Wine writing in the traditional media has long been somewhat of a boys club. Although there are a handful of women who have managed to penetrate the Riedel Ceiling, such as Jancis Robinson and Alice Feiring, the overwhelming majority of wine writers in print have been male. Thanks to the new DIY options that have sprung up with the advent of online media, women are not only evening out the numbers, they might be producing the best wine content available on the web.
While I’ve known several women bloggers who have been producing great content for quite some time, there are a couple of rockstars who have hit the scene more recently that really got me to thinking about the impact that women are making on the online wine world. After a little more thought, I came up with four women who are some of the absolute best producers of wine related content on the web. They are not just producing great content of professional quality; they are creating something unique that makes them stand out from the crowded field of bloggers and YouTubers.
Lisa Mattson – The Journey of Jordan Winery
Since Lisa started working on the Jordan Winery blog in January of 2010, she has consistently produced some of the highest quality winery content that you will find online. Not only is the technical quality of the video and photography impressive, it also has a style and point of view that really does a great job of conveying the personality of the winery. If a successful winery blog is about telling the story of the winery, than Lisa is one of the top story-tellers in the wine world today. Perhaps that is why the Jordan Winery blog recently won the 2012 Wine Blog Award for Best Winery Blog, an official recognition of the fantastic work that Lisa has been doing for some time. Take her beautiful content, sprinkle in a heap of great social media engagement and elegant website architecture, and you have the recipe for one of wine’s top online content producers.
Madeline Puckette – Wine Folly
In a short amount of time (her site is around 6 months old as of this posting date,) Madeline Puckette has become one of the most unique voices in wine’s new media. After watching her video profile of Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills AVA, I described her work as Wes Anderson meets Gary Vaynerchuk, but the truth is that her content is 100% unique. A certified sommelier with video and design chops, Madeline teams with her Wine Folly teammate Chad Wasser to create a unique blend of wine content that has a vibe and personality that you won’t find anywhere else. Although her content has broad appeal, Wine Folly seems like the perfect wine site for twenty and thirty-somethings; a great mix of solid educational content and millennial-friendly aesthetics. She could be well positioned to become the voice of a new generation of oenophiles. From great video to innovative infographics, Madeline has introduced herself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of online wine content.
Leslie Sbrocco – Thirsty Girl
Leslie Sbrocco is, quite simply, a force of nature. She is a rare talent who brings a unique energy to her content that just can’t be manufactured. Although her credentials start with traditional media, including television, print columns, and books, Leslie has also carved out a spot as a producer of online content. The same charismatic persona that has made her a sought after speaker and television personality, translates perfectly to her Thirsty Girl TV YouTube segments. Whether it is her educational wine videos, or her interviews with various producers and personalities in the wine world, Leslie consistently creates entertaining and informative online videos with great production values. As the face of media changes, we will continue to see traditional media producers venture into new media, but Leslie has gotten a jump on the migration and is already among the top producers of online wine content.
Courtney Rich – QuitWINEing
I don’t even know where to start with Courtney Rich’s opus to unique and off-beat experiential wine pairings and imaginative photography. There is, without a doubt, nothing else like it on the web. Don’t let the sexy Alice in Wonderland photo that serves as the cover image of the site fool you, there is some serious content beneath the entertaining photos that accompany every post. Courtney is another certified sommelier who is using innovative online content to disseminate wine knowledge to the masses. She knows her wine. Although she is not the first to try her hand at unconventional wine pairings (perfect wine pairing for Rejection anyone?) her unique style of writing and fun photos make her blog one to follow religiously. Can you think of a guy who is doing anything this unique, and at such a high level of quality? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
While this list is far from exhaustive, each of these women is creating something unique that is worth plugging into your RSS reader and checking out regularly.