Wine Blog 101 for Old Media Readers

Dear Newspaper Reader: If you’ve had enough time to read to the bottom of my weekly wine columns in the past, you’ve noticed that I always mention my wine blog. So in late June 2010, I found myself at the Wine Bloggers Conference with 300 other folks who do “postings” on wine blogs, living and blogging from their homes in Spain, Argentina, South Africa, the United States, Canada, France, China -- you name it – there’s a wine blogger in every nook and cranny of the world. And pay attention: Vlogs are about to explode on the internet: short videos posted on blogs.

Blogging is a part of the internet-age communications genre referred to as “social media”. A blog is a short-hand term for “web log”, and it is a type of on-line journaling. (Remember journaling, or keeping a diary?) Blogs cost nothing but time to create and they are easy to maintain. This year’s Wine Bloggers Conference, the third annual, was held in Walla Walla, WA, which is an up and coming wine grape growing and winery area. Not long ago, there were only a few hundred wineries in the state of Washington; now there are almost 650.

An observer at the conference was Dr. Alex Ramirez, who teaches in the Information Systems program at the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Alex is involved in the analysis of why bloggers blog, a study which has implications for communications trends of the future, for the sociology of community organization, and for marketing on the internet. In an age where your teenage and twenty-somethings spend more time in front of a computer or smartphone or digital-game screen than in-person visits with friends and family, blogging plays a huge role. It’s how this generation builds their knowledge base via trusted information outlets.

You might not be as computer-oriented as the youngsters in your life, but we’ve all come to the point that we turn to the internet for instant information. In my columns, I’ll often give the URL (that’s the www…. address) so you can get more detail on a wine or a product or an industry issue. Huh? URL? Oh that’s a Uniform Record Locator. It’s kind of like a library card, but for the internet.

So what wine blogs, in addition to of course, should you follow if you want to delve into the wine world more thoroughly. That is to say: which of the 13,000 wine blogs are worth your time? The list below is highly subjective and cut-to-the-bone for this column. I follow 50-60 wine blogs, and it is a rotating and constantly changing list. Even bloggers burn out!

The Pour. (Eric Asimov, New York Times)


Dr. Vino

Steve Heimhoff’s Blog


Alice Feiring’s Blog


Jamie Goode’s Wine Blog

Reign of Terroir

1 Wine Dude

Juicy Tales by Jo Diaz

Good Grape

That’s a start for you. Blogs are repositories of wine reviews, information about winemaking techniques, the ‘buzz’ in the industry which often indicates what winery will succeed or not with a new vintage or new facility or under a new owner, what regions are emerging as significant wine regions, which star winemakers are working with what winery, deals, details and divas.

The internet has tremendous storage capacity. Blog entries are archived and “tagged” by many bloggers so you can find content quickly. And most have a search capability. Go to and search for Tahoe Weekly. You’ll find every column I’ve ever written, and a few postings that are blog-worthy but perhaps not everyday reading.

Enjoy! All Hail to Social Media!

(This primer appeared in my weekly wine column "It's Grape" in The Tahoe Weekly Newspaper, July 7, 2010)

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© 2010 Barbara Keck

For more information on dining and the wide range of activities around Lake Tahoe, see the online version of The Tahoe Weekly.

Watch for my forthcoming book: "Wineries of the Sierra and Its Foothills". Publication date early Summer 2011, Wine Appreciation Guild Publishing.


  1. Great blog and good writing. I miss our posse from the WBC. I know we will all be together in VA if not sooner. Looking forward to your book.

  2. thanks so much for the mention!

  3. I'm honored to be on your short list. Thanks, Barbara.

  4. I, too, would like thank you for the mention. Good to hear of your forthcoming book. The Sierra region needs a guidebook.

  5. Dear Barbara,

    I didn't meet Dr. Ramirez. How fascinating.

    It was nice to see you again at the Wine Bloggers Conference. Sorry we didn’t have a chance to talk more. All the video volunteer work (in addition to the panel discussion and live blogging sessions) kept me busy.

    You can find the video diaries we recorded online at Thanks again for your support of my video work over the years. Our video blog is located at If you have any suggestions on content now that we’ve got five months under our belt, I’d greatly appreciate the advice. I am also happy to give you some suggestions on how to get started with the basics. It was hard to answer that question in the limited time we had.

    I look forward to staying in touch with you.

    Best regards,
    Lisa Mattson

  6. Amazing how many of my newspaper column readers have stopped me and remarked on the various blogs and have explored them. Great to be able to drive traffic to my fellow bloggers through the "old media" ...!

  7. Thanks for the complement and shout out! ~Pamela