There is a great expectation in wine as it relates to content and that too has a relationship to social media. The ‘wine blogger’ has been a term for anyone had talked about wine regardless of channel or media type. I have been lumped in as a ‘wine blogger’ but I have resisted this term and label for sometime and I will continue to resist. I have had a wide range of interest and experience in wine: marketing, direction, judging, reviewing, education, writing and the business end of wine.
I have thought that the term ‘wine blogger’ has become antiquated. The European Wine Bloggers changing their name to the Digital Wine Communications Conference. I liked the name change and I think in time the US version will have to update it’s name.
I have completed both a considerable amount of both written material on my WordPress site – over 3,000 pieces and over 2,060 videos on my YouTube channel. My content creation isn’t about quantity but a desire to cover this immense subject. Though I did feel over time in writing that I needed to supplement the written word for the video word. I do think there is a large amount of interest in video–not from producers rather consumers. I have said many times before there are tens of thousands if not several hundred thousand wines released per year. Wine is a peculiar and of course alluring category–a unique feature of being more than often a vintage product as well a very limited product. Hence there are very few wine video compared to the actual number of topics or even labels. I think many consumers come to YouTube and actually walk away and stop engaging the wine category because search over search does not yield content to their interest.
I do think video is a logical extension of the written word. This subject is an emotional one where video can cover it quite well–many want to see an emotional touch or what is the emotional read on a particular wine or subject about wine.
Looking at Jancis Robinson as it relates to video I can only glean that there is not much of an interest in video–perhaps it was an after thought or that video content didn’t need much preping, editing and getting ready for optimum playback. She has over 1,800 subscribers and over 227,000 hits and her last video upload was a year ago. Jancis’ completed a video entitled: “Jancis wonders how wine is best tackled on video” and the message I took away was one of skepticism and that skepticism truly shows in all her videos. Jancis can be a bit fussy and her skepticism on video is not looking at what consumers want but only what she thinks. When it comes to video consumers are seeking new ideas, thoughts on wine, validation, solution and personality, etc. I think Jancis is truly showing her print only preference and that is okay that is her preferred style. I don’t think Jancis has the personality or vision for video and that is okay. I personally seek to build out content to match my brand.
James Suckling’s YouTube presence has garnered him 1,141 subscribers and over 237,000 views. Suckling’s video content seems sporadic and no general cadence. I see the 100 point Lalique videos which feels more like product placement than an actual review. Both James and Jancis both completed videos with Gary (yes, that Gary) –it would be interesting to know whom invited whom? The Suckling video shows him tasting with Gary and then what feels like an awkward moment he pays for the wine they both drunk at Gary’s family wine store; I can say for myself I had no interest in that and I won’t speculate on the reason–what ever the reason this video and the entire content not necessarily interesting. The anointed drinking with someone who wishes to be?
My YouTube channel stats – 800 subscribers and over 190,000 views and I am a stone’s throw from James Suckling and Jancis Robinson. While James Suckling is still producing videos and it looks like Jancis Robinson is either on hiatus or has stopped producing videos overall. I do think at some point this year I will surpass Jancis and I may Suckling. I only found this data points when I was looking on a larger view of the wine community on YouTube. I was surprised by the numbers and how close I am to their metrics.
I am after all an underdog because I don’t have either prominence or recognition that either has been luxuriously afforded.
Ultimately, video is important and the audience is not necessarily there yet but I do think at least for myself I have been building community person by person. Without a concerted, deliberate and high quality videos the full spirit of a diverse wine content will be elusive. I am optimistic–I have been and continue to be. The surface has yet to be scratched.
James the Wine Guy
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