As regular readers know, wine blogging has seen a huge upswing in both popularity and visibility in the last six to eight months. Numerous major journalism outlets have begun wine blogs of their own, and the field, while not saturated is getting crowded. While blogs are proliferating in number, and generally rising in quality, none of us is really doing anything that different from the others. There is still a large opportunity to become something much bigger than just a single voice typing away at the keyboard.
Which is why, when Marvin Shanken from the Wine Spectator approached me at the beginning of this year, I didn’t hang up the phone. Over the course of several months we discussed what the implications, benefits, and drawbacks would be of some sort of relationship, and after many fruitful meetings we both felt that together we were stronger and had more to offer the public than we did separately. I never thought I would ever get to that point, but I have decided it’s time to take wine blogging to the next level.
So I am pleased — no, thrilled — to announce that Vinography, LLC is now a wholly owned subsidiary of The Wine Spectator, which will be investing significant capital to help me take Vinography to the next level.
What will this mean for Vinography? Well first, it means I can quit my day job and start writing Vinography full time, which will mean more wine reviews, more essays, and overall better content for you. I will receive a full time editor from the Wine Spectator staff, which means that you’ll not be subjected to my bad grammar by default.
There will also be other small changes. I have agreed to drop the use of my 10 point scale for reviewing wines and adopt the 100 point scale to make sure my reviews align and can be easily evaluated relative to my colleagues at the Spectator. Vinography will also be undergoing a visual redesign in the near future to give it a better look and feel and to create more real estate for advertising (Vinography will now be part of the Wine Spectator’s advertising network and prominent wine advertisers will be able to purchase blocks of advertising that will include the pages of the Spectator as well as Vinography — if you are interested please contact the advertising department at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Finally, and this is the part that took months to agree on and almost killed the deal, I have agreed to start charging for access to Vinography. As you know, I have thousands of articles and wine reviews from three years of blogging daily, and they have just become too valuable to give away for free. My RSS feed will be shut down and the price for monthly access will be $3.99 which I hope you will feel is fair and of significant value, especially compared with the price of a newspaper subscription or a magazine subscription. The fee will go into effect when the redesigned Vinography launches at the end of May.
I want to end by thanking all of you readers for your support over the last three years and I hope you look forward to the next generation of wine blogging with as much enthusiasm and optimism as I do.
UPDATE 4/2/07 — As some people don’t seem to be reading the comments below, let me just say explicitly that YES this is an April Fools joke.