Is blogging killing wine writing?


A curious comment from Tim Atkin, wine writer and blogger, quoted in OLN as he picked up an award from Wine Intelligence.  WI seems to be a marketing/PR company that recently gave one to embattled WOSA CEO Su Birch (cynics may wish to count how many Wine Intelligencers crack a freebee to Cape Wine 2012 as Su has long used WOSA largesse to market her own career).  “Wine journalism is under threat from bloggers and declining interest in wine.”

wb 199x300 Is blogging killing wine writing?

I would argue that public interest in wine has changed focus, away from those laundry lists of which Carmenere to buy with curry after the variety was born out of Chilean Merlot.  While the story of Vin de Constance being the favourite tipple of Napoleon has been told once too often, like a boring but beloved grandfather telling the same story each Sunday lunch.  Wine news has moved on and interest in vin will surely rise as the sober majority visit Norman Goodfellow’s, a rite of passage on the inexorable journey to middle class status.

As for bloggers, in SA they provide a vital channel for those stories lifestyle magazines are reluctant to carry when advertisers hold the oxygen tank.  On the international scene, Jancis Robinson is perhaps the most influential wine writer, thanks to her perch on the Weekend Financial Times.  Her subscription blog with purple, as opposed to pink pages (which she relentlessly punts in the FT) must make her a fortune and give pleasure to dozens of anoraques.

Far from killing traditional wine writing, I would argue that blogs enhance the activity and as mainstream publications go increasingly electronic, wine blogging is surely the channel of the future.

This very blog is a finalist in the Brandhouse Responsible Drinking Media Awards which go down next Wednesday at a black tie bash at the One&Only in Cape Town.  This is no Wine Intelligence foefie but rather a serious attempt to focus the flighty SA media onto substantive issues.  Rather than playing patsy to self-promoters who paint bad portraits of the President with his membrum virilis alfresco, fortuitously defaced just as a TV crew passed by.  Performance Art 101 – boring.