So how does it feel to be studied? I have to say, Wine Bloggers, you certainly are a fascinating bunch of movers and shakers. Vintank issued a survey to research particular data points on wine bloggers just last week. Joel Vincent calls you BPI’s or influencers as perhaps both your readers and your friends, family and immediate community look to you on which wines to buy. I’ve called you alpha consumers, the kind of studious winos that search out the hot new or the tried and true tasty value selling right now. And since you’ve been paying attention over the last few weeks, you know that the Fermentation Blog Awards were open for nominations until February 8. Mr. Wark was on WineBiz Radio talking about the categories, selection process and so on as he also explained why additional categories don’t exist…finite resources. Fair enough. And don’t forget Ms. Tracy Rickman’s pending study, her dissertation en route to earning her PhD., a study on Wine Bloggers, credibility, integrity, readership, authenticity.
As traditional print media continues to fold, suffer lay-offs and generally disintegrate (perhaps phoenix like?), the wine industry looks toward more creative outlets for their story, their PR and communication with the wine loving world…the spotlight has transferred to you, wine bloggers. Hey, you even get oddly polarizing posts debating Wine Blogger Certification, good for a round or ten of fiery opinion volleying across the bloggosphere and around the world. You get a bloggers lounge at ZAP, complimentary with internet hook up, in anticipation of your savvy wine experience ending up on our monitors, luscious, logged and already out on VHS. More Bloggers Tasting Forums will be the norm for 2009 (I’m predicting 2-4 scheduled over the next few months). So Access may be a fight of the past.
My hope for the wine blogosphere is that the passion and talent you exhibit in life and on your blogs will continue, perhaps with greater ease, frequency and with even more variety in experiences, people and wines; that your access will inspire you to go further in your tasting adventures both across the land and into the glass; and that your fresh excitement will spread into the mainstream wine loving community and beyond. My hope is that you will also maintain the wild rogue personalities that make you so interesting to read and taste wine with, abjuring the pressure or suggestion that you are new media with a responsibility to anyone other than yourself, your palate, your passion.