Tag Archives: fermentation

Blog Awards

You may already be already aware of this, but Tom Wark at Fermentation established the American Wine Blog Awards in 2007, and nominations are now open for the 2008 awards. I think this is an excellent initiative that we should all support.

This is not a post to canvas for votes or nominations, I am pretty sure my interests are far too esoteric to appeal to appeal to a broad range of readers, but rather it is an appeal to broaden the reach of the awards themselves.

The categories are:
Best Wine Blog
Best Single Subject Wine Blog
Best Wine Review Blog
Best Wine Business Blogging
Best Winery Blog
Best Wine Podcast or Video Blog
Best Wine Blog Graphics

These awards are already very popular and generate a lot of nominations and votes, but the vast majority of these are from reades and bloggers in the USA. If you are reading my blog I assume you have at least a passing interest in wine and I know from my trusty Google Analytics account that a large percentage of you are from outside the US. If so, head on down to the awards pages and nominate your own favourite blogs from all over the world. The only provisos are that they are blogs about wine, written in English and updated regularly.

As Tom will know, I think that the term “American” in the title is misleading, but more on that another day (it seems surly to go into that now).

Let’s spread the word and make this competition, including the nominations, votes and awards, even more representative of wine blog readers around the world.

Thanks Tom!

Delicious Irony

I just can’t help seeing the ironic side of this.

Here I was, quietly blogging away in relative obscurity about bits and pieces that came to mind about wine and slowly realising that this blogging lark is just as intense and time-consuming as people had warned me it would be. So, I gamely wrote about how tough it is to keep it all going.

Then what happens? One of the top wine blogs in the US, and therefore the world, gives me a very encouraging write-up. Tom Wark, over at Fermentation in California knows a thing or two about blogging. Not only does he have one of the most widely read wine blogs and probably consults for wineries about Wine2.0, but he also hosts the American Wine Blog Awards (more on this name in a future post – yes, you knew I wouldn’t let it lie, didn’t you Tom!?) and regularly interviews some of the top names in this field

[I would like to stress I am not in that category, my mention was much more charitable].

The result, as you would expect, is that I had as much traffic on the blog in the last three days as I had seen for the last 3 months. Not bad, but of course, ooooh little irony, is that I now feel even more pressure to say something interesting and spend time making sure it is well written.

As you can tell, I failed!

Actually, I have a few thoughts already in my drafts folder, but getting them finished and sending them on their way into the world to fend for themselves is still just as difficult.

In order to give you an idea of what I am working on so that you might give me the benefit of the doubt and keep on checking out this site in anticipation, here are some of those topics:

– Buying better wine, and the “Cost per Pop” calculation
– Appellations as Brands
– Is wine simply a commodity?
– “Glass of sherry? No? Thought not!” (but you should)
– Wine & Photography
– The Growth Imperative
– “Why are you in the wine trade, Daddy?” (This was my first topic and I still have not got around to publishing it)

If any of these tickle your fancy, then keep scratching for a little bit longer and I’ll get them posted soon.

If there are any wine bloggers out there looking for ideas for their own blogs, please feel free to steal any of the above topics so we might start the discussion (remember this is about the Wine Conversation and building the culture of wine), but please do link back to this blog. If anyone at all wants to post any thoughts on these topics, or anything else, in my comments box below, I would be most indecorously grateful.

p.s. Tom, despite this I don’t seem to appear in your blog roll 🙂

Wine Culture Online

This blog is still in its infancy and who knows how long it will last, nor if it will establish any regular pattern. I suppose random thoughts on a regular-ish basis is the nature of blogging, but to become a regular destination for people you need to establish your “voice” and your “theme”, just like any other publication.

So, while I muddle my way through, I thought I would maybe point to a few of the others that I read and who are contributing a great deal to the same debate in their own way, and which appear in my blog roll. These are pretty much all blogs that write about the nature and business of wine rather than tasting the wines themselves.

Jamie Goode
Jamie’s site is an engaging mix of wine tasting notes (some great and varied ones), thoughts on matters vinous (particularly closures) and his own life (dogs, films, music and making his own wine). I get a lot out of his blog and this post is a recent example of many of these threads in a single post.

Andrew Barrow has a number of different sites and blogs, and a variety of interests, but spittoon.biz seems to be the main one. His blog combines a lot of news relating to wine as well as his enthusiastic support for a series of food & wine matching posts called “Combinations“. Not only are the dishes and wine matches explained, but he takes some cracking photos too.

Tom Wark is a California based communication and PR specialist who has an interesting view on the business of wine. Some of the “business” he discusses is specific to the US, so the regular reviews of the unbelievably complex and protectionist US wine distribution business are not always relevant, but are usually entertaining anyway. However, he has a lot of interesting points to make on branding and communication, and he recently set up an award for the best wine blogs (hence the link above) that is worth taking a look at.

Alder Yarrow is a well known US blogger on wine (and won the award above for best wine reviews) and is well connected to what is going on with the wine culture online in the US. I like his take on most aspects of wine culture and would recommend reading anything that falls under the heading “Ramblings and Rants“. He also includes reviews of wines (heavily California weighted as you would expect) and local wine bars which could be of interest to anyone travelling out there. Also, check out the main page where you will find a reasonably comprehensive list of wine blogs (I only say “reasonably complete” as I am not yet included, but it has hundreds of others, including ones in Spanish, French, German, Chinese, etc.)

These are just a few blogs I read regularly and that influence my own thinking and posting. Of course there are other sites (not blogs) like Jancis‘ site, Decanter, wine-pages.com and more as well, but you probably already know about these.