It’s that time of year again, when the Wine Blog Awards come around and wine bloggers such as moi ask you to vote in them. In the 2015 incarnation, I’m a finalist in the Best Overall Wine Blog category, along with the following excellent websites:
Today, I am writing to implore you to vote (you can do that here), but not necessarily for me. The way I see it, the past several months on 1WD have kind of sucked.
Between divorce and my paying gigs, I’ve barely had enough time or energy to post on 1WD; I’ve all but abandoned the normal editorial calendar that this site has followed for several years, I am woefully behind on writing up some of the amazing wine experiences that I’ve had so far in 2015, and for the first couple months of the year I barely had the spiritual energy to get out of bed, let alone write at the level of what I’d consider to be my normal quirky standards.
That’s what happens when you find out that the person to whom you’d been married had been lying to you for, oh, the last fifteen years or so.
Now, I am not looking for sympathy, folks. Serving divorce papers on my wife is one of the smartest moves I’ve yet made in my adult life, and I should’ve done it two years ago when I uncovered a hefty portion of her secret life. So, you might have noticed that things are starting to pick up a bit here on 1WD, and that’s no accident, as the natural consequences of my improving personal life have started to bear fruit; I’ve been focusing on taking care of my amazingly resilient kid, I am feeling hopeful and free, I am on the dating scene (ahem… ladies… just sayin’…), I’m offering support to others who are going through the types of betrayal I’ve had to face, and I’m more-or-less back to being myself (only with some new-and-improved personality features – hey, you’d hope all of that money spent in personal therapy would pay off somehow, right?).
But these aren’t the 2015-to-2016 Wine Blog Awards, and I’m not feeling too good about 1WD being seen as cream of the crop for the 2015 portion so far, because it’s not. So go vote for someone else’s wine blog (all of the above listed sites are well worthy of the honor), but most importantly, just go VOTE!
p.s. – Apologies for the over-sharing, but if you’re looking for a wine blog where personal aspects don’t enter into things, you’ve been reading the wrong one. Seriously. In fact, this site has always been like that, so if I were you, I’d be questioning my level of attentiveness, and I’d stay away from shiny things because they might easily distract you. Just sayin’…
Almost four (holy crap!) years ago, I wrote on these virtual pages a response (ok, rebuttal) to a claim by the thought-provoking PR maven Tom Wark that we were in a “golden age” of wine writing.
Fast-forward to last week, and we have Tom taking umbrage with a satirical piece by Ron Washam, a.k.a. The Hosemaster of Wine, in which wine writer Karen MacNeil delivers a keynote address to the Wine Bloggers Conference in which she offers the helpful advice that most wine bloggers ought to hang it up: “Your prose is like box wine—a collapsing plastic sack of crap.” Steve Heimoff, formerly of Wine Enthusiast, also got in on the discussion, essentially wondering aloud if wine writing is doomed.
With me so far?
Tom’s rebuttal essentially restates his position from 2011; that we are in a golden age of wine writing, particularly online: “The list of very good writers who are or have started as wine bloggers is long and undeniable.”
At first blush (see what I did there?), it would seem that we have moved not one iota in the nearly four years since we first aired this friendly debate across our respective corners of the Global Interwebs. And while that may actually be the case, I am not here to offer a rebuttal to Tom’s rebuttal (despite the fact that, while I love the wine blogging community, I largely agree with Ron’s position and would extend it to include the vast majority of wine writing found in print).
No, I am here to tell you that asking (or debating) if we are in a golden age of wine writing is effectively asking the wrong question…
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In a a week and a half, I’ll be taking the stage with a pair of like-minded fellow wine bloggers at the request of Vineyard and Winery Management magazine’s Tina Caputo, to talk about (how terrible most) wine PR (is), as part of the upcoming Wineries + Breweries Unlimited Trade Show & Conference in Richmond, VA.
I don’t expect to see many 1WD readers at the conference, namely because it’s not really a taste-all-kinds-of-awesome-juice-and-chat-with-winemakers event, and more of a place-to-be-to-check-out-developments-in-labeling-bottle-technology type of event. I do, however, expect that there will be some interesting take-aways from our panel discussion, the focus of which is how to approach (pitch) bloggers.
Unlike some of my fellow wine blogging compatriots, I do not see PR as evil, and I received quite a divisive reaction when I publicly stated so here on 1WD back in November of 2011. I do, however, see wine biz PR as mostly lazy, an attribute it shares with just about 95% of all U.S. service industries. They have a difficult job, and the difficulty curve of that job got pushed a little closer towards the Impossible axis over the last seven years or so with the explosion of wine blogs and alternative wine media voices that ended up garnering influence and splintering fine wine media consuming audiences…
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