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Do Wine Blogs Matter For Selling Wine? (The 1WineDude Conversion Rate)

Vinted on February 11, 2014 under about 1winedude blog, commentary, wine blogging, wine buying
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HiYa! If you're new here, you may want to Sign Up to get all the latest wine coolness delivered to your virtual doorstep. I've also got short, easily-digestible mini wine reviews and some educational, entertaining wine vids. If you're looking to up your wine tasting IQ, check out my book How to Taste Like a Wine Geek: A practical guide to tasting, enjoying, and learning about the world's greatest beverage. Cheers!

One of the criticisms most often levied against wine blogs is that they don’t “move the needle” in terms of wine sales.

Let’s forget for a moment that where I come from, coverage that costs me next to nothing for a product that results in even a handful of additional sales (and additional exposure) – that I otherwise would never have seen – counts for something.

The crux of this criticism is that coverage of wines on the virtual pages of wine blogs does not result in materially meaningful and/or measurable differences in the purchase volumes of those wines. Presumably, this is in comparison to similar mentions in print media (however, it’s worth noting that I’ve yet to see any hard evidence in the form of real data to support print media coverage having a sales bump effect, but I have anecdotal evidence from some California winemakers showing that it does not, as well as some from small producers indicating that some wine blog mentions have in fact increased DTC sales… which I can relay to you privately some day if we ever meet and you buy me a beer…).

The counter argument is usually a combination of two things: 1) that it’s extremely difficult to measure the impact of any media coverage on wine sales, regardless of the type of media, and 2) it’s the aggregate of blog and social media mentions (outside of concentrated special events, promotions, and the like) that amount to an increase in mindshare and small, one-consumer-at-a-time sales that otherwise wouldn’t otherwise have happened. In other words, wine blogging and social media mentions result in a stream of sales that are aggregated from tiny, rivulet-like trickles in combination, and so wouldn’t generally amount to a perceivable spike but do, in combination, make a difference. [ For an example of these arguments, see the mini-debate generated on this topic generated in the comments section of one of my recent posts here ].

I can now supply some data in support of that counter argument, by way of one example: namely, 1WineDude.com.

While I will not supply exact numbers (only because don’t have permission from all of the parties involved to do so), I can give you approximations that I think lend some credence and strength to the counter argument, though I strongly suspect it will be ignored by the wine cognoscenti, who have in my experience demonstrated a severe allergic reaction (sulfites got nothin’ on this!) to facts, data, and evidence if those things do not already support their own already-entrenched beliefs…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For February 10, 2014

Vinted on February 10, 2014 under wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 10 Bodega Catena Zapata Catena Alta Historic Rows Malbec (Mendoza): Smooth operator; somehow stays sexy while juggling multiple items $55 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Domaine Ehrhart Riesling Vieilles Vignes (Alsace): Lime blossom, dancing funkily & long, & is most definitely *not* messing around $15 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Frank Family Vineyards Zinfandel (Napa Valley): Leather-seated fireside chat between blue, red & black berries, often debating. $32 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Sultry housewife, sporting dark eyeliner, & out tending an herb garden. $45 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Frank Family Vineyards Pinot Noir (Carneros): Afternoon tea, coffee, smoke & Slim Jim, pretty much served all at the same time. $33 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Frank Family Vineyards Chardonnay (Carneros): Life is a creamy peach; & then, apparently, you eat a fresh, organic pineapple. $35 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir Reserve (Carneros): Replete with the nervy energy needed to carry around all that heft and power. $60 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Lieb Cellars Bridge Lane Rose (Long Island): Lovely herbs-and-flowers garnish to a main course of refreshing pink grapefruits. $15 B >>find this wine<<
  • 11 Grgich Hills Fume Blanc Dry Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley): Pendulum is swinging between "green" & "rich;" buckle up for the ride. $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Lieb Cellars Right Coast Red (Long Island): Maybe a bit too much Right Coast for some; in search for turkey burgers for lunch. $25 B- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Chateau de Sancerre Sancerre (Sancerre): Fruity, full, floral, flinty, friendly, almost fabulous, and far from costing a fortune. $29 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 06 JCB No 39 Blanc de Blancs Brut (Cremant de Bourgogne): Beginning to show the wisdom acquired by age; but still has its fun side. $60 B+ >>find this wine<<

Welcome To The Icebox (Warre’s Otima 10 Year Tawny, Chilled Old School)

Vinted on February 6, 2014 under overachiever wines, wine review

The icebox in the title has several meanings (in undergrad literature class fashion). First, it’s a reference to my neck of the woods, currently blanketed in ice, and with > 500,000 homes sans power. Including 1WD HQ.

Then, there’s a coy reference to the internal temperature of my house, which, after two days of no heat and sub-freezing external temperatures, is starting to feel more like home-sweet-meat-locker than home-sweet-home. Incidentally, I’m also without Internet access, and Swype-typing this on my cell phone after enough of you complained when I mentioned on Twitter and The Book of Face that 1WD would probably be going dark since I couldn’t really get online to write (a service for which you complainy lushes pay $0.00, I might add; you’re welcome!).

Finally, in terms of symbolic references, there’s the makeshift “ice box” we’re using to chill a sample of one of my fallback / favorite winter warmers…

 

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Anyone Else Notice That Bay Area Wine & Food Trendsetting Is Up For Grabs?

Vinted on February 4, 2014 under about 1winedude blog, commentary, wine publications

I was recently (ok, more like a month ago) Quick-Sipped (Supped?) by Jessica Yadegaran, in a profile/interview that ran online and in bay Area papers such as The San Jose Mercury News. It (very) briefly tells my wine backstory, and gave me an opportunity to implore people to drink more Vermentino (with fish tacos). So I didn’t squander the opportunity, Vermentines!

Interestingly, Mercury’s parent company, Media News Group, is expanding its food and wine scene coverage, at a time when most others are contracting theirs. MNG seems to be making a play for what will almost certainly be a media gap in the San Francisco region: trendsetting the wine and food scene, now that the #1 seed, the SF Chronicle, is planning to radially change its food and beverage coverage.

I’m not sure how else to take the comments from SF Chron managing editor Audrey Cooper, in her response to the NY Times breaking the news late last year on the SF Chron’s planned Wine/Food section shakeup:

“We are undergoing a newspaperwide section-by-section review with the idea that we need to reimagine sections to more intuitive cultural topics that are more aligned with how Northern Californians think and live.”

My translation: we’re not going to spend the money and effort to set regional dining and wine trends anymore, because it’s not working out; we’re going to react to the trends already being set by others, instead.

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