Folks, I am here to offer you the chance to be the initial subscribers to my new publication, The WineBlog Advocate, an independent consumers guide to readworthy blogs about wine.
Each bi-monthly issue will feature hundreds of reviews of wine blogs around the world, assuming I can find that many, and will provide you with valuable information that will help you sort out the readworthy from the not-so-readworthy.
Here's a sample of what to expect:
The WineBlog Advocate
The independent consumer’s guide to readworthy wine blogs
The WineBlog Advocate rating system:
It is my belief that while my reading notes are the primary means of communicating my critical judgments to you, a numerical rating system is helpful to provide a quick overview as to my estimate of a wine-related blog’s quality. I rate these blogs according to a 50-100 point scale, based on the following criteria:
96-100 points: A superb blog, on par with the sublime quality of classical literature. Worthy of being read in the finest literary circles anywhere in the known world. Blogs of this caliber are required reading day in and day out and deserve to be placed first on the “favorites” list of any browser. Snooty enough to be discussed by intellectuals and those who use obscure terms.
90-95 points: An outstanding blog, full of terrific topics that stimulate the reader and compel him or her to keep clicking the “more” button when the content is continued on another page. Pretty pictures, too.
80-89 points: A somewhat above-average to very good blog, offering worthwhile content of interest to the majority of the population with average IQ's or those in the middle of the bell curve. Grammar and spelling is correct and typographical errors are at a minimum.
70-79 points: An “eh” blog, with little to distinguish it from any other blog on the internet but nevertheless acceptable reading if you have nothing better to do in your life.
60-69 points: A below-average blog, with little to recommend it and providing an excellent example of the dangers of allowing anyone with a computer to access the internet and type away.
50-59 points: A literary disaster, written by, and intended for, cretins. The type of literature written by people who begin their letters with, “Dear XXX, how are you? I am fine.”
Sample wineblog reviews:
Wine on the Barbie Blog: http://wineonthebarbie.blogsdownunder.com
This Australian blog is bursting with bold, vivacious content that is not shy about inciting its readers to comment on controversial topics. This is not your traditional wine blog but instead, it takes off the gloves with a heavy, in-your-face writing style that gets your attention. While some may feel it is overdone, I was impressed by the layers upon layers of topical relevance that permeated the entire postings from start to finish. This is a big, hard-hitting blog with gobs of content. 94 points.
Les Raisin d’Autre blog: http://lesraisindautre.blogduvin.com
You can probably surmise from the title that this wonderful blog has its origin in France. One thing I notice about France-based blogs, and that is you can tell what region or city the blogger is from based on their writing style. Michel Gagnier, the author, is based in the southern Rhone area.
This WineBlog seems to tackle several topics at a time, and I have seen up to 13 different ones mentioned all on the same post on occasion. Gagnier writes in a peppery style, one that I might even call “stony” at times. More restrained than the previously reviewed Wine on the Barbie blog, nevertheless one is impressed by the content that surfaces upon repeated readings of the blog. I was impressed by how long the content stayed with me throughout the day. 91 points.
Winepeople blog: http://winepeople.blogertainment.com
The “about us” section of Winepeople blog tells the reader that its purpose is to provide an in-depth examination of the wine world via up-close and personal, no-holds-barred interviews with the winemakers, primarily in California where this blog is based.
Unfortunately, this blog is so full of fluff and a desire to be politically correct that it completely fails in its mission. It is also difficult to distinguish between the blog’s content versus the garish abundance of Google ads flung across the page vying for the reader’s attention. Here is an excerpt from a recent blog, an interview with Josh Tingle, the winemaker of Kern County’s Ichabod Winery:
Winepeople: Hey Josh, so we hear that 2007 was a difficult growing season.
Josh: A disaster.
Winepeople: Well cheer up, there’s always 2008. That holds grape expectations for you, we bet! Maybe 2007 isn’t completely down the drain yet, though.
Der Winerschnitzel blog: http://derwinerschnitzel.blogunkamperschmidtertrockenlese.com
I was duly impressed by this blog’s content. Subtle, not tiring to read, but I am afraid that most readers will be turned off and not even give this blog a chance because of the intricate levels of organization within each post. Each entry follows a very strict outline that, while very helpful once you understand it, can be extremely confusing to the uninitiated reader. This is a highly structured, yet also highly tasteful blog and I ask you readers to please give it a chance and don’t give up because of the initial difficulty in understanding what it is trying to say. 88 points.
One Wine Per Week blog: http://onewineperweek.blogspot.com
I could not tell exactly what the purpose of this blog was, and the writer seems to be in a constant state of distorted reality. Completely unreadable, don’t even waste your bandwidth on this one. 50 points. Makes me consider adjusting my point scale.
And there you have it, my potential readers. A subscription to the WineBlog Advocate is $75 per year with unlimited access to current and archived reviews, as well as the link library. If you are interested, drop a note in the comment section and you'll get what is coming to you.