
And as for the wine lineup (which is lookin’ mighty tasty!):
Hope to see you on twitter!
So… you wanna be a wine blogger, eh? [ Editor’s note: sorry, did not mean to sound Canadian there…].
Well, I’m here to tell ya NOT to do it.
Now, before you flame me with nasty e-mails and comments, please bear in mind that I will be following up this post next week with three reasons why you should be a wine blogger. But I can’t in good conscience do that before I tell you what you’re really up against if you want to wine blog.
Any type of blogging worth its salt is going to require genuine commitment from you. It will also require that your writing not totally stink. But these are not the reasons why you should think twice (or thrice, or… uhm… whatever comes after thrice) about starting up a wine blog.
Let me clue you in on the real scoop of wine blogging – the gritty reality behind the glitz, the glamor, the fortune, the fame…
1) There is no glitz, fortune or fame in wine blogging.
Sorry to have to break this to ya, but there’s no glitz, glamor, fortune or fame when it comes to wine blogging. You will NOT be quitting your day job. You will NOT be raking in the bucks from ad revenue. You will NOT be interviewed on CNN to expound on your wine smarties. Blogging revenue is usually tied directly to traffic. Who gets the most traffic in the on-line world? Social networks, porn, and productivity blogs (basically in that order). Wine blogging is NOT in the top three. It’s probably not even in the top 300 – and it probably never will be.
2) Two’s company, Three’s a crowd, and 600 is a Wine Blogging Community.
Guess what? You’re not the only wine blogger out there. You are in very good company. According to Alder at Vinography.com (arguably the granddaddy of all wine blogging), there are now over 600 wine bloggers. At least 200 of those are in the U.S. alone. It’s not just a crowded field – it’s a REALLY crowded field. And all of those bloggers are competing in some way, shape, or form for a similar reader pool as you. Doh! Even better – most of them probably know all the tricks of the trade in blogging to maximize their search engine karma, technorati authority, google page rank, etc., etc., etc. Double Doh! Which leads me to our next reason not to wine blog…
What you get out of wine blogging will depend primarily on what you put into it. In that sense, it’s a relationship between you and your blogging.
3) You need to be original from day one.
To wine blog, you need to offer something original to the community of 600+ and their potential readers. This will NOT be easy to do in a field of 600+ and their potential readers. In fact, it will be really, really, really difficult. And you won’t have much time to do it, either. Potential readers will decide in a matter of seconds whether or not your blog is worth reading ever again. They can do this because if they don’t like yours they can very quickly try another one of the 600+. Standing out is essential, and it’s not easy to do. Have fun!
It may not seem like it from the timbre of this post, but personally I don’t think that any of the above should stop you from wine blogging if you’re really passionate about it. What you get out of wine blogging (or any blogging, for that matter) will depend primarily on what you put into it. In that sense, it’s a relationship between you and your blogging.
More on that next week. In the meantime, have a safe and wine-filled weekend.
(images: interfacelift.com, workfarce.files.wordpress.com, aquariumdrunkard.com)
Welcome to the latest edition of Tales of the Purple Monkey!
This month’s Wine Blogging Wednesday blog carnival has Plumboo and I contemplating the theme: “Wines Brought to You by the letter S.” Like a fine wine grape, that one is just ripe for interpretation!
Finding a wine that starts with the letter S was relatively easy. Making that find an interesting and educational read is a bit more difficult (at least for me – and a plush toy with a squeek for a head). So to significantly spice things up in the S-wines department, Plumboo & I sailed off to Sunny Southern Italy, to give you a taste of the Salice Salentino DOC.
Salice Salentino is located in the decidedly Mediterranean clime of southeast Italy – the ‘heel of the boot’ (see above). It’s part of the Apulia region, a relatively flat, fertile, and hot area that has been ruled by (in alphabetical – but not chronological – order) the Angevins, Aragonese, Bourbons, Byzantines, Hohenstaufen Germans, Moors, and Normans. Now, it’s ruled by wine; Apulia produces a ridiculously large volume of wine, even by Italian standards (up to three times as much as is produced by all of Chile). And a lot of it is total plonk…
But… there has been a move towards increased quality in the region, and better wines can be found accross the price spectrum, including the value category.
With a hot climate, Salice Salentino needs a hardy grape that can take the heat. It’s found it in the thick-skinned Negroamaro varietal, whose name basically means “black & bitter.” The origins of Negroamaro are not conclusively known, but one thing’s for sure – it thrives in Salice Salentino. Negroamaro produces dark, tannic wines with flavors of black licorice and bitter tea, but for all their bitterness the better examples still exude softness and sultry black currant flavors. A good match for the spicy tomato sauces and garlic-laden cuisine typical of the region. Mmmm…. garlic…. [editor’s note: drooling permitted ].
As for our wine review for this month’s WBW – we take a quick look at a widely-available and very accessible SS:
2005 San Marzano Salice Salentino (It): Sultry, sensuous & $ensible SS from sunny Southern Italy. Scents of black licorice sweeten the sale.
For more on Salice Salentino and the wines of Southern Italy check out:
(images: maps.google.com, italyis.com )