Posts Filed Under wine blogging
IntoWine.com recently (at least I think it was recently, as their posts for reasons unknown to me aren’t dated) ran an interview with SF Chronicle wine editor Jon Bonné (long-time readers will recall that roughly a year ago I was on a panel about writing better opinion pieces with Jon and the Wall Street Journal’s Lettie Teague, both of whom probably still in therapy trying to get over my inclusion; I’m kidding… I think…).
I’m not here today to dissect Jon’s responses (many of which ring true for me, and are worth a read because he’s a very, very intelligent guy), but one answer he gave to the IntoWine folks struck me as a bit odd. To the tape (emphasis is mine):
“The average consumer still feels intimidated by wine and wine-speak. Are publications like the Chronicle partly responsible for the prevalent feeling among consumers that wine is somehow beyond their comprehension?
If we’re going point fingers at the idea that wine is pretentious, let’s start with the spread of overpriced, mass-produced wine sold as an aspirational luxury. I’ll borrow a phrase from a conversation with a fellow writer a few days ago: You write up to your audience, not down. If sportswriters had to explain a two-point conversion every time they mentioned it, we’d all die of boredom. That’s not an excuse to fall into jargon. But there is no shortage of amateur wine criticism out there that doesn’t contribute to the conversation.”
The trouble for me is that I’ve got no idea what conversation Jon is talking about in that response.
It might be that there is a hidden wine conversation, one available only to a Romanée-Conti-sipping secret society of critics with wine review superpowers like UV vision that can detect the exact number of Brett, fruit, and mushroom particles floating around in a glass of Burgundy and determine at a glance if they are at an appropriate level. A secret society that meets in an underground lair at an undisclosed location (guarded by pools of sharks with lazer beams attached to their heads) and through joint nefarious consensus determines what wines will get the really high scores this year.
The bottom line is that this secret society might as well also be made up of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, because the real wine conversation is actually the one that the amateur critics are having. Or, I should say, it’s the thousands of real and virtual “water-cooler” conversations that the amateurs are having every day, all over the world…
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If you love wine, you can do something that costs $0.00 and almost certainly will up your wine appreciation and wine tasting I.Q. score varios puntos. Namely, start a wine blog.
Right now. It will take you less than ten minutes. Go to wordpress.com and create a blog, and your first post can be as simple as “hey, I really think I dig wine, and I want to talk about it.”
You shouldn’t expect anyone to read it yet, but that’s not the point. The point is to journal your own personal journey with wine.
I can feel the collective groan of WineSpectator.com forum members, other wine bloggers, and print media at the suggestion that every Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally, and Bacchus start churning out their own personal impressions on the wines that they try and how it affects their lives.
And I’m here today to tell those people to go shove it.
Start a wine blog, and piss all of them off. Do it because it will help you learn about wine, because it will help you share some of your wine experiences with your friends, because it will encourage you to taste more and more wine and get to know your own wine preferences better.
But most of all, do it because it’s good for the wine industry if you start blogging about wine, because the positives of every additional ounce added to the volume of the current wine media sea change far, far outweigh the potential negatives. More on that in a minute.
You will hear from many that you shouldn’t, of course, for a large variety of reasons. So let’s just call bullsh*t on just about every one of the reasons right now…
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The judges hath spoken, and the list of finalists are IN for the 2011 Wine Blog Awards!
I’ll skip the preamble about the awards and their background, since you can read all about that at the WBA website, and last time I checked all of you could read. The important thing is that the 2011 WBAs are now in their public voting period (sounds serious, doesn’t it? like the stages of a parasitic infection or something…), which will run through this Monday (June 27), with winners being announced on July 23, 2011 at the North American Wine Bloggers Conference.
Which means that YOU can rawk the vote and help decide who is “WINNING” (wine-ing?) in the blog-o-world! Get yer wine bloggin’ vote on at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CNTK5P8.
1WineDude.com is included this year as a finalist in the Best Overall Wine Blog category. It happens to be up against some (very) stiff competition, which I suppose is the highest form of compliment that could be paid to a lil’ ol’ blog like mine: PR maven and wine shipping good-fighter Tom Wark’s Fermentation, my wine blogging consigliere & Forbes.com writer Jeff Lefevere’s Good Grape, CellarTracker.com über-reviewer Richard Jennings’ RJ on Wine, and the personal blog of Wine Enthusiast’s Steve Heimoff. Great sites all, though the lineup certainly screams “single-contributor white guy club” this year.
Now this is supposed to be the part where I tell you how humbling it is to be named a finalist. And it is genuinely humbling. But I’m not gonna tell you that I don’t enjoy winning as much as the next guy/gal/hermaphrodite, because I do, and I have a (playfully) competitive streak, so saying that I wouldn’t be thrilled to win the award again would be disingenuous. BUT…
As corny as it sounds I am honestly quite jazzed just at being named a finalist, because while I’ve been told by others that the nomination felt like a “given,” I can assure you that there’s been far more change “under the covers” at 1WD than one might guess from a quick naked-eye glance across these virtual pages, and it certainly never felt like a “given” to me…
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