Sunday, December 6, 2009

I read something interesting this afternoon, and it got me thinking...

After I logged into my google reader account to see what some of my favorite wine bloggers were talking about, I read this blog post by Jeff Lefevere, the guy over at Good Grape. After reading the blog he linked to, right here, I got to thinking about this potentially complex question. Now I tend to agree with what Jeff Lefevere posted about the 10 Truths about Wine Blogging. Just posting reviews of what you tasted (like I've been doing) is indeed a recipe for "zzzz" (like what you've been doing). So what I started wondering was how someone starting out can both blog about what they drank last night AND provide something relevent, i.e. something worth reading in a sea of blogs. A lot of what I see from wine bloggers is basically filed under two topics: "industry news" and "wine tasting/reviewing". There is indeed some commentary, and some of it is quite good, but from what I've read, there really isn't a huge amount of original content, especially if the commentary is about the aforementioned industry news. What then is the best way to differentiate yourself from this seemingly standard format?
Sadly, I don't know if I have an answer yet, since I'm so new to both reading blogs and blogging myself. Most of what I post is purely stream-of-conciousness, versus writing an essay, editing it, then putting it online for everyone to look at. I can however share what I did think of when the question I asked first reared it's Burgundy colored head. Call me naive and I am, but I still think that a blog with original reviews has a place in the crowded field (Lefevere estimates over 1000 wine blogs out there). Writing about wine should be based on your passion for it, therefore I really think wine reviews should be fun for the reader. Using esoteric and/or overly technical terms confuses people, makes them not want to: A. come back to your blog and B. seek out what you blogged about. Also important is posting actual reviews instead of short, one paragraph blurbs about a wine. There are some people who do that, or worse, just copy/paste from the winery's site! That's utterly ridiculous, especially when you're reviewing cheap wines like Yellowtail, Penfolds or Barefoot type stuff. On the other side of the coin, original commentary on what's going on in the wine industry (like the current controversy about Champagne reducing output to keep pricing in place -- pas bien!) will serve to both educate and stimulate your readers, right? In any case, that's what I came up with, and I'll try to add more commentary about what's actually going on in the biz. I'm lucky to have some pretty deep connections and data sources so hopefully I can provide some unique insights to my readers. All four of you..Wow this might have been my shortest blog yet, and as usual I welcome all comment and constructive criticisms. I'll be back later in the week with some more snore-inducing reviews ;-)

Beau Carufel


  1. Beau,

    Well, first of all, I'm grateful that I'm in your blog reader. That's not something I take for granted.

    Second, I would encourage you to completely re-imagine the tasting note / sensory evaluation process. Blogs are great for experimentation and doing something new, unique and novel will an asset to both you and your readers.

    Welcome to the wine blogosphere!


  2. Hey Jeff, thanks for writing good stuff! I always enjoy reading your blogs. Thank you also for the advice, it's so encouraging to hear and I'll definitely take it!