I received an email several days ago from a college student wanting me to participate in a survey he was doing for a class. The survey was sent to several wine bloggers. I recognized most of the names on the email list and it seemed like good company so I decided to participate. The questions were about blogging with some of them specifically directed toward the receiving of media samples. He wanted to know if we (wine bloggers) thought of our media samples as simply “free wine” or if we blogged about wine simply to receive these samples. His questions really got me thinking!
When I initially started blogging about wine, I had no idea that wineries or their media/public relations firms provided media samples so that we would tweet and blog about their wines. I simply started blogging because I love wine. I love the whole wine lifestyle – enjoying a glass of wine with dinner, sipping wine with friends, sharing a bottle with hubby over some great conversation as we unwind from the day and visiting wineries and making new friends along the way. I love it all!
A couple of years ago I received a DM (direct message) on Twitter from a winery wanting to send me a bottle of wine for a live tweet-up that was happening in the near future. I was blown away. Someone wanted to give me wine??? I didn’t even have a blog at that time, but I hit Twitter hard every day and had started gathering a few followers. The thoughts of tasting a “sample bottle of wine” and sharing my thoughts with the whole Twitter-verse made me absolutely giddy!
Shortly after that, I started blogging about wine. I’m no wine expert. I don’t have a laundry list of flowery words to describe all the different tastes and aromas of a wine. My descriptors are fairly limited, but my enthusiasm is not. When I receive media samples in the mail today, I feel an obligation to taste the wines and write about them. I am very particular about them. I mark on the back of each bottle with a silver sharpie to identify that the bottle has to be reserved for a review to keep anyone else from opening it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love getting media samples! I have the wines shipped to my office (you know, that adult signature thing) and it is like having Christmas several times a year especially when I get in a shipment that I didn’t realize was coming – like the one I received last week. Sometimes I wait until I get home to open the box, but other times I just can’t wait. The suspense is too much – I have to know what is in that box.
So “Thank You” to the media firms, public relations firms and wineries that send wine my way for a review or a tweet-up. I really appreciate the opportunity to promote your wines.
Please understand that I may not get to your wine and have an opportunity to post my thoughts for several weeks, maybe even months, but I will fulfill my obligation to you.