Friday, August 24, 2012

The Gray Report wins Best Industry Blog

When this blog was first nominated last year at the Wine Blog Awards for Best Industry Blog, I thought it was a mistake.

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
It's a validation of the type of conversation we have here. Thank you for reading this blog, for voting for me -- and for winning with me.

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.

Follow me on Twitter: @wblakegray and like The Gray Report on Facebook.


Gundlach Bundschu said...

Congratulations, much deserved Blake! As a wine marketer, I read many blogs because I have to, but I enjoy yours as a wine lover, because you write as one. Salud, go spend those winnings on something delicious.

Unknown said...

Congratulations, Blake! You deserve it.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Congratulations! Quite an honor and well-deserved!

Sao Anash

Unknown said...

Congratulations again, Blake. Well deserved.

Lisa Mattson
Jordan Winery
Journey of Jordan: a wine and food video blog

Anonymous said...

"Dinner without wine should be only for prisons and hospitals." One of the best quotes ever!

Congratulations on your win! I was at #WBC12 this year but understand you weren't able to make it - hope to see you next year in Canada.

Julie Crafton - NVV

Anonymous said...

Well said, and well deserved, Blake. We love that acidity article too and just posted it on our Facebook page for our fans to check out! So useful!
Keep the conversation going...
-Eliza from Cultivate Wines

Anonymous said...

Well said, and well deserved, Blake. We love that acidity article too and just posted it on our Facebook page for our fans to check out! So useful!
Keep the conversation going...
-Eliza from Cultivate Wines

Anonymous said...

Congrats! I have loved reading your blog ever since we met last October in Loudoun, so keep up the great work! -Lyssa

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, I was going to mention it in one of your last few posts but refrained ;)

Matt Mauldin said...

Congrats Blake! This has been one of my favorite stops over the past few years. I enjoy the writing and the dialogue, as well as the variety- the award is well deserved.

Jon Bjork said...

Well deserved. Congratulations, Blake!

Richard Jennings said...

Like you, I was perplexed when my blog was a finalist for the Best Industry/Business Wine Blog this year. I'm not in the industry, and I don't write very much about the wine business. It seemed particularly odd to me in that my blog was a finalist for both the Best Writing and Best Overall blog categories last year, and I feel like the writing and depth of coverage on my blog had improved considerably over the past year. Instead of being a finalist again, though, in either of those categories, I was in this weird trade/business category.

A few friends have suggested, after looking over other nominees, that I should take being a finalist in that category as a good thing, since they think it's an indication that my blog is seen as more serious, and therefor of interest to those in the industry, as opposed to some of the other categories. I have no idea.

At any rate, I'm glad you won, as you've been at this a lot longer than me, and you actually do write a fair amount about business and the industry, along with other topics of more general interest. So it was nice being a finalist with you in this category--even though I'm still not clear why--and I'm very happy you won it.

Now if only the organizers will make it clearer next year what this category is intended to recognize . . . .

jo6pac said...

WOW, Congratulations now that your at the top what's next?

It's good to see more wine people showing up and commenting also makes in more fun to drop by and read you then the comments.

Mark Green said...

Wonderful! Congratulations to you, my friend! It's a reflection on the good taste of the industry that The Gray Report won Best Blog.

DAPZ said...

What an achievement!!!
Well deserved Blake, your blog is phenomenal and the discussions here made me learn so much!!!