In May of 2009, WineZag was just one of many new wine blogs launching into the vast wine blogosphere. It was the year of Hardy Wallace and the Murphy-Goode “Goode Job” contest, where wine blogger credibility inched higher and traditional wine critics and journalists took note paying sometimes reluctant and other times embracing homage to the new medium. Besides the satisfaction I have derived sharing bottles and slices of wine experiences with thousands of new people, blogger peers came out of the woodwork with support and recognition…some going as far as recognizing WineZag as one of the best new wine blogs of 2009. Better yet, I am now friends with those two guys that recognized WineZag, Dale and Robert, serving as one example of the ultimate outcomes from blogging at WineZag.
Recently, Dale asked me and others to nominate candidates for 2010’s best new wine blogs. Apparently, many struggled to find clear standouts. Have we tapped the pool of hidden writers willing to share their wine experiences and sensibilities? I don’t think so. But, the quality of writing is peaking, and the vast online information pool has raised the bar for new entries, and just may have created a chilling effect on the overall number of new blog launches.
There may be fewer obvious quality launches, but several are notable. It was easy for me to quickly nominate my favorite, and I really recommend everyone follows “So You Want To Be a Sommelier”. Here is what I said about Levi Dalton in Dale’s post that recognizes a few really good new writers:
“I had heard, but never met or knew very much, about Levi prior to the launch of his blog since he worked as waiter at the Federalist in Boston before turning sommelier there. Since then, he has influenced leading restaurants from Florida to New York in lead wine program positions at Daniel Boulud’s restaurants, Masa, & others. His perspective on wine combines rich knowledge & experience earned at pinnacle wine & food institutions with his very human & grounded approach to wine & food. And, he writes from his independent wine orientation that is driven both by world class experience & his own personal drinking/dining preferences. His voice is intelligent, metropolitan, touched by Asia, fun, self effacing, experienced, & well paced. He combines food, wine, people, smart beverages, & art in his body of work that makes for a really serious & satisfying follow.”
I remember reading an interview with Levi that I clipped and saved a couple of questions from. For the life of me, I can not remember who conducted the full interview. I kept the Q&A’s because they resonated with me and are akin to the reasons I love wine and the sensibility that I rely on here at WineZag.
Do you think any rules should be adhered to when pairing (wine and food)?
When in doubt, choose a dish you know you like and a wine you have enjoyed before. You are then guaranteed some happiness.
What are some of the benefits of drinking wine?
Conviviality. Wine brings people together, if at the most basic level because it is difficult for most people to consume an entire bottle by themselves.
Enjoy wine, enjoy Levi’s work, and always know that wine creates human connection without bias.