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Wine Blog Writing Workshop


Wine Blog Writing Workshop

A group intended to critique wine blog writing with the aim of improving clarity and meaning, while developing personal style.

Location: OWC
Members: 172
Latest Activity: Jan 31, 2011

The Idea

Today, Richard of Passionate Foodie posted an article on a wine writing workshop he was planning on attending in Boston. When I read this, I began to feel a bit frustrated in that I live in Spain, and I don't have the same resources others have across the big pond. Sure, I could take a Spanish wine writing course, but I write in English, and my writing is not geared towards print, but rather, a blog.

As we've chatted on several occasions, writing for print is not the same as writing for a blog. Blog writing tends to be more informal, more personal, and I have the luxury of leaving out information by linking a word to an article that provides additional information. However, I would LOVE to improve my writing both as a blogger and as a wine writer. But how?

Why not here? There are plenty of us struggling to improve grammatically, stylistically, pedagogically, etc, so why not take advantage of the community? Isn't social networking based on this idea?

So what I propose is a brainstorming session on figuring out what we want from this group, followed by a structure to achieve those goals. Ideas?


"Five paragraph theme on wine and religion/mysticism written in the 3rd person.

The thought for the third essay sprang from a few different sources. First, it would be nice to get away from the constant use of the first person, to take a step back and work on the writing itself. Second, wine is far more than liquid in a glass. It has its own history, one that is part of Western Civilization. As a writing assignment, why not look into a small piece of that history, working on research and prose. Again, a pure writing exercise. I chose religion because it gives an interesting, but very tight, focus. Finally, I thought it might be different enough and interesting enough to encourage wider participation.

In looking at the reviews, some people seemed to be looking for something to criticize, while others looking for reasons to applaud. As a result, while a sentence structure here or punctuation mark there might get better, I am not sure we are really gaining anything. I thought this assignment might take us far enough away from what we write every day that we could all get something out of doing it and critiquing it. "


Discussion Forum

Participation? 9 Replies

Started by RichardA. Last reply by Alexa Bond Nov 13, 2008.

Assignment 3: David Honig 3 Replies

Started by David Honig. Last reply by David Honig Sep 10, 2008.

Assignment #2: Ziba Kaboli 5 Replies

Started by Ziba Kaboli. Last reply by Ziba Kaboli Aug 27, 2008.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Wine Blog Writing Workshop to add comments!

Comment by We Heart Wine on January 22, 2010 at 12:06pm
New member here! Looking forward to reading some vino blogs. Check ours out here
Comment by Liz Palmer on November 24, 2009 at 9:45pm
I'm recently a new member - this is a great idea - where do I start?

Liz Palmer
Wine Writer
Toronto, Canada
Comment by Leo J. Baduria on April 11, 2009 at 6:45pm
It's a delight to be part of this group. I look forward to reading blogs from fellow members.

Mine is

Leo J. Baduria
Comment by rjhilgers on January 4, 2009 at 10:09pm
I just joined this group and looking forward to it.

My blog is at

Comment by Max Morales on December 25, 2008 at 4:53pm
I just joined this group!

Greetings from

Max Morales
Comment by Ryan Opaz on October 16, 2008 at 6:59am
Ryan good name and nice enthusiasm...though I will say an hour a week is a lot of time to dedicate to a hobby, where the writing portion of our week needs to be dedicated to blogging. That said I do hope this group can find a way to help people grow. One other tool though you may want to help out with is:

Comment by Ryan Reichert on October 15, 2008 at 8:11am

Nothing would please me more - I'd be interested in seeing what everyone has to contribute to the idea I'd mentioned earlier - grape personification. I also agree with a comment made somewhere else in the group that as bloggers we should write our assignments with intent to publish publicly after the group has commented - maybe after a 1-2 week periof? Do I need to write up a blurb like the one above for the last assignment, or will you send a group e-mail? Let me know.

Also, I'd like to note that my first entry on oe-no-phile was actually about a Spanish wine - Baltos Mencía.

Happy blogging everyone!
Comment by Gabriella Opaz on October 15, 2008 at 7:57am
Ryan, my dear, if you show passion, I can't say no to someone who craves education. You're right in that we all make excuses, and if we're all passionate about our writing, then we should make time for it. That said, how would you like to host the next assignment?
Comment by Ryan Reichert on October 14, 2008 at 10:26pm
Hi all!

I just found this group, and can say that just reading through the posts/comments it doesn't seem we're really achieving our goal.

I just recently set out with my own new blog - - and have posted my first entry. A common thing people seem to share is that we're all too busy to write. I say our first goal needs to be committing an hour a week to this group - make the time, we certainly all can, no matter how busy we all think we are.

Also, I'm not sure what the deadlines have been for each assignment, but I think a weekly topic would be consistent enough. This would be a great way for everyone that is interested in participating to build a habit.

As for lack of user feedback, I suggest all members be contacted, if possible, and asked to come to the group and contribute a) an entry or b) feedback. We are all interested in writing, but I'm sure we can't all be meant to do it - some of us are going to be more capable at providing feedback and commentary on writing, which I think is an acceptable and equally important part of this group.

Okay, so I'm here to hopefully help rouse things up - for everyone's sake, but also I'll admit for selfish reasons. I want to write, and I need to condition myself to writing consistently, and I think we all would like help/advise from all other members.

Let's get the next assignment, and everyone start writing. Looking over the previous assignments we seem to have covered 1) Spanish wine, 2) sharing a wine with a non-wine person, and 3) wine and religion. I think these have all been interesting topics, and I enjoyed the submissions. I'd like to recommend a topic for the next assignment: Choose your favorite varietal, and explain why through personification of said grape - ie, write about the grape as though it were a person with moods, temperament, and personality.

Hope to hear from many of you soon!


Comment by Andrew Barrow on September 14, 2008 at 1:15am
I am interested; it is just a time issue.

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