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Thoughts on my blog’s first birthday



When I started my blog, I wrote: I don’t have a well-thought-out, coherent plan. This is Day One; I’ll start Day Two tomorrow. But what I think I want to do [is] Express my opinions about things that interest me.

That’s exactly what I’ve done.

I wrote also: I hope this blog will be relevant.

I think it is.

And: I’ll try as hard as possible to make your visits worthwhile.

I hope your visits are worthwhile. (And for the record, it is hard work.)

What a year it’s been. Everything’s changing, upside-down, uncertain. For wine, it’s not only the general world financial meltdown but the rise of the Internet that’s so challenging. A year ago, I hardly understood its significance. Now, blogging has plunged me into the digital world with all its twists and turns. I see two emerging areas in which the Internet will play a role: through blogs (and other social media, but I think Twitter is going to fizzle out), and through online marketing and sales companies that will assist wineries in direct-to-consumer sales. One of these days, the three-tiered system will collapse, and DTC will rule.

More personally, blogging has had great impact on me. My writing has become, I think, clearer and more direct and more expressive of who I am. And blogging has forced me to delve more deeply into researching the news of the industry; I sometimes feel as though not a sparrow falls to earth in the wine world that I don’t know about. Blogging has made me feel connected to a younger, and more international, audience than before. That’s empowering.

A few bits of trivia about my blog. Since May, 2008:

# of posts: 247. That’s about one every 1.5 days.

# of comments: 2,329. That’s about 9.4 per post.

top 5 posts, by number of comments:

Did Rodney Strong manipulate bloggers, use clever marketing, or both?: 78
The Appellation Myth: 55
The straight dope on wine reviewer inconsistency: A long post on an important topic: 45
Top ten list of things gatekeepers could do a better job of explaining to consumers: 36
Why is the reaction to the Spectator hoax so fierce?: 35

# 1 country, by visits: U.S.A., followed by Germany, Italy, Canada, Australia, the U.K., Slovenia, China, Spain and France.

So now it’s on to Year 2. Thank you, readers, for carrying me this far.


The other day I wrote about a new wine and said that if anybody could identify it, I’d put them into this blog. Well, I got an email from a dude who nailed it! The wine is Boyanci. Meet the winner, Marc Stubblefield.


Town: Chicago, IL
Age: 36
Occupation: Director of Production, Court Theatre.
How did you get interested in wine? Always was wine on the table growing up (nothing special), got more interested in the last few years as I began to think more about wine and food together, rather than separate ideas.  The idea of classic / regional pairing led me to look away from just domestic supermarket brands and more to Oregon, Loire, Tuscany, Mosel, etc.
What are the last 2 bottles of wine you bought? 2008 Tempier Bandol Rosé, 2006 Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Granges.
How did you come to be reading my blog? I have your blog in my RSS feed reader, along with others.
How did you know the wine was Boyanci? Some internet reference in the last few months, confirmed with a quick check of their website.  I tried to dig it out of my feed reader or wine boards, but couldn’t find where I heard about them.
What social media networks do you regularly use? Facebook, Twitter.
What wine blogs do you regularly read? Too many to count  –100+ in my RSS reader – they all don’t post every day, and some of the feeds are from boards rather than blogs per se (West Coast Wine Net, Squires, etc).

Thanks, Marc, for being a good sport!

  1. Congratulations, Steve, on your first birthday! I didn’t have the stomach to last a year with my blog. Or maybe that’s talent I’m thinking of. Anyhow, your blog is always a pleasure to read for its tone, unpretentious dispensing of hard-earned knowledge, and lively discussions among generally coherent participants, present company excluded. It transcends 98% of what’s out there in the blogosphere. I look forward to your sophomoric season.

  2. Happy Birthday! (Anniversary?).

  3. Steve…I don’t miss a single post!

  4. Steve – Congratulations! My own first post on the winery blog was 6/9/05, but I have been nowhere near as prolific – or interesting! – as you: I have averaged a post every 6.6 days. As you say, it is hard work. And you have to work very diligently to get it right, as there are hundreds of post hoc editors out there ready to pounce on any perceived blunder. There is nothing that sharpens the mind greater than the possibility of a serious flaming in the morning.

  5. Arthur, it’s Happy Blogoversary. No, wait, that’s too close to Blagojavich.

  6. Way to is hard work. but the mastery is in how easy you make it all look.

    Bravo – auguri!

  7. You’re going to have to coin a term here, Steve.

  8. And many more!

  9. where’s my present Dude!?

  10. Congrats, Steve. It does take fortitude to make it a year with the quality and consistency that you bring everyday.



  11. Jeff, many thanks.

  12. Ah, the irony of a blog celebrating its paper anniversary!
    so…”Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.”- Plautus
    Great job, Steve.

  13. Er… your present… yeah, uhm… I’m workin’ on it?

  14. Just goes to show you that a true journalist when s/he turns to cyber writing stands out from the other bloggers, with only a few exceptions. SH is to the manner born. He has the pundit’s talent for opining on a topic by including the observations of others weaving them into his thesis. And with almost no snarkiness, a rarity in this domain. Informed exploration–this is the future of the bloggosphere.

  15. Happy Happy anniversary!

  16. Tom: send me an invoice for your review. But seriously, thank you.

  17. Auguroni Steve 😉

  18. I missed the celebration. Oh well, Happy Belated Blogday! I’m really impressed with the numbers your first year has put up and I’m glad to have been a part of those numbers.

  19. Happy 1-year Blogday! You’ve done a wonderful job!

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