Obama and Wine Bloggers

By John ~ June 18th, 2010.

President Obama and the wine blogging community have a lot in common. We’ve both come to the forefront in the last few years with a flourish of hope, excitement, and promise of great things to come. Unfortunately, just as with Obama, most bloggers have proven more adept at spending than generating income.

Just as most politicians don’t pay enough attention to the average taxpayer, I don’t believe that most wine blogs pay enough attention to the average wine consumer. I read quite a few wine blogs on a regular basis, and most of them are written to appeal to the professional wine trade, wineries, or other bloggers. Too many others seem to believe that sexual innuendo, profanity, and even plagiarism is the key to success.

We try very hard to write Wine Peeps for the wine consumer, and write in a way that is family-friendly. In addition to our extensive number of wine reviews with QPR ratings, we have a number of regular features designed specifically for the wine consumer: A Wine for Tonight, Wine Word of the Week, Challenging Wine Pairing, Wine Tasting Dinner recaps, Tasting Group recaps, Wine Event recaps, Great Washington Wine Available in [insert city], Women of Washington Wine, Spotlight On, and Wine Book Reviews.

Our mission at Wine Peeps is to be “Your link to great QPR wines from Washington State and beyond.” If you believe we are straying from that objective, please let us know so we can get back on track.

Thank you for reading. Cheers!

Filed under: General Wine Information

Reader's Comments

  1. Catie | June 18th, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Now John, don’t stretch too hard and break your arm while you are patting yourself on the back. It is always great to see Kori’s reports on giving your readers opinions and tasting notes on the wines you all drink. It gives wine lovers another alternative on wine reviews. However, I don’t remember there was a rule as to how everyone should write their wine blogs, let alone their writing style and topics. I don’t get your comparison of wine bloggers and politicians. Politicians are paid and chosen by the public. Most wine bloggers are not paid, however choose to blog out of love of wine and the writing craft.

    Your comment of: I don’t believe that most wine blogs pay enough attention to the average wine consumer.

    I didn’t realize there was a rule that says wine blogs have to pay attention to the “average” wine consumer. If that were the case many of us would be “impeached” according to your comparison of wine bloggers and politicians. Every wine blogger decides their target audience. Some target “average” wine consumers and some target the “not-so-average.” Some focus on social media for wineries, wine and food pairings, wine politics, regions, etc. to name a few.

    Also, is it wise to knock down other wine bloggers (e.g. “Too many others seem to believe that sexual innuendo, profanity, and even plagiarism is the key to success…”) to build yourself up? Wine Peeps is a great blog that many wine consumers value for their QPR, wine pairing dinners and travels. That success alone can stand by itself without having to compare itself to what other wine bloggers may or not be doing. Cheers, C~

  2. Ed Thralls | June 18th, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I am curious as to why you felt it necessary to paint a very general negative picture about “most” wine bloggers without any supporting detail.

    You fail to mention the many wine bloggers who are also doing a fantastic job at reaching the regular wine consumer much like yourself. Where’s the props for those guys/gals?

    There are more positive ways for asking for feedback and reaffirming your mission, in my opinion, without being critical of others in this manner.

  3. John | June 18th, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Thanks for your insight. I thought I could sneak this one in while you were out camping. Seriously, the intent was not to pat us on the back, but clearly explain our emphasis on the wine consumer and how that is different, not necessarily better, from many other wine blogs. Every reader will gravitate towards their own interests. Looking forward to seeing you in WW next weekend.

  4. John | June 18th, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Thanks for reminding me that there are many wine blogs doing a fantastic job, and I was remiss in not applauding them. However, I am just stating my honest opinion as well as feedback from wine lovers when I say that I don’t believe that enough of us are reaching out to the wine consumer, and we need to be doing that more if we want our niche to grow and prosper.

  5. Clive | June 18th, 2010 at 8:43 am


    I think you’re right in part. Many wine blogs are written to appeal to other bloggers, or to the industry. Inside jokes, lingo and the like make it difficult for average wine consumers to understand what is being communicated.

    The Oregon Wine Blog for example is written to the consumer but in a different way, by relaying experiences, or telling stories that relate to wine. I personally don’t care for ratings and such, I find it quite dull as a reader. To your point about innuendo and profanity, I guess I’m missing something, I think that folks who are doing that are doing it to try and get people to look at wine differently. While it’s not something we do. If everyone did the same thing, it would be boring, which I feel most wine journalism is. Quite boring in fact. So I feel that blogs that take a different approach should not be maligned because they’re not doing what you are, or what you think they should be doing. I’m not sure Family Values need to dictate blog content in the wine world.

  6. John | June 18th, 2010 at 9:25 am

    First, I am sure you are aware that your blog was not one of the unnamed ones I was referring to in my comments. I like your style, and I believe that it is aimed toward the consumer. Second, everyone has a different point of view regarding the use of sexual innuendo and profanity. I personally do not believe it is necessary if you have a good story to tell; and, in fact, detracts from the story.

  7. Steve Heimoff | June 18th, 2010 at 11:41 am

    As a wine blogger, I don’t “reach out” to anyone. I write about what I’m thinking at the time. If people like it, they read it. Also, I thought your swipe at President Obama was uncalled for and misguided.

  8. Joe M. | June 18th, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I generally like this blog a lot but you took me aback today. I think sexual innuendo and profanity are preferable to political innuendo so I’d appreciate it if you would leave your political views for some other blog. There is plenty enough about the world of wine to disagree on but politics opens up a whole other universe of things to fight about, so let’s not.

  9. John | June 18th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I’m honored that you dropped by. Thanks. You don’t have to reach out on your blog, because you also write for the Wine Enthusiast, which gives you great reach and is clearly written for the wine consumer. But for the typical blogger like ourselves, it’s a different situation. As a group, I don’t believe we’ll ever be the factor we could be if the majority of us keep “preaching to the choir [industry].”
    My political swipe, as you called it, was not at Obama personally but towards politicians in general. He just happens to be the one in office right now. Given your almost daily political diatribes, though, zinging me on that is hardly fair.
    Looking forward to your keynote in WW.

  10. John | June 18th, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I appreciate your kind words about our blog, and I am sorry that you were taken aback by my political analogy in today’s post.
    As I told Steve, it was not intended to be a swipe at Obama personally, but towards politicians in general. He just happens to be the one in office right now. I’ll keep your suggestion in mind for future posts.

  11. Steve Heimoff | June 18th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    John, I reserve my political rants to FB. I used to rant on my blog and my readers got really PO’d and told me they didn’t want politics on a wine blog. So I stopped. I’m also pretty defensive about Obama because everybody’s kicking the guy and I don’t think it’s fair.

  12. John | June 18th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks for your followup comment. Although I didn’t intend this post the way you took it, I think I’ll try to stay away from any political analogies in the future as well.

  13. Brian White | June 19th, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Well I will keep it simple and short as to John’s post:

    I AGREE wholeheartedly!

  14. John | June 19th, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Thanks, Brian. I needed that!

  15. Tamara Belgard | June 20th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Well, I can’t imagine whose blog your referring to when you mention sexual innuendo. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that finger was pointed at me. Some people use music or movies to describe wine. I like sex, it’s what I’m thinking about, if it offends you, don’t read my blog, but do you really need to suggest I’m doing something wrong? I agree wholeheartedly with Clive’s eloquent commnent about how the goal isn’t to reach consumers but to present wine to the world in a way that appeals to the average person as much as it does the wine geek. I’ll continue to use whatever means I see necessary to ensure I’m doing that, all the while knowing there are fellow bloggers like you with holier than though opinions passing judgment on others in their community. Thanks for showing your true dull colors, hope you feel better about yourself!

  16. John | June 20th, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Thanks for stopping by. Actually I was not thinking of you when I wrote this. However, if you believe that is what is necessary for you to be successful, that’s your business. As you can tell, I just don’t happen to agree with you. And there’s nothing wrong with two people expressing their differing opinions.

  17. Brian White | June 20th, 2010 at 9:02 pm


    WOW and then WOW!

    It amazes me how people think about themselves so much today! Like I said about John’s post earlier, I AGREE!!!!!

    That said I can think of 3 different wine blogs that use sex and innuendo to make their prescient points. Yours was not one of them. In fact not to be onerous, but until your post tonight I have NEVER heard of you!

    It’s amazing that we in this country have got to the point where one person cannot express their opinion and not experience the wrath of another for exercising his/her Constitutional right. Let’s embrace one anothers ability to write and not condemn an opinion no matter how much you disagree!

  18. Catie | June 20th, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Brian, Talk about “Wow!” So what I am reading from you is that John is allowed his opinion, but we are not allowed to challenge it and should embrace it instead? Oh yes, and which by the way, did you know that challenging opinions is also our Constitutional right?

    Well yes, that is exactly what you are saying. You wrote that we are to “embrace one anothers ability to write and not condemn…” but that was just the opposite of what John posted on his blog. He doesn’t embrace every wine blog …or, ahem, every politician.

    Brian, actually I did read your reponse to Tamara as being rather onerous, especially since you weren’t the focus. I found it interesting how you were rather imposing on behalf of John. Or would it be better for you if I just “embraced” your opinion regarding Tamara and not condemn it?

    For me personally, I do embrace, or more like respect, the Wine Peep’s blog. However, I do not have to embrace any or all of their opinions. To sum it all up, I sure smell a bad case of double standards from Mr Brian White. Pee-ewww!

  19. John | June 20th, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Thanks, Brian. I appreciate your comment.

  20. Tamara Belgard | June 21st, 2010 at 1:09 am

    I’m actually glad it wasn’t me you were thinking of, but like I said it wouldn’t be the first time that finger was pointed at me. I don’t write my blog with the intent on what’s going to make me successful (perhaps that’s why I’m still one of those you refer to who’s more adept at spending rather than generating income), instead I write about what’s in my heart and what’s in my head. And, you’re absolutely correct John, there is nothing wrong with people expressing there opinions, but there is something not quite right with trashing others to make yourself appear better. This blog wreaks of self-righteous and that is far more poisonous to the big wide wine world than sexual innuendo or profanity. And you can talk all you want about Wine Peeps being family-friendly, but last time I checked, you had to be over 21 to buy it or drink it, that would make wine stuff pretty much adult content.

    Brian, tI’m so glad you reiterated, it wasn’t clear the first time you said you agreed. And you didn’t write the post, so whether or not you’ve heard of me is entirely irrelevant, but thanks for clarifying that you hadn’t.

    Catie, your response to Brian about challenging opinions, being onerous and imposing himself on John’s space is so right on and I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’d like to embrace you!!

  21. John | June 21st, 2010 at 10:02 am

    As always, I appreciate all of the discussion on our blog posts. On this one, I think everyone has had their say even if we don’t all agree.
    Now I’d like to put a ribbon around my post before it goes to the archives:
    My main point is and was that wine blogging has great potential; but we won’t reach our financial potential as a group nor individually until we stop “preaching to the choir [industry]”, and instead provide consistently good content that is of value to the wine consumer.

  22. Catie | June 21st, 2010 at 11:03 am

    John, please explain “financial potential as a group.” That seems odd for you to put us all together as a “group”, when your original post seemed everything but being cohesive. And again, what you may think as consistently “good” content may not be what others view as good content. That’s been the point of wine blogging – to be able to be anything but the usual, stodgy old preaching choir. If those wine blogs want to talk sex, rock ‘n roll, profanity and they have built an audience of cursing, rock ‘n rolling sex maniac wine consumers, then they are providing “good content” to their readers.

  23. John | June 21st, 2010 at 11:30 am

    This is not the forum where I’m going to talk business models. That’s a discussion for the conference. Hope you understand.

  24. Catie | June 21st, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Yeah, unfortunately I do think I understand. Afterall, you are the one who brought up the financial part of the discussion. Not me. So I will bring it up later on my blog.