Weblogs

How Many Wine Reviews For Legitimacy?

by Tim Elliott on October 2, 2006

A good discussion is going on in the comments of a recent FERMENTATION post on Alder Yarrow’s speaking invitation at Antonia Allegra’s Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. I challenged Tom’s assertion that no “breakout” wine blogs now exist and nominated Alder’s Vinography blog as a current example. Tom responded that his definition of breakout is a, ” …must read for those involved in wine and for wine geeks a la Spectator, Parker, Wine & Spirits, Connoissuers Guide, or Tanzer. I’m thinking of the kind of blogger that helps sell wines because their reviews show up on case cards and shelf talkers an bottle neckers.” Tom goes on to say that Vinography might be that breakout blog if Alder writes, “…about 50 to 100 reviews per week…”

This got me thinking about how many wine reviews are needed for the average blog reader to take a wine blogger seriously and affect the sale of the reviewed wine. I know that my reviews here and on my podcast have sold wine from reader and listener emails, so even a very small number of reviews can be effective if even in a very small way. But for true legitimacy, and significant impact on wine sales, a certain threshold must be crossed in order for wine stores to put our reviews and scores on shelf talkers and the like. But is it 200-400 a month? Something less? More? Whatever it is, one day in the not too distant future a wine blogger or two will cross-over into the space now occupied by wine pubs and critics. I’m not sure that the review model is the same as existing wine publications or critics, however.

Vote for Tarlant

by Tim Elliott on August 31, 2006

Vote for the Tarlant podcast

The first winery blog I linked to was Champagne Tarlant. I can’t remember exactly when, but it was early in 2005 right after they linked here. I just received an email from Mélanie Tarlant asking me to vote for their video podcast (a.k.a vlog) for a Belgian blogging award. It is against some strong non-wine competitors so they need all the help they can get. If you read French as poorly as I, you might need some translation help to determine your votes in the other categories. My vote in the final section is recorded in the photograph.

Bonne chance, Mélanie.

Regarding “Top 10″ Lists

by Tim Elliott on August 23, 2006

As mentioned here in the past, I’m a fan of Tom Wark’s FERMENTATION blog. Not only does he post often, he regularly is provocative in his views on the business of wine. From time to time he puts his tongue a bit in his cheek and posts Top 10 lists; today’s post got me thinking about the top 10 wine blogs. I know there is a list out there of the top 100 wine blogs, but it seems a bit off for me with non-blogs and defunct blogs listed. Since I wanted this information for a couple of projects I am working on, I looked into the only objective ranking system I trust in the blogosphere: Technorati. Over the past few weeks I have chipped away and logging in 50 wine blogs gleaned from my aggregator and the “top 100″ list, weeding out the entries that aren’t actively being published or are not really blogs in the first place.

The results are far from complete, but here are the current “top 10″ wine blogs sorted by Technorati Ranking:

1. Professor Bainbridge (1,209)
2. Vinography (5,129)
3. Stormhoek (6,372)
4. FERMENTATION (15,346)
5. LENNDEVOURS (16,150)
6. Winecast (16,513)
7. Basic Juice (17,772)
8. Spittoon (19,648)
9. Dr. Vino (20,594)
10. Grape Radio (24,143)

I’m pleased (and humbled) to see my blog on this list and happy to see that 20% here are podcasts. I’m sure I’ve missed a few blogs on my list, but think this is an interesting first cut. Let me know if you have another approach that makes more sense.

So I guess this blog is not on Tom’s proposed, “Top Ten Wine Blogs That Don’t Advocate Top Ten Lists” ;-)

Full Text Feeds, Please!

by Tim Elliott on August 20, 2006

I’m getting ready for our summer vacation and ten days without the trusty Macbook. That doesn’t mean I won’t be blogging here or reading my favorite wine blogs as I have a Windows Mobile handheld. My only gripe as I load up the feeds into Egress is that some of my favorite wine blogs don’t provide full text posts on their feeds. I’m talkin’ to you Alder and Jeff! Please ease my pain and do what Andrew does and provide the alternative full text feed. Or just make your main feed full text like I do and my friends Lenn and Beau. It will make my days on the beach in San Diego so much better; thanks in advance ;-)