User ID:

Remember me
Lost password?

Tuesday Tributes
Sometimes It’s About The Wine

By Charles Olken

Anybody here remember newspapers? I do. I used to read them all the time. And when wine columns would appear in those darn old rags, most often the writers would write about the wines. Whatever happened to those good old days?

Nowadays, the Internet has become the repository of winewriting, and, for some reason, blog articles are rarely about the wine. I know this to be true because I don’t read newspapers anymore. I just read the blogosphere. And I am getting a little bit frustrated. Most wine articles in the blogosphere are not about “the wine”. Oh sure, they are about wine, but mostly they are about experiences and commentaries on other blogs and reflections on how important the blogosphere is.

You see that is the funny thing about winewriting. There is a lot to say about the wines—if one publishes once a week as I used to do in the Los Angeles Times and the Oakland Tribune. But there is not enough to say about “the wine” if one publishes every day. And besides, column after column about the wine and how wonderful it is would get pretty boring.

Maybe that is the reason why the blogosphere is not about the wine. Or maybe it is because none of the bloggists taste enough wine to write daily about the wine. Maybe they just don’t have enough to say. Maybe some of them have nothing to say about the wine. I will admit that I don’t have a great problem with the good writers. The ones whose insights do move the needle or make me think or bring a new slant to wine. There are plenty of very good blogs about if you don’t mind not reading about the wine.

There are Wine Economists and Wine Worriers and Wine Philosophers and Wine Humorists. There are people who publish pretty pictures and Winewriters For Millenials. There are bloggists who are public relations columnists in disguise and bloggists who do not bother to disguise their public relations efforts. But the one thing there is not is a plethora of articles about the wine.

I know about newspapers because I am old enough to know about them. And I know enough about blogs because I am young enough to write one. And twice in the last week I have had ideas for blog articles that were actually about the wine. Not the kind that my friend, Steve Heimoff, published the other day in which he listed the wines he had tasted, but actually words about the wines.

Both of them will air this week, and, folks, they will be about the wines. It won’t take long to find out whether the blogosphere will tolerate such aberrations in form. Will it turn out that my complaints about the bashing of Heimoff will have drawn more attention or the column on expensive Cabernets with real results or the column on inexpensive wines whose specifics will put the lie to the notion that California cannot produce good, representative, true-to-type wines at an everyday price are more popular.

Stay tuned. You are the judge and jury when it comes to valuing what you read.

The CGCW Experience - Take the Tour

Meet the New CGCW

For thirty-five years, Connoisseurs’ Guide has been the authoritative voice of the California wine consumer. With readers in all fifty states and twenty foreign countries, the Guide is valued by wine lovers everywhere for its honesty and for it strong adherence to the principles of transparency, unbiased, hard-hitting opinions. Now, it is becoming the California winelover’s most powerful online voice as well. And, our new features provide an unmatched array of advice and information for aficionados of every stripe.


by Thomas Pellechia
Posted on:10/18/2011 9:03:20 AM

Welcome, Charlie, to the revelation club.

Prepare for the comments not about the wines that you talk about but about how you say what you say, and why you are dead wrong no matter what you say...

by Ron Washam
Posted on:10/18/2011 11:12:47 AM

Wine Humorists? Name three.

Wine blogs have always been about one thing and one thing only, the blogger. You can't teach old Poodles new tricks, Charlie. Lead by example, for all that will get you, my friend. I always look forward to your writing about wine.




Wine Humorists
by Charlie Olken
Posted on:10/18/2011 11:35:18 AM

1. Jose Master of Wine

2. Tom Johnson

3. Alice Feiring

Wine Humorists
by Ron Washam
Posted on:10/18/2011 12:12:36 PM

1. Dead and buried, right next to Robert Parker, whose dog keeps farting in my face.

2. The Gruner Veltliner of wine humorists.

3. Agreed. Same use of funny as in, "This natural wine smells funny."

Though you did forget the one actually witty guy, Randall Grahm.

Different Strokes
by Samantha Dugan
Posted on:10/18/2011 12:22:13 PM

I get and agree with much of what your saying here Charlie, (although I am one of those not talking about wine wine bloggers) and I am sure there is and will be a large audience of people that, much like you, are aching to get back to reading about wine. I have to agree with that Washam kid, cannot think of anyone better than you to start doing just that.


There is a vast and beautifully varied sea of tastes out there, some will respond to voices like Alder's, others to Alice...some to Arthur and some to you or me. We al respond to what moves us and I'm sure sharing your amazing wealth of information will move many.... in the
by Thomas Pellechia
Posted on:10/18/2011 2:19:31 PM

ears of the belistener!

Leave a comment below, but please limit your comments to 1,200 characters or less. We find it helpful to make a copy of our comments to be sure that they fit. In that way, you can edit them if they run long.

(Please note: your e-mail address will not be visible after posting)



Note: Refresh your browser to see your latest comments.

Having technical problems with the comment system? Click here.