This weekend a friend RT’d on twitter an article called “Are wine bloggers only telling half the story” by Duane Pemberton. As friends we have discussed this very subject. Her blog reviews wines; I mostly write about my experience at the winery and the wines. She is honest, upfront about the review of wines. I only write about my experience at a winery if it’s positive. It’s always amazing when staff at a winery is so rude. And you want me to purchase wine? And tell others to visit the winery?
Neither one of us are bloggers who receive free wine or free wine tastings. She agrees with the writer, Duane, “doing a disservice to wine drinkers everywhere” to not write good and bad reviews. I view it as wanting to promote good wineries to visit.
If wine bloggers only review wine in a positive light just for free wine. Then yes, they are doing a disservice to wine drinkers. If bloggers only review wine in a positive light to promote good wine, free or not, is that really a disservice to wine drinkers? No, with thousands of wines to choose, it points the wine drinker in the right direction of what to try.
For a conference to advise wine bloggers to only review in order to receive “free wine”, that is a disservice to wine drinkers and bloggers of all kinds. I see a huge red flag with a conference who wants their attendees to be taken seriously by wineries and media types. Then announce to only write positive reviews in order to receive free wine. Wonder if Duane and I would be welcomed at the next conference after criticizing their suggestion of good reviews for free wine.
I believe how a wine blog is written should be a personal choice. I just feel comfortable writing about a positive experience. I see the other side who write both types of reviews, they want to be open to their readers. I like personal choices.
On the wine reviews I have done, two friends come over to taste and review with me. Out tastes vary on occasion. We believe this gives a broader view of a wine.
I was asked by a winery to write a description for one of their new wines. It was very difficult as the three of us did not care for the wine. It was a nice wine, just a little flat for our tastes. We had to be honest in our description without criticizing the wine. This was a description, after all, not a review. They did not use the description we came up with, not very lively and inviting to taste, I guess. But we stayed true to ourselves.
I’ve had this thought for months to write about wine twitter pages and wine blogs critiquing their selection of background and color. There are some out there that are hideous. I wanted to do this to help, but have held back due to worrying about repercussions.
With Duane’s article I started to wonder how open twitters and bloggers would feel about a negative review of their creation. Your twitter and blog pages do say something about you. You want the viewer, like a taster, to find what you present to be palatable.
Really? That is a lovely shade of blue; but not on a computer display screen. I’m almost going blind.
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen – Harry S. Truman 33rd President of the United States.