Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Saturday, 15 October 2011

European Wine Bloggers' Conference 2011 (#EWBC): George Taber

 George Taber: the keynote speaker@#EWBC11

George M. Taber, author of The Judgment of Paris and To Cork or Not to Cork, gave the key speech yesterday afternoon to the 2011 European Wine Bloggers' Conference in Brescia. 'Telling stories' is the theme this year.

Here are a few snippets from George's speech:  

"Story not about you it is about your subject."

"Small detail important. Small details bring the character alive."

"Describe the thing that makes a character interesting and do it in detail and do it accurately."

"Bad thing is that it takes lots of time to find the little details." George tends not to tell his subjects how long he will have to spend with them and how many times he will need to interview them as he conducts interviews over a long time."

"Old journalistic trick – save your tough questions for the end." Tough questions posed at the beginning of an interview will make you subject clam up and be defensive.  

"Best stories not from the source but from their friends and, in particular, their enemies."

"Wine bloggers not in the pocket of the wine industry."

"More honesty from wine bloggers than Robert Parker."

I found George Taber's presentation thought-provoking and agreed with much of what he said. However, I have considerable doubts about the last two claims here. There are so many wine bloggers and from many different backgrounds that it is firstly difficult to make broad generalisations. It may be that many wine bloggers are less in the pocket of the wine industry than some critics but this is still early days and I can't see any significant difference between press visits by established wine writers and those by wine bloggers. In both cases the participants are wined and dined and often given a present at the end of the visit.

Equally it is a big and possibly, legally, dangerous (Parker is a retired lawyer), claim to make that wine bloggers are more honest than Robert Parker. Certainly a number of wine blogs have a fresh view of wine but more honesty overall? Not sure I would want to defend this in a court of law! 

 Conference in the magnificent setting of the Santa Giulia Museum 

1 comment:

Per and Britt, BKWine said...

Interesting points. Agree with your comments Jim. But would you not rather say "reformed lawyer"?