Here we go again.
I don’t know why wine writing icons feel compelled lately to disparage wine bloggers as a whole, but it seems that the venerable Anthony dias Blue is joining Robert Parker in painting all wine bloggers with an overly broad and negative brush. As in the case of Parker’s blogger diatribe, by casting aspersions on wine bloggers with such a broad brush, Blue undermines his own (otherwise very compelling) argument and credibility.
Blue’s attack comes in the July 2009 issue of Tasting Panel in a piece titled “…And Who Regulates the Bloggers?” Blue starts by coming to defense of Robert Parker with respect to the recent brouhaha that Tyler’s article drummed up on his Dr. Vino wine blog. You might recall that Tyler uncovered what appeared to be very inconsistent behavior by some of Parker’s staff, behavior that didn’t seem to line up at all with Parker’s published code of ethics. This event generated quite a bit of discussion on the Internet, and even prompted Janis Robinson to (finally) detail her own ethics code with regards to samples and reviews.
Strangely, he cites “barbarian bloggers” instead of simply referencing Tyler’s Dr. Vino blog. I don’t recall anyone but Tyler breaking the Parker story, so I’m confused as to why Blue would use a broad and disparaging term to describe bloggers a group.
Things get much worse…
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It’s no secret that writing, as a paid vocation – whether about wine or any other subject – is a becoming a bit of an endangered species.
Never has this situation been so acute as it has in today’s economy, which is utterly dreadful for all of us except for maybe the 4 people out there who enjoy having twice the responsibility for 33% less pay than a few years ago. And those 4 people need a Chuck Norris-style roundhouse kick to the side of the head.
Much has been written about the impact of this gloomy state of affairs on the world of wine and wine writing, and from what I’ve seen, Steve Heimoff summed it up best in an article that appeared on his blog on June 5th (emphasis is mine):
“…if there are fewer and fewer paying magazines and websites, and more and more wine writers doing bad writing, then simple logic dictates that the economic future of wine writing is pretty dismal, in the long term. People used to make a living as milkmen, gas streetlamp lighters, town criers and all sorts of other jobs that no longer exist. Could “wine writer” be as anachronistic as those someday?”
Last week, Alice Feiring – another writer who, like Steve, paid her wine writing dues coming up through traditional media and now also publishes content on a (very good) blog – seemed to have taken this gloomy view one step further (or is that farther?… ah, whatever) into the bleak and murky depths of wine writing despair.
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Things are coming up ‘Dude’ in the month of June!
Friend of the Dude RJ has listed 1WineDude.com as it’s Wine Blog of the Month over at RJ’s Wine Blog! Here’s what RJ had to say about selecting the blog:
“1WineDude is a perennial presence in the wine world and someone who always has something interesting to say. He will always be an compelling read…”
I’m really stoked, grateful and very humbled to have made the cut. Thanks, RJ!
In other news, apparently I totally own the future of wine criticism, according to Wine Enthusiast editor and Friend of the Dude Steve Heimoff. Yesterday, Steve indulged in a bit of crystal ball prophesying titled “It could happen…”, in which he proposes a witty future in 2030 (when I’ll be… well, a lot older than I am now) where I am the galaxy’s most influential human wine critic (and in battle against 2030’s version of today’s wine bloggers, who are androids):
“Roberts, widely acknowledged as the most influential wine critic on Earth, the Moon and Mars, found himself in the crosshairs at the recent winebot conference, held in the Hubble Hotel some 600 miles in space.”
It’s a funny read and a much-needed break from some of the “heavier sh*t” going down in the wine world recently (like failing businesses, embattled critics, plummeting journalist revenue…).
But let’s hope, for the sake of our children, and of our children’s children, that Steve’s powers of prediction aren’t anywhere near as keen as his palate!