This year the IWSC (who, you may remember, I did some judging for last year) have launched a new competition: Blogger of the Year.
As a keen blogger (as you no doubt have noticed) I have found this terribly exciting. The award is intended to recognise "an individual who has utilised a blog in promoting and increasing public awareness and interest in wines and/or spirits, in the last 12 months".
Because I'm awful at keeping a poker face I will tell you straight away that I am honoured to have been short-listed for this award! The IWSC have published the full shortlist here, so I went and had a look around.
The standard of these other blogs is such that I was left with only two options: bow out gracefully, or celebrate the humbling experience of being mentioned in the same category. I've opted for the latter, and thought I would share with you - in no particular order - some of the excellent talent I find myself rubbing proverbial shoulders with.
- Jason Bryant (@Jayson_Bryant) keeps a blog called Unscrewed, where he focusses on providing independent reviews of New Zealand wines. I've always been a fan of wines of NZ, more so since we went last year, so this has provided me some very entertaining reading. He also has video reviews where you can revel in his authentic kiwi accent!
- Alice Feiring (@alicefeiring) hosts The Feiring Line. The blog is written in a wonderfully conversational tone, guiding the reader step by step through her adventures in wine in an almost stream-of-consciousness style. Alice is an accomplished writer, with two highly acclaimed books in print and an obvious passion for wine.
- Ilkka Sirén (@ilkka_siren) is the founder of theviinitv.com, a video blog from Finland which is utterly hilarious. A refreshingly irreverant approach to wine, the blog fights hard against people or wines which take themselves too seriously providing plenty of laughs along the way.
- Gregory Dal Piaz (@GregoryDalPiaz) is the man behind Snooth, a website with a level of professionalism which frankly puts my amateurish efforts to shame! With reviews of 4 million wines (seriously!) this is a breathtaking resource for the amateur and expert alike.
- Helen McGinn (@knackeredmutha) writes the brilliant Knackered Mother's Wine Club as well as the book of the same name. Frequently updated and frequently funny, this blog has a great community following.
- Jamie Goode (@jamiegoode) is the only other shortlist-er I was following on Twitter prior to the publication of the shortlist, and I would have been genuinely surprised had he not been on it. He's a prolific writer, has published some books which are all but essential for the wine student, and keeps a great blog: Wine Anorak.
- Mariano Braga (@MarianoBragaOK) write the Wine Strategist site. It looks beautiful, but I must confess that my Spanish is nowhere near adequate enough for me to be able to tell you any more about it. Sorry! (perdón!)
- Rhyan Thwaites has the pleasure of looking after the Master of Malt blog which is absolutely teeming with information on all their latest lines.
It's a genuine honour to have been shortlisted with these fantastic bloggers and has already been a great pleasure reading through their work.
Good luck everyone!