‘Digital Marketing,’ ‘Wine Writing Success,’ ‘Monetization;’ These will be some of the breakout sessions that are being conducted at the Wine Bloggers Conference for 2015 in Corning New York next week. Reviewing the session options got me wondering about the reasons and motives for blogging in general and wine blogging in particular.
For many of us, I’m sure, wine blogging began as a means of self-expression; a way to get ‘published’ without having to jump through the hoops of getting a publisher. Beyond that, do we blog to increase our following? Do we increase our following to gain the attention of producers in order to receive samples to review? In the back of our minds are we nurturing hopes of our blog getting ‘discovered’ and deemed book worthy? Do we hope to make wine blogging a full-time career? Do we blog as an exercise to improve our writing skills and practice our craft? Do we blog to share our passion for both wine and writing?
The keynote speaker of the WBC15 is the great wine writer, Karen MacNeil. While reading her highly influential work, The Wine Bible, for the 3rd…maybe 4th time, it occurs to me, as it did the first time, that what makes Ms. MacNeil’s writing great, aside from the terrific detail and factual accuracy, is the passion with which she writes. Who among us can read, ‘Cornas are dense, edgy, masculine wines with a phalanx of white pepper that hits you in the teeth. A split second later, a briary character explodes on your palate, and, if the Cornas is especially untamed, that my be followed by what can only be described as the sense that your tongue is being lashed by strips of black leather. Cornas is not everyone’s cup of tea, but those of us who love it, love it madly,’ and not be overcome with an intense longing for a glass of Cornas, or at least be completely enamored and intrigued by it?
What makes her writing great is that through the power of her well-crafted words, Karen MacNeil makes us not only want to drink wine, she makes us want to fall in love with wine. Her intense passion for and fascination with wine comes across in each well-chosen word. And isn’t that the greatest goal of wine writing; to make the reader fall in-love with wine?
Whatever else my blog may do, its primary purpose will always be to convey my passion and enthusiasm for wine.