Time to shine a spotlight on those who have been kind enough to send some light my way. It’s my hope to possibly turn you onto a great wine blogger that you might not know… Most of them you might already know. Each person mentioned in this list has the same passion that I know so well. I don’t write about wine bloggers – as bloggers. I primarily focus on wine writers, because my older relationships have played a significant role in my life for the last 17 years, and I know them fairly well.

I was inspired by Joe Power of Another Wine Blog to write this story. He included me in a list a couple of weeks ago, entitled, “Examples of Great Design in Wine and Food Blogs.” Little did he know I was thinking about a redesign, but I think my look won’t disappoint his original intent. At the time I thought, “How kind of him to even notice.”

I took it as a signal from Joe that I also needed to stop, take a breath, take a look around me, and honor those who have found it in their hearts to do the same for me.”

Tom Wark of Fermentation, my colleague in wine PR, inspired me when I first saw his blog, about five years ago. I thought, “If he’s the male publicist wine blogger, I can be the female one.” I knew of no other women at the time blogging about wine, in December 2005. I decided to be the other half of what he was doing. I love the freedom that Tom opened my eyes to, for original copy that was unfiltered and undefined by my clients’ needs, and truly my own. We occasionally include each other on our blogs, and bounce things off each other that have to do with the wine business.

Sonadora of WannabeWino has also inspired me in many ways… I watched her Twitter, long before I appreciated its quick sound bites. She’s turned me onto her passion f or the Wine Century Club, and now I’m also a member. I hadn’t even thought about the significance of stepping outside the bounds of the usual 60 easily recognized cultivars, to open up my mind and palate to taste so much more. She has inspired me. Besides… She uses the PS I Love You glass I gave to her in so many of her tastings on her site!

Steve Heimoff… Before I knew Steve really well, he was a wine writer whom I’d call when I had a client’s news to relay. I’ve always loved his writing. It’s so impeccable, engaging, and he’s a clever wordsmith. When I started blogging, I knew that if he blogged, I have more of his readings to enjoy, so I became a compete advocate… And, I was quietly there watching his wine blog be launched. It’s very rewarding to see how his audience has increased to include a younger demographic. I’m thrilled that he was the keynote speaker at the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference. People got to know the real man behind the curtain in the Land of Oz… The man I know and love.

Ken Payton, the brilliant man behind Reign of Terroir, and I just fell into the world of blogging together. I’ve always made events that I put on available to him. The first one Ken covered, he went back to his computer and immediately wrote a long, complex rendition of his experience. This was my first insight into… “This is one serious dude.” He wrote on his blog, when I asked if he would attend the Petite Sirah Symposium of 2009, “…knew I would be away on vacation in the San Juan Islands of Washington State on that date but the draw of event proved irresistible. That, and the simple fact you don’t turn down an invite from Jo.” Well, I can’t imagine having an event when Ken Payton isn’t invited.

American Squirrel Awards – Created by Sgt. Sassafras of Las Flores View Point Squirrel Colony (Camp Pendleton CA) Wine-Blog was a winner in 2009. I fell into an odd-ball award criteria with the American Squirrel Awards for “Best Ever Reference to Hyemeyohsts Storm in an Astrology Post: Jo Diaz.” Meanwhile, he’s at it again in 2010, and he’s more hysterical than he was last year. Watch for his announcements. They’re going to be classic!

Alawine… Champions award winning wines, and has great listings.  I love watching its Top 100 Wine Blogs. I use this list to keep up with who’s relevant, who’s coming on the scene, and who’s falling away from it. It’s very informative, and I have daily, behind-the-scenes activities from list incoming URL, bringing people to my Web site. This site has created an important service to not only those of us blogging, but to also those who want to read the most read wine blogs at any given time.

Paul Gregutt, if you want to read a quintessential Northwest wine writer’s thoughts, Paul is bringing that perspective to the world. He’s also an active guitarist. There’s something very gifted about a person who can find balance and relay it in musical chords/renditions (besides the ‘ole practice, practice, practice)… This achievement gives Paul a bit of an intuitive, inside edge for balance, when he’s also exploring the true balance in wine. We use our brains in ways that connect one synapse to another. I’m betting that Paul tastes in sounds as well as flavors, although we’ve never discussed it. Our brains just do things like this to better understand what we’re exploring.

Robert Whitley ~ Wine writer, publisher, and wine competition organizer ~ Robert has been on my radar screen for a very long time. He began a wine writers Website long before wine blogs were launched. We had long conversations about how and why, and it all made a lot of sense. Here’s a snapshot of his wine life:

Laura Ness of My Vine Space, is a wine writer from the Santa Cruz Mountains. I greatly respect her, as her writing is fun and informative. She’s written to me, “You’re the Princess of Petite Passion and Major Fun!” In fact, it is she who came up with “Pet Rocks,” a great title that had yet escaped me. My head is always searching for the next best Petite title, and Laura just seems to spew them out.

Gwendolyn Alley, of Wine Predator and Art Predator, was my traveling companion to the European Wine Bloggers Conference and to visit Enoforum Wines in Portugal last fall. We shared nine days of our lives together… strangers in a strange land (only as it relates to the United States). She’s continued to reflect on our experiences. And, I don’t know anyone else who throws his or her entire body into taking photographs the way Gwendolyn does. She’s always writing about her passions of art and wine, and has a unique skill that I always enjoy.

Stark Silver Creek covers all things West Coast, including lots of food and wine stories, wine blog entries, videos, wine events, and interesting opinions. It’s a great comprehensive read, and Web publishing at its finest.

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