The Dirtiest Word At The Wine Shows


I’ve been doing this blog for a couple of years now and still enjoy writing it. Lucky that, isn’t it? I started it off as just something to do to stop me losing the plot entirely at the end of my old career, but as time went on I felt a bit more into it as something I do. I’m a wine blogger. But if you ever want to see faces wrinkled in disdain at you, go try going to a wine trade event in the UK and tell them you’re a blogger. It’s like you’re something nasty they’ve just stepped in.

It struck me the most when I was away in Bordeaux with this Millesima blog awards thing. Toma, the guy who writes Vinopedia Serbia (pictured above), made the national news when he won his award. I’m not even sure my mum rang me! The US guys and girls that were over there brandished the title “blogger” with enthusiasm and pride. Me? I was trying to think of ways of avoiding it like the plague.

We spoke about it during the week. It’s funny isn’t it? The whole point of being a blogger is to not actually be a writer. You’ve got no ties to anyone, you’re just a normal everyday wine drinker who writes a bit on the internet to help out other everyday wine drinkers to enjoy it along with you. Blogger power in the US, in Australia, in Asia is pretty huge. In the UK, in wine at least, it’s really looked down upon, and I’ve been made to feel really shit by quite a few people.

Well enough of all that. I’m claiming it back. I’m going to go back to being a blogger, and proud to do it! No more “I’m a writer” or “I write an editorial”. Bollocks to all that. I’m a blogger, that’s what I do.


14 thoughts on “The Dirtiest Word At The Wine Shows”

  1. Same issue here in Canada really.
    I think that there’s 2 reasons that bloggers are looked down upon:
    Some of us aren’t really very good but then again I used to get shamelessly compromised wine magazines that were shit too.
    And, there is a ‘way’, a structured ‘truth’ to wine tasting, discussion, etc. that if you don’t follow it, you’re not seen as credible or serious enough by the intelligentsia of wine. There is even an educational regime (that I’m not knocking – I’m sure it’s great, helpful and broadens your appreciation, sharpens your skills) that people take to get their street cred. Imagine a food tasters course that you need first to credibly review restaurants.
    It should be based, like every thing else, on enjoyment and helpfulness. If it isn’t enjoyable or over time you find that the recommendations, discussions, etc. aren’t accurate or for you – then pitch it.
    Keep doing the blog, Mike. I enjoy it and the info is great.

    1. Thanks so much, funny, the reason I am doing the WSET is mostly to stop getting funny looks from people. They sneer at the word blogger, but then you say you’re studying this, that, or the other and they cheer up a bit. Stupid really, but as you say, it’s the way it works

  2. Mike, it is interesting you have to say it. Don’t be mistaken about the US. May be over the past year the situation warmed up a little bit and when you announce yourself as a blogger, you are getting to be scoffed at just a touch less than before. But trust me, you get “dirty looks” from both sides. In the trade tasting, I’ve been in the situation when the people pouring (especially if they are distributors) were even asking “how did you get here” once I would explain that I’m a blogger. And then when you talk to those who are consider themselves “professional wine writers/journalists”, they look down at you upon as soon as you mention that you are a blogger. So ignore all that nonsense and keep doing what you like – that’s all what matters.

  3. Cheers to us wine bloggers in whatever capacity we see fit. Im a blogger and I love it and we should always be doing what we love. Ive just stumbled upon this site. Cheers from Australia!!

  4. A very bold declaration. Kudos! I don’t have trouble with the term per se, but I haven’t quite fully embraced it. Doesn’t help that I’m a writer/editor professionally, so yeah, a bit of an identity crisis there!

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