|Wine Bloggers Conference|
Monday, February 27, 2012
Our Vanishing Wine Bloggers
Perhaps you’ve turned your back so you don’t have to watch. Maybe you are secretly in favor of this travesty. Or you’re a skeptic, a denier, like those pinheads who think climate change isn’t real even though the polar ice caps are disappearing faster than free samples of Viagra at the Napa Vintners Hall of Fame induction ceremony. But it’s getting bad, people, and it’s about time we acknowledge the situation before it’s too late. The wine bloggers are disappearing. If something isn’t done, and soon, the last wine blogger will vanish in OUR LIFETIME! What was once a proud subspecies of human (homo narcissus) will forever be gone from the Internet, leaving behind only their signature sniveling and greasy remains. The facts are disheartening.
Once there were thousands of wine bloggers posting countless wine reviews—though the reviews were widely acknowledged to be about as useful as Muslim sommeliers, if slightly harder to translate. (Example from 1WineDude: “The 2009 Chateau Margaux is the Big Lebowski of First Growths and reminded me that polyps are just like Growths only with an exposure that depends on which way you’re facing when you drop your pants. A-.” Penning-Roswell, eat your heart out.) Now there are but a few who publish reviews regularly, the majority having died off when wineries suddenly realized sending samples to bloggers was the exact equivalent of simply driving a forklift through the same cases of wine. Now where does one turn for savvy wine recommendations? We should have seen this coming.
Comments have dwindled to a precious few. Comments are the batteries in wine bloggers’ personal vibrators. Without those batteries, they are forlorn, their longings unsatisfied, their need for love reduced to the stroking of their own warm and engorged posts alone, their solipsistic voices echoing hollowly in the vast, empty cyberspace. Is it any wonder that without comments our wine bloggers are dying? You have only to check the latest posts on all the most popular blogs to see that many are starving. And even those wine bloggers who still receive a healthy number of comments are startled by the emptiness of those comments, the virtual absence of power. (Example from Fermentation: “ .“) Most comments these days are but tired old batteries that only rev vibrators up to a 3. Wine bloggers are dying of loneliness, and chapped posts.
Wine blogs are the Oakland A’s of Social Media. If you’re a wine blogger, you may as well just resign yourself to last place. Social Media has moved on to FaceBook and Twitter, where emptiness of thought is joyously celebrated, and modern day Zombies are created by the millions. How can wine bloggers compete in our modern cyberworld? 140 characters, most of which are blank spaces—and I’m talking about wine blogs, not Twitter. The illusion that you have hundreds of friends—how can wine bloggers live in a world like that when their blog stats show that they only have 80 unique hits a day, and most of those are Google image searches for “wine douchebag?” The answer simply is that they cannot survive. We are watching an extinction the equivalent of the Passenger Pigeon, the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, and Vac-U-Vins It may be too late to stop it.
What will our world be like without wine bloggers? I know, it’s almost too hard to think about. But stop and consider. Already most of our finest wine bloggers are near death, their last gasps already audible in each and every post.
STEVE!: “I’ve already written two of the classic texts in American wine literature and yet I’m still unappreciated. I give and I give and I give, yet I’m never listed on any Top 100 lists—not Influential People in Wine, not Cry for Help Tattoos, not Most Likely to Name Drop Incessantly. What more do I have left to give?” I’m speechless.
Dr. Vino: “Impossible Pairings—My Wine Blog and Original Thoughts” Bravo!
Vornography: “Essence of Wine Blog—Why do I smell vomit?” You’re standing in it.
Sermontation: “It was at a local bar last night that I suddenly realized I have nothing left to say about the wine business. This does not surprise me and it shouldn’t surprise you. We have finally left the Golden Age of Wine Writing behind and are entering the much anticipated Dark Ages of Wine Writing. I think this is good. Golden Ages aren’t supposed to last forever, no more than a great Chardonnay can last more than a couple of hours after being opened. We will look back at these past few years with great fondness and awe, even as the last wine blog, Fermentation, inevitably goes out. We were given the chance to read the brilliance of wine bloggers while it was being freshly excreted, words that will be read by every future generation of wine lovers. Generations that will despise us because we let the wine bloggers die. Except the HoseMaster, for his demise, we will be revered.” Good night, old friend. Rest in Peace.
Is it too late to save the wine bloggers? It may be too late to save them in their natural habitat. But we can capture the last of them and put them on display. Future generations will marvel at them, their odd habits and strange language will surely delight them. And they will wonder at what once was. A strange and sad race who walked among us, sullied and unattractive, convinced of their own worth despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, soldiers of the grape, slaves to their own vanity, whistling and typing in the dark.