1. Take a knowledge of one beverage and assume it automatically makes you qualified to write about another. Being an authority on wine doesn’t qualify you to offer “expert” opinions on single malt whisky, UNLESS you’ve done one hell of a lot of research and tasting.
2. Judge a release negatively on the basis of one or two sips. Everyone and everything deserves a second chance, so try it again before you lambaste it, or say nothing.
3. Get all attitudinal when someone calls you on a mistake or error of judgement. We all screw up from time to time. Take your lashes and move along.
4. Write your blog as if you are a ten year old because it makes it more “real.” You’re supposed to be a professional writer, even when doing something you’re not paid for. Typos are one thing, but frequent errors in grammar, punctuation and structure just reflect badly on you and your craft.
5. Use descriptive words no one is likely to understand. Noting underlying hints of some obscure Amazonian fruit doesn’t help North Americans to understand the flavours you’re describing; it just makes you look like an ass.
(I hope I’m not guilty of any of the above, but let’s face it, I probably am.)