This blog posting has been inspired by Charlie Olken, of Connoisseurs Guide to California Wine. Bear with me… The indented paragraphs are setting an important stage. What follows after this introduction is something very exciting about our pal Charlie.

Web 2.0 caused a huge marcoshift in publishing. No one is going to argue that one any more.

The early adopters of the Internet’s interactivity who jumped on board to write about their love of wine were the macroshifters. Erik Qualman of Socialnomics Website, explains macroshifting, in his book of the same name, as this: “a small window of opportunity is unlocked where companies and people can benefit.”

With Web 2.0’s wine bloggers, the innovative few who took advantage of that early window of opportunity have become the next layer of wine influencers. Some are now even writing their own books, first being introduced and creating a following through Web 2.0.

So, now… Here’ the Charlie part…

I’ve been writing about Portugal, because of my Enoforum client teaching me so much about his side of the business and his side of the Atlantic. I wanted to talk with Charlie about Portugal, because he’s made a couple of comments recently about loving Portugal, on my blog. I just wanted to share. Charlie’s always been there for me, even with Petite Sirah… And I have to say “even,” because he had a time when he stopped reviewing Petites. They had just become too tannic for him and his readers. I was working very closely with so many brands, and having started PS I Love You, I needed him to reconsider his thinking, because I knew how hard the winemakers were working to make PS more approachable. Charlie is very influential, considered one of the US’s finest wine writers… The man’s a Harvard grad… Need I say more?

Charlie did shift his thinking, and allowed Petites to be submitted, and has continued to do so, from that time on.  I respect him a lot for not being dogmatic. That was a grand moment for Petite Sirahs, as I took a small step forward on my way toward having Petite become understood as a US heritage variety.

So, Web 2.0 comes along and Charlie quietly embraces it. He comments here and there. He quietly builds his image within that wine writing community, because to deny them would say that he’s forgotten his roots. He’s confident in what he’s created among his followers, and being kind to this next generation, endearing an entirely new generation. As I said, the man’s brilliant.

He told me that the just reached a crossroad. Does he quietly sail off into the sunset? Or, does he become reborn… Just writing about wine (like the rest of us) for the pure joy of it… reckless abandon… let it all hang out?

Well, not so much that way. He is pretty brilliant, as I mentioned, and more organized than I in that regard.

What he’s done is this… He’s just started blogging. Visit his Website, (Connoisseurs Guide to California Wine) to see what he’s done.

His Website is all new. He said he might even (probably no “might” about it, you’ll see) get a camera, something he’s never done before, and begin to add lots of color to his new awakening. (Color’s good.)

What he’s done is this… He’s taken “old school” and combined it with “new school.”


Rather than writing in a spur of the moment style, which most of us do, he’s given himself seven focus areas, one for each day of the week. I just love that. He’s obviously given his blog a lot of forethought before launching it, and it’s going to be fabulous to see what he’s done with each day.

According to Charlie in response to a comment I made on his blog, welcoming him to the blog world,

“I love the idea of the blog because it extends Connoisseurs’ Guide into wine-related areas that never found room inside the Printed version of the Guide.”

Here’s his lineup, and from here, you’ve simply got to go to his site and watch the samba be danced by an expert.

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