Among the many people who stand in the dock accused of conspiring against wine (alongside doctors, governments, supermarkets etc) there are, of course, the media. Newspaper publishers don’t give wine the coverage it deserves; tv cos don’t commission wine programmes. Collectively, all these negative forces are, apparently, depriving an eager audience of the wine material it craves. Wine is, after all, fascinating, full of stories and characters and places.
The facts that wine magazines and wine book publishers fail to make money, that newspaper readers complete surveys saying they don’t want descriptive wine columns and that no tv wine series has ever attracted large numbers of viewers are usually swatted aside with the statement that no one has “done it properly”.
The beauty of living in 2013 is that anyone who really believes that to be the case can affordably put their money where their mouth is. They can launch an online wine magazine (as Tim Atkin is doing) and they can create Youtube video clips. If they can attract a sufficiently large audience, TV companies and traditional publishers will take notice. That, after all, is how we came to get 50 Shades of Grey and Justin Bieber.
Advertisers like Volvo are exploiting Youtube brilliantly. No-one is doing it with wine. Most youtube clips – including Gary Vaynerchuk’s – are watched by pitifully small numbers of people. So, here’s my challenge to all those who complain about not getting on terrestrial TV: put up or shut up. Show us what you can do online; make a great youtube pilot. Prove there’s an audience that extends beyond the small group of people who are already established wine lovers.