Today (or at least this week) is the thirteenth birthday of Australian Wine Review, as this little website notches up another year in action. That’s thirteen years of me banging on about wine across 3,210 posts (or 246 per year).
That’s an awful lot of content.
One thing I like to do at this time every year is reread my original posts and think about how far things have come (while staying the same).
In 2008, the wine writing landscape was very different. I started Australian Wine Review as a place to store my tasting notes, and because at the time, everyone was starting a blog, and wine writing seemed cool/like a valid career path. Why not?
Back then, most capital city newspapers had full-time wine journos too (plus there were more newspapers), and my original published works paid 70c a word. 70c a word!
Flash forward thirteen years, and the rates are still 70c a word, and there aren’t many of us wine writers left. Even the influencers are forgotten now, simply because no one cares. Wine blogging has dried up, too, save for a couple of legends who do it very well (you know who you are).
I might be painting a dark picture here, but it’s important to realise how things change. And my story is a good one, with Australian Wine Review a positive vehicle that has driven my career and taken me around the world. An outlet where I don’t have to worry about putting a spin on something or selling. Just honest perspectives, largely undistilled (which you can probably notice. One well known local wine writer called my grammar ‘subpar’. Thanks, Huon).
It’s important also to mention all the people behind the scenes who make this website happen. From my long-suffering partner and family (Jime) to the proofreading kings (Reags) and everyone else who comments, donates (love the donations), emails me etc. Thanks for everything.
Also, a massive thanks to the wineries, PR companies, regional associations and more that provide samples/invites, which help drive this shebang. Thanks, everybody.
The last year or so hasn’t been easy, and it shows in the volume of posts I put out. I basically sacrifice sleep to write. But I wouldn’t give it up for the world, and this next year ahead is going to be enormous.
Finally, thanks for reading. Thanks for emailing, commenting, writing actual physical letters(!) and more. Your feedback reminds me that someone appreciates grumpy posts keyed late at night/early in the morning. Email me, even if you think I’m wrong about your favourite wine.
Bring on year fourteen.
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This site is absolute gold. I can still remember my delight when I first stumbled across it. I didn’t know wine blogs like this existed. I thought wine reviews were exclusive to the newspapers and wine mags. And although the wine mags seem, as far as i know, solid the newspaper reviews don’t seem to be as prominent as they once were, making sites like this one and others all the more important. I commented on Instagram recently that you should follow wine writers because they will tell you things and it’s true. I’ve lost count of the number of wines that have found their way on to my radar solely because of a review from a writer/blogger. Happy 13th.