Wine Bloggers are here to stay

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One of the hardest groups to wrap our heads around is Wine Bloggers. Who are they? What do they do? What effect do they have on the wine business? In the old days, newspapers were the only venue, followed by wine newsletters (circa 1970). An aspiring writer had to have a column somewhere. Whether it was a small town paper, an urban newspaper or a syndicated column spanning lots of turf, writers were only considered bona fide it  someone thought they were good enough to be in print.

I attended my first Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland, Oregon two years ago. I met an array of writers from the simple enthusiast to the serious reviewer. Whether they wrote once in a while or often, I assumed that all of them could write, it was simply a matter of how big their audience was and whether they would grow. Recently I attended Wine Bloggers Conference 2014 (Twitter handle: #wbc14) and was even more impressed than I was in Portland. Perhaps because I had become a participant in the wine blogger world and now had a better understanding of what that meant.

The weekend proved extremely educational and enjoyable. Zephyr Adventures, the organizers of this event, put together a tremendous conference that included a little bit about everything. They covered a wide variety of topics, including an insightful presentation (The U.S. Wine Consumer: Who, What & Where) by Michael Osborn, founder and vice president of merchandising at, and an incredible tasting of Santa Barbara County Syrah (Syrah Territory: Ballard Canyon hosted by Ballard Canyon Grower Producer Wineries).

As I completed my summary of the weekend in Buellton, I highlighted the Live Wine Blogging – Whites & Rosés as the most exhilarating of all. Two years ago, I poured wines. This time, I joined the bloggers and was seated at a table ready to taste, photograph and tweet. Some wine tasters might regard speed tasting as totally crazy and not productive, but I found that my palate could actually perform well in the ten minute window of chaos that each wine presenter was given. While I tasted and quickly recorded many wines, it was the 2013 Ferrari-Carano Fumé Blanc that I remember most. Aromatic and pure, with notes of citrus peel, melon and grass, the wine’s easy-drinking yet crisp palate stayed with me for a long time following the event.

How will wine bloggers figure in the business of wine? One doesn’t really know; some will blog once in a while and have little research to back their findings, others will write at the level of the great wine writers, most will be somewhere in-between. One thing is for sure: They are here to stay.

2 thoughts on “Wine Bloggers are here to stay”

  1. The future of bloggers in wine will be tricky. Some wineries and purveyors see their worth and are able to pick out good ones to send samples to, provide a tour, or otherwise work with. Other don’t screen out those that are just looking for freebies or have no real following and then see little to no impact from anything they write and then the winery believes that bloggers have little worth.

    In my experience it tends to be that the best wine bloggers are those who do it as a hobby on the side of their other professional work in wine and I don’t see that changing any time soon given the rather complex knowledge set needed to start talking about wine.


  2. Hi, Wilfred! Was great seeing you a few weeks ago at WBC and tasting/learning alongside you at the Santa Barbara AVA day of immersion at Star Lane.

    While the medium will continue to evolve, ‘wine blogging’ is here to stay and ‘wine bloggers’ will come and go. Going forward, the divide between the very serious ‘blogger’ and all others will continue to grow.

    Hope to see you next summer in the Finger Lakes. Cheers!

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