Wine Blogs Are a Massive Circle Jerk
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against wine blogs, wine bloggers, nor as far as I can tell without having actually attended one, circle jerks. I did enjoy the band that went by that name, so who knows? Anyway, as redundant and unnecessary as it may seem to start with a disclaimer that the proud co-owner of a wine blog, who is married to a wine blogger, does not hate either, I am doing my best to not accidentally increase the number of jerks drawn into my circle. If anyone is not 100% clear on this point, please continue to read this paragraph from the beginning, mantra-like, until enlightenment is achieved.
A week or two back a friend sent me a link to this post at io9.com entitled Wine Tasting is Bullshit. When I saw the title I initially thought that he had found someone who had either scraped my post of (nearly) the same title, or had taken the idea and pretended that it was their own. This was not the case as not only had the author given proper attribution, he linked back to the original and even quoted me.
Sheathing my figurative sword, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was a pretty amusing piece apparently riffing on my post, titled Wine Reviews are Bullshit. I came to conquer, but ended up just chuckling. That’s not to say that I agreed with where he went with the idea, because he either didn’t fully understand the post he was quoting, or he just didn’t care and used the quote as a justification for his already decided upon conclusion.
I most certainly don’t believe that tasting wine is bullshit. If I did it would mean that I spend an awful lot of time writing and tasting just as a cover for drinking more wine than most 10 humans combined. Hmm, no wait…I’m serious about this stuff, dammit! No, wine tasting is IMPORTANT! Besides, I said that wine reviews are bullshit, not wine tasting. I also gave what I believed to be a fairly nuanced explanation as well as a defense of criticisms and reviews. The post under discussion here did not, and I think the individual conclusions drawn from the information presented in it are simplistic and quite wrong. Maybe I’ll address them sometime, but like I said, I’m attempting to as brief as possible, and really, life’s too short to get all worked up over a silly, fun post like this one.
Regardless of my disagreements with what Mr. Gonzalez extrapolated from my post and some other articles and studies, he wasn’t completely wrong in his overall point about the pomposity that often surrounds wine. More importantly, he came at his subject with a little passion and a sense of humor. I don’t have to agree with something to enjoy it.
When I finished reading the post, I sent the link to Amy and to a few friends and then promptly forgot all about it. That is until Gary, my friend who originally sent me the Bullshit article’s link, sent me another link to a post rebutting the original post that used my post and is now inspiring me to write this one.
Oh yeah, can you see the circle forming now? Hand cream or a wetnap, anyone?
This post was by a guy with a proper sounding name for a wine writer, W. Blake Gray. Doesn’t that name just make you want to extend your pinky as you sip a perfectly chilled crisp white wine with a name that you can’t pronounce while watching 8 1/2 with the subtitles off? Nevermind that he’s probably been called something like “That Billy Gray kid from down the street” his whole life, that is entirely unimportant. He’s now W. Blake Gray who coincidentally writes for the equally impressive sounding Gray Report.
It seems that W was a bit peeved to discover that someone thought that wine tasting was less of a noble pursuit than he did himself. He vented some of those peeves in his own cleverly titled post Re: Wine tasting is bullshit. Okay, so maybe it sounds more impressive when you put “The Gray Report:” in front of the title like at the site.
W. Blake Gray will have you know that he can discern all the subtle nuances that distinguish a Whopper from a Big Mac, so there! At the risk of being confused with a fast food aficionado , I am going to go way out on a limb and guess that it has something to do with flame broiling vs. special sauce. N’est-ce pas?
For any Mass Produced Burger Bloggers that may happen upon this article, I beg you not to quote me on the above statement. I am hardly an expert on the matter.
Apparently, however, I am a wine expert. Despite having denied such a thing many times, and despite Robert Gonzalez identifying me only as “Joe Power, editor of the popular Another Wine Blog,” and despite disputing the claim of popularity while also claiming to know nothing of this site, W. Blake Gray bestows that title upon my thick head, possibly using his left hand. He would also like it to be known to everyone that, despite my newfound expertness, this site is not Wine Spectator. So, in gratitude for my recently acquired title, I would like to make the following announcement.
Another Wine Blog is NOT Wine Spectator!
Are we all clear on that quite salient observation? Good. At this point I would like to apologize to anyone whom I may have misled into believing such a thing. I would also like to apologize to Wine Spectator for unwittingly siphoning off their readers. Thankfully our good friend W has corrected both errors for us. Speaking of good friends, it is easy to see how His Grayness was gifted the Warkie for Best Industry Blog of 2012, nearly as big of an honor as when the Warkie was presented eponymously the year before. Let’s hope he wasn’t also a judge in his category, speaking of keeping the circle unbroken.
Btw, this isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned W. Blake Gray here at AWB. He was mentioned three times in Amy’s excellent post Falwell, Flynt and K Vintners’ Charles Smith due to that particular brouhaha originating from a comment on one of his posts. Amy’s article was subsequently republished multiple times online, including by USA Today. It’s kind of surprising that he didn’t see that, and apparently doesn’t recall a conversation with his co-contributor at Palate Press (Amy) about it. Perhaps she wrote out her half of the conversation and he couldn’t find anyone to save him time by reading it to him. Regardless, if he says that he is unaware of us, we’ll take his word for it. Afterall, W. Blake is an honorable man.
And as an honorable man he’s quite at peace if your choice of beverage is a Bud Light. While he did make many a good point in his post, I am of the opinion that he is way the fuck off base on that one. Trust me, I am an expert!
Remember my advice about avoiding these kinds of circle jerks in this post? I guess I owe one more apology for being a worse role model than Charles Barkley. How do I get myself in these *ahem* sticky situations.
Sorry, sometimes I just can’t help myself.