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.