I just read the post of Steve Heimhoff and I must say… I do agree with the message, in a certain way, but not really with all the content! You don’t, and really…YOU DON’T bite in the hand of the one that feeds you. We all agree it’s a moral statement which brings developed cultures together! Wine bloggers must have a certain decency!
It is in fact very easy to become a wineblogger, all it takes is a few clicks. With a few good contacts you can be invited by wineries or wineregions to visit them, sleep in beautiful hotels and eat / drink your heart out. You have to know that whatever you do with it, most people won’t care, except your sponsor. Actually it is your life and no one can oblige you to write something about it, because no reader, producer or promotional director is a member of the gestapo.
Sure, you have your freedom of speech. You also have the right to remain silent. Most of all it is your duty to:
DO YOUR DAMN JOB!!!
A lot of bloggers are part of the community of #winelover. The word says it all. Be a lover, not a hater! Unless you are willing to hate yourself, but that’s another problem.
Write from the heart, write with passion and a big portion of guts and most important be honest! But how can you write something without being involved? To understand wine you have to talk to winemakers, read books, visit regions and the most important taste hundreds or (in my case) thousands of wine every year!! There is nothing like a wine connoisseur… You can enjoy wine as much as you like, communicate about it as much as you want. Most important is to know that (wine)blogging is a hobby and for some a job. Whatever your influence is, you have to know that your word is out there and the whole world is there to read it.
So why not getting invited by someone to taste their wine? It’s fun, it’s nice, you can discover new things, see new landscapes, eat and drink like a king and above all IT’s FREE!!! If that wasn’t enough, you are not even obliged to write a word about it!! Seems like a perfect hobby.
And here starts the most morbid attitude of our society! So many benefits and only one word to trow the whole idea in the garbage: ETHICS!
Being a critic is not a right, it’s an obligation
It is very easy to give your opinion about something. There are words that bloggers need to distinguish. Being a critic and having an opinion. An opinion is in the heat of the moment, you just say what you think. Being a critic goes much further. Critics know what they talk about, or at least are supposed to. They have a certain knowledge, do research, ask questions and do not say inconsiderate yes or no.
If you get an invitation to do a winetrip in a region or visit a winemaker, be sure to do your homework. Do you know the region, is there a potential, can you help them to promote, have you tasted some wines of the winemaker / region. Talk to the person who invites you. If you know that you won’t like the wines, don’t go. If you are not into natural wines don’t go to a winetrip for natural wines unless you are open minded about it.
A few years ago I was invited by IMT to do a trip in the region of Marche and to be a member of an international tasting jury for the wine contest Vini da pesce. Guess what, I used to hate fish, but I told myself to give it a shot and experiment with wines and fish. That is also what I communicated to the organizers. They took the risk, never asked me anything and know it has become one of my best experience I had so far.