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Vote In The 2013 Wine Blog Awards

Vinted on May 22, 2013 under wine blogging

The time has come once again for you to give your digitus secundus (that’s your index finger, by the way… you creep!…) a momentary workout by using it to click on your favorite finalists in the Wine Blog Awards voting, this being the 2013 version thereof.

I’ve got a long (in Internet time) history with the WBAs: I’ve been a winner, a criticizer, a judge, and an improvement-committee-member (yeah, I know, that last one does not quite roll mellifluously off the tongue, does it?). This year, I’m a finalist in the Best Overall Wine Blog category (thanks to the judges, and most especially to you for that!).

Please consider voting, as the recognition of hard work and efforts well-spent probably means a great deal to those who are among the finalists. Also, it’s the easiest way to fill your good karma quotient fit the day. And if you don’t vote, then the fleas of one thousand camels might infest your armpits [ editor's note: this may not actually be true ].

You’re under no obligation to vote for me, of course, unless you want Ron Washam to lose a bet in which he will publicly sing classic Journey hits while wearing a baby costume – seriously, I swear that’s our bet! [ editor's note: this may not actually be true ]. Whatever… look, just drink up and vote, okay? Following are the finalists in the Best Overall Wine Blog category:

Along with those mentioned above, there are some very interesting picks in the finalists across all of the various categories this year, and many of them are passionate and relatively new voices in the wine blogging crowd. Personally, I’m particularly pleased to also see academicwino.com, The Wine Curmudgeon, Hawk Wakawaka, Bigger Than Your Head, On The Wine Trail in Italy, Washington Wine Report, Jameson Fink, The Drunken Cyclist (despite his terrible taste in NFL franchises), and my Portuguese brother-from-another-mother Andre Rib also being recognized as finalists in various categories this year (though Andre’s listing was subsequently removed, for reasons not yet explained to me as of the time of this writing). If you aren’t familiar with them, go check them out.

Voting remains open through this Friday, May 24th, so… prevent bad karma flea-infestations and GO VOTE!

As for some personal thoughts on all of this WBA stuff (hey, it’s my blog after all)…

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Wine Blog Awards 2013 Nominations Now Open

Vinted on March 27, 2013 under wine blogging, wine news

Just a (very) quick hit today to let you know that the nominations for the 2013 Wine Blog Awards are now open, so head on over and submit your favorites for consideration. It might be the easiest route to upping your good karma that you’ll encounter today. Just sayin’…

Now, the WBAs have been both lauded and criticized, sometimes in the same article and sometimes right here on 1WD, but having had some involvement in how they work (both as a member of an advisory committee and as a judge) I can tell you that they’ve improved substantially in some way/shape/form every year that they’ve been in existence. The WBAs are a nice approving-nod-of-the-head from the wine blogging community and wine consumers (who are very often the same people!) to acknowledge those who are really getting it right when it comes to wine blogging. And all of that starts with your nominations.

The favorite sideshow spectacle of the WBAs sometimes seems to be moaning and groaning about which blogs weren’t included, but the simple fact is that ONLY blogs that are nominated can be considered. And so, similar to the don’t-botch-if-you-didn’t-vote argument, the best way to give your favorite wine websites a shot at winning an award – and avoid the sideshow – is to go and nominate them in the first place. Since multiple nominations don’t help (and only make for a bit more work for the WBA organizers), it’s highly recommended that you glance over the list of websites that have already been nominated before submitting your faves.

Cheers – and enjoy the good karma!

Are Wine Blogs Killing The Joy Of Drinking?

Vinted on January 8, 2013 under commentary, wine blogging

Mashable.com – the über-popular purveys of tech and pop-culture news – recently ran an op-ed style screed by Sandra Garson bemoaning the phenomenon of everyday folks blogging their exploration of food, and in particular, their forays into cooking. In other words, Garson decries the proliferation of food blogs.

Here’s a snippet of Garson’s article, which I think best sums up her anti-food-blog stance:

“The Internet has made the most important kitchen tool no longer the knife, or the rolling pin, but the camera. If you can’t take stunning, high resolution photographs of your work, you don’t count as a cook. They are indeed stunning photographs: the luscious, carefully styled, pornographic kind. Those photos arouse you. They get your blood racing, your stomach pumping. You are excited and want closure, satisfaction… You want to eat that right now.

Bah, humbug. Those of us who can’t make a dish look so perfectly luscious are probably going to feel inadequate and pass on learning to cook… On full display is how hungry we are to be seductive and to be number one; how obsessed we are by excitement. Sadly, what’s harder to see or taste is the way to cook.”

Garson underscores her points that food blogs are 1) scaring people away from cooking, and b) are too commercialized and self-centered, by contrasting food bloggers (largely made up of consumers and everyday citizens) with… Julia Child.

Which is sort of like comparing the holiday soccer games I play with my friends to the World Cup. Or comparing wine blogs to Gerald Asher (you knew this was coming around to wine, right?).

And so in Mashable’s article we see a reflection of nearly every misapplied criticism that has been levied against wine blogging over the past five years, which we might summarize as “wine blogs are killing the joy of drinking!”…

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The 4 Most Frequently Asked Questions From #WBC12

Vinted on August 29, 2012 under wine bloggers conference, wine blogging

During the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland, I talked.

A lot.

And I talked to a lot of people. Some just wanted to say hi, some wanted photos with me (still trying to figure that out… because I’m not really a photogenic subject!), and others wanted my advice or thoughts on various wine- and blogging-related topics (also filing those in the “still trying to figure that out” category).

Given that I received similar questions from dissimilar people at the event, in good real-life sort-of-SEO-oriented fashion I thought I ought to craft something more generic out of those conversations, in the hopes that it would be useful to those WBC-ers who wanted to talk to me but didn’t get the time, couldn’t be bothered because they were drinking at the time and so was I and I didn’t shut up for enough time to allow them a word in edgewise, or who just want the money-shots without having to deal with me in person (I know what it’s like… I even have to live with me!).

And so I present the Four Most Frequently Asked Questions proposed to me at various points during the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference

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