Tyler, the good Dr. Vino, made a guest appearance on David Tamarkin’s “Get Saucy” podcast. It’s an excellent discussion about the notion of terroir, his PhD dissertation, appellations and what winemaker’s don’t talk about much. Definitely worth a listen and I’m looking forward to hearing more audio from the good Doctor. Check it out here.
Last night I complained about Jancis Robinson’s post on her website about wine blogs. Since I currently read 64 wine blogs — about 25 of those daily — I though I’d post my top 10 picks for those looking for a few suggestions like my favorite British wine writer. Picking 10 from so many good blogs was tough and I might switch out some of these from time to time. Instead of just posting a list of them like my fellow blogger Lenn, I thought I’d follow Andrew’s lead and put them in a snazzy Grazr aggregator on the right sidebar. If you don’t mind the tiny size, you can read the posts right there. Or you can pop the aggregator into another window and resize for more sensible reading. To do this, just click on the icon on the top right of the Grazr and pull the bottom right corner of the popped out page to make it larger. Click on each blog to see the posts and then to the post you want to read. Very handy. For advanced users wanting to subscribe with another aggregator, I have posted my OPML right below the Grazr. By the way, my picks are in no particular order with the exception of Vinography, which I think is the best wine blog out there and a continual inspiration for me.
So here are 10 wine blogs for Jancis to start with; let’s hope she posts again after truly experiencing the wine blogosphere.
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.