Six Steps to Sippin' on FREE Wine

Posted by The Wine Whore |

People are always asking me how I score all of my free wine. Well, the truth is, it's actually easier than you think. Be warned though, free wine comes at a price. You must be willing to put in the time, patience, and dedication that is required of being a wine blogger.

If you're okay with that, then here's all you have to do:

1) Get yourself a blog - This doesn't have to cost a thing. There's plenty of free alternatives out there such as Blogger. Don't listen to what a lot of people will tell you about free blog platforms. With a little elbow grease and knowledge, even blogs that are built on Blogger can do pretty much everything those pay sites can do. Just look at my site!

2) Start talking - Content, content, content. After all, who in their right mind is gonna send you wine if you aren't going to talk about it. Putting up content not only shows that you are serious, but it also shows off what you are capable of producing. The more interesting or entertaining the content is, the better!

3) All you have to do is ask - Most people really seem to struggle with this but it's actually VERY easy. Heck, you don't even have to pick up the phone. Instead, contact wineries via email, Twitter, or Facebook. Asking for free samples is like trying to find a date for the prom. As long as you are sincere and professional, the worst they can say is no.

4) Keep good records - Keep track of your contacts, the bottles you receive, and take pictures of everything. The better organized you are, the easier it will be to produce content and get more samples.

5) Be honest - If you lie about liking crappy wine, you'll just receive MORE CRAPPY WINE! If you are true to YOUR tastes, you will be rewarded by increased viewers and better wine samples.

6) Always say thank you - Once you start making friends, keep 'em! That way they'll keep sending you the newest vintages. I started this site over a year ago and for the last six months, I've never once had to ask for a wine sample. I must being doing something right because they just keep coming. It can happen to you too!

Happy sippin'!

(This message brought to you by The Wine Whore)

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drinknectar said...

Randy, I like the points you make about content content content - but would add that quality content is king. I also think being honest is key and there are political ways to be honest. Since wine tastes ARE SO subjective, you have to balance what you say with that aspect too.

Do you taste everything you receive? Or at least document it somewhere besides this blog?


Jessyca Frederick said...

Wow. I was convinced there are fewer steps until I read this, but you're dead-on!

Ben Simons said...

Uh oh, someone just dropped a knowledge bomb! :) Great post. For those of us who are relatively new to blogging, it's great to get some input from the vets. Thanks for sharing this.

The Wine Whore said...

Great point! It has to be GOOD content to be king! To your point about honesty, you do have to be political but it's also okay to say when you don't like a wine. After all, not ALL wine is going to be your favorite wine EVER! :)

I try to taste everything I receive but there's always a few bottles hanging around that I haven't gotten to. There's also several bottles that I've tasted but haven't posted the reviews. I'm trying to get better about this but posting my "affairs" as they happen or at least by the next day. This is tricky, but it is the only way that I can use the blog as more of a wine journal than just a blog. In the last few months, I've stopped writing down my notes in my notebook. Instead, I stop, whip out my BB or Laptop and jot down my thoughts in a post. I like this much better!

Thank you Jessyca, it's easy yet difficult at the same time! :)

The Wine Whore said...

Thank you Ben! :) I don't know if I'd consider myself a vet, but I think I've been successful at obtaining samples. I figured, if people are gonna do it, the least I can do is give some of my insight into what has worked and what hasn't! :)

MVineyards said...

What sets the new guard from the old guard is relating wine to life and not to...well just wine. Like wine drunk with friends, food and experience, a good blog brings the reader along for the ride. Randy you are a great example.

The Wine Whore said...

Thank you!

I really try to make this fun... there's just so many other things in life that are as important (if not more) than a good glass of wine! Meeting cool people like yourself has to be among the best part of the whole gig!

Dezel said...

Good post Randy; #2 hits home, but agree with Josh on the quality points. I have received similar e-mails in the past and even inquiries about how much does wine blogging pay. I always reply that it doesn't pay - its a passion, a hobby, an interest, a love ..the benefits: allows you to meet some cool people and taste some great wine in the process :-)

Happy Sipping!


The Wine Whore said...

I totally agree!

After all, I would much rather read a blogger that is doing it out of passion and love for wine than someone who is just trying to make a buck!


Annie Browne said...

Hey there...great post! Thanks! Out of curiosity, how many hours a day do you spend blogging and building your community?
I dig your style, honest, straightforward, interesting. Keep it up, man!

The Wine Whore said...

Honestly, I pretty much spend every minute of my time either blogging or building my community... and I love every minute of it!

It has consumed my life, my liver, and my love... but it is one of the best things that has EVER happened to me!

Annie Browne said...

Very good...I get it! Glad you're takin one for the team...hehehe. Just kidding!

The Wine Whore said...

What can I say, I'm just a team player! :)

Jainomo said...

Great post! I've been wanting to look into this option for a while now. I just had 2 quick q's for you:
1. How much does frequency of articles play into it? For instance, if you write on an average of 1-3 entries per week, are you less likely to receive samples than if you write 4 or more?
2. How long did you have your blog established before you started soliciting for samples?

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