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Going Pro | 1 Wine Dude - Page 20

Posts Filed Under going pro

A Search For The Soul Of North American Wine Writing (Via South American Wine)

Vinted on June 29, 2011 binned in commentary, going pro, wine publications

I think traditional American wine-writing may have totally jumped the shark.

Yeah, I am actually going there.  And yeah, it will probably take around 1100 words.

You see, last week marked my (extremely) long-overdue second contribution to Nomad Editions’ iPad wine magazine, Uncorked. The long-overdue part is entirely my fault – things have been busy, as in senator-on-the-campaign-trail-trying-to-hide-his-mistresses-from-the-press level busy, enough so to keep me from contributing weekly.

The Uncorked story is titled “My Andean Adventure: One wine dude’s search for the soul of South American wine” and it’s core topic is more-or-less my bout with the Chilean version of Montezuma’s Revenge (you know the title isn’t mine, because I would have called it “Joe’s Colon Vs. The Diabolically Banal South American Budget Wines” or something similarly tasteless), and includes photos of mine as well, taken on a camera that costs less than $200, and so marks one of the few times that I’ve also been a contributing photographer (cue eye-rolling from any serious photographer reading this).  You’ll have to subscribe to read the article, but at less than $1 per month for a weekly wine mag that includes regular contributors like Tom Johnson (of Louisville Juice) and sommelier / award-winning author Courtney Cochran, you’d have to be a pretty hard-ass cheapskate wine lover to pass it up.

The thing that got me musing about wine writing jumping the shark was that my first draft of the Andean wine travels article was rejected summarily by Uncorked’s editor, (writer and winemaker) Stephen Yafa.  Stephen’s words from the Editor’s Note of last week’s issue:

“When Joe Roberts sent in his article on wine-touring in Chile and Argentina, the piece was wrong for all the right reasons. It was objective, balanced and unemotional. It wasn’t Uncorked, or Joe.”

Stephen is an excellent editor, and like all good editors he has knack for being right…

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Social Media As Wine Retail Sales Weapon? (“Wine Marketing In The Digital Age” Post-Panel Musings)

Vinted on June 22, 2011 binned in going pro, wine 2.0

Can social media be used as tool to drive sales for wine retailers, distributors, and importers?

Yes, I’m seriously asking that question.  Stop laughing, okay?

Despite the fact that even well-attended and publicized retail events don’t seem to be moving umpteen cases of wine, the consensus answer seems to be “Yes – with caveats,” based on a panel discussion I took part in recently in New York.

The title of the thirty-minute sessions was Wine Marketing in the Digital Age – I shared the table with with Jody Rones from Thrillist.com (a daily email marketing blast with a ridiculous number of subscribers), Lindsey Johnson from wine PR mavens Lush Life Productions, and Gregory Dal Piaz of Snooth.com (Editor in Chief for the one of the largest wine websites in the world – he chaired the session).  The panel was part of a sponsored event by Wines of Chile, who concurrently put on a pretty kick-ass grand tasting of something like 300 Chilean wines, of which I had time to taste about twelve before having to hoof it to Penn Station to catch a train back to the ol’ dancin’ waters of Philly.

Thirty minutes isn’t a lot of time to cover such a potentially diverse and broad topic, but it won’t surprise 1WD readers that I said “screw it, I’ll try it anyway!”…

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Born Digital: Some Of Our Children Are Ugly (What Wine Writing Awards Mean)

Vinted on June 15, 2011 binned in going pro, wine blogging

The ugly child to which I refer in the title being me, of course.  Hey, even in the on-line wine writing world, not all of those who are “born digital” can be handsome, I’m afraid.

I recently (ok, somewhat recently – times are busy, people!) ”took the bronze” in the 2010 Born Digital Wine Awards, in which a story I wrote on the wines of Greek isle of Santorini (Endangered Species: Santorini Wine Fights for Its Survival) was chosen as a finalist in the Wine Tourism category (somewhat ironically I suppose, since one could make an argument that it’s an anti-tourism piece).  This got me a gift certificate to Amazon.com, and a nod from Jancis Robinson (as well as a subscription to her Purple Pages, which I’m looking forward to viewing once I get thirty or more uninterrupted seconds to myself, probably sometime in early October at the rate things are going now).

That, along with some kind nominations for the 2011 Wine Blog Awards (big THANKS to those who nominated me, by the way!), have put wine writing awards front-and-center in my mind lately.  As in, re-pondering what wine writing awards really mean, man.  And what I’ve learned through all of the re-pondering is that I’m not sure what they really mean (but, as usual, that won’t stop me from talking about them!)

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We’re Number… Sixteen! (Thoughts On Decanter’s 2011 Wine Power List)

Vinted on June 8, 2011 binned in commentary, going pro, wine news

In a move that seems to be a big deal (especially to its publisher!), last week Decanter unveiled the 2011 version of their bi-annual Power List of the wine world’s most influential people.  The biggest news, it appears, is that Richard Sands, the chairman of über-wine-brand-consolidation company Costellation Brands, no longer occupies the top slot – that now belongs to Pernod Ricard’s chief executive Pierre Pringuet.  EGADS! I know I’m gonna be losing sleep over that one for some time.  Ok, probably not.

Far more interesting (to me), however, is the inclusion in their top twenty of the now-ubiquitous and fuzzily-conceived idea of the Wine Blogger:

Finally, making a first appearance at number 16 is a character whose influence has grown exponentially over the last two years: the Amateur Wine Blogger. ‘As social media continues its relentless online spread, everyone is now a critic,’ Decanter says.

By the way, I use the term “fuzzily-conceived” with respect to wine blogging because just about anyone who is anyone in the wine world is blogging now anyway (props are certainly due to Decanter for recognizing the dispersed-but-powerful influence of the citizen bloggers – which is fun to say, by the way… “Hail! Fellow Citizen Blogger!  We’re Number Sixteen!  How fares Scandinavia?”).  So can we really – or even should we – differentiate blogging as somehow the outside-looking-in of wine media anymore?…

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