Haven’t I read that before?

by Jeff Miller of Artisan Family of Wines (Seven Artisans, Sly Dog Cellars, Red Côte)

jeff-smAs you probably know, every Wednesday I post my favorite blogs of the previous week.  I’ve been doing it for a while now, I can’t really say how long.  But I’m having this sense of déjà vu all over again pretty often as I read through the main wine bloggers weekly offerings.

I think most of these bloggers do a pretty good job overall.  But I’m just having this recurring sense that I’ve read it all before.  Maybe not every post, but way too many.

I have to sympathize.  Beside my Wednesday blog listings, I usually do a post every Monday.  Once a week.  Tom Wark and Jo Diaz and Alder Yarrow and Steve Heimoff put me to shame in this regard.   They do multiple posts every week, often daily, at least during the week.  Yet I find doing even one post a week is difficult.  Wine is a fascinating subject, but there’s a limit to what one has to say about it.  Once you’ve spent a reasonable amount of time and ink on subjects of great interest, you do kind of run out of new things to say.

Tom Wark has published what must be a zillion posts on the wine distribution and the three tier system.  I agree with much of what he has to say, but I have to admit my eyes glaze over when there’s yet another one to read.

But what are you going to do?  The show must go on, so you end up resorting to the tried and true, and, because they are tried and true they are also, by definition, old and shop-worn.

Even though I only do one new post a week, I can’t, unfortunately, not count myself among those guilty of these retreads.   If I go back to review my posts, I find some of the same themes repeated multiple times:  need to try new and different wines, how hard it is for a small winery to gain reasonable distribution, how conservative an industry we are, etc.

So you end up with a lot of the same sort of stuff that, to my mind, is just filler.  Photos. Wine tastings.  Reviews.  I guess I shouldn’t be too harsh in my criticism since I’m sure there’s an audience for those things.  Just not me.  I hate wine reviews, which, by the way, are generally at or near the bottom of the barrel of good English writing (verbose, lots of adjectives that don’t say much of anything).  Vineyard photos–I was never a big Reagan fan but, to paraphrase him, seen one vineyard, seen them all.  Vineyards are exquisitely beautiful, to be sure, but I’m not sure what another vineyard photo adds to the opus of human achievement.

I’ve often thought of cutting back my posts to those where I really feel I have something new to say, but never have, but I’m thinking about that again.  Not sure what I’ll end up doing.

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One Response to “Haven’t I read that before?”

  1. Steve says:

    I am relatively new to the wine blogosphere so I appreciate the repetition because I may have missed the discussion. I think as interest in small and local wineries grows, there will be more people seeking the information wine blogs provide; however repetitive it may be. But for you old hands that fully understand the challenges of direct to consumer shipping, the growing trends in the industry, and the best place for breakfast in Napa- may I (not so humbly) recommend earlymountainvintage.blogspot.com
    I am trying to offer a new perspective in the wine blog world, easy to understand technical explanations and opinions from a winemaker. If nothing else, hopefully it can provide a window into Virginia fine wine (not the oxymoron some readers may think).

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