A year ago I was an unsuccessful political blogger, entertaining myself and almost no one else. Now, I’m a wine blogger doing largely the same thing, except that no one calls me a Nazi in comments anymore. Though my wine blog’s audience is only a tenth the size of my failed political blog’s audience, I’m informed by people-who-know that I am on the cusp of great success.

There’s no way to sugar coat this: wine blogging is failing its readers.

The evidence for that failure: with very few exceptions, wine blogs don’t even have readers.

The baseline numbers are appalling. Using traffic data aggregated by Cellarer and traffic rankings provided by Truth Laid Bear, the top 100 wine blogs combined would be the 280th most popular blog in the country.

Even looking at wine blogging as a niche product, we’re a disaster. There are 40 million regular wine drinkers in the United States, and the aggregate audience for wine blogs is maybe a couple hundred thousand people. Cellarer estimates, based on Google data, that the top 100 wine blogs enjoy monthly traffic of 865,000 unique visits, which means an average of 30,000 visits a day. Assuming that people who visit wine blogs visit more than one, even within our self-declared niche, we’re reaching less than 0.5% of our target audience.

There are, certainly, a lot of reasons for this. Wine lacks the daily drum beat of ginned-up controversy that powers political blogs. We don’t benefit from an endless stream of celebrity gossip or user-produced entertainment content that powers sites like Perez Hilton or Boing Boing. The audience that is interested in reading about wine is surely a fraction of the audience that drinks wine.

But still, it’s clear that we could do better. To that end, I suggest a two-step program to make wine blogs relevant to wine drinkers:

1) Stop reviewing wine

Most wine blogs are nothing but wine reviews, everyone a  Parker wannabe describing last night’s bottle. This is a recipe for insignificance. Face facts: no one reads wine reviews for entertainment. Try to read all the way through the wine reviews in the back of Wine Spectator sometime; you can’t do it. After about a page-and-a-half, I personally am ready to machine-gun the fruit section of my local supermarket to put all the red fruit and citrus aromas out of their misery.

Wine reviews are a reference tool; they have value only en masse. No individual wine blog can hope to build a database of reviews to compete as a destination with Wine Spectator, eRobertParker.com, or Cellar Tracker. Bloggers banking on their reviews are positioning themselves not as a regular read, but as Google fodder, which means the majority of their readers are going to arrive at random and leave with no real inclination to return.

There is much more to wine than taste descriptors. As everyone knows who has ever hung around a tasting after the notebooks are tucked away, wine is a conversation. People who are interested in wine are interested in its personalities, history, lore, science, and economics. The best people to drink wine with are not the ones with the most taste buds on their tongues, they’re the ones who tell the stories, who know the background, who understand the context. That’s what wine blogs need to do more of – and what the best wine blogs already do.

Which brings us to point two of my two-point plan:

2) Wine blogs need to use the medium in which they operate to build a conversation.

As I mentioned, I came out of political blogs, where a loud mixture of ideas and invectives flies freely. The first thing I noticed when I started wine blogging is how quiet it is. My impression was that wine bloggers post infrequently, and interact almost not at all. To test that impression, I did a quick and dirty survey of wine and political blogs, using Tehnorati’s peculiar list of sites and counting links, and discovered that political blogs are nine times more likely to link to other blogs than are wine blogs.

That’s an amazing statistic, so amazing it seemed incredible to me. So, in preparation for this article, I re-did the math, this time focusing on a traffic-centered list of the Top 10 wine blogs. While the difference between the linking patterns of wine and political blogs shrank, the overall difference remained.

Imprecise though my surveys were, they indicate that wine bloggers in general are failing to use the defining characteristic of the worldwide web: the ability to link. Significantly, the difference between the first and second surveys indicated that more successful wine writers tend to link to other blogs more often than the less-trafficked wine writers. The inescapable conclusion: linking and attracting an audience go together.

I think many wine bloggers may believe linking is somehow “cheating,” but in fact it’s a good way to deliver value to the reader. The web is theoretically infinite; readers value blogs that sort through the confusion to find things of interest. Some of the highest-traffic blogs provide nothing but links. Readers seek out and bookmark bloggers whose sensibilities and tastes mirror their own. They visit that blog regularly not only to see what the blogger has to say, but to see what the blogger has found on the web. The classic of the genre is Matt Drudge, arguably the most powerful force in modern media—and a generator of almost no original content.

The conversation empowered by linking is more vibrant and interesting than an endless monologue of review and personal impression. An energetic give and take creates a marketplace, and competition in that marketplace requires everyone involved to raise their game or risk being left behind. That gives readers more of what they want: real information, background, and insight. And it should be noted that it also invites a certain amount of conflict, which in any entertainment medium is a very good thing.

Finally, there’s this: interlinking wine blogs will do wonders for the average blogger’s traffic. The success of a good posting on one blog can help build the traffic on a dozen other blogs. The leveraging of content will add depth to all of our offerings, and the new and improved linking culture will reward the outstanding and inspire the rest. That will draw and hold readers, who will arrive not to find a data point on a single obscure wine, but to join the conversation after being introduced by a blog they already read and trust. That increases the odds that a new visitor will become a repeat visitor.

By providing readers with more of what they’re looking for, we can put wine blogging in a virtuous cycle of growth. Eventually we might start to have the kind of impact within the wine business that political blogs have had in Washington.

Or we can keep doing what we’re already doing, which is taking time between our meaningful but increasingly sparse posts to wonder if maybe there’s something better we should be doing with our time.


Tom Johnson is a writer and business planning consultant living in Louisville, Kentucky. He operates the blog Louisville Juice, which will soon—for no good reason—change its name.

About The Author

  • http://www.alfonsocevola.com Alfonso

    I blame this utter failure totally on the Hosemaster. It’s his fault.
    Not Steve’s.
    Not Alder’s.
    Not Tyler’s.

    Hosemaster’s.

  • http://www.bordeauxgold.com Steve Webb

    Very interesting article and as I feared. Great to see the comparison with political blogs. We are trying to build this thinking into our new blog.

  • http://winecurmudgeon.com Jeff Siegel

    This is a well thought and well-written analysis, Tom, and you raise several important issues. Yes, wine blogging and most wine bloggers are not very Internet savvy — no links, pieces that are too long, and that focus on the wrong things (who cares about the drive to the winery?). There isn’t enough top quality writing for people to read.

    But there is a larger problem, and that rests with the wine business itself. It positions wine as a luxury item, and refuses to educate Americans about wine as a everyday beverage. Hence, most Americans aren’t interested in wine and aren’t passionate about it the way they are about politics or sports. If you really wanted to depress yourself, you should have compared wine numbers to sports blog numbers. Here in Dallas, where the baseball team is about the third most popular francise, you’ll get hundreds of comments for an ordinary post about a game. No wine blog, ever, gets that many comments.

    And hang in there. It takes about two years to build traffic for a wine blog. Believe me, I know.

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  • http://www.1winedude.com 1WineDude

    Jeff – great comment.

    You could also run some numbers against tech or elf-help blogs – that will REALLY scare you!

  • http://www.alfonsocevola.com Alfonso

    or compare to blogs about BBQ for a reality check.

  • http://wine-zag.com Adam Japko

    Great background prep and context for this piece. Not sure I want to blame this on the industry as Jeff indicates….wine enthusiasm, not wine drinking, is a niche market. Wine drinking is a mass market, but look at the wines the average American drinks and how much knowledge they actually bring to it. How big is the knowledgeable wine circle of friends you know compared to the entire circle of people you know? Politics and other broad topical areas of the blogosphere are served by mass appeal. Issues like linking and steering clear of reviews are strong pieces of advice, but I think wine blog audiences are at a natural level based on the number of people that are enthusiastic enough about wine to continually dig deeper.

  • http://drinksareonme.net Dale Cruse

    Tom, I agree that you’ve identified the problem, but I’m not convinced you’ve identified the solution. Linking to other wine blogs will help but I don’t believe that’s the sole answer. After all, if wine bloggers are just writing for other wine bloggers, aren’t we creating some sort of echo chamber? I believe value lies in attracting an audience beyond just other wine bloggers & that’s why I’m publishing the types of content I am.

    If you’re going to change the name of “Louisville Juice,” might I suggest “Louisville Chugger”? Seems natural to me! Easy branding opportunity too!

    Joe, what’s an “elf-help blog”? I’d like to read one of those!

  • http://www.palatepress.com David Honig

    Tom, first, thanks for the great post. As a recovering political blogger myself, I agree with what you wrote.

    Dale, I agree that quality content is the key to breaking out of the circle of wine bloggers and into the broader wine world. The tougher question is, “how do you get the broader wine world to realize you’re there.” Here at Palate Press, the real reason we do wine reviews as well as deeper content is to get the new eyeballs from Google, in hope that once they discover us they will stay. Fortunately, we have enough depth that we really can build the mass database Tom discussed above. In the long run, though, the key will be publishing the sort of stories people want to read with their coffee in the morning or their wine at night.

    As for an “elf-help blog,” haven’t you met Joe? I think it would be pretty much any blog directed toward him.

  • http://www.drinknectar.com @nectarwine

    I’m with Dale in the fact that you did a great job of identifying some (not all) of the problems, but the solution is weak.

    What we need is controversy. Maybe if Joe (1WineDude) went a little crazy and shaved his head. How about if we get a blogger to dangle their child out the window. Maybe one of us needs to have an illicit affair with Gisele Bundchen. I’ll take one for the team and do this.

    At the very least, everyone reading this should link to each others blogs!

    All kidding aside, there is some stuff in this article and it’s well written.

    Josh

  • http://drinksareonme.net Dale Cruse

    Josh, you want controversy? How about wine bloggers banding together & calling out Stephen Tanzer for the crap he slung about us in the About page on his blog? http://www.winophilia.com/about/

  • http://blog.wine-accessorized.com Joshua S Sweeney

    A very good post that fleshes out the thoughts I’ve been struggling with as I’ve grown my own blog. My audience at this point is essentially my wine blogger mates and search-engine-driven traffic to individual reviews that seem to generate minimal returns, and I’m generating less traffic and discussion than I did 5 years ago with a briefly maintained political and economic blog. I’ve been in the process of revamping my approach, and the advice you give here is pretty close to what I had in mind. Excellent food for thought, and much better explained than I could have hoped to try.

  • Kathy

    It takes a lot of prep to write real stuff that, by the joy of research, has links. Et voila! I always research; one never knows where some hecka figures — or even real or spurious thoughts — might pop up. That makes it, even when doing it for absolutely nothing, a run for the roses.
    When you write about wine in a half-dry felony state, you have to be clever. Bon continuation.

  • http://blog.wine-accessorized.com Joshua S Sweeney

    @Dale Cruse

    That was beautiful, wasn’t it? I haven’t seen any real power struggles between wine bloggers and wine print yet, other than passive sniping like that, but it would be interesting to see old school and new school square off in a pr battle. That would definitely qualify as “controversy”!

  • http://LouisvilleJuice.com Tom Johnson

    This is a pretty impressive group of commentors. Just a couple of things now that the ball is rolling:

    I appreciate the sentiment that I should hang in there and traffic will come, but this was never intended as a complaint that no one is linking to me.

    I also don’t think linking from blog to blog is about entertaining other wine bloggers. It’s about creating pathways for readers to follow, pathways that add value to the reader experience.

    Dale’s comment about extending the sort of content we publish is important. One of he reasons I love Dale is that in a recent interview he differentiated his brand by point out that his wine blog featured boobs. Whatever the importance of those actual boobs might be, the significance of Dale’s irreverence should be noted. Pushing the boundaries of wine blogging out is something we all need to do.

    Finally, “elf-help” blogging: before I had a political blog, I ran a short-lived website targeted at elves, faeries and other denizens of the mossy forests. And let me tell you, those little bastards can be nasty. We spent 35% of our staff time the week after launch just deleting obscene comments.

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  • http://Blog.Isaaksofsalem.com Ian Bennett – Winemaker

    These points are well taken. Tasting notes are pointless to a reader, the future of readership on blogs is in story-telling and drawing in an audience to a larger picture. Showing them the process of wine-making and having them participate (or at least follow) in the trials and tribulations of making wine.

    At least that is why I blog, to include people in my experiences so they may escape for a moment into my world and dream of being a wine-maker.

    The content on blog.isaaksofsalem.com is the real world journey, facts and insider experiences on what it takes to be a wine-maker.

  • http://www.haupertinc.com Ted Haupert – author

    I recently began a blog and appreciate this perspective. To Jeff Siegel’s comment: You are right about how wine education is presented in America; as an elitist beverage. Check out my book “Ham From Pigs Wine From Grapes”. It is my attempt to educate America on the subject of wine in an easy to understand and entertaining way. I think the title suggests an out of the ordinary approach to understanding wine. My blog “in Pursut of Wine” is meant that way as well – about things associated with wine, like people and fun, and not a review oriented approach. Link to it from http://www.haupertinc.com.

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  • http://wine-zag.com Adam Japko

    Guys,

    I still think we are all missing a big fundamental roadblock to creating audience sizes similar to other corners of the blogosphere. There is a lot of excellent content, and a small share of controversial content, out there already. I think its tough, no matter how much we would like it, to push the audience for blogged wine content beyond its natural level. It’s just not something people want to spend too much time on if they just want to drink some ordinary decent stuff. You need to have an interest interest in wine beyond the average person to follow and consume this stuff. That’s a small target audience.

    Adam

  • http://www.kahunasfoodandwine.com KAHUNA

    Good content is the key? – Crap there goes my blog down the drain and I thought my good looks would be enough!

  • http://www.vintank.com Paul Mabray

    I think you’ve missed the mark by quite a bit. Wine blogging should be compared to food/restaurant blogging who are living very successfully reviewing and making in-roads. Content distribution channels are the key problems with most wine bloggers and their lack of ability to go and attract audience. A key problem with wine bloggers is we have a tendency to talk to each other and to wineries. We need to learn how to better talk to consumers . . .

  • http://www.sondrabarrett.com Sondra Barrett

    I enjoyed this blog a lot and as a fledgling blogger I’ve always thought NOT reviewing wine made me a non-wine blogger – too many negatives. I like to develop ideas and conversation and enjoy reading wine blogs that do that and offer education. Here’s to b/linking better blogs immersed in the spirit of wine – a wonderful community.

  • http://www.LocalWineEvents.com Eric V. Orange

    Assuming that intelinking would boost some other wine blogs, Tom, aren’t the links coming out of the comments providing any link juice (get it?).

    Almost every comment on most of the wine blogs are other bloggers and most link back to their own blog. Seems to me, if there were the answer, more would be doing better.

    If not that, how and where do you envision the “links” to be best placed?

    EVO

  • http://notesfromthecellar.com Steve Paulo

    My blog is tiny. Teeny tiny. But, as a percentage, 13% of my traffic comes from Google, and I think I can rightly assume those visits are less likely to be from other wine bloggers, or my mom.

    Of those, 60% over the last two months have been looking for wine reviews. Either by looking for a specific vintage or winery, or search terms like “buttery chardonnay” or “light red burgundy” or something.

    So if I didn’t review wine, I’m not sure who’d be reading whatever it was I would write instead.

  • http://wwpress.blogspot.com Wilf Krutzmann

    Tom, your number 1 point is to stop reviewing wines. I am happy to say when I started blogging a couple of years ago that I made the decision to almost never review a wine. First of all any wine I would review that is available to me locally, is not likely available in someone else’s backyard. So what’s the point? Secondly and more importantly, it is just one man’s opinion and who gives a damn? I do have an eight person panel though and I do blind tastings and review wines with them and put the results in an email newsletter that has a good local following.Its free and all done for the love of the fruit of the vine.

  • http://www.goodgrape.com Jeff

    Interesting piece. But, the analysis is pinned on bad data juxtaposed against circumstantial data — not exactly something I would prop up as an underpinning for a hypothesis.

    The problem is, as pointed out in another comment, the number of people who consider themselves a wine enthusiast to the extent that they read wine media is very, very small to begin with.

    Wine Spectator says they have 2M readers a month. If I looked at their circulation a good portion of that would be pass along readership and not subscribers.

    Wine blogging is a sub-section of that umbrella.

    Period. End of story. And, it has nothing to do with tasting notes or linking.

    You want to grow blog readership — grow general interest in wine.

  • http://girlwithaglass.com Alana Gentry

    I agree that I don’t care about a blogger’s tasting notes in the least. However, I read blogs that involve visiting wineries & wine country. Are those people (like myself) wine bloggers? I read 1WineDude because he has fun rants & is entertaining like a good book. Paul Mabray has an excellent point. I read food blogs & RSS them. Good blogging occurs when the content interests the readers, and I believe the personality behind the writing is really what gets people to stick with a blog.

  • http://www.palatepress.com David Honig

    One of the nice things about running The Palate Press Advertising Network is that I get to see the inner workings of a lot of wine blogs, over 75 and growing. I see how much traffic people are REALLY getting, versus what they report. Among those sites, visits so far in March range from a low of 17 to a high of more than half a million. There is clearly a “market” for reading wine blogs. The real question is how to tap into it, and how to make it grow.

    Dale is right. Content is key. People go to websites because they are interesting.

    Steve is right. Wine reviews bring in new readers through searches.

    Adam is right. Wine drinkers are not all wine readers, though more wine drinkers look for wine reviews than for wine stories.

    Jeff is right. Wine is intimidating to people because it is presented as a luxury item. That intimidation also reduces interaction. Everybody feels qualified to give political opinions, but many are afraid to offer wine opinions, out of fear of looking uninformed.

    Paul is right. It is possible to be seen and read, but we spend too much time talking to each other and not enough figuring out how to break out of the circle into the wider audience.

    Joe is right, we need more elf-help blogs.

    But most of all, Alfonso is right. It’s all Hosemaster’s fault.

  • http://www.winetonite.com Ed

    I’m going to agree with only part of what Tom posted and others mentioned in the comments. The market is not all wine drinkers, rather less than half is made up of other enthusiasts and those considered “image seekers”. Those are the consumer segments most likely going to look up wine information online and would want to learn more. I think Jeff’s point about comparing the real reader’s market to WS’s subscriber base is interesting and has some merit.

    I don’t agree that wine reviews are the problem. As Steve pointed out, there are a lot of people using Google to find information about a wine, its attributes, what it pairs with, how much it might cost, etc. Alder Yarrow of Vinography confided at the Wine Writer’s Symposium that about 60% of his traffic comes from Google most likely for the wine review data he presents. I don’t do many reviews and I only get 25% coming from Google. So, it seems to me (without having done any scientific analysis of course) one might be cutting off a potential channel for new visitors by heeding this advice.

    Finally, as Paul mentioned, you have to be able to relate and communicate with the general consumer as well as other enthusiasts, otherwise we’ll just keep talking to each other just like this thread.

  • http://random-oenophile.blogspot.com Cecilia Dominic

    Okay, another wine blogger here, but if no one outside of our community reads wine blogs, then they’re probably not reading articles about wine blogs, either. :)

    Someone made the comparison to food and restaurant reviewers. I took a workshop with John Kessler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on that topic, and the one thing he impressed on us most was that there has to be a theme or story behind each article, not just descriptions of what you ate, drank, etc. So that’s what I try to do. My tasting notes are bare-bones, but I try to put them in the context of something humorous or meaningful. Because isn’t that what we’re doing, after all — telling stories?

    Cecilia

  • http://wildwallawallawinewoman.blogspot.com Catie

    Yoo-hoo! Another wine blogger here. Interesting stuff to ponder. I have to say, wine reviews with points are becoming boring and almost repetitious to me. Sure, I write about wine, but I don’t give points. You can get that info from Cellar Tracker or BobP himself. Besides, nobody has my palate, although many think they have Parker’s palate.

    I would prefer to give the experience about the wines, the winery and the winemaker – the whole package. Links are valuable, but I think the real key to a good wine blog is find a niche and lock it in. Find a different voice from everyone else. And most of all, update-update-update. Nothing worse than a dead wine blog sucking up webspace and putting their readers on hold. Do the courteous thing. If you are on vacay, in jail or being held hostage, at least tell your readers that much. After all, that’s the point of wine blogging, isn’t it? It’s about our readers?

  • http://LouisvilleJuice.com Tom Johnson

    Look, there’s nothing wrong with reviewing wine. I do it sometimes myself. I just think its a lousy way to build an audience.

    The search engine hits dragged in by reviews are as valuable as any other traffic metric if you’re selling advertising. The problem is that you have to build a mass of reviews to attract enough search engine traffic to sell to advertisers for a meaningful amount of money. That’s a lot of work and expense — unless you put yourself at the mercy of wine publicists and review what they give you to review — and the hundred bucks a month you net isn’t going to change your life.

    If you have the same number of page views, but every one comes from someone who knows you (in a social media sense) and wants more of what you’re putting out, there’s a different business model that may be valid. The other model is what somebody called Because Economics. (I don’t know who coined the phrase, but I’d like to track him down and hit him.) You don’t make money on the blog; you make money because of the blog. The blog empowers you to do other things — write books, host tastings, consult, whatever.

    I discount the value of search engine hits because I think the second business model is more realistic than the first.

  • Jon Wollenhaupt

    Brilliant – this is the great unspoken truth that none dares mention regrading social media – no one bothers to read much of anything you post. It is much like being in a room where everyone’s talking at the same and time and no one is listening. The irony is that after all the dust settles in the world of new media, the last ones standing will likely be the people who know the fundamentals of tradition media.

  • http://winecase.ca Remy

    I’m totally with Adam when he points out that wine drinking in a mass market and wine enthusiasm is a niche market.

    Also, Tom, you make the point that bloggers shouldn’t review wines, yet a lot of people will tell you that reviews drive an awful lot of people to the blogs (we’re all maniacal about our stats, surely everyone has seen this…).

    In terms of audience, let’s remember that the Wine Spectator has a circulation of less than 500,000 (and claims a readership of 2.5 million people). Men’s Health, meanwhile, has 1.8 million copies distributed in the US, and The New Yorker is close to 1 million.

    Why should the proportions be so different in blog readership?

  • http://www.winepleasures.com Wine Pleasures

    Not surprised by the stats on reading wine blogs. Some people might care or be interested in how the wine was made, what the grape varieties are, how is the terroir and so on but by the end of the bottle that’s no longer of interest. The fact that they have enjoyed the wine and and social conversation is what is important so perhaps at very best a wine lover may look at a blog to get some kind of price or point system which tells them what to buy.

    Wine bloggers who write about winery visits will certainly get more readers in our view – you get the history, the passion of the winemaker, the stories and tales – you get to see authentic videos (meet the family) and photos – all of which will better attract readers to a wine blog and indeed create a desire in the consumer to go and visit the Winery themselves.Good news if you are in CA a bit tough if in Europe.

  • http://brettthewinemaestro.wordpress.com Brett Jones

    From my experience of running a wine bar in the UK for a very long time (too long I now believe!) many of my customers wanted to be tempted and enthused to explore and try different wines, not to be challenged by detailed descriptions most of which they didn’t discover for themselves, nor even understand sometimes.
    I try to post blogs to be read by wine drinkers not fellow bloggers or wine trade colleagues.
    Curiously, there used to be an excellent elf-help blog penned by B. Baggins of The Shire, but he seems to have disappeared. Does anyone know his whereabouts?

  • http://www.tampawinewoman.wordpress.com Jodi aka tampawinewoman

    I really enjoyed this post and all the comments. I recently started posting blog entries. I was encouraged by friends. I try not to spend much time at all reviewing the wines. I try to keep it more in the tone of ‘hey, I had this with dinner, and I liked it.’ I also try to focus on some things I have seen and experiences I have had as a wine consumer, passionate enthusiast, and wine professional. Every once in a while I ponder whether I should change the tone and focus more on individual wines and ratings, but this article confirms my beliefs, that wine is social and that people are more interested in stories and experiences than ratings.

    I am currently working with a company that is tying social media to live wine tastings, and I hope that provides a bridge between the internet and enjoying wine for some people.

    If anyone has time, I would surely appreciate any feedback on my blog tampawinewoman.wordpress.com, since I am new to this.

    Thanks,

    Jodi a/k/a tampawinewoman

  • http://www.newyorkcorkreport.com Lenn Thompson

    One of the biggest issues I see in the wine blog world is the ‘sameness’ of many of them — they reviews the same wines (often received as samples), talk about the same issues (because there isn’t enough new or creative thinking, and don’t have a strong or interesting voice.

    Sure, you can get other wine bloggers to read your stuff just by having a blog and engaging (via comments/twitter/etc.) but if you want any sort of readership beyond that, you need to differentiate yourself.

    Some bloggers are less tech savvy than others, it’s true, but one of the biggest shortcomings most have is a lack of marketing sense and acumen.

    If 12 blogs are more-or-less the same…is any going to succeed? Nope. Niche blogs, or blogs with some sort of strong differentiation are the ones that will rise to the top over time. The others will fall back to “just being online wine journals” which is fine, but it almost means the creation of two completely different categories.

  • http://www.newyorkcorkreport.com Evan Dawson

    Interesting – I wonder if I’m the only one who had no problem with what Tanzer wrote. I found myself nodding.

    My colleague at the NY Cork Report is right – general content wine blogs don’t naturally attract much audience. But I also wonder if that matters. Wine seems to be a subject in which the most passionate and truly erudite tend to start their own blog. I’m not sure they do so with an intention of attracting a huge audience. They do it to track their own experiences and foster a conversation.

    Most wine bloggers aren’t reaching consumers for one important reason: They don’t care to. How can you tell? Look at the content. Are they writing for themselves and other wine lovers / bloggers, or are they actively engaging consumers? It’s almost uniformly the former – and that’s fine, by the way. But I’m not fretting about a lack of traffic for most blogs.

    The question remains for sites like NYCR – sites that do indeed seek as wide an audience as possible – how to attract it? Paul Mabray touched on the issue, and we’re open-minded. But we don’t expect NYCR (or any niche wine site) to attract a massive following. What we want is a regular, interactive audience that cares about NY wine; we also want to establish our authority in covering this niche when other media or consumers want to stop by or seek information.

    Nice post.

  • http://www.1winedude.com 1WineDude

    OK – just to clear a couple of things up:

    1) “elf-help” blogs are blogs for people my size. Also, I think they’re related to the “_ELF STORAGE” I saw in Seattle (during X-mas time, no less!), by not sure.

    2) I DID shave my head many years ago. And grew a goatee. Scared the bejeezus out of people.

    Cheers!

  • http://www.1winedude.com 1WineDude

    Lenn – why am I not surprised that the EIC of a strong differentiated wine blog sees strong differentiation as the future of success for wine blogs?

    :-)

    just kidding… who loves ya?

    Go STEELERS,
    -Joe

  • http://www.vinotology.com Ben Simons

    I think that you have hit on something with the linking to other bloggers. One of the things that is most interesting on political blogs is the back and forth interactions that take place between the various blogs. Admittedly, their subject matter may lend itself better to this type of thing, but I think there is certainly a place for it in the wine bloggosphere.

  • Jason

    The point about the Tanzer fight seems to underline Tom’s point….NOBODY CARES WHAT A 2ND TIER WINE CRITIC THINKS ABOUT WINE BLOGGERS. Collectively, you are not relevant! I work in the industry and other than deleting frequent requests from bloggers for free wine to review, we don’t think about you. And to the points about growing wine knowledge/demand/exposure….that’s what you guys, as bloggers, should be doing! But you’re failing miserably. Wine consumption continues to grow at a snails pace in the USA. Over 80% of the wine is consumed by less than 20% of the consumers and that doesn’t even take into consideration the large number of non-wine-drinking adults in this country. WAKE UP!

  • Tim Plaehn

    Let me throw out a different tactic to reach a different audience. I live in Uruguay and have been offering a wine tasting of local wines to cruise ship passengers coming into the city. From wine blogs I am interested in ideas about the marketing of wine. I find blog posts like this one through a daily email from winebusiness.com. If I was to start a wine blog it would be for those who produce wines. They have a more focused interest in wines than the great masses of wine drinkers. Blog posts about successes and failures of producing, marketing and selling wine should draw an interested repeat audience. Your traffic count may not swell, but it seems that other opportunities could reveal themselves.

  • http://www.simplehedonisms.com Sonoma William

    yup, no-one reads my blog. The hits and unique IPs I get via awstats on Bluehost are completely fabricated, what a sham. I am more than happy with my small, targeted demographic. Never aspired to be Vinography, never want to be.

    Wine Enthusiasm IS a niche market as one pointed out – so benchmark us (if those #s are really valid) against something appropriate.

  • Kathy

    OK. These responses are about 6:1 (men to women).
    Looking at who buys wine (many studies, WMC, Nielsen etc), what is wrong with this picture?

  • http://www.suzannedecornelia.com/ Suzanne de Cornelia

    Hi Tom,

    Appreciate the piece, though I think that Truth Laid Bear is an antiquated site. Alexa.com is the acknowledged leader that scores 400M sites globally.

    It’s not wine blogs as a community that ‘don’t get read’–the 80/20 thing applies to evry category of blogs. Minor changes in approach boost audience and traffic. Comparisons:

    Vinography and EatLiveRun:

    Alder Yarrow started Vinography in 1/2005. Attributes are a professional spiffy design, mix of content, a contributor base, and his low-key polished approach with approx 1,000 sites linking in. His current Alexa.com score (US) is: 52,778.

    Compare that to: Jenna Weber’s EatLiveRun. She’s a single 24-yr old publisher of the self-designed, 18-month old WordPress site. The recent college/Cordon Blu grad works PT for Michel Schlumberger winery, and has attracted advertisers and a book contract based on her score. It’s 38K today [down from 27K because she is completing her manuscript due to the publisher in April] with about 137 sites linking in. She also writes for TrueSlant and contributes to FoodBuzz.

    Alder Yarrow is a mature professional with 15-20 years of expertise on Jenna, financial/people resources, and 10-times the sites linking in. She generally has about twice as high a score and 1M page views a month. Her book will doubtlessly be a bestseller.

    Women make most of the wine buying decisions and most of them are interested in Lifestyle blogs of which wine is a part—that’s Jenna’s combined relevance slant and her site score will soar again when she’s based in Paris this summer.

    Murphy Goode and Me:

    I started my self-designed, free blog 8 months ago around the same time Murphy Goode winery [a Kendall Jackson brand] launched a national PR search for a 6-month $60K social media temp. Despite their press hoopla, pricey blogger, and resources we still have close site stats. i.e. tonight they are at 399K and I’m at 433K {down from 207K as have been doing other projects]. And much of the 8-months with my new-ish site I didn’t work close to full-time on it.

    Most wine blogs would benefit by adding a related segment/interest that can draw traffic. Whether that’s cars, tennis, golf, Pilates, spa-travel, anything that the blogger has an authentic interest in that can be targeted to an audience and also written about on high traffic sites like Ezinearticles.com, or Scribd.com, while pinging the pieces to pingomatic.com, and posting them to Twitter, Facebook, etc.

    My novel ‘French Heart’ is set on wineries in Aix-en-Provence and Santa Barbara and am relocating to Aix, so I slant posts to my high impact key words [from Alexa] and also to what is trending on Twitter/Google that fits my topic, and site demographic. I keep a daily chart of my Alexa score.

    Alexa’s Top 500:

    Bloggers could examine Alexa.com’s Top 500 list for applicable lessons from those in the respectable 100-500K range. I can’t see much benefit in an individual blogger drawing comparisons from political sites like Huffingtonpost that has 100s of contributors and had tens of millions in start-up and subsequent rounds of funding. Except a wine blogger with a political slant. Arriana [who was my next door neighbor in Montecito] is a brilliant Oxford University grad who had national presence and was a multi-millionaire before Huffpo. Instead, most I think could benefit from looking at sole proprietors like Dooce, top Mommy bloggers, top social media specific bloggers, and by reading Tim Ferriss’s book ’4-hr workweek’ and then identify online communities from which you can draw traffic. For instance—if you were previously a designer-that is a huge, avid, linked-in community. Look at the top blogs in that segment. But you can’t just rely on link exchanges. I haven’t even attempted this as it is time consuming.

    My combined relevance is coastal living wine/foodies, and specifically Santa Barbara, Carmel and San Francisco, where I’ve lived, and Aix-en-Provence where I am relocating. My high impact words are Aix and SF. SB and Carmel are medium impact—but still higher than 90% of the wineries in those two appellations.

    Interesting to Note: Pierre La Fond to Carmel Plaza:

    The above ‘high profile’ established locations are in two of California’s most popular tourist towns. Pierre La Fond owns a winery, bistro, and retail stores with his wife. He is a community leader in Santa Barbara and was formerly the president of the SB Wine Association. His beautifully designed site links together his business operations. He’s been online 10+ years, has a dedicated blogger, and his site score is 6M+. One could say he is a retailer with walk-in traffic, so who cares about the site score. But he’s a retailer attempting to sell online, and in a depressed local economy that could targeting strong ones like WDC.

    CarmelPlaza.com is owned/operated by a national shopping mall giant, has anchor tenants like Tiffany and Louis Vuitton and is Carmel’s premier shopping destination. The site’s been online since 1997, and has a traffic score of 13M. Since the 10/2008 economic crash you can bowl in the store aisles yet they stubbornly resist hiring a contract blogger who could fix that. Wilkes Bashford was one of their high-profile tenants, and literally left in the night.

    Think of your site as one of 400 million stacked on shelves in a mega-warehouse with the potential consumers walking around looking for something to buy. What do your offer?

    Also think old-new or new-old remixes. i.e. bottled fruit juices weren’t new, but pomegranate juice was and POM hit big. Nancy Meyers mixes old/familiar/time-tested with new in all of her films. Sleepless is Seattle combined story references/elements from ‘An Affair to Remember’ and then new pop-psychology talk shows. ‘You’ve Got Mail’ combined a Jimmy Stewart classic ‘Shop Around’ with then new AOL singles chat rooms.

    What’s A Blogger To Do:

    Because I need a Scribd piece, and blog topic for today that will fit in with marketing I’m doing this PM. I’m going to repurpose this for both and Twitter it for two hours to a target market to get my site score back-up. There are a number of improvements I need for my site, new electronics I want, everything is time and money and on the priority list. That’s the reality of being a one woman show. Many individual bloggers face same situation–and need to keep assessing time-results ratios, and their ‘product’ mix.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

  • http://www.suburbanwino.com Joe

    Why not comment? I think just about every opionion has been expressed here, so I’ll try to keep it brief (unlikely):

    1) Tom, I really enjoyed the well-written post. I admittedly haven’t visited your blog much, but as we are kin in Benito’s “Wine Bloggers in the South” (http://wits-list.blogspot.com …aha! linking), I promise to check it out.

    2) If people want to do reviews, that’s fine. I agree with several that it won’t increase much readership (let’s face it: most of them are pretty boring). However, a lot of folks aren’t doing this to get a huge audience. I write to entertain my friends. Some would scoff and see that motive as a huge waste of time. For me, it’s an outlet. If money and fame come out of it, that’s a nice bonus (I’m not holding my breathe)

    3) I think those wiley NYCR guys made a good point that focus (rather than a general wine blog) is a key to success, if that’s what you’re after. The best marketing move when in a saturated category (aka “wine blogs”) is to create a new category…

    …and the category for “sophomoric humor applied to bad nostalgia as a metaphor for wine” is already taken, kids :)

  • http://www.suburbanwino.com Joe

    “breath”, not “breathe”…sunuva.

  • http://www.vintuba.com ChrisO

    The truly successful wine blogs of the world are those that are well written, relevant, have a wine knowledgeable author, and furthermore do not engage in blogger navel gazing! Just amazed at how many response posts this post generated, not to mention the bevy of post generated by Tanzergate! Let’s break this cycle! The audience that really matters does not care about all this crap! Does the guest at a restaurant care about what the chef in the kitchen thinks about the chef down the road or how he may feel snubbed by the restaurant reviewer? NO!!! the guest cares about the food, experience and the service. So the reader of your blog cares about great content that engages! I hypothesis that some bloggers are writing for their on cathartic reasons and could careless about the audience, so what!

    Paul Mabray said it best “Wine blogging should be compared to food/restaurant blogging who are living very successfully reviewing and making in-roads. Content distribution channels are the key problems with most wine bloggers and their lack of ability to go and attract audience. A key problem with wine bloggers is we have a tendency to talk to each other and to wineries. We need to learn how to better talk to consumers . . .”

    Wine bloggers are going to have to learn how to tailor their product to an audience and then market it.

  • http://norcalwingman.com Brian

    Interesting stuff. I refuse to let this get me down. I’ve just recently joined this community of bloggers, with a wine bent. It is cathartic but more importantly it is fun. And after all, if we’re not having fun with this we probably shouldn’t be doing it, eh?

    Wingman out!

    http://norcalwingman.com

  • Jim Hicks

    Returning to the basic question… why are wine blogs not getting read? With a political blog, automatically 51% of the people are not only going to disagree with you, they are usually willing to fight/abuse you.

    Wine bloggers tend to not attract that type of audience. I have yet to see bloggers that automatically generate the hard core “you are so right” or “you are so wrong”. And each response in a political blog generates other responses, again agreeing with, or adamantly disagreeing with you.

    Apparently, wine blog readers and bloggers themselves are too nice. Little controversy in a blog means no need for the reader to prove you are right or wrong. And that means little opportunity for a reader to remark to a friend, “did you see what “MMMMMM” had to say today?”

    For what it’s worth.

  • http://worktowin.blogspot.com/ Toni

    Well, you have a new reader today. As I sit here sipping my “Black Box” Cabernet – you’ll have to teach me a thing or 2

  • Tone Kelly

    And if a blogger blogs, and no one listens…..
    Then what?

    All shouting and no listening (or dialog) leaves little room for improvement.

    All humor aside, Given the number of wine blogs and the few people actually reading them leaves the readers (and comments) per blog at a low figure.

    Wine reviews on blogs leave me cold. I may not agree with (fill in the blank of your favorite reviewer) but he/she has more experience, reviews more wines and has a track record that one can look up and cross check with your own palate.

    Blogs should concentrate on other things than reviews.

  • Randy

    This is perhaps the winegeek blog of the year. I must admit a heavy chuckle as i strolled though the responses. This is pure wine geek entertainment.

    Thank you all for being so passionate!

  • http://www.twitter.com/deaelmi Dea

    Gary Vaynerchuk of winelibrarytv has a vlog that is visited by 86,000 people daily, while a controversial figure in the wine world he must be doing something right.
    Thanks for your thoughtful blog Tom, you really gave us something to chew on.
    Dea :)

  • http://www.newyorkcorkreport.com Lenn Thompson

    @1winedude

    Hey man…ever hear of practice what you preach? That’s all we do with the NYCR. We think niche is the way to go and have from the start :)

  • http://www.winewriting.com Richard M James

    Excellent sharp commentary. As someone with a wine website (including hopefully “proper,” subscribe-to content) and a (hopefully “just-for-fun”) wine blog attached to it (http://winewriting.blogspot.com), I find this whole topic increasingly fascinating. As well as the wine world’s current obsession with using social media sites to plug their wares (me included I guess), even though their audience is just each other, it would seem. Cheers, Richard.

  • http://www.livefromtuscany.blogspot.com LivefromTuscany

    I try to keep this kind of style up on http://www.livefromtuscany.blogspot.com. Does anyone want to hear my endless tasting notes? Not even I want to read over all of my tasting notes, so why would anyone else care? Considering my angle is living in Tuscany, I try to keep it light, fun, with information that can help someone when they walk into their local wine store, great finds, an insider’s view, but not an “expert” talking down to the reader, also because I am certainly nowhere near “expert” yet. I enjoy reading other wine blogs though, and link to them in a blogroll and freely on my site. Not everyone out there is just doing dry tasting notes, there may be hope yet!

    @Dea – Gary V. is in a class by himself!

  • http://www.creativejuiceswine.com Creative Juices

    This is a great writeup! My wife and I are ‘wine bloggers’ that use both written word, and video blog format. We just joined the blogging community recently, and have been trying to find the right format to share our passion with others. We have had long conversations about what it is that we’re doing wrong (and probably relying on numbers a little too much), so what you are saying here makes total sense. We want to break away from a lot of what we’ve seen in the wine blog community, and produce content that is fun and fresh, and approachable to people who may not even drink wine.

    Thank you for the writeup, we’ll keep the message in mind. Cheers!

  • http://peraltawinery.com Ed

    Wine should be fun, not intimidating. That’s what I’ve been teaching for nearly 30 years. It’s just a bottle of wine. It has no deific significance so why is everyone so hung up on the scores? Have fun.

    http://edmasciana.blogspot.com/2009/11/food-and-wine-is-me.html

  • http://wineonlinesolutions.com tom merle

    After TJ advised linking, I failed to find one link in any of the comments including Mr. Johnson’s.

    I’d recommend more gossip, particularly insider gossip about industry players.

    Also, the wine.woot.com blog is attached to sales and the wooters who follow this deal site want to know as much as they can about the wine under consideration. The blog takes a particularly snappy tone snd style, a poor man’s version in some way of Randall Grahm piece from Bonny Doon’s newsletter.

    But more importantly, the site manages to bring consumers together for pretty intense dialog and then for solid Q & A with winemakers and other winery reps. Like user comments on Amazon, blogs have to engage people who are considering buying something.

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  • http://www.reignofterroir.com Karl Laczko

    An interesting piece (if somewhat depressing at times!) – but I agree on both your main points, less tasting notes (not necessarily none though) and QUALITY links in Blog posts are essential.
    Hopefully you’re not whistling in the wind with this….

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  • Donna Childers-Thirkell

    Seriously????

    Ok look. Wine is about fun. If you want to write about it in whatever form and it gives you enjoyment go for it.

    All the snarky attitudes and infighting about what your supposed to do or not do, or why causes more problems than necessary.

    Aside from that I’m with Afonso, it’s Hosemaster’s fault…………bastard.

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  • http://grapes2u.blogspot.com Bill Gooch

    Interesting…. I keep my blog as a historical path to my tasting maturity and for researching wines. If outhers stumble on to it OK. It’s Happy Hour so I must go now. Thanks for your viewpoint… it’s not mine

  • http://reignofterroir.com Ken Payton

    yawn…

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  • http://www.winemule.com Dave Erickson

    Maybe 10, maybe 20 people read my blog. That’s plenty. I write for my friends and some of my better customers. If I wanted a big audience, I’d make a video of myself setting my hair on fire.

  • http://www.anotherwineblog.com Houstonwino

    While this post raises a few valid points, in general it was one of the dumbest fucking things I have ever read. If no one reads your blog, maybe the content is lacking, and if you are on your second failed blog, perhaps you just aren’t all that good at it.

    Some of us write because we love it, or have to do it. I never expected a soul to read my blather, but for some reason they do. If I wanted a bunch of political-type stupidity on my site I’d rant about teabagging idiots and PETA assholes. They would all show up and vomit on my pages. Gee, how fun would THAT be?

    Instead I get very nice, polite ‘thank you’ e-mails from readers and some generally friendly comments on my site. I’d be lying if I said that I would not love to make a living by blogging, but really, writing about food and wine would not be the subject I would have chosen if that was my goal. I get decent traffic, meet nice people, and drink lots of good wine. I love my hobby. Some of my friends do nothing but write reviews. They love their hobby too.

    Then again, we don’t qualify as failures. Try to do a little less stat checking and just have some fun…it might come across to your readers.

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  • http://www.AnotherWineBlog.com WineWonkette

    I Blame Parker. ;)

  • http://reignofterroir.com Ken Payton

    Mr. Johnson, you are an idiot.

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  • Alec White

    Hey Ken,

    I hope you take this constructively: You might want to include more context to your comments. Yawning and calling someone an idiot without explaining your reasoning is no help to anyone and simply detracts from what otherwise has been a pretty lively discussion.

  • http://nossovinho.com Paulo

    Mr. Johnson
    I regularly write 60 to 70 posts monthly, with only 500 unique visitors/day in my blog. And it’s a source of pleasure. I’m very happy with my audience feedback. I’m sorry for your frustration in your second chance. Why don’t you stop writing and try volleyball?

    Paulo Queiroz Wine Blogger from Brazil.

  • http://uWineO.blogspot.com/ Shayne S.

    Excellent thoughts my man. thanks!

  • http://vinouslyspeaking.blogspot.com/ Vinously Speaking

    Great article for anyone writing a wine blog or thinking about starting
    one! The points defined in this article are almost exactly the
    philosophy behind my blog only with 2 other additions: MAKE IT FUN!!
    Your readers should be laughing or smiling at least once with each entry.
    If you aren’t entertained by reading and re-reading your entries, no one
    else will. SECOND: KEEP IT SIMPLE!! People do not have a lot time. ~ Thanks for this article! Vinously Speaking ~ http://vinouslyspeaking.blogspot.com/

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  • Phil O

    Houstonwino. If you so enjoy “nice polite thank you’s” on your blog why do you have to litter this one with pointless swearing and derogatoury remarks?

  • http://www.winerelease.com Neil Monnens

    In terms of linking, I only link to wine sites that have a link page that is listed on all their web pages and that my link is only one away from their home page. The site has to be relevant and original. I also keep my links to a minimum as Google doesn’t like link farms or pages of endless links.

    I also agree with the strategy of keeping focused instead of being all things to all people.

    When I started WineRelease.com in 2000, I focused on one thing, wine release dates. People asked for a forum, tasting notes, wine prices, etc… but there were other sites that did that and I wanted to focus my efforts. I am glad I did.

  • http://winemiser.com WineMiser

    Good post.

    A few things to consider.

    - on the reviews, I think most Bloggers use the reviews to just document their own notes in a readily accessible format and count the traffic those posts generate as a bonus.

    - I do agree on the linking though. Noobie bloggers think linking out will drain page rank — Not at all. Links are the lifeblood of the net.

    Cheers!

  • Randy

    Ken Payton,

    You sir are not welcome to the online wine world if all you are offering are one liner hate speeches. You might as well join the tea party.

  • http://twitter.com/fishmark Mark Fish

    What a great post. I wish I had read it sooner. I take it that you do not subscribe to the idea that top 20 wine bloggers have a larger audience than Wine Spectator online? Or if they do, it does not matter?

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  • http://wine-beer-washington.com Bean Fairbanks

    In reading over the comments, I think it is important to point out that a bunch of wine blog links on a blog roll is not about conversation. Creating a conversation is commenting on other blogs, referring to specific blog posts (permalinks) that agree or disagree with concepts in your posts and collaborative projects. One of our most popular posts last year was a listing of 15 quality wines under $15, not from a single palate but a collaborative list with sommeliers and other bloggers.

    I teach blogging and the first thing I ask my blogging students is what is their intent and audience. The answers to that question serves as means of helping them develop their blogging plan. For some bloggers, a feeling of satisfaction in reading their own work is the only measure of success that they are seeking.

  • http://alongpour.com Wayne Kelterer

    I agree with much of this.

    There are too many people who want to use their wine blogs to promote their ego. There should be more emphasis on the story. That’s why I started mine, to look at the stories behind the wine.

  • http://www.onlyredwines.com Javier Prats

    Maybe you’re right, though my blog is based on personal experiences and how you say seems to be an apprentice Peñin or Parker, variety is the spice and form a web of links that connect other wineblogs, cellars, wine shops and experiences around the wine world and I think it’s great. Thanks for your feedback and ideas, I think I’ll try to test this project.

    Regards

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  • http://vinicultured.com Joon S.

    Hello Tom: thank you for providing such a thorough and thought-provoking piece. I agree with your observations, but I do differ in one regard. I believe that wine drinking and wine appreciation are at their cores elite activities. You do allude to this, but I think there should be more emphasis on this particular point.

    I wrote a response to your piece on my own blog:

    http://vinicultured.com/2010/04/03/there%E2%80%99s-a-reason-no-one-reads-wine-blogs-a-response/

    In the spirit of linking, I linked to your article in my post!

    Great work–I hope to read from you again very soon!

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  • http://www.vwm-online.com Tina Caputo

    Hi Tom, You make some interesting points. One of the things I noticed when my wine blog was active was that most of the comments were posted by other wine bloggers. That makes sense, since those are the people most interested in talking about wine, and it was fun to converse with other bloggers. (And as bloggers know, posting on others’ blogs helps drive traffic to yours.) But as far as having “readers” outside that realm? It doesn’t seem to be very common.

  • http://www.GrottoCellars.com Kristi Davis

    I went and subscribed to your blog because I liked this article. :) Did you know that you have no Subscribe button on your blog though? LOL – That would help! (It must be new because the name already changed!)

  • Don R

    Mr. Johnson, I don’t agree with any one of your misguided assertions. I think it is precisely the multiplicity of opinion (endless links to everyone-and-their-brother’s blog) that keeps reviews of wine from being meaningful to me. Contrast this with Parker, e.g. (one can “learn” Parker’s palate, and hence interpret the review). How can you know your reviewer and act on their recommendations if there is a “fair and balanced” panel of 6 or more people recommending everything? Is the goal to form consensus? I hope not! Reviews, by themselves may be boring to you, but that’s not because it’s a review; it’s because it’s JUST a review. And no, I don’t give a damn about the “personalities, history, (or) lore”. Get deeper into when the wine is most likely to peak in terms of drinkability. Tell me what kinds of food will bring out a particular flavor or character. In other words, tell me how to use this wine, once I’ve purchased it. I can’t even count the number of people I know who sit staring anxiously at their cellars wondering when they should open “that” bottle for “maximum” pleasure/expression. So tell us that; if I prefer my wines to emphasize fruit and I don’t mind a few tannins, tell me I should open it next year. Tell us alcohol content so we know how “hot” or how “ripe” a wine is likely to be. (Stop right there before arguing the inaccuracy of the %… you know as well as I do that it is still indicative in a general sense.) The problem with blogs and reviews is that everyone feels they have to conform to some “generally accepted standard” or other which is just silly. Have opinions! Share them with abandon! Even Vaynerchuk knows this. But if you insist on whitewashing things, well, then you’ll never pull people’s interest away from Parker.

  • Paul Rickett

    Interesting thread indeed. I think that Tom and the constructive comments, both pro and con, head in the right directions. Palate Press will have an article up here shortly on a wine buying influence study I’ve written. It provides a bit of a worm’s eye view of blogging influence on consumer wine selection. Some of the results, conclusions and speculations will simultaneously support and contradict various opinions in this thread, depending through what lens you want to read them.

  • http://video97.com/Sitensky/ Sitensky

    This is a nice blog message, I will keep this idea in my mind. If you add more video and pictures because it helps understanding :) ml Sitensky.

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  • http://www.joshskidsearch.wordpress.com Joshua

    I dont get it.

    • http://www.joshskidsearch.wordpress.com Joshua

      Respondibg to my self:
      Im just 8 years old.Thats problay why I dont get it.

  • http://thewinecellarsclub.com Deb Lapmardo

    I’m kinda late to the party, but just saw last year’s article. I’ll call this the 1st Anniversary Revisit to the article.
    I’m a newcomer to the game, but I’m already tired of writing the same old blah, blah, blah in my wine reviews. I’d much rather research and write about the winery, region, climate, and any interesting stories I can dig up.
    Does anyone have any ideas on how to create a totally new vocabulary for wine reviews? I kinda liked what Wine X used to do — “This wine is like having sex in the produce aisle.”
    And I also want to link like crazy. Anyone up for that?
    Cheers,
    Deb at thewinecellarsclub.com

    • http://www.palatepress.com David Honig

      Deb,

      If you want to get some attention, you should look at our Palate Calibration Project. It is an opportunity for reviewers to put themselves in front of consumers. It’s on our front page.

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  • http://www.winemaking-equipment.com Winemaking-Equipment.com

    Great article and it did exactly what it was supposed to do. It inspired people to talk about it. I can not believe the negativity that some people are showing towards this one article.
    Oh well, that’s life.

  • http://fourhourworkweek.com/vBulletin/member.php?u=229179 http://mattjduffy.com/2007/09/1696/

    Have you ever thought about writing an e-book or guest authoring
    on other blogs? I have a blog based upon on the same information you
    discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my readers would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

  • http://www.quickstopwine.com QUICKSTOPWINE

    I totally agree with your statement. All the wine blogs talk about he same ole thing. Each one thinks now its different yet its not. Solution to problem? Create a blog completely opposite from the status quo. Lets get creative. No more blah blah blah wine reviews.