Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

We can only wish ...

We can only wish …

 

Let me be clear. I don’t make wine. I have never made wine. Everything I may know about making wine comes first from books and secondly from correlating what winemakers say about making wine with how their wines taste.

Over the years, I have accumulated a lot of “learning”, and I can now say with full conviction that there is no one way to make wine.

I have heard all the theories, listened as winemakers proclaimed everything from biodynamics to barrel aging, from high acid to high approachability as the only answers, the “right” answers.

I have had to hold my tongue with some difficulty as winemaker after winemaker disparaged their peers whose wines I have praised in print. “Added a little water”? “Added acid”? “Used more than 25% new oak”? All verboten.
Read on …

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(by Gemma Correll)

 

My sixth Wine Bloggers Conference was approached with trepidation. I’ve been questioning the utility of the semantics of “blogger” and “wine blogger” of late. Also, I knew nothing of Penticton, British Columbia. Finally, very few of my closer blogging-friends and colleagues would be in attendance.

The format was the same. Bring together “wine bloggers” in a wine region to discover that region, learn about wines from other parts of the world, explore their wine writing avocation amongst their peers and strengthen the camaraderie of the group. It turns out my trepidation was without merit. It was a very successful conference for me despite nearly coughing up my lungs with a nasty bout of the flu. I learned a lot this weekend.

1. Modern Greek Vin Santo is an amazing wine and should be discovered by all wine lovers.

2. Lungs can’t actually be “coughed up”, but you can exercise and tighten up your stomach muscles in the process of discovering it’s not possible.

3. Penticton, British Columbia really is a “must visit” for serious wine lovers, and its “Penticton Lakeside Resort” was the most beautiful venue yet for a Wine Bloggers Conference.

4. It would do all wine bloggers good to focus equally as much on the quality of their writing as on the extent of their wine knowledge.

 

Read on …

stiletto boot and mouse

 

While the empty bottles have long been gathered, the words continue to flow following the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference, which concluded just a few days ago, in Penticton, British Columbia.

The Wine Blogger’s Conference has run for six years now, and this year brought together over 200 bloggers who share their love of the ancient fare either in personal blogs or with paid gigs at magazines or newspapers. It’s an enormous networking opportunity, as well as a chance to personally meet growers and bottlers, who want to make media connections of their own, and to show appreciation.

It’s also a sign of just how much wine blogging’s combined and varied voice has grown lately. Increasingly, readers are adding what’s served up to their RSS feeds, as digital sommeliers help them figure out what wines go with life in general.

Wine bloggers are far more than individuals who toss one back then bandy about terms like “oaky” or “buttery”, “grassy” or “mellow” for the rest of us to decipher. They truly want to broaden the wine-tasting experiences of their readers, trying out perhaps lesser-known wines from around the globe, in search of unique flavors that vintners have brought forth through a variety of secretive techniques. Bloggers Peter and Nancy at Pull That Cork just recently covered their experience with wines from South Africa, while blending in a history of the wine-growing history of the Cape area.
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As he often does, wine scribe Joe Roberts wrote something relevant the other day. He explained that for those considering how they might make a name for themselves, for their writing and for their wine knowledge through publishing, this person should strongly consider SPECIALIZING.

By this, Joe simply means it’s much easier to get the attention of potential readers if your authority and wine writing revolves around a specific subject within the wine niche, rather than trying to publish information that broadly falls under the larger subject heading of “Wine”. In other words, the writer looking to gain an audience for his wine thoughts and ideas is more likely to achieve a larger audience by writing regularly and authoritatively on “Zinfandel”, than just on “wine”.

I’ve heard this advice before. I’ve been in seminars where this advice is given. I’ve given this advice myself. But what you rarely hear is advice on exactly what niche wine subject is ripe for owning by a smart, new writer dreaming of success as an author or blogger. What you don’t hear is someone pointing out a subject area that has largely been ignored, but that is also ripe for extensive examination and exploration because it’s a fairly large niche. Identifying that kind of subject matter would be a gift to the wine loving writer that wants to make their mark.

This is what I’m going to do right now.
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The health lobby in France has invoked the Evin Law in a call for stricter limits on what bloggers and social media users can write about wine online.

 
A report on the issues of addiction in France entitled ‘Les Dommages Liés Aux Addictions et les Strategies Validées pour Reduire Ces Dommages’ (Damage related to addictions and strategies for reducing the damage) is being prepared as part of the background to forming government policy from 2013-2017.

One of the suggestions put forward is that alcohol promotion should be formally forbidden on the internet and social media, including promotion of wine.

Specific sites belonging to producers, online wine merchants or wine tourism sites would be exempt, but wine bloggers would fall under the definition of sites that would be no longer authorised, as would any specific advertising or promotion of wine.
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The key to winery social media success is to stay consistent and keep up-to-date with your fans by posting comments about your winery.

 

It’s easy to open a page and be committed to it for a while, but then feeling it’s too time consuming, or getting stumped with writers block, you begin to slowly drift away and hope that the page is running itself. We previously posted a blog about a program we offer, where you can effectively spend 20 minutes a week on Facebook promoting your winery to your customers and now we have a plan to help you utilize those 20 minutes by engaging those clients with 5 Great Topics to Post to Your Facebook Page.

Post about Your Winery Production

Club and potential club members will go to your Facebook page as outsiders looking in. They’re fans of your winery and they want to know what’s happening on the inside, they’ll be curious about what you’re up to. Give them visual access to the inside of your winery by posting pictures about:

•Changes or improvements of your vineyard
•Harvest Season
•Winemaking process
•Bottling
Promote an Event
I can’t remember the last time I got an actual paper invitation in the mail. All of my invitations come electronically anymore. If you want to build wine club memberships, generate a guest list or interest to an upcoming event, or discuss a post event, upload it to Facebook. Share photos and posts of:

•A venue you’re going to that may be outside of your winery
•Internal events that are coming up
•Post internal events
•Release of a new vintage
•A special wine tasting
•A successful cooking class
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Everyone is a critic!

Everyone is a critic!

 

Twice in the past several months, the wine world has been rocked by news from Robert Parker, the world’s most famous wine critic.

In December, Parker announced that he’d sold a “substantial interest” in the Wine Advocate, the influential magazine he founded in 1978, to a trio of Singapore-based investors—and that he’d relinquished editorial control. In February, one of Parker’s top critics, Antonio Galloni, said that he’d left the publication to start an online enterprise.

Parker, who popularized the 100-point scale for reviewing wine, is nearly 66. So he can’t be faulted for wanting to slow down. But thanks to this pair of stories, oenophiles finally seem ready to admit that wine criticism is changing.

Consumers don’t need—or want—centralized gatekeepers telling them what they should or shouldn’t drink. Consumers still need advisors, of course, but when today’s consumers want information, they’re willing to look past professional critics and instead turn to friends and trusted networks.

With travel, restaurants, movies, and so much else, this trend would hardly be worthy of commentary. TripAdvisor long ago supplanted paper-based guides like Frommer’s.

Yelp is now the holy grail of restaurant reviews, and local blogs are increasingly influential. With movies, opening the local newspaper for commentary no longer makes sense when you can check out dozens of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

With wine, however, this shift runs counter to so much of what’s sacred. Everything about wine—the bizarre tasting rituals, knowledge of obscure regions and varietals, and identifying good values—is supposed to be handed down from on high. Consumers are supposed to decide what to drink based on the advice of prominent wine critics, not mere amateurs.

 

Read on …

 

What everybody else hear them say!

What everybody else hear them say!

 

I am about to commit heresy right here in the CGCW blog. It won’t be the first time, and it probably will not be the last, but it is necessary to set the record straight. I have found out something about wine blogs, and it pains me to admit it.

We are talking to ourselves.

Now, don’t go and get all huffy, because I don’t mean that no one is reading our wonderful words, our Monday Manifestos, Wednesday Warblings and everything that comes in between, before and after. You, dear readers, are the reason we continue this blog in spite of the fact that it is not what we thought we had bargained for.

You see, we thought, in our infinite wisdom, that there was an enormous, like tens and tens of thousands, of hungry wine enthusiasts searching the internet for nuggets of wisdom. And, we therefore presumed that our pearls, our keen insights were going to attract those tens of thousands of unrequited wine word readers. Turns out that it is not so.

We get a nice, tidy readership every day, and we sometimes get comments—which we enjoy. But the readership, and especially the commenters, here and on virtually every other wine blog is pretty thin relative to what some folks would have the world believe. And while the several thousand folks who come by once in a while are very much appreciated, the folks who keep the comments section going are few and far between.

 

Read on …

 

 

Wine is social. Sure, you can drink it solo, but it’s best enjoyed with friends, food and conversation.  Selling wine is social, too. Canny wine marketers know this in their bones. The job isn’t about moving a bottle of wine across a counter. That’s just the transaction. The job is about great service, gonzo enthusiasm and killer personality.

They approach a customer, ask the right questions, listen carefully, suggest wisely. If the customer goes away smiling and the wine is a hit, the customer will come back. And next time, bring friends.

If any industry is tailored for social media, it’s wine. The proof is in the data. According to VinTank, a social media software company for the wine business, 14 million people have mentioned wine online at some point, a number that grows by 450,000 people every month. And they’re talking a lot, having 1.5 million conversations about wine online—every single day.

The bulk of this chatter happens on mainstream social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, plus wine-centric apps like CellarTracker and Delectable. People post tasting notes, bottle shots, and ratings from 88 points to Yuck to Wow! They tag their friends, who share it too. Think of social media as the breeding ground for digital word of mouth.

Now, producers, retailers, restaurateurs and buyers have joined the conversation. Getting up to speed in social media means learning a new technology, but that’s not so different from learning a new point-of-sale system (and arguably a little easier). Happily, many wine pros find that success online requires the same kind of sensitivity and savoir-faire their jobs demand in real life.

“Customers are going to talk whether you’re listening or not,” says VinTank’s CEO, Paul Mabray. “You’d answer the phone if they called you. You’d answer an email. It’s fundamental customer service to answer a tweet, or a post on your Wall. And you don’t answer in stupid promotional ways. You just say, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’”

But social media success does require a slight shift in thinking. Traditional marketing was about push. A marketer publishes a notice about a holiday sale, or the arrival of a scarce Bordeaux, hoping customers will come pouring in.

Social media is about pull. Instead of broadcast-and-pray, a marketer goes where the customers are, connects with them, and engages with them on their terms.
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Also read:

You have to tweet , when you have to tweet!

 

 

When do people use social media like Facebook or Twitterr? Nearly half (48.6 percent) do it while in the “reading room,” according to a recent online survey by CreditDonkey.com, a credit card comparison website.

 

And almost as many — 47.6 percent — admitted to doing it while drunk.
According to the survey, those who use social media when nature calls are more likely to be checking Facebook than tweeting.
They are also less likely to do their online shopping while gazing at the screen in the toilet, the survey found.
Males are more likely to engage in both toilet tweeting and drunk posting, says CreditDonkey, perhaps because of the ubiquitous smartphone.
Other survey highlights include:
• 51.4 percent of male respondents have used social media while under the influence of alcohol versus 41.4 percent of female respondents.
• 54.0 percent of male respondents have used social media while on the toilet versus 40.4 percent of female respondents.
• 43.5 percent of all respondents use their smartphone mostly for social networking.

Read on …