I love this piece, even though (and in some ways because) it casts wine bloggers in a less than flattering light.
A new poll has found that consumers in several countries trust buying advice from merchants more than bloggers. In the United States, the figure is 80 percent.
There are many excellent wine bloggers, doing great work. And there are more than a few bad merchants out there, uncaring or ignorant. But here in the Twin Cities, at least, I have found most wine-mongers, especially at independent stores with at least some wine focus, to be smart, passionate and eager to share what they know with customers.
That’s why on numerous occasions in my Star Tribune wine column (most recently here), I urge readers to develop and nurture relationships with at least one wine-store person. To be open and honest about likes and dislikes. To come back to the store and share with said person what you enjoyed (or not) about a wine he/she recommended.
That’s why such a merchant should be trusted more than yours truly or any other writer in any forum: because they know you — having been told your predilections on flavors and price points — in ways that a blogger never can.
Of course not all customer-salesperson relationships work this way. In the end, the, uh, gullible consumers will get what they deserve whether they follow a random blog or a random wine-monger. Same for the smart patrons, the ones with good instincts about people and the good sense to share what they know and like.