Wordplay and Wine: Reinventing the Wine Blog

A photo of a woman sipping from a glass of red wine in the middle of a vineyard.
Author Emma Darnell at Cartecay Vineyards in Ellijay, GA.

I am pleased to introduce my digital persona, "Wordplay and Wine" (emma-darnell.com). I chose to purchase a domain name that reflects my own name, rather than the title of my digital persona, because it's still in a fledgling stage. I'm learning about and adjusting my digital persona in real time, so using my full name seems like a safer and more versatile bet in the long run. If the "wordplay and wine" persona doesn't work out, I can adapt into something new while keeping the website open under my name.

The main idea behind this is a blog that melds my current profession in the wine and spirits industry with my personal passion for writing. Though these two fields seem somewhat unrelated, there can be a lot of overlap and intermingling of the two. My dream marriage of wine and writing would be to someday write for a respected publication such as Wine Spectator or Wine Enthusiast, but until then, I'd like to play around with my own blog. I'm envisioning posts about my day-to-day work visiting accounts and conducting tastings, reviews of new wines and spirits I'm tasting, a guide for people who are new to tasting wine, and maybe even summarizing research I'm conducting into a specific wine region or spirits category.

As discussed in this week's readings, a digital persona needs to establish credibility. I touched on this a bit in my previous post, but "credibility" is a complex subject in the world of wine. I'm part of the new school of thinking in that I believe wine should be accessible and accepting for anyone who wants to learn more about it, or even for those who just want to drink something they enjoy without delving deeper. With that in mind, I don't think anyone needs specific credentials to drink or discuss wine. There's a long history of snobbery and pretense in wine, and I really want to dispel that stereotype and present the industry as something that is open and welcoming. I think introducing a persona who is a "professional," but still learning, is a great way to be relatable. However, there is certainly knowledge to be gained, and I hope to show my audience that I have at least a basic understanding that fosters more in-depth exploration. At the same time, I want to make sure my posts are simple enough for a brand new learner, with definitions and examples where necessary.

The "Wordplay" part of this persona is more challenging. On a surface level, one could vaguely interpret "wordplay" as any sort of writing in general. However, to me, it carries a hint of puzzlement and mischief. I associate "wordplay" with riddles, puns, crossword puzzles, and any other activities that use words to create games or layered meanings. It's very possible that I'm over-thinking this, of course, but I'd love to incorporate this type of pursuit if possible. Any feedback here from my colleagues is quite welcome. Would you think it was strange if you visited a site called "Wordplay and Wine" and the content skewed heavily towards wine?

Wordplay aside, I look forward to using my digital persona to blog about the beverage industry, because there's so much to learn. I'm also trying to be conscious and cognizant of the fact that wine and spirits are not friends to everyone. I would like to incorporate some non-alcoholic and mocktail explorations as well. These items are becoming more and more popular, even among people who normally drink alcohol. It's nice to have options that feel like a special indulgence without sacrificing your faculties, or involving other negative implications. Producers have taken notice of this trend as well, with more and more non-alcoholic products entering the market each year.

Overall, I'm looking forward to building upon this persona and fleshing it out a bit more. I think it could be a great creative outlet, as well as a journal of the progress I'm making in my field. Above all else, I hope to spread the word that wine is for everyone who wants to (legally) drink it, not just for snobs! We're moving past the days of French elitism and old-world mentalities. There are amazing and affordable wines out there for every palate, and I would feel honored if I could help someone discover something new that they love.

Emma Darnell

Emma Darnell

I work in wine and spirits sales while pursuing a Master of Arts in technical and professional writing.
Macon, GA