From Flogging to Blogging,The Evolution of Wine Discussion

Novices and oenophiles alike are flocking to the internet to discuss wine.

In ancient times, people were openly humiliated and “flogged” (beaten) for consuming a glass of wine in public. Today, hundreds of thousands of wine lovers are blogging on the internet, every day, to learn about and share everything connected to the wonderful world of wine.

Blogging is quickly becoming a powerful communication tool in all areas of life… the world of wine is no exception. From wine drinkers who are discussing what they drank with their dinner the night before, to wine sellers who are quickly realizing the scope and impact of this medium, millions are entering the world of blogging to voice their opinions and solicit recommendations.

Wine lovers – both the novice and the oenophile – are flocking to wine blogs to voice opinions and solicit suggestions and feedback. Online sellers of wine are using this creative approach to gather information about their customers and also to monitor the types of wine and online wine sales practices that they desire, like and dislike. Wineries are using blogs to describe the processes used in making their wines, new vintages of a “limited” nature and recipes that use the wines they offer for sale.

However, with this surge of attention comes the problem of commercially-motivated reviews. Some wine suppliers, both online and in-store, are offering financial gain in return for favorable product review on their sites. When “blogging” originated a decade ago, it meant something entirely different. It was simply a discussion board designed for freedom of speech on any topic.

Today, it has become a staple of our lives that gives companies a “cool” image with the younger generation and others, the opportunity to make a buck by posting prejudicial product reviews. Google “wine blog” and stare in amazement at the list of three-quarter of a million websites that contain that phrase.

Sites that are not simply based on the “blog” factor are often the ones where wine novices and enthusiasts alike can be sure to find quality content posted by real people who simply want to share their views on wine, with no hidden agenda motivated by financial gain. Bloggers on these sites want to share and read wine reviews, share recipes with wine, discuss wine and food pairings, etc. Right now blogs will include suggestions about the best wines to serve at your Thanksgiving dinner table and the best holiday wines and sparkling champagnes to include at your holiday gatherings.

The wine blogging sites can also provide a wealth of information regarding where to purchase wine racks and accessories online, wine gift baskets … just about anything the wine novice or connoisseur might want or need. These wine blogs and forums vary in size and content. It’s easy to get lost in some of the larger blogs that boast thousands of members … there’s just too much information there to process for the normal mind. Finding a smaller, more intimate blog where there’s a feeling of family, can provide a far better blogging experience, especially for the wine novice.

Buying anything online has morphed into big business … buying wine online is no exception. But there is so much to choose from; it can be intimidating, to say the least. Wine blogging – if done properly and honestly, without financial gain – can be a wonderful place to find the hidden treasures you would otherwise overlook. Whether it be wine, wine racks, wineries, wine gift baskets … or anything else in the world of wine…a blog can be a great place to gather the information you need to make the right choices.

So tonight … when you’re enjoying a glass of your favorite vintage … be grateful that you can blog without being flogged!

By Dan Maynard