Thousands of self-proclaimed wine critics have sprung up on the internet. Here are the blogs who have something worthwhile to discuss.
Someone somewhere, at any hour of the day or night, is writing about wine on a blog—the now-ubiquitous online journal. Blogs allow you to express yourself in an unedited, conversational, and passionate manner. They can also react to events in the wine market much faster than any print media could. Wine Blog Watch allows you to keep track of dozens of wine blogs (wineblogwatch.arrr.net). Despite the fact that the most of them are rambling and full of boring recitations of “wines I’ve tasted,” a handful stand out for their quality and timeliness. The ones included here represent the greatest of the wine blogs, as well as a wide range of viewpoints—from obsessive amateur to full-fledged wine professional.
Importer of Wine
Joe Dressner is a co-owner of Louis/Dressner Selections, an American wine importer that specialises in small producers, primarily French wines from well-known names such as Bernard Baudry and Didier Barrouillet. He runs one of the least pompous blogs on the Web when he isn’t travelling the world on business. It’s intelligent and opinionated, as seen by a recent piece about the condition of wine tasting. “Wine isn’t a tool for egotism, bravado, or self-promotion.” All of the top ‘tasters’ I’ve met can put their ego aside and grasp what’s in the bottle.”
Vinography, possibly the Web’s most popular and comprehensive wine blog, is operated by Alder Yarrow, a San Francisco high-tech consultant and wine fanatic. He’s infatuated with what he refers to as his “second career,” as are many bloggers. “I blog instead of watching TV,” he says. “I feel that telling stories about a wine helps it escape the sphere of high status, when all we know about it is the price,” says the author. Vinography also includes Yarrow’s restaurant reviews in addition to his wine writing. For example, he praises Quince in San Francisco’s duck and quince salad, ravioli, and, yes, the wine list. There are also connections to stories from magazines, newspapers, and other blogs on the site.
Blog of Jamie Goode
Jamie Goode is a British wine writer who contributes to various well-known English wine publications and operates the Wine Anorak website, which features outstanding articles about wine travel, winemakers, and wine tasting. He save his more informal writing for his blog, where he’s refreshingly open about the life of a wine expert. “We’ve seen a significant increase in the amount of samples arriving at Goode… It’s not that samples are bad; rather, the issue is that you wind up focusing on a skewed population of wines—those that individuals are most eager to sell.”
The Wine Blog of Dr. Vino
Dr. Vino, a.k.a. Tyler Colman, is a doctor, having completed his PhD dissertation on the political economy of the wine industry in France and the United States at Northwestern University. He settled into full-time wine writing and instruction after two years of teaching political science. Colman thoughtfully investigates the nexus of wine, politics, and business on his blog (part of the Dr. Vino Web site). For example, he recently described how the Costco case before the Seattle federal district court could result in an even greater breakdown of the three-tier wine distribution structure than the Supreme Court’s recent decision on interstate wine transport in straightforward, compelling terms.
Veritas in Vino is a Latin phrase that means “truth in wine.”
Alice Feiring, a wine and travel columnist for Time magazine, writes about everything from biodynamic winemaking to matching wild ramps with red Burgundy on her blog. “I’m looking for the Leon Trotskys, Philip Roths, Chaucers, and Edith Whartons of the wine business,” she writes in her mission statement. My goal is for my wines to create a compelling storey. I want them to be natural, and above all, I want them to tell it as it is, even if we disagree.”
Despite the fact that Craig Camp, a former Italian wine importer, just relocated from Italy to Oregon to work at Anne Amie Vineyards, he still maintains the most comprehensive and well-informed blog about Italian wine. It’s chock-full of useful producer profiles and taste comments, including Fattoria Zerbina in Romagna, which isn’t well-known. He often writes on restaurants, comparing Boccondivino in Milan to a museum and concluding enthusiastically, “I love art.”
Vineyards and Wine Tasting in France
Bertrand Celce, a French photographer, travels the country’s wine regions, documenting his meetings with vignerons in both vibrant photographs and a smattering of English. Celce, for example, covers Junko Arai, a Japanese wine importer who has lately started making wine in the Loire and describes her efforts to obtain appellation classification for her bottlings. Celce also has advice on everything from corks to the best wine bars in Paris, both legendary (the venerable Caves Legrand) and local (Le Verre à Pied).