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Great new wine reading resource

A few other bloggers out there have already mentioned this, so you may have come across it, but there is a new list of “Top” wine blogs and sites for your perusal.

Check out

I won’t brag about my inclusion as I admit I sent a begging letter to have my site added (no shame!), nor will I mention where you can find me as the list moves about as more sites are added.

However, as a place to start your exploration of wine content online you could definitely learn a lot from this list of sites (and a pretty cool layout, too).

What awards are we talking about?

If you have read my blog for a while then you’ll have seen some posts on the American Wine Blog Awards and know that for one reason or another I think that they could be improved (in particular that there are plenty of other blogs out there that are not American).

However, the reaction in the wine blogging fraternity to the list of finalists has been rather negative (except for those who qualified, of course!) and concentrating a little more on who DIDN’T qualify rather than who DID.

Here are some reactions:

Jill at Domaine547
Tim at Winecast

I just wanted to put it on the record that despite my misgivings about the US centric nature of the awards, I think they are a good idea and will help to introduce quality new blogs to a wider audience. I’ve been doing this for some time now and I hadn’t heard of a great percentage of these finalists before.

There is already talk of creating a new award, one that would be broader in scope (not just bloggers) and reach (not just Americans around the world). I applaud the idea, but let’s not take away from the PR efforts Tom Wark at Fermentation is doing and maybe keep those discussions for later?

If you haven’t voted, I do urge you to take a look at the site as there are some very interesting sites in the running and you too might discover a new gem.

All of which reminds me that I MUST update the blog roll with all sorts of new sites and blogs I read regularly. I am still thinking about how I might organise it so any suggestions of sites that should be included (yours?) are still welcome.

Late night post (updated)

It is already late, but I thought I’d keep the site ticking along with a quick post to thank Bodegas Tintoralba for hosting a very nice evening with their wines and some good food.

Many may imagine that working in the wine trade is an endless series of wine & cheese parties, or raucous Bacchanalian soirees, but it isn’t the case (not really anyway). It is both much better and not nearly as exciting as that.

I have often been to events in a professional capacity (either hosting events to promote wines I am working on, or being targeted by those who might hope for me to sell their wines). However, I can’t recall any event before this where I was invited because I was a wine blogger.

I do not review wines, and I am not about to start on this occasion, but I would like to thank this winery for having the open-mindedness and confidence to organise an event almost exclusively for food and wine bloggers. I met lots of people this evening whose sites I have read or have come across in the various social networks I have mentioned before. That alone was worth trekking around Barcelona for, and good wine on top made it even better.

It has certainly made me want to explore the interesting world of “tintorera” (teinturier) grapes in a bit more detail. I must say that the name Alicante Bouschet comes up regularly (for WSET Advanced and Diploma students anyway) on this subject and I had not realised that it was the same as the variety used for some of the more interesting wines from this winery, but here called “Garnacha Tintorera”.

More information on the evening including some of the other bloggers who attended, and on Alimentaria itself too, in the near future.

[UPDATE: One great thing about blogging is if you find interesting and relevant content you can just link to it. Rather than me researching the list of attendees to the event I can send you to Catavino's post instead. Thanks Gabriella!]

[more photos from the evening here]

The "its really about drinking wine" conference

OK, the cat is now out of the proverbial bag.

Ryan and Gabriella over at Catavino have just posted news of some discussions that have been going on for a few months about a Wine Bloggers’ Conference in Europe.

A few months ago a group for wine bloggers on facebook suddenly exploded with creative energy and all sorts of stuff was discussed. Conferences, dinners, tastings, “pimp my blog”, “am I sexy or not?” (OK maybe not the last one). But, just like most facebook groups, very little came of it, but at least the doors were opened.

One of the most interesting ideas was that Wine Bloggers should get together to share ideas, drink some wine, meet their peers and generally have a good time. Unfortunately we are not a rich bunch, and on top of that, there is a great difference between the state of blogging in the US and the rest of the world.

While our American cousins imagined exhibition stands, multi-track conferences, discussions on alternative platforms, revenue-generation, wine2.0, etc. those of us in Europe preferred to start with a dinner with lots of wine and friendly conversation, and maybe go from there (which I think is what is also now happening in the US).

Ryan, Gabriella and I took it upon ourselves to see that something would happen, however small, in Europe in 2008.

So, here we are. Do you blog? What are you doing the weekend of August 29-31, 2008?

Our plan is to gather in Rioja for that dinner, wine and conversation and maybe take the opportunity to visit this famous area and some of its wineries (in the interests of transparency and disclosure I would point out that I work for Dinastia Vivanco in the UK). Lots more details can be found here.

If you fancy joining us, or getting involved in any way, get in touch with me here or on Although we will probably focus on European issues, this event is open to anyone who blogs about wine, however peripherally, and in whatever language.

Come and join us, it’ll be fun!

Where to with Wine Blogging?

Travelling again, and had some important milestones on my other blog about Forest Hill to deal with, so it has been quite quiet around here.

Here is a quick link to prove I am still around.

If you fancy listening to some interesting discussions on wine blogging from some leading figures in this sphere, check out Tim Elliot’s Winecast discussion: Unfiltered 7: Wine Blogging Today

If you are a blogger, or are considering joining in The Conversation, check it out.

[UPDATE: you might want to wait until this evening, open a nice bottle of wine and settle down in a comfy chair first. It is a long one!]

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