wine

A Quick Contribution to Jeremy Parzen’s Conversation

Yesterday Jeremy Parzen posted an article in response to Alder Yarrow’s assertion that wine bloggers are an endangered species. Check out Jeremy’s article here over at Dobianchi.com [His post has a link to Alder’s article, should you be interested in it.]

I could write volumes in response to Alder Yarrow’s post, however I will be as succinct as possible below.

I think Alder has some relevant points; however, I think he’s missing 2 very large
elements; audience and education.

From his post, it appears that he didn’t continue to engage in the blogging world and only referenced sources of his past familiarity. He seems rather insular with his perspective, not bothering to look past his own peer group. There is so much attrition in unpaid, and at best, freelance writing within every genre; sports, cooking, travel…etc.

And social media is now just that, media. People access information on multi platforms, Instagram and Twitter are just as instrumental [and an absolute necessary companion to any website]. The modern wine blogger is more interactive, accessible and a resource rather than an authoritative proclamation.

Boomer engagement was extremely dogmatic, tiresome and characterless. Gen Xers, Millennials are much more into making their own decision, being into the why, what and how of understanding what goes into the glass. Think of the multitude of wine books written in the past decade, everything from digging into soil composition to the history of skin contact wines, to a comprehensive examination of hundreds of Italy’s native grapes, to an extensive exploration of the world’s volcanic terroir.

Armed with a year of reading the then slim amount of wine books, I began writing about wine in 2011. I now hold multiple certifications in wine, with no intention of stopping. In 2019, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) had the largest amount of graduates in its 50 year history. 532 graduates from over 40 countries, compared with 84 from the UK only in 1970.

Wine writers wishing to advance their knowledge beyond their own research can now choose from numerous programs; Wine Scholar Guild [offering certifications in Italian, French and Spanish wines] and Italian Wine Central are just 2 of the instructor led, online certification programs available.

We, the wine writers, know more, and the audience knows more. We continue, along with our readers to learn and explore.

5 comments on “A Quick Contribution to Jeremy Parzen’s Conversation

  1. Alder is definitely one of giants whose shoulders we walk on. But he seems to be stuck in a time capsule. In his response to my response (on social media), he argued that Instagram users are not bloggers, that podcasts are not blogs. His views on blogging don’t seem to align with the field’s evolution. It was only natural that some of the newer writers would opt to host their long-form work on platforms other than WordPress.com or stand-alone WordPress-fired sites. And then there are TONS of multiple-user platforms today like Forbes and Medium. Some writers like Instagram, some Facebook, some Medium, etc. but they are all still posting regular updates about their experience on an online platform in the form of a digital journal. Sounds like blogging to me! The big watershed moment of blogging was that you didn’t have to have a mainstream platform (like a newspaper) to be taken seriously and have your voice heard — especially if you had something compelling to say. In my view, long-form posts on social media were the natural evolution of blogging.

    Cara, yours is one of my favorite wine blogs right now (you already know that!). It’s so pure and the information you post is so useful — on so many levels.

    I love what you say about how blogging has reshaped the world’s perceptions of wine. Amen to that!

    Thanks for the shout-out. Hope to get to taste with you soon!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s funny how you keep mentioning Alder Yarrow being one of the “giants whose shoulders we walk on”, when you are someone that so many look up to. Your relationship with winemakers and dedication to all aspects of Italian culture is renowned. Your compliments are such an honour 🙂

      It is disappointing to observe close minded individuals clinging to a certain mindset. Social media has revolutionized just about every facet of life. And whilst the merits of that can be argued, it is impossible to deny the implications. I have friends and colleagues around the globe that I only have met through various forms of social media. Many of whom I have been able to meet up with in person. Such an amazing opportunity we are given! The ability to talk to anyone, anywhere is what keeps us all exploring and learning together.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the comments Cara. In terms of the suggestion that I was, in an insular manner, not looking past my peer group, that would have resulted in my list of wine bloggers numbering about 40. Before I pruned it back last week, it had more than 700 blogs linked on it. I have been adding to that list for years, as people discovered the list and asked to have their names added, and as I heard about new wine blogs.

    One of the benefits of my article was that around 20 wine bloggers reached out and asked to be added to my list, and several other folks mentioned blogs that they thought should be included. That was great.

    Of course, that was 30 additions after having removed several hundred blogs that have been abandoned in the last 10 years.

    Regards,

    Alder

    Like

    • Your statement “wine blogging is not quite what it once was would be an understatement” is absolutely true. It has developed and changed over the past decade. Yes, it has evolved from when you began, however this does not indicate that it is a decayed corpse. The range of people writing/speaking about wine globally is incredibly vast.

      I have been writing about wine for a decade, clearly you have just become aware of my presence in the context of an article about your article. There are thousands of people just like me; diverse people from around the world, passionately dedicated to their websites/podcasts/Instagram/Twitter platforms, sharing their knowledge, experience and perspective with the world.

      Just because people didn’t ask to be put on some list of wine bloggers, does not mean they don’t exist or matter.

      I actually feel sorry for you, you really are missing out on such an engaged, devoted, enthusiastic community that spans the globe.

      Like

      • Not sure why you would feel sorry for me. You seem to suggest I’m deliberately ignoring some segment of the wine communication world. I follow hundreds of wine folks on Instagram and Twitter and listen to several wine podcasts, and I have for many years. For whatever reason I had not come across you, but now that’s fixed (thank you Jeremy).

        Your implication that somehow I feel that if someone isn’t on my list they don’t matter (or exist) is 100% putting words in my mouth. Though from a purely philosophical standpoint, anyone I had never heard of obviously didn’t exist for me personally, but that’s a statement of fact, not a statement of moral judgment, which is what you seem to be suggesting.

        I’d love for my list of wine blogs to be as complete as possible, which is why I’ve added anyone to it that I can find anytime I could for the last 17 years. If there’s a whole swath of wine blogs I’m missing, I hope you or others will tell me. As I noted above, that’s been one extremely positive outcome of my article — discovering some new ones.

        To be clear, my list is not a list of wine twitter accounts, or a list of wine instagram accounts, or a list of wine podcasts — and that’s by design. I’m not aware of anyone who has made a definitive/authoritative list of such wine-focused accounts in the same way I have tried to do for wine blogs. I’ll leave that to someone else. Maybe you?

        In the meantime please try to remember that I’m just a guy writing about wine based in my own personal passion, for free, in my spare time, just like you. Let’s be kind to one another, no?

        Like

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