I'm not in the industry, I thought. I'm not Wine Business Insider. I'm a generalist. For serious wine business people, I'm a diversion, like Angry Birds without the potential sense of accomplishment.
Yet from the first time Adam Lee and Larry Brooks came here to prove me wrong about something in the comments section, I have always had lots of industry readers.
That's a strength and a weakness.
I come from the general-interest print world and enjoy interacting with wine novices. Some of my favorite newspaper stories have been explanatory: Why acidity matters, for example, or when you should decant. On this blog, I can probably reach Steve Cuozzo, but I can't reach his readers. I can provoke conversations among the cognoscenti, but I can't teach people things they don't know, things that might improve their lives (their drinking lives, at least). And I miss that.
On the other hand, I love the sophistication of my readership. A newspaper writer in New Jersey -- he has Cuozzo's readership -- complained to me that he does a Port story every December, and every year he's ordered to spend half his space explaining what Port is, where it comes from, how it's made, how it differs from table wines. On this blog, I don't assume that you're an expert, but I do assume you know how Burgundy differs from Bordeaux. And I like having discussions that start at that level.
Plus, one of the biggest unacknowledged points about the wine industry is that people in it, in addition to being producers and sellers and gatekeepers, are also huge consumers of wine. I taste (and drink) thousands of bottles of wine for free each year, yet when I go out to dinner, I buy wine, because dinner without wine should be only for prisons and hospitals. Most sommeliers I know taste far more for free than I do, and also spend far more than I do.
Sometimes people come here to comment as a winemaker, salesperson or sommelier. Most often, a winemaker, salesperson or sommelier -- or civilian -- comes here to comment as a wine lover.
Well, wine lovers, in case you didn't know, The Gray Report won Best Industry Blog last weekend!
|We are the champions, my friends|
Print is a lecture; a blog is a conversation. If I wrote my opinion and nobody responded, I wouldn't be awaiting the cash prize* that comes with winning Best Industry Blog. You all played a role in the award, and so all of you, every one, get an equal share. Just list your bank account information, including relevant passwords, in the comment section below.
* (Mom: It's actually $0. Sorry.)
Seriously, I'm not The Gray Report by myself. We are all The Gray Report. We won. We won!
We totally rock.