The Best From the Wine Web in 2010
It’s that time of year when people pull out their Top, Best Of and Year in Review lists. All for jumping on the bandwagon, I decided to pull together three lists that recap my year in wine blogging. In this post I share my favorite articles across the bloggersphere, top wine stories, and my favorite post from each month of 2010. Later this week, I’ll reveal my top 10 value wines (under $15) and the top 10 wines of the year.
One of the earlier wine blogs I connected with was Joe Roberts from 1winedude.com. Joe’s interview with author Robin Goldstein (Wine Trials) was my favorite wine news post of the month. The 70+ comments provide a ton of reading fodder as well.
January marked the premier of one of my favorite weekly posts, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from Ben Simons of Vinotology.com. Most weeks, Ben provides a humorous look at news from the wine world.
The top post from Nectar Wine Blog (previously DrinkNectar) is a still very relevant post called, Is Facebook Tweeting Hurting Your Business? While the practice of Tweeting your Facebook status may be efficient, it can have a negative effect. Check out my reasoning why.
Thanks to people like Rick Bakas of Bakas Media and Craig Drollett of Taste Live, online taste and tweets became commonplace in 2010. Events in 2010 allowed me to explore wine from Chile, Virginia, Texas, and Michigan and celebrate #WAMerlot, #CaliCabs, #CabernetDay, #SauvBlanc, #Chardonnay, #WAWine, #Champagne, and more.
Wine Bloggers Bite the Big One: This post from @DirtySouthWine (aka Hardy Wallace, aka NPAHardy) was in response to recent allegations that wine blobbers are a bunch of non-influential, wine whores railing against traditional media and seeking free wine. This amazing post will have you laughing from poop to chainsaws.
The most active post on my site for February tapped into a vein of hostility toward restaurant wine prices. Wine Ripped off and Ticked Off (60+ comments) – A look at the horrible wine practices of restaurants and their 400% mark-up, uninspired wine lists and crappy wine glasses.
For me, March was a break out month with #WAMerlot. The partnership with 10 Washington wine writers helped make many connections that have turned into friendships. The month ended with a great trip to Seattle to participate in Taste Washington. It was actually during that visit that some of the initial ideas for Nectar Tasting Room began to develop.
Two of my favorite wine blogs provided highlights from March. Tamara Belgard of the now quiet Sip with Me blog (Tamara now works in marketing for Cana’s Feast Winery in Oregon) writes an incredibly sensual post titled, My Date With Pinot Noir. Warning, either have a cold shower running or your significant other nearby. The second highlight is an ambitious series from this year’s recipient of Best New Wine Blog, SwirlSmellSlurp.com. The “his and her” blog has attempted to taste wine from all 50 states in the series United Slurps of America. At last check the team has sipped through wine from 17 states.
While not necessarily one of the most viewed posts of the month, it is one of the events I am most proud of in 2010. “The Night Merlot Was King” was the recap of the #WAMerlot event. Through social media a group of bloggers was able to mobilize 100 wineries to showcase Washington Merlot for online and offline events.
April marked the mobilization of the online wine community against House bill HR5034. Industry heavy hitters Tom Wark and Free the Grapes helped generate significant buzz against the bill that threatens to limit how wineries can ship wine to customers. I strongly urge you to join the American Wine Consumers Coalition to stay informed on important news that impacts wine consumers.
Wine Enthusiast contributor Steve Heimoff provides some great content to the wine blogging world. Steve Heimoff’s’ post “5 Questions for Robert Parker” generated 50+ comments. Steve asks the questions respectfully and eloquently.
My most viewed post – 7 Social Media No Brainers – While these tips may seem basic, I guarantee there is more than one that you’re not doing. I see these basic rules broken every day. You should check it out. Let me know if you are doing ALL seven.
Some of the most re-hashed stories of the year provided hours of reading enjoyment and online debate. While not specifically occurring in May, seemingly every blogger has covered the topics of wine scores / 100 point score and Biodynamics. Palate Press presents a very well thought out insight into credibility and how Robert Parker may have hurt his street cred by introducing something better than 100 points. VIEW POST.
Stuart Smith of Smith-Madrone Winery provides an alternate view to the practices of biodynamic farming on his blog Biodynamics Is a Hoax. “I submit that if you believe in science you cannot believe in Biodynamics, and the corollary is just as true, if you believe in Biodynamics you cannot believe in science.”
I’m very excited to share that the most viewed post for May was a video, picture and text recap of our journey to Lake Chelan, WA. VIEW POST – I love the Chelan area and look forward to our annual visit.
June’s landscape was dominated by the 2010 Wine Blogger’s Conference. 300+ wine bloggers, writers, trade, and media converged on Walla Walla, Washington for a showcase of the new media of wine blogging. The 2010 Wine Blog Awards recognize excellence in new media. The list of winners is a showcase of the best wine writing on the internet. The 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference will be held in Charlottesville, VA.
A post that went live in the final 3 days of the month quickly gained traction and took the lead for most viewed post in June. Behold the future of obscure sport TV, the next big reality programming…The Sport of Speed Wine Blogging!
The wine world is not immune to economic woes. 2010 news was full of wine consolidation, winery closures, and news of a glut in bulk juice around the world. In Texas we witnessed the auction, withdrawal and re-auction of Cap*Rock Winery. Similar woes beset Virginia’s Kluge Winery and California’s Cosentino Winery later in the year.
Featuring one of the more creative pieces of writing this year is a piece from Wayne Kelterer of the blog, A Long Pour. Wayne’s creative interview of the wine grape, Merlot is humorous and witty. Find out why Merlot is sad no one cares anymore.
The most viewed post of the month quickly became one of the most viewed posts of the year on Nectar Wine Blog. Take a look at some creative ways to recycle your wine bottles. I guarantee you’ll be inspired to buy a glass cutter.
Power belongs to the entrepreneur. In August (and the months that followed), I watched several of my friends step out in pursuit of their dreams to be in the wine world. Using social media to build contacts and networking connections, good people like Joe Roberts, (http://1winedude.com) Ed Thralls (http://winetonite.com), Tamara Belgard, (http://sipwithme.blogspot.com) Rick Bakas (http://bakasmedia.com), and Ben Simons (http://vinotology.com) have blazed trails of inspiration for many people.
A lot of debate occurs about the place of the 100 point scale in the wine world. Vintank, and several influential bloggers, are looking to unseat the balance of power by introducing a “BADGE” method of rating. Why We Think the Badge Concept Will Work
Perhaps one of the cleverest videos of the year belongs to the folks at Hope Family Wines in the Office like spoof to promote their new wine, Troublemaker.
As attention turned toward harvest one of most insane stories of the year was from @vinography on the story of how thieves managed to steal a ton of Syncline Winery Mourvedre grapes…right off the vine! The Wine Super Villain Strikes
News was also dominated by the unseasonably cool weather in Washington and California (the country’s premier grape growing regions). The challenge would continue through harvest with cool weather continuing in Washington and a strong late season heat wave making things challenging in California.
I really enjoyed this creative post from my friend, Taryn Miller. Her ode to Cabernet Day, “Twas the Day of Cabernet” was creative and well written poetry.
The most viewed post at Nectar Wine Blog was A Blend of Apples and Grapes – iPads in the Tasting Room.
October saw a battle of booze in Washington State. Initiatives 1100 and 1105 threatened to end the three-tier distribution system and the states monopoly on booze sales. Neither initiative was very well written and in the end they both died at the voting booth. Sean Sullivan of wawinereport.com provided a very detailed analysis of both. Sean is one of the most valuable Washington wine resources in the state!
The always humorous and self deprecating Suburban Wino kicked off his new series, Booze in the News. Joe Herrig is one of the nicest guys in the wine world and his site is a must read for those into good wine, good food, 80’s movie / TV trivia, and odd tangents.
In October, I announced the upcoming launch of Nectar Tasting Room. The shared space wine tasting room features five Washington wineries and is the culmination of the reason for starting this wine blog. I was humbled by the massive support from the wine community. Twitter analytics show that the potential reach of this announcement surpassed 250,000 people.
November / December 2010
While I’ve been buried in the work that revolved around the release of Spokane Wine Magazine and the upcoming opening of Nectar Tasting Room, the amazing wine writing continued to fill the interwebs. This creative minds at VinTank outdo themselves with this unique interview with Craig Wolf from the Wine Spirits Wholesalers Association.
Enobytes tackles the technology of QR Codes and their impact on wine, wineries and other marketing. While I don’t agree with everything in the post, the conversation that has grown in the comments contains some great insight and knowledge.
Twitter Helps Fight City Hall – My use of social media gets the traditional media’s attention as I struggle with the rigid permitting process of City Hall. The result is a collaborative meeting of compromise and progress with city officials!
Wow, what a year. As I looked back at the posts and news, I was overwhelmed with the volume and quality of content. So many things were omitted here for the sake of length. Book releases from friends Evan Dawson (http://www.evandawsonwrites.com), Paul Gregutt (http://paulgregutt.com) and Rick Bakas (http://quickbitesbook.com), consistent quality content from Jeff Lefevere (http://goodgrape.com), the building of a brand by Barbara Evans (http://seattlewinegal.com), the retirement, un-retirement and disappearance of The Hosemaster of Wine, and so much more mark an amazing 2010. Cheers to the wine blogging world and cheers to an eventful, profitable, and passionate 2011.