Examples of Great Design in Wine and Food Blogs

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There are so many ways to blog these days that make it so easy for anyone to jump in with both feet and begin expressing themselves in ways that would have been impossible even a few years ago. Options that range from micro-blogging 140 characters at a time on Twitter, to Tumblr (provide an email address and a name, and you are a blogger!) to full-blown self-hosted WordPress sites. Even the last option is not too difficult to set up if you choose a good host and can follow some fairly simple directions. When it comes to blogging, I am in the ‘more, the merrier” camp, and I am glad that there are so many right out-of-the-box options to give people a platform for sharing their views, opinions, knowledge, and their lives.

Then there are those who are never satisfied with how things looks when removed from the box, and just have to put their personal stamp on things. Just like with blogging in general, there are people who probably should not be attempting to do their own thing, but you have to take the good with the bad. As we do with our wine reviews here on AWB, we will only be looking at the good and leave the bad for others to find.

Thirsty Girls

First up is Thirsty Girls. I found myself clicking refresh over and over just to watch their clever and tasteful use of Flash to draw their very elegant logo.  The site keeps the elegance going with a lively mix of color flourishes and white space. Navigation is easy, and the layout is well thought out from top to bottom. For anyone looking for an example of great design in a wine site, you need look for further than Thirsty Girls.

The Pink Peppercorn

Gail, over at The Pink Peppercorn, shows how to use one of the free hosted blog sites to create a thing of beauty. Her site utilizes a minimalist layout with muted colors and loads of white space to great effect as she shows off her excellent food photography and recipes. By letting the photos star on her pages she exemplifies the ‘less-is-more’ idea of design.

Goosecross Napa Valley

One of my favorite schools of Web design is Grunge, and Goosecross Napa Valley makes very good use of this style on their blog. This style takes guts to use with food and wine, but it works very well to help them stand out in an industry that is typified by cleaner styles.

Vintuba

Vintuba is a terrific example of a Web 2.0 magazine style blog.  The look is nice and clean with the colors and drop shadows associated with the style of design, while escaping the cliches that are making so many 2.0 sites start to look dated.

Wine Life 365

One of the hottest trends in Web design is the use of full page background images. One Life 365 takes advantage of this trend to make it appear that their site lays over the top of a well-stocked wine rack. The use of bright colors ties everything together with their clever header.

Catavino

Great use of color and space give Catavino a clean professional look while making it very easy to read all of great things they have to offer.

101 Cookbooks

Simple, elegant, and so very easy on the eyes. 101 Cookbooks uses white space and well-thought out typography to make sure that their subject is the star of their site.

Wine Blog

As the title would suggest, Wine Blog is a no-frills highly focused blog and the design matches it perfectly. Very complimentary color palate.

Aapplemint

Aapplemint uses a strong, dark, bold design to highlight their subject matter. They do it so well that you’ll swear you have gained 5 pounds just by visiting.

Sour Grapes

This is a bold and beautiful take on the classic blog template. Sour Grapes uses color to stand that classic on its head.

Drink With The Wench

Last, but certainly not least, we deviate slightly from wine and food to Drink With The Wench. Wenchie has captured both her subject matter and personality perfectly with her bubbly background and crisp clean layout. Mmm, beer!

There you have it. While just scratching the tip of the iceberg, these beautiful sites demonstrate just how creative some food and wine (and one beer) bloggers are. There are a lot of great food and wine blog designs out there, one need only needs to take a serious look for them. They are everywhere when a qualified/trained eye looks for them. If you are a blogger, I hope we’ve inspired you to shoot for the sky like some of these site do. At the very least, I hope that this post helps illustrate what good design is.

  • http://www.webtrendforum.com Web Trend Forum

    Well that is a great collection. Web Designing is such a tremendous thing that whenever we see something new we just forget the old ones. :( Ever changing yet ever improving our taste for more and better.

    • http://www.anotherwineblog.com Houstonwino

      Very true. Trends and techniques are always developing and shifting. It is great to see that the food and wine sites are becoming so much more well designed.

  • http://www.1winedude.com 1WineDude

    Some nice-lookin' sites there.

    • http://www.anotherwineblog.com Houstonwino

      No doubt, and there are a lot more of them out there. I was actually surprised at the quality of some of them. Makes me want to start from scratch on a new design here. The only thing holding me back is that it would force Amy to have to choose whether to kill me before divorcing me, or vice versa. Can't have that. :)

  • http://www.vijayinfo.in web design india

    nice designing

  • http://www.wine-blog.org Jo Diaz

    Joe, this is the second compliment that I've had lately on wine-blog. Thank you. It's humbling. It also comes at a time when I've been shopping for a new look. I want to keep it uncluttered, not lose anything, but bring it to a more refreshed place… Your Website and Joe Roberts' is more where I want to head… Something that's unique to only you, and not a template that's easily used by the masses. If my husband weren't a Webmaster, I'd also not have the ability to understand half of what I'm doing. I did take a college html (101) class, along with a couple in Photo Shop. This is what also makes a difference for pulling so much together. It's a team effort over here.

    Back to you… Your design is very smart… and fun… Great job on your own front.

    • http://www.anotherwineblog.com WineWonkette

      I feel lucky that Joe has the design skills to reflect both our personalities. Like you I took some design classes, but I could never match his skill. I agree, it's great to see blog designs that reflect the writers' personalities!

    • http://www.anotherwineblog.com Houstonwino

      Thanks Jo! Your site is deserving of the praise. I can't wait to see what your next one looks like.

  • http://twitter.com/WineLife365 Mark

    Joe – One word: Wow. I think you made my wife's year, which in turn makes me pretty happy too! She has done all of the design and development for me on the site (usually after a long day at work and the kids have gone to bed), so it's fantastic to have her efforts recognized. Not to mention that this was particularly flattering for her coming from someone who does this for a living and has one of the most unique designs of all the wine blogs that we've seen! Thank you so much for including WineLife365 in this list.

    • http://www.anotherwineblog.com Houstonwino

      Hey Mark, always glad to hear that I made some folks happy! I know how your wife feels, I build sites all day, among other things, and then come home and keep doing it. It does get tough some days. Thanks for the compliment! :)

  • Jennifer

    Thanks for the great tips. We just designed our site using a full page background image and love the look and feel. http://www.blog.onxwine.com

    • http://www.anotherwineblog.com Houstonwino

      Hi Jennifer, you're welcome. Your site looks great!

  • Dianne White

    Joe, you've done a great job in collecting these awesome food websites, so much that I can almost taste their offerings just by looking at them! I'm especially impressed with 101cookbooks. Its simple yet elegant web design made me feel like I'm reading a high-profile cookbook. Good job on the other sites as well. A well-designed blog helps in branding and marketing, and according to this informative web site design (Orange County) firm, a website owner should have the webpages designed by a team with a strong marketing background.

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  • http://www.easysitebuild.com/ website builder

    Great set of website designs. The designs are almost perfect!

  • http://www.onxwine.com Jennifer

    You had me refreshing Thirsty Girl a few times as well!

    http://www.blog.onxwine.com

  • http://dirtywinegirl.com Kelly

    Thanks for the great recommendations! I am glad I found your site!

  • http://www.vainfotech.com Va infotech

    nice Food blog

    thanks

  • http://www.sellingonlinemadesimple.com.au perth web design

    These are a very nice examples and very inspiring also.

  • Room dividers ny

    Nice food blog .. very interesting site

  • Venkatdial

    That’s very cool
    that you did this It must of taken you some time good job.