Voting for the 2016 Wine Blog Awards is now open, so you need to get yer digital ass over to their website and cast your vote to help determine the winners.
Before you ask – no, I am not a finalist this year. I was a judge, and therefore requested that 1WD be recused from the awards (for all I know, 1WD wasn’t even nominated, so maybe that was an easy task for the organizers!).
On the negative side, I had to trudge through and eliminate a lot of (I’m being kind here) amateurish writing during the judging process. That is, however, to be expected; blogs are, at their heart of hearts, online journals open to anyone, not just those who write well. So I was unpleasantly not surprised by the volume of writing and media production that wasn’t (again, being kind) award-worthy material.
On the positive side, however, is that the writing that I did put forward from the nominees as potential finalists was, at turns, excellent; well-reasoned, deep, poignant, funny, useful, well-executed, and sporting personality. In other words, exactly what excellent blogging on any topic ought to be.
Those of you who have been following along with this WBA stuff for the last several years will see quite a lot of new faces among the list of finalists. Personally, that is the single most gratifying thing for me; seeing all of those “new” websites in the finalist lists, and realizing that I know so few of them (a situation that I will be changing with all speed).
When I won a WBA back in 2010, told the audience that I didn’t really want to win another one, because I sincerely hoped that the wine blogging community was more dynamic than that. Turns out, it really is much more dynamic than that. That’s heartwarming in a holy-crap-I’m-like-a-Wine-Blog-granddad kind of way.
Some of you asked for it, so here it is: our panel on how the pros taste wine from the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Barbara, CA. Or most of our panel, anyway; as much of it as could be recorded before my video camera lost its juice.
More thoughts on the wines that we tasted during that panel, as well as on WBC14 itself, later this week. In the meantime, you now have about 50 minutes of vid to peruse if you’re curious as to how Steve Heimoff, Patrick Comiskey, and I suck the joy out of wine by tasting it critically!
1WineDude.com TV Episode 61: How The Pros Taste From WBC14
This weekend, I’ll be partying at attending the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Barbara, an area with which, I’m happy to say, I am now quite familiar, and where I have quite a few friends trying to make a living in this crazy wine business of ours.
During the first full day of the conference (Friday, July 11), I will be part of a panel discussion (along with wine industry veterans Steve Heimoff (formerly running the CA wine beat for Wine Enthusiast) and Patrick Comiskey (a friend, and a great writer and taster, from Wine & Spirits Magazine).
Our topic, as described by the WBC organizers:
How do we analyze a wine while capturing its unique story? Discover more about the sensory and analytical process employed by wine pros as they translate what’s in the glass into words on the page. You’ll refine your own strategy for critiquing wine while learning more about the complexities and insights behind wine evaluation. The discussion will be led by Steve Heimoff (former California wine critic for The Wine Enthusiast) and features panelists Joe Roberts (acclaimed wine blogger) and Patrick Comiskey (wine critic for Wine & Spirits Magazine) as they reveal the methods behind effective wine assessment and wine writing for the public.
Critical wine tasting is a topic about which I think way, way, way too much, as in totally-unhealthy-obsessive-compulsive levels of “too much…”
Read the rest of this stuff »