Bloggerview #23: Amy Atwood
I met Amy at the first Wine Bloggers Conference last year and was immediately taken with her. This is a lovely woman with passions to spare, though it strikes me she'd give up none of them. Most important where her blog, MyDailyWine, is concerned is that she's got a deep well of knowledge on many fronts. She has worked in the wine industry since 1996 in a number of capacities, including sales, marketing and promotion. These days, her professional pursuits are sharply aimed at organic wines and sake. She has also demonstrated a real and rare capacity for understanding the the usefulness of social media. She lives in LA, but I can't hold that against her. My secret, where Amy is concerned, is that I don't miss a post of her's at MyDailyWine because I like how she thinks and I'm thrilled when I discover she has read a post of mine at Fermentation. If all that is not enough, then read her response to question #18 and you'll understand why I appreciate Amy.
1. When did you begin blogging and why?
August 2008. I am a wine geek first and a wine businessperson second. MyDailyWine is my wine passion play, there is no commerce involved.I wanted the means to communicate about the wines I love and the people who make them.
2. In two sentences describe the focus of your wine blog.
Taking the junk out of your juice. Wine news and reviews from California, with an Organic bent.
3. What sets your wine blog apart from the pack?
Mostly my focus on wines made from organic and biodynamic grapes. I review these wines and tell the stories of the people who craft these wines as well. But also, I work in the wine industry and therefore have a different outlook on wine trends, wine commerce, etc.
4. How would you characterize the growth in your readership since beginning your blog?
Slow and steady with a few peaks and valleys.
5. Do you accept sample for review?
Yes. But I only review what I like. If I do not like the wine, especially due to any inherent flaws or simply low quality, then I do not write it. I will review a wine that is not my personal style but is nevertheless a good wine.
6. What kind of wine rating/review system do you use and why?
I have rating system fatigue so there are no scores, etc on MyDailyWine. If I write about a wine, it means I saw good value in that wine, period.
7. How do you fit the maintenance of your wine blog into your daily schedule?
I post about two times a week. And try to read and comment on my favorite wine blogs at least once a week(using their RSS feeds on my Google reader is the secret). I do keep a list of upcoming topics and I often write posts during my business travel.
8. Have you utilized any particular techniques to successfully market your blog?
I enjoy interacting with the wine community on Twitter and other wine social groups on-line.
I do engage with food groups and 'green' groups as well, since they are usually wine lovers.
9. In your view how, if at all, is blogging different than traditional wine writing for print?
Oh yes, wine blogs are the wild, wild west! In all it's glory as well as it's lawlessness. Wine bloggers are not beholden to editors, advertising, etc. We write what we are passionate about. This can be beautiful and soaring or ugly and juvenile….oh wait, maybe we are like traditional print writers after all.
11. Do you believe wine blogs have made any marked impact on the wine industry or wine culture?
Definitely an impact, perhaps not marked yet but growing. Wine bloggers are helping wine lovers navigate the on-line wine world.The immediacy is so addictive. I picked a print wine mag last week for the first time in ages, all the news was so old!
12. Vacation: Paris or the Caribbean?
Paris…then the south of France afterwards!
13. Pet: Dog or Cat?
I have one of each, always have. Love the cat's independence and the dog's slavish love.
14. Airplane Reading: New Yorker or People?
New Yorker but I sneak a look at my neighbor's People too.
15. Car: Prius or BMW?
Hmm, where is a sexy hybrid when you need one? Prius until then.
16. Chablis or California Chardonnay?
Usually Chablis. But occasionally will crave CA Chard to match with shrimp and grits or buttery lobster.
17. Describe what you would have at your last meal?
Grilled whole fish with garlicky white rice. Green salad with avocado. Champagne.
18. What is Heaven Like?
Waking up with the one you love. No regrets. A gently lapping ocean. A parent telling you they are proud of you. That first sip of Champagne at brunch with close friends. All these small moments we seek every day are heaven, for me it is not a destination after death.
19. If you could invite 4 people dead or alive to your fantasy dinner party, who would they be and who would you have bring the wine?
Marlon Brando, a gorgeous intellectual and eccentric. Katherine Hepburn, ditto. Jeanette Winterson, a poet and a dreamer. Randall Graham,also a dreamer and an iconoclast. There would be spirited discussions and stories of travel and passion. I would ask Jeanette Winterson to bring the wine.
20. What advice would you give to someone considering starting a wine blog?
Jump in. Don't let sloth or tech ig
norance delay your goal.Establish a posting schedule and interact with your on-line community.