Golden rules of wine blogging

Alfonso and I had a blast at yesterday’s wine blog seminar at TexSom 2001.

In prepping for our talks, it was a great experience to reflect on the nature of wine blogging and how and why we do it. You’ll find a lot of our notes and posts by seminar participants at the ad hoc blog we created for the session: Wine Bloggers Unite.

One of the posts that seemed to resonate with participants was the golden rules to blog by:

1) remember that all blogs — wine and otherwise — are vanity blogs.
2) tell the truth and write “what you feel.”
3) avoid negativity and write about things that you do like.
4) engage in collegiality, solidarity, and camaraderie.
5) follow your palate and listen to your heart.

As one participant Tweeted during the talk, “it’s all about love, community, and finding our humanity.”

No hat[e]orade here! :)

Another series of posts that seemed to resonate with participants was our classification of wine blog types:

1) institutional wine blogs
2) commercial wine blogs
3) professional wine blogs
4) pure wine blogs

Heartfelt thanks to Master Sommeliers Drew Hendricks, James Tidwell, Craig Collins, and Devon Broglie for making us part of the wonderful and amazing experience of TexSom!

14 thoughts on “Golden rules of wine blogging

  1. excuse my error. The correct commentary is:
    I agree your golden rules to blog Jeremy, but I think that we must write also about things we don’t like. A critical approach to wine world of today is essential in my point of wiew

  2. @Franco great to see you weigh in here. I agree with you: we should be critical in our wine blogging. But I think it’s important to remember that you not only one of Italy’s top wine bloggers, you are also one of its top wine journalists. As one participant pointed out in the media panel, “some wine journalists are bloggers, but not all bloggers are journalists.” You and I have professional experience writing about wine and thus we also know how to balance our critical points of view with fact checking and a wider knowledge of wine in general and the tools of journalism. In yesterday’s crowd, many are entirely new to wine blogging and few had any experience in journalism. Great point and I agree! Thanks for sharing this… :)

  3. Love the body language … with Sam’s blog in the background. I’m just imagining this presentation now. I guess wine means something different to everyone – how it’s expressed in words determines who will read it, or should I say drink it.

  4. I have to agree with Franco. It’s important to review bad wines too, or those that just disappoint. I think from a reader’s point of view it adds balance to your praise, and makes you more trustworthy. If an author – no matter if a blogger or professional wine journo – says yes about any wine from a grand cru down to a Two Buck Chuck, I don’t see that person as being very credible.
    And from my blogging experience I’ve come to think people expect warnings as much as positive recommendations. If you issue a fair assessment of a big supermarket brand such as e.g. Jacobs Creek, it is relevant to people and makes you their hero :)

  5. Sorry, but I respectfully disagree, Wojciech and Franco

    I don’t think reviewing bad wines does anyone any good – There’s too much negativity in the world. If I don’t like it, I just don’t talk about it – that doesn’t lessen my credibility -It doesn’t mean I like all wines – but my job isn’t to put wineries out of business (not that I could)

    Liking or disliking something doesn’t add to one’s believability or trustworthiness – consistency does

  6. To be critical for me in my wine blogs is not only to review bad wines, what I do very rarely, but to have a critical eye about the Italian and international wine scene and not spare critics to the more paradoxical and absurd aspects. I love me too to be very positive about good wines and excellent wineries, and producers, but for me the critic is the essence of journalism and wine writing.

  7. Pingback: Should wine bloggers write about wines they don’t like? (And Tracie P is looking great!) « Do Bianchi

  8. @Franco I agree 1000% about writing abou the international wine scene and wine critics! :) And I agree with you that we need to be critical and intellectually honest on our blogs. And that includes negative review (rare for both you and me). But as advice to new wine bloggers who don’t have professional experience, I still think they need to be aware of how hurtful bad reviews can be… Thanks so much for sharing your insights here! Always great to see you.

    @BrotherTad thanks for being here, too… as in blogs, as in life no? :)

    @VinoGirl Scouser sense of humor! Love it… :)

    @Alfonso I think your blog is a great model for new bloggers. It shows how one can be critical (as you often are) without directly attacking a given winemaker. Like when you use broad strokes to criticize Italian producers of Cabernet Sauvignon without calling out any by name… And I think that this goes hand in hand with what Franco is saying… Thanks for being here! :)

    @Valerie we LOVED turning folks on to Sam’s excellent blog! She’s wine blogging at its very best!

  9. I agree with Franco Ziliani, I discern negativity and criticism, as my grandfather said “you use wisdom even to throw a stone”, criticism should be done with class and balance. In the same spectrum overpraising hurts too much and it is a “must” for wine bloggers or journalists to abstain from overpraising wines eventhough the wine is my favorite or if I get paid by the RP of the company.

    Some bloggers are wine drinkers and they too deserve to criticize a wine because all blogs as you said are subjective…

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