Last Friday & Saturday I attended the first annual Wine Blogger’s Conference held at the venerable Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa. In addition to attending several tastings, meeting so many wonderful new & talented people, and finally attaching faces to the names, I had the opportunity to serve on a panel for one of the breakout sessions. This session discussed the relationship between wineries and bloggers, and how they perceive the role each plays to the other. It got a bit heated at times — journalistic integrity was a key point with some members of the blogging community dead set against accepting ads from wineries, and others in favor. But ultimately, we all agreed that we are all passionate about wine & want the stories to be told, no matter what the medium.
Which brings me to the inspiration I had from this talented group. My take away is this — the medium is not the blogger. Nor is it the internet. The MEDIUM is wine itself. Wineries & bloggers alike are the shared participants, and often the users. We are both serving wine…so to speak. And the reader, be he/she a member of the blogging community, a winery, a retailer/restaurateur, a distributor, or hopefully, a wine loving consumer of any kind, is the beneficiary of this medium. The story told transcends scores or even opinions. It is a vehicle to start a dialogue, and to tell the story behind the wine — something no other media seems to do anymore. It is the story that invites the reader to taste the wine and for that individual to make a decision about the wine for him/herself.
Thank you to all who put this great conference together and here’s to keeping it going next year. I’d love to hear from any of the attendees what they thought of the experience. And for those readers of this blog, please, click through on my blogroll to any of the really great blogs listed. There is a ton of great content out there written by some severely talented folks. And remember to comment back to any/all of them. Again, blogging is the start of a conversation, not the end.
Drink…and blog charitably! Thanks.