#WBC16 – Serious Business? #SundaySips

21 Aug

The 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference (#WBC16) was held last week. It’s a big deal where wine bloggers get to meet their virtual wine buddies in the flesh, drink wine together and talk wine and the art of the blog. This year it was held in Lodi. So, tastings, tours, etc. were of that region. Did I mention you drink wine together?

This shouldn’t be construed as indicating that wine bloggers have their shit together. Bloggers are a bit troubled and conflicted.

Let me explain. Most people practicing the genre (always wanted to use that word), started by enjoying wine, being interested in learning more about wine, educating themselves and/or taking some formal structured learning, perhaps getting into the trade, and then being encouraged by delusional loved ones and friends (in my case, imaginary) to write a blog.

UmBut, here’s the challenge that we face. Wine bloggers are needy. We mistakenly think that we want to be taken seriously. We really do want a lot of ‘follows’, daily stats, even if we deny it. We might write for ourselves (so, we say) but it’s nice to know that we’re not whistling in the wilderness, isn’t it? Did anyone out there follow my suggestion to buy some 2010 Chateau Obscure? Damn, didn’t think so. We want our opinion heard and weighed. And, yes, followed – at least once in awhile. But, there’s the rub. We want all that but we don’t want to be viewed as ‘them’. You know who I’m talking about.

I took an informal poll and discovered that there are 1 billion wine drinkers on the planet (survey results have a 95% confidence level plus or minus half a billion people). And wine isn’t any more important to most of them than having an aquarium, sorting their sock drawer, and/or Bob Ross’ Still Life with Apple.. Oh, we wine geeks would like to think that most people, if given the chance to experience a vintage DRC or Ch. Haut-Brion, would come over to the dark side and ‘get into wine big time’. They’d be like, “Yes, I love, love, luuuuuve, the finish on that d’Yquem.” They’d argue the benefits of Stelvin closures. I am not shitting you – there is a debate about closures. They’d be more like us. Validate our obsession. But, aah, I’m thinking that they really wouldn’t. They really, really don’t care that much.

So, that leaves bloggers talking to bloggers, casual wine drinkers who, remember, don’t really care, and friends who are too rude to unsubscribe.

awesomBut, how does that compare to serious wine scribes? You know the names: Parker, Molesworth? Well, most bloggers truly don’t care about having that kind of Klout score. And yet, we’d like just a little more than we currently have. What blogger wouldn’t like his/her name on a shelf talker. “Duffs Wines Recommended.” I used to think that I’d love to see that. Even better, a case of wine that I recommended in a friend’s cellar. Bloggers want people to value their experiences and opinions. Who wouldn’t?

But wait a minute my blogger friends. If we did – have that much power, that is. We would be forced to do the unthinkable. Get deadly serious about wine. I mean Sauternes versus Barsac serious. Be held accountable (I’m too old to be held accountable, BTW). We would be more obnoxious than we already are. We would spit more before noon than we drink before noon now. Speaking personally here, that’s a lot of spitting. We would be subjected to full eight hour days of tasting hundreds of wines – enjoying none of them. Plus, think about having to come up with new esoteric aroma and flavour descriptors. How else to explain Maduro tobacco and fig paste?

I’m not sure I could handle it. So, although saying this is totally unnecessary, “You don’t have to take me seriously”. I know that with a few exceptions………actually, without exception, I don’t take the bloggers I follow very seriously either. I just simply really enjoy them, thanks.

That brings us back to WBC 16. I wish I could have been there. I’d love to spend time with some of my social media and wine writing peeps. I’d like to be surprised by who they really are. I might surprise some of them with my substandard singing voice and misplaced sense of self-importance (hence, this self-indulgent ramble). And we would never be serious. Well, with the exception of the closure debate. Wouldn’t that be great?

Like a Leafs’ fan, I will just say, “Maybe next year.”

Cheers.

Bill

15 Responses to “#WBC16 – Serious Business? #SundaySips”

  1. Ken Boyle August 21, 2016 at 11:49 am #

    Indeed, some people do read your blog. Some people even like it (that would be me). And some people even to the close (ure)! Cheers! Ken

  2. theswirlingdervish August 21, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

    Perfect synopsis of the blogging life. Loved this post! Please continue to Ramble On!

    • Duff's Wines August 21, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

      Thanks for dropping by and for the encouragement.

  3. topochinesvino August 21, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

    You are a bad person. The worst. But I liked and followed your blog. Damnit. Check out our wine country blog at http://www.topochinesvino.com and follow us if you like what you see.

    • Duff's Wines August 22, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

      ‘Bad’ person? My ex-wife hopefully doesn’t even say that about me. Well, not to anyone but her husband, I mean. I can’t go back on not wanting to be taken seriously. Well, except when I don’t – which was the point.
      I did check out your website. Good stuff. Also following on Twitter.
      Thanks for dropping by.

  4. talkavino August 22, 2016 at 12:03 am #

    Bill, I tried to buy a case of 2010 Chateau Obscure, as you recommended, but they were all out of. And by the way, there were nobody singing at the WBC16, even in substandard voice, so we could definitely benefit from your presence. As you said, hopefully next year. Cheers!

    • Duff's Wines August 22, 2016 at 11:05 am #

      Love to share a glass of that rare Ch. Obscure with you, Anatoli.

  5. Michelle Williams August 22, 2016 at 11:22 am #

    Hope you can make WBC17 in Santa Rosa Nov 2017! I’d love to meet you. It was so much fun meeting so many of those I connect with on social media. Everyone is pretty much exactly who them seem to be and all are great!

    • Duff's Wines August 22, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

      Michelle,
      I would love to share a glass and hear all about your trip to Bordeaux, one of my favourite wine regions – but having never been there. Plus, Texas guitar and blues! The best.

      • Michelle Williams August 24, 2016 at 10:20 am #

        That would be great Bill. Maybe next year at WBC? Cheers!

  6. the drunken cyclist August 22, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

    Too bad you were not there Duff! The Conference for me only serves to connect and reconnect with my pals on the inter webs. Most are a lot of fun, some are a lot of strange, but it is all good! As Anatoli said, no singing that I know of—but I think Michelle would do it if prodded just a bit….

    • Duff's Wines August 22, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

      I’ve read a lot of the recounts and it does sound like fun. Maybe next year.

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