A Shiny New Glass
I used to go searching for new wine blogs to see what was emerging. These days I have enough GoogleAlerts set that newly indexed blogs or blogs that match my search criteria come to me all on th. Recently I came across a blog that does one of the most difficult things in wine blogging and does it really well.
A Glass After Work came to me due to a GoogleAlert I had set up for the Wine Bloggers Conference. What I found was blogger who gives great wine reviews!!
A Glass After Work is written by Alleigh, who I'm sure must have a last name, though I can't find it. (It strikes me though that this is the kind of name that could actually go solo, like "Madonna" or "Sting".
In any case, what Alleigh does so well with the reviews at A Glass After Work is weave them into her present day experiences, giving them something more than the standard color-nose-palate-finish rendition. We learn what kind of Day Alleigh had, what mood she brought to the wine, what if any food was prepared as the wine was consumed, an opinion, and of course the color-nose-palate-finish information.
This is very, very good and satisfying wine blogging. It's particularly good because it is primarily wine reviews, which as I've said I think is the most difficult kind of wine writing to make interesting. The fact is, offering one's opinion or rant on a subject is pretty easy stuff. But keeping a reader's eyes from glazing over as they read a wine review—well, that's talent.
A Glass After Work has been around since February and appears to be on pace to be offering posts every other day—a pretty good schedule. When you visit you'll also notice that the pictures that accompany the posts are really high quality, something else I associate with good wine blogs.
Finally, there is a rating system at play at A Glass After Work. "Five Corks" is the highest rating with half corks a part of the system too. One of the nice things about this rating system is that you'll actually find Alleigh giving wines 1.5 or 2 corks, not just 3 corks and higher. I've always liked a reviewer with a willingness to describe when they go "wine slumming".
Check out this outstanding and relatively new wine. Blog. It's very followable.
Thanks Tom, as always, another well prepared and interesting entry. I clicked on your link and read through Alleigh’s blog. After reading it I felt uncomfortable. I don’t really want to stir things up, but I had to stop and think about what I found discomfiting about what I’d read.
I think Alleigh’s blog clearly points to the main problem I have with wine bloggers in general, especially those who post reviews….and it’s got nothing to do with the scoring system.
I think there should be requirements for reviewing wine and the first one should be expertise and experience in the field. The second should be possessing an educated palate. These are painfully absent in this blog.
This blog makes a clear case for reading some other reviewers who could also go by a single name….like Parker or Tanzer.
If Alleigh is posting notes for her own edification then I guess I have less of a problem, but, by definition, most bloggers position themselves as knowing more than their readers about their subject. In this case that isn’t the case.
Thanks for such a funny and complimentary look at A Glass After Work! Writing the blog has definitely been an exciting and rewarding challenge, so I appreciate knowing that others are enjoying the results.
This is a great blog site. I just started a related blog on gourmet jogging – pretty much running the wineroads of France for the present time. Check out my initial posts on the topic and gourmet runs in Champagne. Next up, Alsace & Burgundy. (www.gourmetjogger.com & http://www.twitter.com/gourmetjogger)
Alleigh is an enthusiastic amateur. Almost all of us in the winewriting business started that way.
There are many blogs whose lack of “professionalism” is obvious. But even if that is the case here, it is also tremendously readable, and who knows, this interesting voice may be part of the generation of bloggers who eventually make a difference. Being easy to read and smart go a long way in journalism.
Here’s a test for bloggers who would be journalists: make a dozen consecutive entries without the use of the personal pronouns I, me, my, and mine.
Man, would I fail that test.
My point is that while some who blog may be journalists, blogging is not necessarily journalism.
The forum for journalism–newspapers, magazines, both in print and online–may include opinion pieces, but journalism is not merely op-eds; it is a profession that takes some training and skill.
Blogging is like keeping a journal, but you wouldn’t automatically call a journalist someone who keeps a journal or a diary.
I agree with you once again! I was kind of breaking my own balls a bit, but I’m not a would be journalist…just a silly blogger.
I know. I just thought I’d explain anyway…
Really: this blending of the words blogging and journalism is as bothersome to me as the blurring between opinions and facts.
True. Most blogging is either opinion or classic criticism. Rarely journalism in its strictest, news gathering form. However, a wine blog could be a venue for journalism in its strictest, news gathering form.
Tom, thanks for the tip, just checked out “a glass after work” and couldn’t agree more about the read-ability of the blog.
One thing that jumped out immediately was Alleigh’s purpose statement directly under the title of her blog. It is surprising that some commenters either skipped past or did not notice this part of the blog. A Glass After Work seems to be written from a very self aware and humorously open minded perspective from which many bloggers as well as readers could benefit.
I know that a blog can be a venue for journalism. My objection is that blogging would be automatically called journalism by some.