Whew. The first day of the Wine Bloggers Conference 2011 went by so fast and fun-packed that there was little time to do some actual writing or blogging.
The action started with a keynote address by Jancis Robinson, one of the world’s foremost wine writers, who herself made the transition to blogging many years ago at jancisrobinson.com. She urged her blogging audience not to look down on traditional print journalism, noting that the Financial Times, for which she writes a weekly column, is the major driver of traffic to her website. And she chided to do more actual journalism.
“I don’t think you have to be a phone hacker to do good investigative journalism,” she said. “There is too much sitting on your backside and taking things as they come.”
She wasn’t lecturing or scolding the audience, actually, but encouraging them to take themselves seriously as wine writers. But not too seriously. “Humilty is an important quality when writing about wine,” she said, stressing that wine is the subject, not the writer. And whether writing a newspaper column, a book or a self-published blog, we shouldn’t neglect the process of writing.
“I would stress, it’s the writing. It’s the thinking and the writing that makes for a quality product,” she said. “Anything you can do to hone your writing skills is worthwhile.”
The growth of blogging – enough to support an annual conference of more than 300 attendees – can have a profound effect on the wine industry, she said.
“I love the multiplicity of voices,” Jancis said. “Retailers will regain the right to make their own choices of what to sell instead of following one or two voices, and my own dream of consumers making up their own minds of what to drink will finally come true.”
I participated in a panel discussion moderated by Frank Morgan of drinkwhatyoulike.com on drinking local. The session was ably described by Jason Phelps of Ancient Fire Wine at http://ancientfirewineblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/drink-local-wine.html.
Then of course there was the wine. More on that later!
There’s a tease for you.