I won! I won a blog award! Um, ok, so it isn’t an American Wine Blog Award. In fact it’s an American Squirrel Wine Blog Award. That’s right, the folks at Las Flores View Point Squirrel Colony in Camp Pendleton, California have given me an award for the Best New Blog with the Best Ever Surname. Ok, so maybe this is just a little tongue-in-cheek, but I suspect it is a satirical commentary on the legitimacy of one blog giving other blogs awards. In fact, I would venture a guess that they are taking direct aim at the American Wine Blog Awards.
Opinions on these awards (the AWB, not the ASWB) varies. Some feel that the whole concept of giving an award to blogs is counter to what blogs are all about. Others feel that it helps legitimize the sphere of wine blogging and certain blogs. The American Wine Blog Awards was started by Tom Wark a number of years ago. I have a lot of respect for Tom, and he has done great things to promote wine blogging. Which is why it is sad that this year in particular, the awards have come under fire as being less than legit.
This is probably why after this year, Tom will be passing the coordination of the awards to the Open Wine Consortium. It may lend the awards a little more perceived credibility to be managed by the OWC rather than Tom.
For wineries looking for a little guidance on which blogs are most important or have the most influence, starting with AWB nominees is probably wise. Whether you like it or not, wine blogging is getting more mainstream and this sort of recognition is a key indicator of who has the greatest influence.