Wines1WineDude wine blogger Joe Roberts recently blogged about Wine Blogging, referring to the results of a 3-year study by the Burgundy School of Business, entitled ‘World Wide Wines: Digital Writing on Wine’.  The key finding of the study was that wine consumers and wine bloggers are one and the same, and that wine blogging is far from dead, Roberts writes.
Other interesting highlights about Wine Blogging from the study are:
*  the main reason for blogging by Chinese as well as American wine bloggers is sharing their passion for wine, Americans also referring to blogging as their hobby. Roberts describes bloggers as passionate wine consumers who are just more vocal about their passion digitally!
*   wine bloggers reach other bloggers and wine drinkers, bloggers’ passion for wine giving them credibility and reader interest.
*   there are an estimated 1000 wine bloggers in the USA, and about 150 in Europe.
*   only a third of wine bloggers in the USA are professional journalists, while the bulk of the balance have no wine industry job link at all.
*   the typical wine blogger is a 26 – 40 year old male who blogs out of passion and to educate fellow wine drinkers.
*   interesting content of wine blogs, which range from educational to entertaining, is the only criterion of recommendation of wine blogs to others.
*   a large number of American wine bloggers blog daily, while their European counterparts blog less frequently.
*   wine blogs and their writers have been criticised by the older guard wine critics (e.g. Robert Parker in the USA) as being ‘arrogant’ and ‘ignorant‘, as they are not wine professionals.
*   almost all wine critics and writers also post their information on Social Media, or use to find information for their articles.
*   wine blogs contain content about tasting notes, wine appreciation, wineries, the history of wines, and their marketing (e.g. about packaging), plus more.
South Africa is included in the study, but our country is lumped with Australia and New Zealand in the ‘Pacific zone‘ there being no other African wine bloggers, it would appear!  The majority of our estimated 60 bloggers are male, 26 – 55 years old, and ‘proudly South African‘, the study finds.  Shocking is that the academic study chose the blog by Michael Oliver, of the 60 wine blogs in our country, as the benchmark for wine blogging in South Africa, given his lack of morals and unprofessionalism as a blogger:
*   he rarely attends wine functions, so is out of touch with the wine industry
*   is a despised ‘copy-and-paste‘ blogger, copying media releases from PR companies word for word, including the headline, without acknowledgement to the PR company the release was written by!
*   charges wineries to write about their wines (misleading them about the readership numbers of his blog and Twitter followers), using their information, without disclosing this to his readers, which is illegal!  He is disliked for hounding wine estates to sign up to his advertising package.
*   disparages other bloggers, by threatening to not attend functions if bloggers he feels threatened by are present; sends disparaging information about certain bloggers to wine companies, threatening to not write about them if they associate with the bloggers he dislikes; sends disparaging information about certain bloggers he dislikes to other bloggers, warning them not to associate with the bloggers on his hit list; all in all a most uncollegial blogger!
A (unique) motivation for wine blogging, being lashing out at and the disparagement of other wine writers, wine critics, wine guides, and wine competitions, must be unique to South Africa, with Neil Pendick being the sole blogger in this category, not to forget the hard sell on his blog of his bottle store in the Taj Cape Town!
The study concludes that Wine Blogging is far from dead!  In fact, blogging represents the true ideal of the internet, being a free financial and intellectual (i.e. diverse points of view) source of information for wine lovers.
World Wide Wines: Digital Writing on Wine, Groupe ESC Dijon Bourgogne, 2011 – 2013.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:  Twitter: @WhaleCottage