It is December again and with yet another year coming to a close, I find myself in a reflecting and sentimental mood; maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones, or maybe it’s just the nostalgia evoked by the intoxicating blend of nutmeg aromas, Christmas music and embarrassing amounts of tinsel strewn around town.
No matter the reason, in looking back I realize I have read so much wonderful wine content this year, which, more and more, is coming from digital sources like blogs, e-zines and mobile apps. After attending this year’s European Wine Bloggers Conference, also known as the Digital Wine Communicators Conference (or as I like to call it, the Wine Nerd Bowl), I’ve been introduced to a new crop of international wine blogs and e-zines, which officially guarantees that my husband must share our precious, post-kiddo bedtime hours with my computer.
While I am a faithful reader to go-to wine writers, like Eric, Tyler, Joe, Tom and Jon, the following six blogs topped my list this year for awesome wine content. Why six? Because top ten lists always strike me as suspect…too round to be true. Some of these guys and gals are well-known, some are diamonds in the rough, but all are worth adding to your favorite reading list.
Happy Holidays y’all. Cheers!
1. Wine Folly
Madeline Puckette is the brain behind this fan-diddly-tastic wine blog. I love every single thing they put out because it’s inevitably witty, visually appealing (given her background as a graphic designer) and new to vino cyberspace. Truly unique content is hard to come by and the smarties at Wine Folly just keep rolling out the good stuff.
Founded by my well-hydrated pal, David White, Terroirist took home the “Best Overall Wine Blog” at the 2013 Wine Blog Awards. Another winner in the content division, Terroirist puts out an amazing amount of useful, original and news-oriented wine content every day. And this isn’t even his day job! I read it every morning and you should, too.
3. HoseMaster of Wine
Whatever Ron Washam is on, I want in. Reading this blog penned by a retired sommelier from Southern California, I find myself feeling some mixture of elation, glee and confusion. He took home two wine blog awards this year, but based on this post, I’m pretty sure he didn’t pick them up in person. His satirical blog is incredibly funny and pointed, sometimes uncomfortable to read, but always worth the time.
A blog more about digital topics than wine itself and penned by Paul Mabray and his team, VinTank is a digital think tank. If you’re looking for Paul, he is likely multitasking on a conference call while driving his car somewhere in the Bay area, or speaking as a keynote at a wine conference, or announcing some piece of news that spreads like wildfire around the wine world. They have rad algorithms I don’t understand that tell us what fellow wine nerds are talking about, and more importantly, are kind enough to share this social intelligence, mostly for free. Check it out.
5. Palate Press
Co-founded by David Honig and W.R. Tish (incidentally one of my favorite and oldest wine industry pals), Palate Press is a wonderful online wine magazine with a serious lineup of columnists and contributors, both professional to citizen bloggers. This is a well-researched, well-edited e-zine, packed with all forms of wine content and news from around the world.
6. Grape Collective
Newly launched last month by Christopher Barnes, co-founder of amNewYork, this video-centric wine blog/e-commerce site has signed on some heavy hitters to provide and edit wine content, including Nick Fauchald, Kristen Bieler, Dorothy Gaiter and Barbara Fairchild. WHAMO! I am clearly partial, because they launched with a massive feature on Rioja, but it doesn’t change the fact that this site is worth checking out.
Images courtesy of The Wine Nerds, Wine Blog and Eater.com.