Prizes for Wine Bloggers? Why Not?

The American Wine Blog Awards will be moving into their 3rd year very soon and I'm excited about them. There are so many outstanding bloggers and wine blogs out there. The hope for these Awards is that they continue to highlight the best of the blogosphere.

However, there is one thing I've wanted to do from the beginning but have never been able to get it together in a meaningful way: GIVE PRIZES TO THE WINNERS!

I'm not talking about a trophy. What I'm thinking is that it would be great (and appropriate) to offer meaningful prizes to the winners in each category that relate to the category they have won. The categories for the Wine Blog Awards are:


So here is my question to the FERMENTATION and wine community:

What Do You Think Would Be Appropriate Prizes For Each Category?

Leave a comment or contact me via email (Here's My Email Address) and give me your ideas. This is one facet of the Awards I want to focus on this year

Posted In: Wine Blog Awards


24 Responses

  1. Fredric Koeppel - November 6, 2008

    um, wine? as in a great bottle for each category?

  2. Tom Wark - November 6, 2008

    I did think of that. But I’m not sure it’s legal…at least in all states.

  3. Kevin Finn - November 6, 2008

    How about taking out an advertisement in a major wine publication to announce the winners? This would provide recognition of their accomplishment in front of the exact audience that they are writing for.
    I guess the real question is, would a wine publication let you put an ad in their magazine if they thought it would take readers away from them over the long-term?

  4. Melissa Dobson - November 6, 2008

    Following Gonzo’s lead, how about a ticket to the next Wine Bloggers Conference or a gift certificate with Russ Beebe at California Wine Hikes or with Allan Wright at Zephyr Wine Adventures

  5. Dale Cruse - November 6, 2008

    Kevin, wine blogs don’t necessarily “take readers away” from wine publications. They can both co-exist, just as TV continues to exist even with the Internet. It’s not an either/or proposition.

  6. Ron Washam, HMW - November 6, 2008

    What about an award for Best New Wine Blog? We all need encouragement.
    As to prizes, well, let’s just say it’s an honor to be nominated, I couldn’t have done this without all the little people, and Cash is King.

  7. Dirty - November 6, 2008

    I like Kevin’s idea, but it may be really expensive (and conflict with the magazine’s online strategy).
    What about some Wark Communications services?

  8. Kevin Finn - November 6, 2008

    My opinion on your statement is posted on my homepage and blog.

  9. boyce - November 6, 2008

    A gift certificate for books, so the winner could add to his / her wine library?
    (Yes, it’s a blanket prize. It’d be possible to come up with a particular book for each category, but some winners might already own that particular publication.)
    Also, a nice graphic – a trophy in the shape of a wine bottle? a takeoff on the wine blog awards logo? – the winner could upload and display on his / her site.
    Cheers, Boyce

  10. Dale Cruse - November 6, 2008

    I agree with the suggestion of a Best New Wine Blog award. People just getting started deserve some attention.
    I also suggest a Best Wine Community award. With sites like the OpenWine Consortium, Wine 2.0, Cruvee, and various forums, I believe this has merit as well.

  11. Ken - November 6, 2008

    I like Kevin’s idea a lot. My initial thought was the recognition was enough. But a broader based acknowledgement is even better. My guess is the major wine publications would take the $. I’m not sure there is a better venue.

  12. Kevin Finn - November 6, 2008

    Thanks for the support. To address a few concerns.
    Cost: Agreed, this is an issue. If Tom is on the hook for it, perhaps the cost can be spread among nominees and sent via PayPal to Tom. (I acknowledge the headache of collecting money, but this is the best idea that I have at the moment.)
    Benefit: An ad will help drive traffic (i.e. eyeballs) to the winning blogs making the award more valuable. This enhances the long-term value of these awards and adds an incentive for bloggers to win the award.
    I really like the idea of a Best New Wine Blog award.

  13. Katie - November 6, 2008

    Have to agree with Ron, Dale and Kevin about a new wine blog award….I think all relative newcomers would!

  14. satria - November 6, 2008

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  15. mydailywine - November 6, 2008

    Why do we blog, aside from loving wine?
    Fame (i.e. eyeballs/traffic), Money (i.e. monetization baby), Power (i.e. respect of peers and community)
    We get respect from winning.
    We get monetization from eyeballs.
    So I agree the prize should focus on gaining traffic for winning bloggers.
    Advertising the winners in trade mags would be great.
    As would marketing consultations/services from people like Wark (you said it first, Dirty!)
    Of course wine is always appreciated too!
    Maybe a gift certificate to a wine club as opposed to shipping wine?

  16. Thomas Pellechia - November 6, 2008

    How about $700 billion?
    Oh, it’s been taken already!
    Then how about health care for bloggers?
    Not practical!
    Just send me flowers.
    Oh wait: I have to wine first.

  17. Dylan - November 7, 2008

    While it can be bothersome collecting the money for it, I agree Kevin’s idea is the best of the bunch. When it comes to being a blogger there’s no better gift than interested readers.

  18. Dombeya Wines - November 11, 2008

    Agree with Thomas. Aside from the passion that drives the wine blogger, there is also the desire for recognition, and readers.

  19. Alder Yarrow - November 11, 2008

    First, you gotta kill the “best graphics” award. I don’t think it’s really relevant to wine, or to blogging. No disrespect to any of the folks who have won that award the past two years, but it doesn’t represent an achievment in wine blogging. Take the design of the blog into consideration when evaluating the site for one of the other categories if you must, but as a category it is by far the weakest link in the awards.
    Prizes are a double edged sword. Make them good enough, and people will compete (read: make sure their friends stack the nomination and voting process) to win them. Make them small enough and people will feel like they’re lousy tchotckes.
    I ask you this: what prize do you win when you win a James Beard Journalism award? Nothing. You get a nice little medal, a photo on their web site, and a shitload of publicity. And THAT is the real prize. Those above who are suggesting that you promote the hell out of the winners have it exactly right. Whatever money you might spend or have donated towards “prizes” would be best spent making sure as many people know about the winners as possible. Can you pay for a slot on Good Morning America? Of course, I kid. But in all seriousness, the prize idea should be dropped.
    For what it’s worth, I think there might be merit in a best new wine blog category as well, however the important thing would be to set a reasonable bar for what “new meant.” Which is to say that it can’t be so new that you’ll let someone who’s been around for 2 months with 15 posts compete for the category. The person should have been around for at least 8 months and during that time should have met your minimum criteria for posting whatever that is (once/week?).

  20. Iris - November 15, 2008

    I feel like Alder, Tom – no prize needed, it’s the “fame”, which is enough a recompense, I think.
    And for the news-paper-add: here in France, even the RvF (revue de Vins de France), the most influential wine-magazine around, has already published a dossier about wine-bloggers some months ago, so I can’t imagine, that it should be impossible to have the winners list and an article about the awards published by one or several journals in a country, where “change can happen”:-)…
    I won a small French award for my blog last year – I was very pleased to read, that it was principally a juries vote – they appreciated particularly, that I was the only participant in my category, who did not put a “vote for me, click here” button on my side but asked my readers to have a look at the other blogs, to learn about them…. I got an I-pod too, but this was a surprise, because I hadn’t even noticed, that there were “prices” (and unfortunately, I never used it since…).
    I also participated in a German food-and-wine-blog award event with different categories, but this time as a sponsor, which meant, that I offered some bottles of Lisson wine for the winners – others offered books or regional products or restaurant meals. We had a link to our web sides on the award-hosting blog as sponsors during the competition, that’s all – and I think all the winners were pleased with their prices, but mainly pleased to have been plebiscited by their peers.

  21. 1WineDude - November 16, 2008

    Before a prize is considered, I think that there needs to be much greater transparency in these awards.
    E.g., Who is on the panel and by what criteria will they be measuring the blogs…
    If bloggers aren’t on the panel, then for me the whole thing is kind of moot anyway.

  22. Alder Yarrow - November 16, 2008

    Perhaps you didn’t look closely at last years awards. Tom provided bios for all the judges, which included bloggers.

  23. 1WineDude - November 17, 2008

    Thanks, Alder – I did miss that.
    Having said that, I think transparency in the process used by the judges is still in order.
    Totally agree with your points on eliminating the graphics category, adding a newbie cat., and garnering publicity for the winners.

  24. Brooklynguy - November 19, 2008

    i love the idea of these awards. but they currently function as a popularity contest as much as they do to identify the “best” blogs. maybe the judges should have sole ability to select winners once the nominees are created by the public. or at least they should have more say in the final decision. aren’t they best suited to identify the “best?” If not, why use them at all?

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