Monday, March 15, 2010

My Dog Eats His Own Blog

I ask myself every time I sit down to write a post, "Why do I blog?" First of all, "blog" is a stupid word. It sounds a lot like regurgitation. Technicolor blog, which is what we do after we drink too much wine. All you have to do is think of all the phrases you use that have the word "puke" in them and then substitute "blog" and it makes sense. "Man, riding those Teacups at Disneyland makes me want to BLOG!" "I ate some nasty seafood at Red Lobster and I BLOGGED all night." "If I spend too much time in a car I just want to pull over and BLOG all over the road." "It's so gross when my dog eats his own BLOG." See? It makes perfect sense. It even gives new meaning to Wine BLOG Awards, a more exact meaning. I may have been wrong in my now famous quote. Perhaps it's that "blogging is the attention barfing of lonely poodles."

But I think all of us stupid and vain enough (how much vain would a vaynerchuk chuck if a vaynerchuck could chuck vain?) to blog wonder why we do it, and why we do it so often. The same questions a pederast asks himself, basically. So I decided to take an anonymous survey, ask as many bloggers as I could find the reasons why they do this thankless, futile, pathetic work we call a wine blog. I think the results are very interesting, and a great subject for a post. It's such a great subject I'm anticipating many, many comments, most of which begin, "Great post, Joe," even though my name isn't Joe, though I guess one could think that "Hose" is Spanish for Joe.

Anyhow, in my brief but very scientific survey, many of the bloggers I asked mentioned the word "community." 40% of them spelled it wrong. But many of them said that the reason they wrote a wine blog was to be part of the larger wine community. Most importantly, the part of the wine community that knows less than they do about wine. So a very small group that would be really hard to find without the power of the Internet. In every day life, many of them said, they only know a handful of people to whom they could speak about wine, maybe four or five. But with the success of their blogs, they now had an average of six or seven visitors every day! Imagine gaining more than two new "friends" just for the ten minutes it takes to write a post. Add to that all the "friends" one can have on Facebook, all the "friends" one can have on Twitter, and, wow, suddenly you have more "Friends" than a nymphomaniac Quaker. (Me, I've never had sex with a Quaker, though I've known a few who spoke in tongues.) Wine blogging, then, is a way to make friends, and, truly, isn't it much easier to make friends when they can't actually see how unattractive you are, and you can delete any of their stupid comments? So "community" makes perfect sense as a reason to blog.

A large number of bloggers I spoke to (And, believe me, one of the greatest days of my life was the day I spent speaking with wine bloggers, why, it was like I was living a dream episode of "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" and I was Jeff Foxworthy. OK, so, you know you're a redneck when you drink wine in the can--rather than reading the newspaper.) simply said that they typed a wine blog because they felt the need to express their opinions about wine, opinions that they hadn't seen expressed elsewhere. Someone has to have the courage to take on the 100 Point Scale! It's stupid! There, I've said it. And what about BioDynamics? That's really stupid. No, wait, that's really green and good for the Earth. I can't say that. All that spiritual crap is all over the place, wineries are falling for it right and left, I'd better move on to another subject. Wait, can I even publish today? Is there a full moon? And what about too much oak! I have a lot to say about too much oak! Why do wineries use too much oak? There, I've said it. Someone had to. And don't forget to come back and read my future posts where I take on issues no one else dares write about--snooty sommeliers, too much oak on Sauvignon Blanc, and why don't wineries realize that wine bloggers are the most important resource they have for selling wine? So my survey seems to indicate that many wine bloggers are motivated by the need to correct the wine industry, to simply say what needs to be said. I stand humbled by their courage. When I'm drinking wine in the can.

Many of the bloggers I spoke with expressed how fed up they were with the traditional wine print publications, those tired old windbags who tell us what wines we should be drinking based solely on their expertise and experience. Expertise and experience, what the hell good are those qualities? Those qualities are vastly overrated. Why I can open a bottle, taste it, and tell you what I think of it. That's way more valuable! I'm just an ordinary schmuck like you are, doesn't my opinion seem more valuable? I'm a published wine blogger. I know about wine, and you can trust me. You know you can't trust Wine Spectator or Wine Enthusiast or Wine and Spirits--they take advertising. OK, sure, I have a couple of ads on my blog, and I'm really trying to monetize it, but that's different. I have standards. I only review wines I've been sent for free. I don't bring anger to my evaluation, anger at having paid fifty bucks for an overoaked bottle of Cabernet. Instead, I can give it a positive review and get even more wine sent to me. This is integrity you can count on.

These seemed to be the major reasons that people blog. I think my little, but very accurate and scientific, survey has answered a lot of questions about why we maintain wine blogs. What I haven't figured out is why anyone reads them.


Thomas said...

Great post, Hosanna.

Samantha Dugan said...

I know why people read MY's cuzz I am a nymphomaniac Quaker, thanks for outing me. Fuck, now I might have to like really think of shit to write...unless there's like a market for horny Amish wine barfing.

Great post Joe!

Dean Tudor said...

Hose-eh?, you've hit the nail on the head.

Another stunning post, full of wisdom and affectations.

Great writing, though, deserves something better than Internet Ether.

Time to publish in Hard Copy.

The secret word for today is: hallysia

Wilf G.K said...

Just love this post. Why do I blog? Who cares? Its just one man's opinion and who gives a damn? Gee, my dog blogged on my bed last night.

Thomas said...


You must know all too well that it has become increasingly harder to publish in hard copy. Unless you also know someone looking for a few stray manuscripts...

You have hit on another reason that people barf, er, blog. To prove that they can write and maybe get themselves a paying gig, which the odds are bloody unlikely on the free content-addicted Internet.

Wines for the People said...

Why does everyone pick on wine in the can? The Wild Pelican wines in cans are terrific. I'll admit that the Barokes lineup tastes like it came out of the... oh. Nevermind.

Marcia Macomber said...

Hose-eh, You mean I can start my own wine blog, too?! Let's see... My fascinating tasting notes (that so many other folks will want to read) provide such useful data as: "What's with the petroleum nose here?" or "Good Lord! It's orange and really, really old. Is it supposed to be good or just waaaay over the hill?" or "Bandaid-y brett...maybe if I hold my nose to drink this..." or "Cab schmab! No nose, no finish, lots of toasty berries in the middle." They'll flock to me in droves...all 7 of them! I can hear the patter of feet and 'add bookmarks' now.

(Ooo! New word [verification] to use for describing wine in my blog: bezlepee!)

Arthur said...


Anybody got a towel?

Thomas said...


Didn't you get the memo: orange wines are in. You need to get to know more geeks.

Today's word is strodwi, which spelled backwards is iwdorts, and either way it has the same definition.

Dean Tudor said...

Oh, cry me a river...

20 ways to talk dirty on your personal insignificant wine blog (stolen from somebody else, about 15 years ago)...Even my secret verification word is co-operating on this one: ovulave (to wash a girl at that time of month? to wash some grapes in Italy?)

For wine writers, it is NOT dirty talk to say --

1. "Spit or swallow?"

2. "Stick your nose all the way in"

3. "She's needs to open up a bit"

4. "I've had a '69 with my sister"

5. "My God! Check out the legs on that Blue Nun!"

6. "I keep Sherry on the rack in my cellar"

7. "I find the Italians flacid and the French hard"

8. "There are too many whites in this room"

9. "He needs to practice the swirl"

10. "She caught me sneaking Helen Turley into the house"

11. "We're going to be doing it vertically"

12. "You have to pull it out slowly, otherwise it'll shoot all over the place!"

13. "Have you tasted Mike Weir?"

14. "I'm smelling leather right now"

15. "Me and the guys did a 10 year old Tawny, it was sweet"

16. "Mind if I check out your screwpull?"

17. "Ladies, any of you enjoying my Beaune?"

18. "Wow that really swelled up, can you stick it back in?"

19. "Let it glide across your tongue"

20. "I'm sorry Madame but your Pouilly-Fuisse is awfully dry"

Marcia Macomber said...

Thomas, indeed "orange" wine is so "in" now! My note was in reference to a '74 J. Phelps pinot (who'dda known? ...tasted in January) with a thick layer of brown "gunk" lining the sides and bottom of the bottle. No real "there" there left after so many years....

Alfonso Cevola said...

Great post, Giuseppe

abc said...

Since no one beat me to it. . .Great post, Joe.

And, really, I only blog because otherwise I have to talk to my 7-year-old about wine and she only likes roses, because they are pink. It is very limiting.

Thomas said...

abc, you just identified half the wine consuming public--and half the wine blogging world, too.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

OK, Hose here, I'm back. First of all, welcome Wilf, yet another Canadian here, another hoser for the Hoser. Yeah, you're right, who cares why anybody blogs? Good point.

Dean, man, who the hell would publish my crap? No market for written humor anyway, unless you're David Sedaris or Sarah Palin's ghostwriter. And, by the way, I'll do the plagiarzing around here--get your own damn blog. Oh, you have one. Never mind.

Marcia Love, the world could use more bloggers like you and fewer like me. My tasting notes read, "WTF?" and sometimes "WILF," oh, sorry Wilf...

Thomas, as to the orange wine, well, rind your own business. The only fermented OJ I want to know about is the one in prison.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Amy, you only blog to avoid talking to a seven-year-old, but you're here talking to me?

Just how is that different?

Samantha Dugan said...

"no ne beat me to it", I uh...thought, oh never mind

abc said...

Avoiding talking to the 7-year-old about wine! She's great on other subjects. :) Like, cat facts, wine box forts and pizza.

You should link to my blog. You can read her guest posts. (Sadly, seriously)

Charlie Olken said...

Here is why I blog.

I blog because if I didn't I might have to do real work.

I blog because it's my turn to use the computer, and I am not giving it back to my wife until I have used up my time allotment.

I blog because I want to be the Hosemaster when I grow up.

I blog because. . . . . .
No, wait. I don't blog and I can't thank you enough, Joe, for telling me what I am missing.

As for why I read wine blogs. Well, the truth is I didn't until one day I came across this dreamy blond with a cute ass and now I follow her every where.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Charlie,

OK, here's the question Samantha and I are dying to know. Did you find HoseMaster first or Sans Dosage first?

And, by the way, I saw her first. She is a 3 Star Beauty all the way.

Samantha Dugan said...

Oh c'mon, you know you had him first. I just feel honored that he visits me at all. That and he lets me call him "Daddy"....

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

I know I had him first, I just wanted to know whose blog he read first.

I love you!

Samantha Dugan said...

Either way....I'm just thankful to have stumbled across that, "I'm Baaacckkk" post. You have made me laugh everyday for almost a year now, there is no way for you to understand how powerful that is and how thankful I am to you for it.

I adore you

Charlie Olken said...

"I love you."

"I adore you."

Well, I think fairly highly of you both. Josemaster has a great sense of humor.

And Sam has a great ..... well, let's just say ...........

Not to mention a great "voice".

Winelush said...

I blog wine, don't give a rats who reads it, cause I get to meet some really whacked out and eccentric bastards and bastardesses who are truly awesome in this industry.

So money, no, and I don't do reviews so no freebies many other bloggers use as an excuse not to buy wine.

And I can spell like a Mo Fo. (yes, know but the full spelling might upset someones nervous stomach)

Hosemaster I think you need a blowie. Get that anxious and angry tension out of your system.

HoseMaster Family said...

I'm sorry..."blowie"?! Are you implying that Mr. HoseMaster may need to feel the soft, warm and wet inside of a woman's mouth tight around his attitude? This is/was a grown up place, we can say Mother Fucker and Blowjob here...try it, you might like it and it does wonders for ones...attitude.

Wilf G.K said...

I think the comments are starting to head for the toilet. Not cool at all and if you need a potty mouth to improve your attitude, I pity you.

HoseMaster Family said...

(Sigh) I don't NEED to use those words I choose to and but maybe referring to vessels that capture excrement is a much "finer" choice...

Marcia Macomber said...

Y'all need to step away from the keyboards, folks! It's St. Pat's Day; go find some green wine! ;-)