One of the longest running UK wine bloggers, Andrew Barrow recently wrote an article on his blog Spittoon, entitled The Definitive List of UK Wine Bloggers. My first reaction after reading it was: that’s it ?!?!?
His list of every single wine blog published in the UK was merely 28 URLs long, and one of those was actually written by someone who lives in Spain. Granted, this list did not include blogs by wine retailers or by UK wineries, but even so, it is remarkably, even dumbfoundingly brief. Another reader of Andrew’s blog chimed in suggesting the list was more like 70 long. Even so, that is far below the number I would have suspected, especially given that the number of wine bloggers in the US exceeds 1000 at this point.
With 30 million residents, the UK is roughly one sixth the size of the United States, yet its wine blogging population is easily 1/150th that of the U.S. And this from a country that has arguably the longest history of, and highest quality of, wine writing in the world.
The lack of English (and from my anecdotal experience, European as well) wine blogs is truly surprising, and likely not pure happenstance. Something cultural or circumstantial is clearly at work.
I’d suggest it’s purely a matter of sensibility.
That is, most of the British are far too sensible to dither away their time spouting wine nonsense on the Internet. Indeed, why would they spend hours of their precious time each day offering up their own opinions about wine on the internet when they could be doing something much more rewarding, like having a pint with friends? Or is it just that they can pick up a newspaper and read Jancis Robinson anytime they want, so why even make the attempt? Or is it that Americans are just narcissistic hams who want more attention than we deserve?
Joking aside, I’m struggling to find any demographic explanation for the situation, whether due to age differences of our respective populations (insignificant), wine drinking habits (they drink more than we do), etc.
Got any theories?
Image courtesy of Foxtongue.