Wine Blogging: The Most Vibrant Form of Wine Writing
Having spent more than 6 years fully immersed in the world of wine blogging and following its emergence and evolution, I think it can be said with great confidence that many of the most compelling wine voices are using this format to communicate, educate, commentate and bloviate. The blogging format is certainly the the American wine world's and wine lovers' most vibrant publishing format.
I was reminded of this true fact upon noticing today that the 2011 Wine Blog Awards, now in their 5th year of existence, are taking nominations in five categories:
Best Overall Wine Blog
Best Writing on a Wine Blog
Best New Wine Blog
Best Winery Blog
Best Single Subject Wine Blog
Best Wine Reviewer
Best Industry/Business Wine Blog
Best Graphics, Photography, Presentation on a Wine Blog
If anything of significance distinguishes wine bloggers from traditional wine publishing it is two things primarily: That wine bloggers publish in a now recognizable and predictable diarist format and that they are largely unpaid. Beyond these two factors, little separates the blogged wine writing from the traditional or commercial wine writing.
As I've mentioned before, all wine bloggers are wine writers, but not all wine writers are wine bloggers. This is simple statement of communication logistics than anything else. Today, if you are looking or compelling thoughts about wine, reviews of wine, commentary on wine, educational wine information or insight on how to discover wine, the literary traveler is able to choose from what now appears to be countless sources from blogs to magazines to on-line publications. Quality of information or resource is not what distinguishes these formats, but rather the distribution method.
This fact brings to light what I've always considered to be the great accomplishment and promise of the Wine Blog Awards: the opportunity to discover some of the best voices in the world of wine.
Chasing down the best voices in the world of wine blogging has always been difficult, particularly as the blog format began attracting so many adherents. I don't know how many wine bloggers there are today. Among the writing pros who have turned to the blog format, the enthusiasts who have introduced their thoughts via the blog, the wine professionals that have turned to blogging and the amateurs who have worked the blog format to catalogue their own unique experiences there must be easily 4-figures worth of voices using the blog to have their say. It's a gold mine for the reader, but also a task.
The Wine Blog Awards, if widely attractive and discovered many a wine lover, will help introduce readers to numerous wine writers not on radars. This makes the current nomination process of greatest importance. For the Wine Blog Awards to work well, those who read them regularly must nominate their favorites so that we all can discover these voices and so that the final contest will be waged among a well-represented crop of writers.
This is my continued hope for the Wine Blog Awards; that they will be promoted by wine bloggers themselves and that wine readers will do the same, or at least nominate their favorites so that we can see what we've been missing.