Am I Harming Fermentations’ Readers?

There’s nothing I like more than reading a provocative article in a wine magazine or newsletter, on a wine forum or on a wine blog. Maybe I’m just drawn to hyperbole or controversy. More than anything, I like reading something that gets me thinking.

A post by John over at Wine Country Club Blog and a follow up post over at Swirl & Sniff both get me thinking about: Can Wine Bloggers Do Harm? And does it matter?

John’s contention is that there may be serious harm done to wineries’ reputation, and even their bottom line, by irresponsible, unethical bloggers, or plain old bad palates. And he wonders if some group or organization oughtn’t set up some "seal of approval" to alert readers to those wine blogs that do a good, ethical job of…wine blogging.

I say why not? In the end, the seal of approval would merely be one more mouth in the fray, one more voice offering an opinion. It would, in essence, be a marketing tool. I just don’t know how serious it would be taken. Afterall, the motives and competency of those offering the seal of approval would be open to question just like wine bloggers are.

Wine lovers are generally pretty smart people. They generally can assess information and ideas and decide pretty quickly whether it’s for them, or if they trust the information. And they do this every day as they read columns in newspapers, blogs, magazines and listen to friends and colleagues tell them about their latest wine find. And they’ll keep doing this even if some sort of seal of approval starts.

A much better idea, I think, is an association of wine bloggers that band together to promote wine blogs in general as one more legitimate form of wine education and wine media source. Heck, we’ll even have our own seal of approval. Maybe we’ll eventually venture out into the world of print. Maybe we’ll start organizing conferences for wine drinkers and the trade. Maybe we’ll just get together and drink.

Posted In: Wine Blogs


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