For many years it was a well known "fact of life" that if you sat long enough at Paris' Café de la Paix everyone you ever knew in your life would walk by and say hello. Well, wait long enough and just about anything will come to pass and Rioja will now be hosting the first European Wine Bloggers Conference (EWBG) to explore the impact blogging is having on the world of wine.
As reported today on Harpers on-line, Robert McIntosh, conference organiser and UK wine blogger, said the event would cover topics including online wine writing, wine rating systems and making blogging commercially viable.
Full information and the possibility to register for the conference can be found at http://ewbc2008.wineblogger.info/
As to the organizers' hypothesis that "…consumers no longer feel to obtain their opinions from on high: the authority of the critic, derived from their paid position on a newspaper, is diminished", I would strongly disagree. As to their second hypothesis that opinion has been democratized, I would go even further, saying that opinion in many cases has been "banalized".
Not to misunderstand – a fair number of bloggers (including some here in Israel) have what to say and say it well. What concerns me is the large numbers of those in the unwashed masses who think
they have something to say but are mistaken. Something akin to the many people who want to write autobiographies but whose lives are of little interest except to themselves and to those who know them personally. And, of course, know how to write well.
Some may say that my attitude (I am, after all, a critic even though I do not think anything I have to say comes from "on high") derives from either defensiveness or fear of the future. They are wrong. It derives from Oscar Wilde's axiom to the effect that "the only problem with the common man is that he is so bloody common". Snobbishness? Perhaps. Reality? Up to my readers to decide.