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.
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…
I’ve tried to continually up the value provided by this site over the last twelve months, and expand (and formalize) the scope of its
drivel er… content. In a lot of ways, the time between last year’s WBAs and this year’s has been a period of serious rebuilding here, with a lot more focus given to the what/how/why and general craft of wine reviews, adding podcasts, upping the quality of the vids, all the while working harder than I’d ever had imagined at trying to strike the right balance between shooting from the hip without shooting too much from the hip. In other words, I’ve worked my wine-blogging-ass off this past year.
So to me there are two ways of looking at this year’s WBA nom: either 1) that hard work has paid off to some extent, or 2) things have gotten stagnant enough around the wine blog-o-world to harbor egg-laying mosquitoes.
The evidence from my vantage point – and I’d argue that I’ve got a pretty decent view of the wine blog-o-world from where I’m sitting – suggests that the #2 option above holds less water than a dry-farmed old vine Malbec grape left out to raisin in the sun. Where others see stagnation in wine blogging, I see maturation. The wine blogosphere remains as vibrant as ever, and while the space for generalist wine blogs has been largely taken up by the likes of blogs like yours truly, the opportunity for passionate, geeky, niche wine blogs to make an impact is higher than ever before. I think we’ll see more niche blogs make an impact in this space sooner than many might otherwise suspect.
In any case, regarding those that visit this here corner of the Internet: whoever you are, and for whatever reason you happen to be here reading 1WD, I sincerely THANK YOU for your energy and engagement (and, of course, falettinme be mice elf agin) – and I hope to hear your ideas for how to make 1WD even better. 1WD wouldn’t get nominated for jack sh*t without your support, and as I’ve said before I’ll take your engagement over awards any day of the week.
Regarding the WBAs: If you’re inclined to vote for me, then thank you (again), you RAWK and I bask in the glow of your perpetual awesomeness, uncanny wit, and good looks! If not voting for me, then I do sincerely hope that you’re at least inclined to vote anyway, to help give some of that crucial support and engagement to your favorite altrnative wine coverage.
The full list of 2011 WBA finalists in each category are below (congrats to all – you go, achievers! “and proud we are of all of them!”).
Now stop reading, get pouring, and get voting!
Best New Blog
Best Winery Blog
Best Single Subject
Best Wine Reviews
Best Industry Blog
Best Graphics, Photography, Presentation
Best Overall Wine Blog