Friday, March 10, 2006

The Importance of Blog

A recent post by Tom at Fermentations compared his disillusionment with baseball as a result of the Barry Bonds steroid scandal with that of jaded wine lovers, who having been routinely disappointed by the plethora of banal ‘industrial’ wines out there, have become ‘authenticity’ snobs. This begets an exposé about how we define authenticity, the notion of ‘naturalness’ and ultimately the relationship between these principles and how a wine can most genuinely represents a time, a place, and the soul of the person who makes it. This post has been in the works for a couple of weeks now and is turning my brain to jello, but it is coming.

So I decided to look at the situation from another perspective. I am in a privileged position in that I talk regularly to winemakers, importers and agents, and thus have access to both information and wines that the majority of the public do not. In a weird way, this knowledge is at the root of both my snobbism and somewhat ‘cynical’ perspective of the present day wine world.

I see the ‘yellow tails’ and ‘little penguins’ eating up market share like boozy pacmen. I see wines being ‘constructed’ to please the tastes of a small clique at the expense of the expression of a time, place and soul. I see a consolidation of distribution and retail forcing many of the wines that I love to the back of the shelves or they are simply not on the shelf at all. I see an increased interest from my demographic in wine, but all too often their sources of information and education are poorly informed or completely out to lunch retailers. And most importantly, I see a mainstream wine media that does little to trumpet authenticity and diversity.

So I spent a day reading through a number of wine blogs yesterday and was awed by the breadth of information and passion that was out there. For those of you who feel sometimes that all the time and effort that you put into your writing is for not, remember that the revolution will take time. Many of our voices are beginning to be heard, and as more and more ‘regular’ folk seek out alternative sources of information, the foundation of archived information that we are building will be read.

What we are doing is important. Have a great weekend and drink well.


St. Vini said...

Good post, really, I mean that.

I do quibble with the yellow tail and little penguin comment. Are these $6 wines really taking away from wines you care about? Sales of wines under $10 are relatively flat (yt is just "cannibalizing" other sub-$10 wines). Sales of wines above 14% are still very, very strong. Good news, I think.


Iris said...

"And most importantly, I see a mainstream wine media that does little to trumpet authenticity and diversity."

at least you're doing your best and as a small winemaker and big wine-lover I'm gratefull for that!

caveman said...

point taken.. let's call it unfortuante market share or unwarranted..
Merci, J'espère que des vignerons commes vous va continuer a defendre cette authenticité

Justin said...

Good post, Caveman. People will continue to seek out alternate sources of information, and here is where the power of Google will shine, directing people to blogs like yours.

Catie said...

Excellent! Thank you for being a great voice for wine bloggers everywhere.