Recently Jameson Fink asked us to be his very first wine blogging duo interview for Grape Collective’s Speakeasy feature. A mix of journalism and commerce, Grape Collective is the brainchild of Publisher Christopher Barnes. In addition to Barnes and Fink, the site features a number of other writers like Wall Street Wine columnist, author and Senior Editor Dorothy J. Gaiter, Senior Editor Meg Houston Maker, and a host of Contributing writers including CBS News Radio’s Wine Wise Guy and author Anthony Giglio.
Noting Grape Collective interviews with some of our own favorite bloggers, we agreed. Part of Fink’s focus was the annual Wine Bloggers’ Conference. Since we have been pretty vocal about the WBC’s embedded Wine Blogger Awards, we talked about those as well.
Here is an excerpt of his interview with us:
Grape Collective: You’ve attended every WBC since Santa Rosa, save Penticton. How has the conference changed and where would you like to see it go?
Amy: Over the years the three-day Wine Bloggers’ Conference has gone from a strong host region focus with a few outlier events to an outside region-sponsored conference that just happens to be located in a wine region host city…
…I would like to see the primary focus of WBC return to the host region to include trips to multiple wineries and vineyards on both full days of the conference, and seminars focusing on the AVAs in every time slot (not all in the same time slot). I would like to see a three-track program, for new, intermediate and advanced bloggers.
… Lunches, dinners, receptions and any live blogging or pouring sessions should be focused on just the host region. I think WBC is moving in that direction, the organizers just might need a local partner to spearhead the effort…
Joe: I think that the organizers have become better at a lot of the little things that have made for a better experience. I was surprised and very happy to see how the age range and racial diversity both seemed to have increased dramatically. On the other hand, as both Penticton and Virginia showed, the choice of location is not always based on what is best for the wine blogging community…
…They could literally hold it in my back yard and I wouldn’t attend one in Texas. Beautiful scenery, great food, and nice people are all necessary for a great conference, but even more important is access to great wine and to the people who work in all aspects of the wine industry. That can’t happen away from where they make the great wine.
We also talked about the Wine Blog Awards…
No matter how it’s spun: it’s a lather, rinse, and repeat. While there is nearly always a diverse group of finalists, it seems many of the same authors win year after year. That has made it outright panned by many bloggers. Seasoned bloggers accept invitations to have dinner with individual winemakers or just go have dinner on their own. We call it #goingrogue, and even tweeted with the hash tag this last year.
Here are some of Joe’s famous (or infamous) posts about the Wine Blogger Awards.
Grape Collective also asks us about West Virginia, lawyers, manhole covers and the more personal focus of Another Wine Blog. To read more, check out our interview with Grape Collective: SPEAKEASY: AMY CORRON POWER AND JOE POWER, ANOTHER WINE BLOG
And stay tuned for Joe’s latest missive “WBC 2014 and the Wine Blog Awards – Part 2”!