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Beverage New Media


Old Camera and Wine

For anyone that is unsure about beverage new media, news flash: IT’S HAPPENING. To not realize this, you are depriving yourself of what is the most important and exciting development in wine since the invention of the glass wine bottle.

Forget Wine Spectator and its numerical scores. One of the great pleasures in wine is the process of discovery, which translates into learning and experiences as rewarding as the wine itself. Wine Spectator and other traditional magazines give you their interpretation of the answers (cheat sheet of the wines that are supposedly the best), reducing wines to a number and setting the stage for a two-dimensional wine experience. So what if you are lost and don’t know what to buy? That’s simple: LEARN.

In Mutineer Magazine Issue #3, we showcase 40 beverage books to introduce and educate you on the spectacularly fascinating world for fine beverage.

On the Internet, check out Able Grape, a wine specific search engine with 38,000 sites and some 15 million pages. (Note: Able Grape is not a Mutineer Magazine advertiser, we put the Able Grape’s search bar on our website at no cost to Able Grape simply because it is an incredible tool people should be aware of.)

Blogs will provide you with limitless information, with the added benefit of being focused. Want to learn about New York Wines? Check out Lenndevours, which focuses on just that. Want to learn about inexpensive wines? Check out Cheap Wine Ratings. It’s all out there, and it’s FREE. Furthermore, go ahead an email your favorite bloggers. I can almost guarantee you they will write back. The benefit of this is that instead of looking like a fool blabbling on about the wine’s 92 Wine Spectator rating, you can tell your buddies about how this wine was recommended by (insert blogger here), who is an expert on this region, and how (insert all of the fascinating things you learned about the wine).

To be uninformed in your wine purchases is foolish, because for every bottle of $30 wine that enjoys a slick marketing campaign there are two $15 wines that are better, you just need to go out and find out what works for you, which believe it or not, may be a wine that isn’t a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, or Champagne. Sure, these are the wines that always get the high scores, but there is an entire world of wine out there that has yet to earn the respect of 100 point systems. Use it to your advantage! Let the buffoons pay top dollar for fashionable regions, or fashionable labels within the region. Even in expensive regions such as Napa Valley there are bargains from boutique wineries waiting to be found.

What if all of these awesome wines you discover aren’t available to purchase in your local wine shop? Check out online wine retailers, there many out there.

And lets not forget that you are going to want to share your new found wine knowledge with other wine evangelists, so make sure to check out the social networking sites that have been built around wine, like Open Wine Consortium, Snooth, Cruvee, and Wine 2.0.

10 Simple Steps for Consumers to Join The New Media Revolution:
1. Be on Open Wine Consortium.
2. Be on Twitter.
3. Be on Myspace.
4. Be on Facebook.
5. Check out Able Grape.
6. Find a couple of blogs that fit your tastes and interests in wine and follow them.
7. Be on Cruvee.
8. Be on Snooth.
9. Watch Wine Library TV and other video blogs.
10. Uncork a bottle of wine and spend an evening surfing the Internet for other beverage new media sites, and leave comments on this post about all of the sites that weren’t mentioned here.
11. Subscribe to Mutineer Magazine.

Don’t look past fixing something just because it isn’t broken to the point where it has lost the ability to function. It’s time to go beyond building a market and time to start building a culture. Beverage New Media represents an opportunity to reach out and market your endeavors at an affordable cost. You want to go spend over $30,000 for an ad in Wine Spectator? Be my guest, or consider advertising on blogs, on websites, and in a little publication called Mutineer Magazine.

Change is often as messy and confusing as it is necessary and exciting, and any hesitations you have to entering the fray pale in comparison to the potential upside of becoming a part of this fine beverage revolution.

10 Simple Steps for the Industry to Join The New Media Revolution:
1. Be on Open Wine Consortium.
2. Be on Twitter.
3. Be on Myspace.
4. Be on Facebook.
5. Be on LinkedIn.
6. Check out 3 blogs everyday and leave comments.
7. Be on American Winery.
8. Be on Cruvee.
9. Be on Snooth.
10. Uncork a bottle of wine and spend an evening surfing the Internet for other beverage new media sites, and leave comments on this post about all of the sites that weren’t mentioned here.
11. Subscribe to Mutineer Magazine.


  1. Laurel | Thursday, December 4, 2008

    Great tips, Alan. I work at Cline Cellars in their marketing department and am trying to increase our online visibility through blogs, facebook, cruvee, et al. How do you think wineries should approach their blogs as a means of connecting with their customer base?

  2. WineDiverGirl | Thursday, December 4, 2008

    Great primer for consumers AND trade. And the BEST set of reasons I’ve heard for experimenting with wine all on your own. All about the inclusive exploration!

  3. Jesse Porter | Thursday, December 4, 2008

    …and, if you’re of a reasonable age (or can fake it convincingly enough), join up a little social network we like to call youngwinos.com. Connect with other Young Winos in your area for weekly tastings geared towards the young, inquisitive palate.

    No chapter where you are? Start your own! E-mail me to find out how.

  4. Alan Kropf | Thursday, December 4, 2008

    Laurel: I think wineries should approach their blogs like they approach communicating with humans face to face. It is my experience that wine professionals are some of the coolest people to talk to. I suggest choosing an aspect of your winery that stands out relative to other wineries. There are SO many wineries out there that if you can find one thing for people to latch onto, you’re off to a great start. Many winery website read like VCR manuals with winemaking states, the winery’s story, and some other random stuff. Have fun with it and take risks, because as long as you are true to yourself and your product, you can’t lose. I think that the wine industry is still trying to figure out the internet as it relates to running a winery, I also think that the wine industry is VERY traditional and slow to change, so don’t let people who don’t understand the exciting world of wine new media dictate the pace in which you take advantage of it. Cash will buy you fancy wineries, $30,000+ ads in Wine Spectator, and fancy client dinners in posh restaurants, but we are seeing that cash is not the currency of choice to connect with your customers and build that ideal consumer relationship. The currency for that includes PASSION, INNOVATION, COMMUNICATION, and a slew of other qualities that exist outside of the realm of cash.

    I’d also seek out other wine professionals in a similar situation as you as these people can become allies and resources in your exploration of new media.

    Did I answer your question?

  5. Alan Kropf | Thursday, December 4, 2008

    Wine Diver Girl: Thanks! I’m pumped for the Hahn tasting on Sunday!

    Jesse: Yes! Young Winos is where it is at. Here is the link to the piece we posted about the YW last week. http://www.mutineermagazine.com/blog/2008/11/the-young-winos-of-la/

  6. Katie | Friday, December 5, 2008

    @Laurel, I think it’s crucial that wineries be willing to listen to what consumers have to say by instigating dialog with them, and that includes being able to handle any criticism that might be thrown at you as well. It’s not good enough to have a blog if someone is going to leave a comment only to be ignored for 3 days until someone can get back to them….and along those same lines I think it’s crucial that a winery blog stay current. A winery that posts only once or twice a month will not build a loyal following. A perfect example of how to blog well, I think, is Twisted Oak. Cheers!

  7. Alan Kropf | Friday, December 5, 2008

    Great response Katie

  8. Laurel | Tuesday, December 9, 2008

    Thank you, Alan and Katie for your answers. It’s been a fun and exciting challenge to discover Cline’s voice in the social media world. While a winery like Twisted Oak makes a blog that is fun and informative to read, it keeps within their brand to reference The Donner Party in a posting and that isn’t within our brand. Just as every wine is different, so is their vision.

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