Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Stop Dissecting the Wine Blogger: The Mystique in the Locker Room

I've been sitting on this blog for a few days now. Every year now, for almost 10 years, I write one with similar content, while I ponder, "Should I post or ..."  You disagree? Go write your own wine blog, but at least I got your attention with the locker room title. 

Picture this ...

A steamy locker room filled with male wine aficionados. There are magazine clippings with bottles of Château d'Yquem and Châteauneuf-du-Pape taped on the doors of their lockers with color crayoned labels marked, "My Dream Wine." These wine lovers, as they are drying themselves off, mindlessly yet habitually burping and adjusting their  - - junk - - you know, their 14kt gold tastevins around their necks - - anyways - - they start getting frisky, while slapping each other with their wet limp towels, chirping, 


"You're the best wine know-it-all - - ever!" (slap) While another sings back, "No, you are!" (slap) "No!  YOU are!" 


"I love ya man and to prove it, let me buy ya a glass of Brosé. "Yo dude. Brosé? But only if we can smoke cigars while drinking that pink stuff."  

At least this is my visual to amuse me, and to keep me from crying like a girl. However, I believe there are a few other women wine writers who join me in my perspective.  We all know the routine. Once a year there will be, ironically, a male wine blogger, or perhaps even a winemaker, a wine critic, of some sorts, who will thump their chest and rattle a few cages giving the impression that all wine bloggers should be spit upon. "Patooey!" They will pontificate about wine bloggers pontificating. Their fellow readers will make it worse by yammering on about how wine bloggers "don't know what they are talking about," and how "wine bloggers should stop arguing the point system." (Yeah, actually they should stop.) Many critics will assume and parrot-speak the usual "wine bloggers have never sold a bottle of wine, wine bloggers don't understand social media, and if they did; why aren't they writing for a respectable paper rag ... blah blah" - -  and it continues. 

Some wine bloggers will fire back, but mostly male. There will be one or two women who will engage (When will I ever learn?), but often we will go ignored as there are too many big shiny belt buckles jostling and making noises to be heard. It's been my experience that many of my male wine peers will repeat what I had previously stated, but the male wine aficionado will be the one who is heard and addressed. ("Slap," goes the towel.) 

Wine bloggers will get called names and generalized. I've heard it all. A spokesperson from Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate referred to us as "blobbers," Then later came Anthony Dias Blue of the Tasting Panel magazine who referred to us as "bitter carping gadflies." Supposedly one of our own, or I think he is one of "us" as he uses the old and outdated Blogspot format, The Hosemaster, referred to wine bloggers as "attention seeking barking lonely poodles." Did he coin us that as a way for him to  - - well - - seek attention? Bark. Bark.



Just last week, a wine journalist, author, blogger, and a man who I happen to enjoy his forthright political leanings, as well as adore his photos and love for his dog; lashed out about wine bloggers. Ironically, the subject was for bloggers to stop with the insults, while he insulted - - yup, you got it, a whole group of wine bloggers.  He focused on sexism, ageism, and there was a lecture to stop picking on "old white wine guys." With that said, how about us stopping with the "blogism?" Blogism = stereotyping wine bloggers. 

Oh, and of course, I bit. (When will I ever learn?)  I was one of the few women who commented. Why did I engage? Because I fit into all of the categories of these prejudices such as ageism, sexism, and "blogism." I am an old white woman wine blogger! 
Hell, even at the last wine bloggers conference I attended, three young women assumed I was a mother of a wine blogger waiting for her kid to get out of one of the break-out sessions.  

Now in this discussion of  sexism was the focus of women winemakers, but it's all supposedly good now. (Oh lookie! See? There are too women winemakers now getting a few accolades, and surprisingly they make a pretty decent bottle of wine. How cute is that - a magazine article on "Women Winemakers.") Of course, in my commentary I pointed out there is still sexism, especially since there is a limited amount of women wine writers in national wine print (When will I ever learn?). Sure enough, once again Thomas Matthews, Executive Editor of the Wine Spectator, reminded me for the second time about Dina Nigro, Senior Editor. (When will I ever learn?) And yes, Tom. The next time you are in my 'hood, let's cross paths.



My point? I am really getting tired of the stereotyping and name calling of wine bloggers - aka "blogism." It's not fashionable, anymore. It's getting boring. And I believe I have heard it all in my last 10 years doing this gig. This hissy-fit of the fittest and generalization of all wine bloggers happens at least once a year. 

Stop with the dissecting of the wine blogger. 

In the last ten years, unfortunately I have read much commentary from overstuffed wine "aficionados" who buy into these articles and will create a bigger pile-on criticizing bloggers stating "Wine bloggers will never have the credentials ... knowledge ... blah, blah, and blah." Well, in the last ten years most of the wine bloggers I know, and especially those who have been blogging for awhile, have the credentials and the knowledge. The majority of the wine bloggers who started around the same time I did, and even a few years later, are very accomplished. There's a new group of wine bloggers who are typing up clean, yet colorfully visual wine blogs filled with wine buying approaches for the new wine consumers. Among the bloggers are published wine writers and authors, as well as speakers, marketing directors, judges, and travel wine writers - - and well, even bloggers who just love wine and want to share the love. Needless to say, I am quite proud to be a wine blogger, no matter the critics who jump on the "Hate Wine Bloggers" parade float.  

Sure. In this blog post I am guilty as can be for making generalizations of wine aficionados, especially the locker room scene and the jostling of big belt buckles. My generalizations are based after the same scenarios we see play out every year.  However, I should not assume, as no doubt there are a few of those male critics of wine bloggers who also wear suspenders along with their belts and teeny tarnished belt buckles. And the shower scene? Once again, I should not assume as not all of the male wine lovers in the shower are talking about Rosé, but discussing the point system - - after all. 

Oh what the hell - - let's hit the "publish" button!  

2 comments:

Diagonal Wine said...

I've only been at this one or two years, and only a few months seriously. However, I see wine blogging on par with what's being written in magazines--there's just a lot of quality stuff. As a female writer, I've also experienced my voice being ignored until a man says the same thing. Bold blog! A refreshing read.

Catie McIntyre Walker said...

Thanks for checking in.
C~

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