I know, I know, I know…. you’re reading this on a blog.
I’m talking about the “journaling” of personal wine consumer experiences and not journalism in the Dan Rather sense (…errr, wrong example; Edward R. Murrow). Access to the internet seems to be the only requisite for the former enterprise.
Correct grammar, clever use of similes and ability to navigate the internet seem like skills that would be used to frame an existing foundational understanding of wine. Not so.
“I think you and I both know that I usually write by the seat of my pants”, says Tom Wark (Funny, most bloggers talk out of somewhere around there). Tom - one of the few people with a wine-related blog whom I like and respect goes on: “And here’s another little secret: writing opinion doesn’t require a lot of facts.” (That would define “opinionated ignorant”, but Blogger is free, so…)
Wine bloggers reject principles of journalism (like opinions being informed by facts and an understanding of the topic on which they pontificate), throw stones through the windows of “traditional media” and yet want to be considered its peers.
Not too different from the Occupy movement’s envy of the 1%’s money.
Anyway, every year, these kitties are herded together into the conference room in a one-star hotel in some wine region where they are fed free wine and talking points.
Then, they get together to give out awards for blogging.
Since this recently happened again for the sixth time in a row (because, as we’re told, wine blogging matters), a round-up of more notable (for whatever reason) winners and nominees – past and present – is appropriate while I sit and wait for my fruit to ripen.
Of course, as we all know, it’s biologically impossible for two people to make the same observations about reality and arrive at the same conclusions, so bear in mind that we can only express our opinions – preferably simultaneously, while attempting to construct a tall structure out of unreinforced masonry.
May these following short descriptions be a guide to perusing the sometimes incestuous (and often inbred) network of wine blogs. Your literary masterpiece may be my drivel spewed by a retarded (oops, pardon me, cognitively challenged) sea cucumber:
- Vinography – Written by a Film major who blogs like he was making promotional videos for Napa. Convinced Janics Robinson he’s a good writer.
- HoseMasterOfWine – Ageing misanthrope with mommy issues. Used to own a wine store. Helps to watch Rat Pack roasts to get some of his references. In contrast to the next entry, this blog is not entirely an exercise in nihilism for its own sake.
- Intoxreport – Not sure if this guy holds down a regular job (judging by the admiration he draws from the ageing misanthrope with mommy issues, the answer is likely: NO), but he’s the guy who in school was a constant, irritating disruption to compensate for is “learning disorder” and in midlife buys a Corvette to compensate for his “erectile dysfunction”. Ultimately, this type drives women to drinking, infidelity and then suicide.
- 1WineDude - Computer guy. Plays bass guitar. Uses badges. (clear correlation between the last two) Went “Pro” a while back. Coming to an AVA near you soon.
- Steve Heimoff – Little man syndrome with ideations of persecution, a notable olfactory deficits, severe intellectual inflexibility and the super-human ability to zealously defend contradictory positions on the same topic (which means he either has “gobs” of denial or is the Mitt Romney of wine blogging).
- Samantha Sans Dosage - She seems horny all the time, but talks about her son a lot instead. Watch out, she’s quitting menthols….
- Jamie Goode’s Wine Blog – It took earning a PhD in plant physiology to realize he’s not a blogger. Has a book out.
- The Gray Report – Blake Gray is a bit hyperfrontal, but offers a variety of topics. Used to write for some newspaper.
- Dr. Vino – Not a real doctor, just a PhD. Lots of lists punctuated by occasional salacious exposé (usually of anything Robert M Parker Jr is involved with). Kind of like TMZ of wine. Has two books out. Neither is about witches…
- Dirty South Wine – Like Perez Hilton, but not gay or mindlessly mean-spirited. Definitely dead. Killed by a paid gig at some Nor Cal winery. Now makes commercial wine from bulk juice.
- Wines Spectator Blogs – “Like the Huffington Post” – they chanted in their editorial board meeting. Tom Matthews was indignant.
- Robert M Parker Jr. - Blogged when it didn’t require a computer. Applied the same philosophy and level of understanding of wine as current bloggers do today. Also, reported to be dead (but that could just be the smell of his bulldog farting).
A number of online wine publications using a blogging platform offer serious and informed reporting or analysis and opinion – be it of current releases, wine styles, trends or the business. Those, of course, generally are either not nominated or don’t make it past “Finalist”.