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Wednesday wraparound


I enjoyed Tom Wark’s blog yesterday where he reported on his readership. Tom frequently writes about his inner state of mind — his feelings. Now, you might wonder why a wine blogger’s inner state of mind would be of importance or interest to readers. The readers of a technology blog or one on the petroleum industry might not want to hear about the blogger’s inner life, and might even be put off if the blogger admitted to having an inner life. But for wine blogs, the rules are different, which is proven by the fact that Fermentation remains the most read blog in America.

I think I know why. It’s because wine drinkers are different.

After all, wine is one of the few (legal) consumer products out there that actually alters the psyche of the person consuming it. (Well, maybe you could include chocolate on that list.) When all the swirling and sniffing and tasting is done, the fact remains that our brains get high from a glass or 4 of vino. Our perceptions and moods change, and for the better, in my (considerable) experience. We get more mellow and relaxed, more social, less stressed out. Drinking wine reminds us that the essence of our state of mind is benign and loving — qualities that can get seriously unhinged during the craziness of the business day.

I think wine drinkers, and people in the wine business, have richer and more liberal interior lives than the average person because we drink more. Is that controversial to say? Very well, than I am controversial. Blame it on Bacchus. It may be that wine drinkers were drawn to wine in the first place due to greater creativity and imagination and generosity of spirit. (Why is it that so many religious conservatives don’t drink alcohol, or, if they do, stick to beer or hard liquor, accusing wine of being — gasp — for effeminate, brie-chewing lefties?) The most interesting people I know all love wine. They combine pleasant, funny personalities with an introspective bent, intellectual curiosity and a progressive compassion. There are a lot of authentic people in the wine business. That’s why industry folk read Fermentation. Tom wears his heart and mind on his sleeve, and people relate.

But there is such a thing as too much…

Down in the Peachtree State, a judge ruled that the mistress of a deceased millionaire was not entitled to the $7,900 a month his will bequeathed her, because she was “a canny manipulator who used sex and alcohol to influence [him] into changing his will.” Seems that the guy “was drinking more than a gallon of wine a day by the time he made changes to his will…”. Yikes. I am assuming it was not wine, and if it was, it was Two Buck Chuck, not Petrus.

Best non-wine headline of the week

From the N.Y. Daily News: Neighbors thought dead man on balcony was Halloween display

Sounds like one of those “only in New York” stories, but in this case, it was in El Lay.

The House that K-J Built

Huge wine warehouse soon to open in American Canyon trumpets the Napa Valley Register.

Kendall-Jackson will use the 650,000-square foot building, the size of 9 football fields, to consolidate existing distribution facilities. Background to the story: The warehouse connects to Union Pacific’s rail line via newly built spurs. This will greatly decrease K-J’s carbon footprint because they won’t have to depend on trucks so much. It’s also an economic booster shot for American Canyon, a burgeoning city between Napa and Vallejo. K-J officials tell me that although the huge new facility was planned before the Recession, there are no financial problems. Sounds like a win-win for everybody: K-J, AmCan, the environment. It’s also a throwback to a bygone era: Viticulture developed in the Alexander Valley in the 19th century because the trains ran through it, connecting the North Coast to the Bay Area.

  1. “After all, wine is one of the few (legal) consumer products out there that actually alters the psyche of the person consuming it.”

    This rarely gets mentioned, Steve…But I think the altering that wine does to us is a critical aspect not only of how it’s written about but also why it is consumed. We talk a alot, we wine drinkers, about the nuances, the flavors, the tannin, the vineyards, etc. But we rarely talk about the mind altering effect of wine. I think its a critical part of wine’s attraction, if not the main reason for its attraction.

  2. Tom, I’ll drink to that!

  3. Mitch,

    Thanks for letting me know about
    great unique video wine blog…really different. I have to say it is now my 2nd favorite blog behind of course Steve’s 🙂

  4. Steve,

    Can you let me know how you determined Tom’s in the most read blog in America? I presume you meant to say ‘wine blog’ but just the same I’m curious where you do your analysis because that blanket statement doesn’t jive with my research.

    In empirical terms –which means actual traffic — that claim would go to Vinography or Dr Vino.

    Thanks in advance for the head’s up.


  5. Jeff, Yes I meant to write wine blog. Well, there are all kinds of metrics out there. I’ve seen where Dr. Vino’s on top and where Vinography is on top. In this case I was going by AlaWine.
    where Fermentation is #1.
    But if somebody else says Tyler or Alder gets more than Tom, I wouldn’t argue.

  6. A gallon of wine per day? Somebody took those resveratrol reports to heart.

  7. Got it. Alawine uses inbound likes as a gauge for popularity, which isn’t necessarily the same as most read.

    Not trying to split hairs here, but traffic and visitors is the best gauge for readership.

  8. Jeff and Steve,

    Isn’t pardonthatvine the top, best, incredibly savvy wine blog these days? You guys haven’t been reading your own spam.

  9. Thomas, I know. Sometimes it’s a hard call whether to approve a promo comment or delete it. No harm done.

  10. Jeff:

    Let’s be real clear: FERMENTATION is the best read wine blog produced by a wine pr person living in the town of Sonoma. And you can take that to the bank!!

  11. Tom, you mean the check is in the mail?

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