It’s a Blog Eat Blog World
With a veritable sea of wine blogs out there, each one of them clamors for your attention. Some are very worthy of your time, many are so personal, inaccurate or convoluted they become unpalatable, while most are so soporific as to be best relegated to those occasional bouts of insomnia. Still bloggers in every genre duke it out day after day for reasons unknown to readers, and even with impending rumors of the complete demise of blogging, they continue to attempt to engage you.
And although the notion of linking other blogs to my own blog may seem counterintuitive from the traditional standpoint of competing for readers’ attention, it really is probably the best thing to do. After all, the point of a blog is to share information and because no one can know everything about everything it stands to reason that more than one blog site would be beneficial to the reader of a specific subject. If an entire publication such as a magazine or newspaper (I know you twenty-one-something readers are asking,“what’s that?”) were written by only one author, it would be very limited in scope and depth.
So because I’m your personal friend in wine, I took upon me the formidable task of finding the best wine blogs I could find, just to save you the trouble. Also I would rather you not become misinformed by the extreme amounts of misinformation or worthless information available via well-intentioned Robert Parker wannabes. So for you my friends, I went through literally hundreds of sites with specific criteria in mind. The blog should:
- be informative, accurate, and readable while conveying actual wine knowledge, or have a specific viewpoint of the wine world
- appeal to a wide audience, starting from those just learning to those that would be considered wine experts
- post on a regular basis; you wouldn’t believe the number of blogs that looked promising but have posted only once since, like, January
And the blog should not:
- be entirely inundated with advertising
- load its homepage unusually slow
- be limited to specific wine varieties or price points (if you want to find a blog that specializes in so-called “value wine” like under $10 or $15, they’re out there. Good luck with finding much drinkable wine though - let me know how that works out for you).
- contain much, if any, information about food, beer, or distilled spirits. Interestingly I love some of that stuff and even need some of it (like food), but I did not want to send you to a blog that becomes blurry, unfocused, and outside the reason you come to this site: wine.
- be a professional publication such as a newspaper column or commercial periodical or operated by a single winery
So you can see what great standards I’ve set for you, yes? You’re welcome. This initiative was a far bigger task than I imagined when I first set out and it took me probably two months. Still, I know I have missed some good ones out there so please feel free to send me any blogs to consider adding. All of these blogs are worthy of your attention but a few stand out for me:
- Green and Blue – London calling. Let’s face it. The Brits have been buying up the greatest wine in the world for centuries prior to America even becoming a sovereign nation. Even though blogstress and wine shop owner Kate Thal was born and raised in South Africa (it seems to me that there may have been some British influence in South Africa at one time), she nonetheless moved to London, became a sommelier, a wine buyer and consultant, only to end up owning her own wine shop with her husband Jude. This blog is great and in the wine world, Kate’s voice is important, pure, and passionate; all the things we love about great wine. If you cannot go to London, visit her site. When you do go to London, visit her shop. I definitely will.
- Wine Economist – making sense of nonsense in the wine world. Professor Michael Veseth (Ph.D.) teaches International Political Economics at the University of Puget Sound in the State of Washington. He is author and co-author of more than a dozen books about economics but what’s cool is that he is able to articulately bridge the economics discipline with his love and knowledge of wine. I find his subjects very provocative, sometimes controversial, and always well written and researched, which tend to evoke a response from his readers (like me). I respond to his posts as often as time allows.
- Wineanorak – brilliant wine insight and knowledge. Jamie Goode is a highly respected journalist and author in the wine world (another gift from UK). In fact when you feel like you have hit the end of your rope with wine knowledge, pick up a copy of his book, “The Science of Wine – From Vine to Glass”. This is one of the most enlightening books of more advanced wine knowledge you will find, that is both comprehensive, yet easier to read than many science based textbooks, mostly due to his ability to convey complicated subjects into easier terms. Plus it's certainly less expensive than getting your Master of Enology degree at UC Davis. Always, always excellent information.
- Wines and Vines – advanced industry information. Although I have broken my own rule of selecting blogs that appeal to every level, even people just beginning to learn wine will benefit from the depth of industry information found here. If it makes you want to learn more about what’s happening at harvest, or in the wine cellar or what equipment is needed to make wine, then that’s great. This is very fine information for the taking and is inspiring to peruse. Who knows? Maybe you’ll become so inspired that you’ll someday own your own wine estate. I'm just sayin'.
- HoseMaster of Wine – just plain hilarious. Not all of this will make sense to everyone but this dude is really funny. And the more you know about wine, the wine world and people in the wine industry, the funnier it becomes. In fact I could probably gauge a person’s wine knowledge by the intensity of their laughter as they read through his blog posts. Personally, I have doubled over with laughter – this guy trashes everyone and everything, yet Ron Washam is a sommelier with a couple of decades of experience; he's not just an insolent pundit taking shots at the wine industry. I would be shocked if he was not the illegitimate love child of Don Rickles and Joan Rivers. This will categorically be the funniest stuff you’ll ever read about wine, ah, mmm, unless you own a winery or are anyone even remotely important in the wine world.
These sites and more are accessible from the blog roll entitled "Class of 1855 Recommended Sites" located on the right side of the blog page. All of it is valuable information at any level and I am pleased to share it with you, dear readers.
By the way, the logo up there? It’s the official logo for this blog and website and also beautifully graces the front of my business cards. This was created for me as an original work of art by Aimee Blase (a wine lover too) at Blase Design and I was extremely fortunate to have found her – I love her work! You can find her easier than I did at http://www.blasedesign.com/. Also huge thanks to a couple of long-time and dear savant wine friends: Igor Litinsky whose stellar concept of having a business card look like a wine label set things in motion for me, and François Pointeau for coming up with the French phrase above the logo. It perfectly translates my sentiments: Simply, for the love of wine.