By Jason Feulner, Finger Lakes Correspondent
Jamie's recent post about being a little "sick" of wine grabbed my attention, not only due to the fact that she chose to reveal the private nature of her own wine-related thoughts, but also because she hit upon a chord that I see reverberating throughout the wine blogosphere.
I'm nowhere near the wine blog reader that is the guru Lenn, but I've noticed in my own limited searches that many blogs seem a bit, well, down recently, and some writers are making sentiments known that mirror Jay's. One blogger who I have come to respect for his level of knowledge recently offered the dour query as to whether there is anything new or exciting about wine being talked about on the internet.
I've kept these observations in the back of my mind, only to have them resurface when I came across a notice on a Rochester newspaper website announcing the creation of a new blog and interactive user's forum dedicated to Finger Lakes wine. To herald this new online forum, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle has begun feauturing the "Riesling Rebels," two experienced wine women who are now in the employ of the paper's online site.
A wine blog run by a newspaper? Rebellious indeed.
I have absolutely no reason to suspect that the aforementioned bloggers will be anything but entertaining and enlightening, but I have to admit that the whole idea of a multitude of virtual wine communities is beginning to wear on me a bit. Lenn and I recently came across a Finger Lakes tourism site that was running a so-called blog that was nothing more than a cut-and-paste job featuring some of my LENNDEVOURS work without permission.
The website graciouslly gave Lenn's site due credit, but I've been paying attention to the definition of the term blog a bit more ever since.
My point? The Internet wine sensation has really been chugging along
for a few years now, and in the beginning pioneering wine enthusiasts
with a bit of tech saviness jumped on the opportunity to create
interactive, opinionated, and entertaining venues for their fellow
enthusiasts. Sites like this one epitomize what can happen when an
individual with some talent and a willingness to seek out contributors
and educated readers puts his or her efforts to work.
I think, however, that blogging sometimes seems to spiral out of definitional control, making me wonder how much I should bother paying attention to every new wine-related URL that pops up.
A dedicated Internet address does not a blog make, nor is there a need for endless amounts of discussion about wine when, by its very nature, it is supposed to be experienced first and talked about second. Only so much energy can be devoted to wine in a virtual space until the wine in question becomes virtual itself. Blogging is good, but too much blogging for the sake of blogging because blogging is popular is blogging up my mind.
Wine blogging is in full trend mode, and like all trends there tends to be some fatigue as time goes on. Some blogs continue to fascinate me, some bore me, and most have had their ups and downs. Like all things, I believe that the quality blogs that do not lose site of both the nature of blogging and the nature of wine will, in the long run, prevail and remain fun and relevant. I continue to remind myself to try and experience wine more and spend less time pontificating and reading about it.
In the meantime, I'll get back to you when I discover what's so rebellious about riesling.