There has been a fair amount of dialogue in the blog world about the value of ‘social media’ and this ‘new age’ of communications. I’ve heard others in the wine business ask ‘How much time should I put into this?’ and ‘How can I find the time to spend blogging & ‘friending up’ and ‘linking in’?, etc.
Here’s my 2 cents — I think it is amazing. I think it is liberating. I think it is a better use of time/energy than many other efforts…and I think it is honest, fresh, real, a true connection to wine lovers, and probably the opposite of what many in the wine business might think. Many might think that this ‘virtual world’ is impersonal…and maybe a bit cloaked in hidden identities (who on Twitter uses their real names?) and vagaries. I disagree & here’s why.
I officially started in the wine business (gulp) in 1980 as a retailer in So Cal, although my informal introduction was well before I was of legal drinking age in the mid ’70′s. Back then, my brother was my ‘guru’ – the guy who turned me onto wine and was the person with whom I actually talked about wine. When I finally became legal, I mustered the strength to go to a fine wine shop to actually ‘talk’ to someone about wines I’ve enjoyed and sought advice for new discoveries. I eventually worked for that shop, became the buyer for it, and ultimately became the ‘guru’ for others seeking a dialogue about wine.
Time passed and the era of the fine wine shop…and it’s gurus…passed (for the most part). And with this also passed the dialogue…the conversation…and can I use the word in this election year, the ‘debate’ about wine? It went to the self serve environment of the grocery store (at least here in California and a good 35% of the rest of the country) and the resulting void of the Socratic method of learning and yes…discussion about wine.
Pundits ‘preaching’ about wine replaced ‘dialogue’. And for good reason. In the absence of discussion, wine was (is) imposing & intimidating, and hearing someone say that XYZ wine is a 90 in his/her book is easier than discussing a wine…they became the replacement gurus.
But it also replaced open discussion about wine with one-way pulpit-style preaching about wine. It replaced forum. Socrates, I assume, would be pissed.
So reel this back to social media. It used to be that people discussed wine – a two-way interaction. That era changed and evolved to an era of people listening about wine – a one-way interaction. This new era, using technology, the internet, & social media is a return to talking about wine – a two-way interaction – and that is a very good thing. It is open, naked, honest, conversational, controversial, and always illuminating.
This is why I am embracing this medium and why I value the integrity of the blogging community. It is a return to a discussion about wine rather than a diatribe..a pulpit. Drink Charitably is a ‘corporate’ blog (for lack of a better word – as the ‘corporation’ is really just one guy!), but it celebrates the new age of wine communication. Here’s to the new boss — same as the old boss — to quote.
Question: am I alone in this thought or do others think this medium is the return of wine discussion vs wine preaching? That it is a return to one on one interaction with people? I truly hope it is not just a replacement guru, not the new ‘gatekeepers’ – but a new age of communication…a new age of wine democracy. Let me know your thoughts — and as always…drink charitably!