Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Reading the Blogs

by Rob Bralow

Last week I was on Jury Duty for most of the week. It was long and boring, and it allowed my Google reader to pile up with posts. When I got back to the office on Thursday, I found over 600 blog posts waiting for me to read them.

Oh yes, I took a look at every one of them. But I really did not read most of them. The vast majority of the posts were wine reviews. Are they interesting? Not really. Seriously, reading the tasting notes of 200 people over 7 days is almost worse than sitting in a windowless room deciding the fate of another person.

It is just that tasting notes from someone else do not really mean anything to me. There are a few bloggers that I might ask for a Zinfandel recommendation, because they live in the heart of Zinland. If I did not turn to my friend who works at Sunset Corners in Miami (she's a bubbly fanatic) there are one or two bloggers that I might ask for advice.

But what are people writing about right now? The answer is whatever marketers are sending out samples of. And that is low priced, high volume wines that everyone has named "value" wines. So far I have tasted many of these "value" wines and I value very few of them. Therefore, I am not really interested in the majority of reviews of these wines. Whenever I see a review of a wine I have tasted, I stop a moment to see if they author agreed with my taste. I have found more and more that I find glowing reviews of wines that I do not think are worth the price of the glass the wine is in.

What I do read are the commentaries that very few bloggers write about the wine industry and their experiences. Not necessarily the review of the wines, but their view on how the wine industry is moving. These are interesting and incite my curiosity. I want to know what these writers are thinking. I want to see if I agree or disagree. I want to know how their ideas will become the next evolution of new media, of wine sales, and of how all of us think about wine.

I will definitely be one that writes reviews of wines I have tasted, because that is what I do, it is the reason why wineries send me their wines. But hopefully I will intersperse nuggets of interesting commentary throughout my wine reviews to keep you interested in my writing.

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