Before I get back to writing about specific wines, you know, wine writing, I thought I would get a few more thoughts out about – to use the current phrase – wine communication.
Over the weekend I have been drinking some micro-brews (Lakeside’s APA, and Devil’s Peak IPA. Devil’s Peak, think I love you.) while thinking about what people want to hear about wine. Coincidentally, during this time, I saw many tweets relating to the #dwcc, the Digital Wine Conference, no, wait, Digital Wine Conference Conference? Damn Wine Competitions Creepy? Disillusioned Wine Chaps Converse? Duh, Wine Cheese Crackers? Disaster, Wine’s Cheap Cheerful? Oh, I see, sorry, it was the Digitial Wine Communication Conference. Obviously.
Attendees to conferences with ‘digital’ in the title love to tweet. This means if you search for the hashtag you will find many quotes of what the speakers are saying. Inevitably, speakers are either misquoted, or taken out of context a lot. I hope so, because from what I read this conference seemed to be about a lot of back slapping, condescension, and silly quotes from people who I would not be surprised to hear call themselves gurus. Like:
Best analogy heard for long time is wine industry is like shoe industry not realising people have different sized feet #dwwc
This sounds to me like the typical moaning argument about how certain wine writers don’t like oaky monstrous wines, and because they advocate other styles THE INDUSTRY THINKS EVERYONE IS TEH SAME. Goddamn. I have not met a single person in the wine industry unaware that people have different tastes.
I assume this is in reference to those who communicate digitally about wine. You are right, education is absurd. Hold on a second. What if they do like it. Where will they go to learn? Oh, I see, that will be covered at #DWEC (Digital wine Education Conference). Sure sure sure.
Wine industry would be in a better shape if everyone involved would care about wine sales #dwcc
Everybody? Really? Of course, lets free market the shit out of wine. Fuck difference, creativity, left-of-field just sell sell sell. Imagine we applied this idea to everything. There would be no poetry, very very few art films, and a hell of a lot more advertising. Please. God. No.
There were others more banal and non-sensical. I realise in wrenching these quotes from their context, I have changed their meaning, so please don’t take my comments too seriously. It is pretty amusing that at a Digital Communications Conference, the digital communications seemed to be lacking. But, perhaps, that’s just a general problem of trying to live-tweet conferences.
It was funny watching from afar a bunch of Europeans shouting at each other how badly wine is communicated. Squarely laying the blame at the feet of communicators.
Wine Writers are too niche
Wine comsumers like oaky wines, so what?
You need to tell stories
You need more than stories
You need to understand your audience
Wine, no one cares
Why don’t you all shut up.
OK, the last two I didn’t see, but I am beginning to think are more important than the others. Wine is always going to be this niche subject. Being someone who obsesses over it is going to make you a tiny minority. That’s just it. There is no more to it. Seriously, remember this comic by XKCD
I reckon for anyone that’s a wine enthusiast listening to wine ‘communicators’ must be incredibly tiring. It’s like have a toast expert drone on about how I should eat my morning slices, telling me toast stories, educating me about toast, making me consider my toast in a new light, explaining, patiently, the historical importance of toast, showing how organic, natural, honey improves the whole authentic toast experience, how COMMERCIAL WHITE BREAD IS NOT OK, and inviting me to the #DTCC.
I have been suckered in along with the rest. The more you ask how do we tell wine’s story, how do we expand our audience, HOW WINE IS AMAZING AND PEOPLE MUST LISTEN, YOU LIKE OAK YOU HATE WINE, NATURAL WINE IS BAD, YOU ARE BAD, the more wine people circle jerk, the more tired analogies they give, and the more conferences they attend to justify their existence, the less sense they make to anyone but themselves.*
Just talk about wine in whatever way that paints a picture of you you are.
I have realised this weekend that there is only one way forward. Drink more, write more, make more jokes.
It’s that simple. PR’s (sorry guys), Freebies, Judging, Competitions, Conferences, all matter little. Not in general, just to me.
Drink More, Write More, Make More Jokes
*I am well aware this post goes entirely against my own advice. It’s the last one. I’m getting back to drinking, writing joking.