Tag Archive - wine culture

Who can? The Wine Can can!

Who can make drinking wine from a can actually look cool and an attractive proposition?

Until today, I thought nobody could. But now, thanks to TheDieline.com I believe I may have found the answer:

The Wine Can


(photo borrowed from TheDieLine.com – please visit their site for more photos and other cool designs)

Not ANY old can, but a gloriously modern looking package with matt colours, nice graphics, and it is easily recyclable (I believe).

Of course, this is only at the prototype stage, but apparently the designers are looking for investors (and presumably wineries) to get involved and get this to market.

Of course, the issue will be cost. As with all innovations, this will probably be expensive, at least at first, on a per unit basis. The effect will be either to make the wine in this can appear more expensive than it is (limiting sales), or will require the marketing/distribution company to fill it with cheaper wine to offset this.

That would be a shame. What would be interesting would be to see an innovative, premium priced brand take the plunge and provide good quality wine in this package to attract early adopters to buy it AND enjoy the wine inside.

I’m always on the look out for packaging that is interesting, so if you know of any other such developments, please do let me know.

List of UK Wine Blogs

I have been threatening to do this for some time, and finally I sat down and put into one place all the UK wine blogs and blog-like sites that I have come across, particularly those that are already in my feed reader.

I want to have this list available to distinguish the UK wine blogs from the many other English language blogs around the world, so new readers can find the sites that are most relevant to them , that include the wines they can actually buy, and written by those who understand the UK wine market.

Of course the list could be much more comprehensive, covering a broader range of wine sites. To be honest, that is better left to someone better technically qualified as the list would be long (if you want that, go to AbleGrape.com as I’m sure you’ll find the information you are looking for).

For the purposes of this list, I have chosen to concentrate on those sites that:

  • are written in the UK (whether they are about this market or not, or even written in English!)
  • provide Opinion, Commentary and/or Tasting Notes. I am not including news sites like Harpers.co.uk because of this, but I have included Decanter as they have a separate blog area, even if it only seems to be used for en-primeur reviews these days, and included JancisRobinson.com as it achieves many of the same objectives even if 50% or more is subscriber only

I have also tried a very basic categorisation. These categories are not strict or mutually exclusive, but they do try to separate the blogs by the type of writing you can expect when following them.

The “Lone Voices” are individuals blogging on their own time and are personal impressions. There are individuals who are also in the Press (Pressing Concerns), so their professional expertise in both content and style separates them somewhat from the others. There are also wine merchants who blog, and their commercial background influences their content to a greater or lesser extent, but their access to winemakers and tastings make them useful sites to follow as well. Finally, there are the other sites, directories, aggregators and social networks.

I’m sure to have missed a few (yes, bloggers ought to do a better job of research, but I can update this list with your input, so effectively this IS my market research).

Hopefully this list will be useful to some other than just sp*mmers. Let me know what you think.

Lone Voices in the Wilderness
Clueless About Wine
Confessions of a Wino
Eating Leeds
The Daily Wine
Gare Aux Gouts (don’t be surprised if it is in French, the author is based in London though)
Golly’s Wine Drops
Grapefan’s Wine Adventures
InterWined
Linda’s Wine Blog
The Pinotage Club
Spittoon
Tales of a Sommelier
The Tasting Note
The Wine Conversation (or my original address at wineculture.blogspot.com)
The Wine Doctor
The Wine Post
The Wine Sleuth
Winey Wink

Pressing Concerns
3 Little Words by Natasha Hughes
Andrew Jefford
Decanter
Drinking Outside the Box
JancisRobinson.com
Jim’s Loire
Wine Anorak

Merchants
(I’m sure there could be many more here)
Aldi UK (Buying Director’s Blog)
Barrels and Bottles
Berry Bros. & Rudd
Bibendum
Bordeaux Undiscovered
Majestic
Surf4Wine
Thirst for Rioja (my new blog)
Wine for Spice

Directories, Offers & Aggregators

FeedReel (Directory, including a “latest posts” service)
Love that wine (Social Network)
UKWinesOnline (Offers)

Happy Reading!

List Last Updated: 08/09/2008

Are you serious?

I’m almost afraid to post something today in case it is taken to be a joke, being April Fools Day and all, so I’ll risk making a few statements today about some ongoing discussions about wine. I will go on to explore them in more detail when, hopefully, I might be taken more seriously (but I doubt it):

1. The results of the American Wine Blog Awards have been announced

2. Kids should be allowed to explore alcohol at home with the family

3. We need to keep refreshing the wine blogging gene pool with more readers’ comments

4. Bloggers need to refocus on the consumer or risk being distracted by the cool toys

5. And while we are at it, how is Gary like Oz & James?

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 wine.alltop.com

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).

More thinking about drinking

There have already been some great comments on my previous post, and as my answers were getting quite long I thought I’d post a response here for all to see.

This seems to be the controversial statement:

“I believe that the average person’s ability to consciously understand and process information is limited, …”

I think I will need to restate this as I don’t believe Richard, Gabriella and I disagree. I probably should have said “willingness” rather than “ability”.

In reality we have to accept that the vast majority of people will not be interested in wine’s messages and will simply keep going with their daily routines.

This isn’t to say they cannot understand, only that they do not see the reason for bothering.

This is the point I have been grappling with since I began to explore the Wine Conversation. You have to care in order to learn something, and if you know nothing, you don’t care. Catch 22.

I don’t think that dumbing down works, as Gabriella says, because it removes the need to care or think.

But 99.9% of the world’s wine businesses cannot afford to change this. As I said to Richard, look how much effort has gone into raising awareness of Climate Change. Think how much it would have cost businesses to get that level of press coverage and yet, despite all this, how little our habits have changed.

We must first capitalise on ‘accidental’ opportunities, such as Sideways, Bottle Shock, rappers interested in Champagne, etc.

The most exciting opportunities, however, would be if we could invent new contexts for wine information that would allow people to ‘get into wine’ from within environments they already understand and are comfortable with.

This is one reason I object to ideas for standardising the way we present wine – that merely entrenches existing differences. If we could come up with such a new way of thinking (the way Reebok & Nike did for trainers, or Apple did for portable music devices) then we might make a difference.

Of course, if I had a ready-made solution I’d stop blogging and start making my fortune! Having said that, I have an idea which I am developing and will hopefully see the light of day. Stay tuned!

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