Friday, May 10, 2013

“I don’t read wine blogs anymore”

One of the takeaways from this week in New York was the admission by a surprising number of industry folk and journalists I met with who said they just don’t read wine blogs like they used to. This comes on the heels of the breaking news in California from none other than the Hosemaster himself, Ron Washam, who commented on The Connoisseur’s Wine Blog, “I spent a day in a tasting room where I work occasionally asking everyone who entered if they read any wine blogs. Of the 200 or so ordinary folks I asked, not a single one, NOT A SINGLE ONE, had read one. An outcome I expected, but was still humbled to learn.”

My research this week has been confined to industry folks, so excuse me if I offend anyone with a little of my “inside baseball” analysis. The wind-up is many folks just aren’t finding relevant information on wine blogs these days.

Common complaints are:
  • Lousy tasting notes that tell one nothing about the wine or where to get it.
  • Endless laments over what natural wine is with ensuing arguments, often resulting in acrimonious displays of anger and bias. Like one friend said, "It's just wine. folks." But for that soul, it was a turn-off, and they turned it off.
  • One person I spent a little time with me gave me a list of words they noted are suffering from Heavily Overused Syndrome - heavily charged words to get hits or to just spark controversy – "words like awesome, the best, psyched,over-the-top, unbelievable and super. And seeing way too many people use the word curate." 
  • Information that really doesn’t have anything to do with wine. Over and over, people told me blogs they used to read for wine information/inspiration have transitioned into diaries about what they ate, who they ate it with, who they ran into at the Oyster Bar @ Grand Central Station, what an awesome life they are living. And the list goes on.

I am recently (and often) guilty of straying off the wine trail, so it was a wake-up call to me.

The one thread that many folks told me that kept them looking at one or two wine blogs is their search for the story. People of all ages still love a good story. Don’t we all?

Has wine blogging become the Pilates of the world of words? Are we navel gazing so far into our little world that we can barely see the sun setting in the near distance?

New York is often at the spearhead of a trend. We shall see, shan’t we?

Good reference as I head back into wine country tomorrow, with stops in Piemonte, Friuli and the Veneto. I hope to send back some interesting stories from the front lines on the wine trail in Italy.

What are your thoughts? Are you feeling the same Wine Blog Fatigue as my New York friends? Are you over it? Is it time to transition to the next phase, whatever that is? Or has the train already left the station?

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W
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