Wine Blog Awards: Four Reasons Why You Should Care- and Vote
When I was a Viticulture & Enology student at UC Davis, I noticed what I’ll call a slightly unholy alliance between the place and a well-known winemaking AVA just about an hour to the north west of campus (hint: it starts with an “N” and ends with an “apa”.) All my fellow students seemed to want to work there. All the wineries we got tasting samples from were based there. And all of the free copies of the major national wine publications in the student lounge seemed only to profile wine from there. And so my appreciation of the wine roads, and of wine communications media, less traveled began (maybe that’s why I stayed at Bonny Doon for so long?).
Like diversity? Like democracy? Like the weird, the wacky, the informative, the brilliant and creative? Heck, just like to waste some quality time bopping around online? Then make sure your voice is heard in the 2014 Wine Blog Awards*. Voting closes Thursday, June 19 at midnight. Here are four reasons why you should care, and why you should vote:
The Wine Blog Awards……
-Encourage consumer choice in wine writing and review beyond the “Big 5″ publications
Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Food & Wine, Decanter, and Wine & Spirits have long dominated the arena of wine review, wine commentary and wine edutainment. They are polished publications, each with their own angle, and each with a stable of talented writers and creatives. They also each have stables of advertisers and marketers and as such must be recognized as the commercial concerns they are. The Wine Blog Awards help break open this hegemony by encouraging new writers and communicators coming from many different places in the wine world to share their experiences.
-Encourage diversity in the world of wine media
Though the Wine Blog Award winners have historically been mostly male, this year provides the most gender, ethnically and nationality-mixed slate of finalists in all nine categories I’ve seen since the Wine Blog Awards’ inception in 2007. This is a much better record than the largely white, male and middle aged editors and writers at most major wine publications. Perhaps more importantly, it more accurately reflects the real world of wine consumers and the wine industry.
-Provide a curated list of “who to follow” in the crowded wine media space
The Internet is a crowded and noisy place. The Wine Blog Awards, and especially the larger list of finalists in all nine categories, really provide a nice one-stop-shop of likely folks to follow. Whether you enjoy the lip-smacking snarkasm of The Hosemaster of Wine, love the gorgeous drawings at Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews or want to experience wine country when you’re not on vacation by visiting Lynmar Estate’s wine blog, there’s something for just about everyone. Be sure to check out a list of historical award winners here to even further expand your wine education, commentary and experience universe.
-Provide recognition for those making strides in writing, photography and video in the wino-sphere.
We don’t have any James Beard Awards, Pulitzers or even 100 Point scores. Heck, wine bloggers (especially those focusing on wine reviews) don’t really get much recognition beyond the occasional invitation from a wine region to come and cover them or a shout out on social media. Everyone pretty much has a day job and does it, especially at the start, for the love of wine and community. Though don’t get me wrong, some of the Wine Blog Award finalists and winners are of course PR/Marketing products of their respective wineries, they should absolutely be applauded for what they’re doing. Rewarding “Excellence in New Media” is, after all, what the Wine Blog Awards are about.
I am thrilled when wineries (and other businesses, like Wine.com) see the power of investing in their storytelling and opening new avenues of communication. I love it when a wine lover like Bill Eyer at Cuvee Corner starts up a page about their passion and as a result creates a larger community with their family, friends and the social media wine world. Only by putting ourselves out there can we discover, and help others uncover, the “wine road less traveled” and break open a window into the wild, wacky and wonderful world that is wine.
Alison Crowe is the Winemaker at Garnet Vineyards, makes wine from the North and Central Coasts and (gasp!) lives in downtown Napa with her husband and two small boys. Come hang out for more of “Winemaking, Life and the Dirt,” the musings of a winemaker, unfined and unfiltered, at www.facebook.com/GarnetVineyards.