Archive - October, 2008

Reaching out from the wine bubble

In the beginning there’s an idea. That idea creates a comment. That comment spawns a reaction, and eventually a conversation emerges. All is well with the world, and the idea spreads.

Bubble fun

After a while, the subjects have all been agreed, the channels of communication established, and the terms of reference accepted. The conversation gains lots of participants, but the range of the discussion doesn’t evolve.

Welcome to the bubble!

The wine bubble is already here! Fruit laden wine reviews. Points scoring. Winery histories, with “passionate” winemakers, “carefully selected” grapes, vineyards in “unique terroirs” and their “hand made” wines. There is a lot yet to be documented and recorded, and yet how much of it is new, and how much of it means anything to those who are on the sidelines of the conversation, or outside the bubble?

The wine conversation inside the bubble is necessary. We need enthusiastic analysis of the hundreds of thousands of wineries and literally millions of individual wines. However, we musn’t kid ourselves that any of this is really relevant to the ‘real’ world – the average wine consumer, or further still, the non-consumer.

I’d like to try and reach out, dedicate a part of the effort on my reinvigorated blog, The Wine Conversation, to exploring wine BEYOND the bubble.

What does wine mean to those who inhabit very different bubbles (after all, we all belong to various bubbles of some sort)? Film buffs. Knitters. History experts. Music fans. Photographers. Sports fans.
Gardeners. Travel writers. In short, to most of our friends who do not quite (yet) understand our fascination with all things vinous?

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but saved it for the new blog (good excuse!). I hope to go out and speak to these non-wine bloggers about wine, and see what it REALLY means to them. Should be fun!

The majority will be my thoughts on wine, in particular wine marketing and wine innovations. I’ll try and find new and interesting places where the wine conversation may have reached. I will also rant and rave against mindless legislation and bureaucratic idiocies, but I hope you’ll indulge me in this.

If there are things you think ought to be explored here, do leave me a comment or send me an email – I will do my utmost to respond.

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New location, same conversation

Well, here it is! I’ve been meaning to do something to refresh the look and feel, and to implement a few new ideas for my blog for some time. Somehow, life, work and sleep always seemed to get in the way (not to mention wine), so it never happened.

Rioja Autumn Sun

Then I decided to let the experts (Catavino Marketing, whose internet marketing for bodegas, not to mention their expertise and love of Spanish and Portuguese wines have made them well known to all in the vinous blogosphere) take over and do the hard work for me! Result!

I hope you like the technical results – now I must make it worthwhile with some renewed vigour on the content front. If you have any thoughts, comments, suggestions or congratulations, please do let me know in the comments – you’ll see we’ve implemented the Disqus plugin and have even more ideas we are working on for this for a future release.

At the moment, those who follow me as thirstforwine on Twitter will know that I am travelling in Rioja, so chances to blog in general about wine are few and far between. I should, however, be able to write a few more posts for my other blog at about Rioja wine and travel (at some stage).

One thing I will definitely be posting about is a UK/European event for Twitter Taste Live to take place in November. I have some great ideas and lots of people interested in helping out, so I will post about that here very soon.

In the meantime, you could do a lot worse tonight than to open a bottle of Rioja (any bottle) and consider the answer to the question I was asked by a visitor only two days ago:

“So, what makes Rioja different from other wines?”

I know my view, but considering how much we drink of the stuff in the UK and around the world, there must be a general sense out there about why we like it so much. What’s your take? Leave me a brief comment.

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