Notes From The Cellar

Two Score And A Dozen Weeks Ago...

Steve Paulo

Notes From The Cellar is now one year old.

365 days ago, I wrote a brief description of a trip to Regusci Winery with my wife and my parents, thus officially becoming a “wine blogger” (yes, really, that’s all it takes).

Since then, I have written 127 reviews, and in them have reviewed 129 wines. 205 posts have welcomed 824 comments, although a lot of them have been my own.

I was nominated for an award. I went to a conference. I met Gary Vaynerchuk, Randall Grahm, Steve Heimoff, and some of the coolest wine-related persona grata you’d ever hope to come across. Folks like Paul Mabray, Hardy Wallace, Josh Wade, Ben Simons, Chris Oggenfuss, Ward Kadel, Jason Mancebo, Thea Dwelle, Barbara Drady, and many, many others.

People stopped by my little neck of the woods 12,441 times over the preceding twelve months. That’s still peanuts compared to most wine blogs. Certainly any that someone would consider “successful,” but it’s what I’ve got.

While I still consider the main thing that I do here to be reviewing wine that I have the good fortune of coming into contact with, the fact is that of the top five most-viewed posts all year long, just one was a review. Here are those articles, from fifth-to-most read:

5) A Creamy, Buttery Chardonnay — Apparently, people like searching for “creamy buttery chardonnay,” because this middling B+ review of a Livermore Valley chard that isn’t really my style is the fifth most-read post of my first year, and the most-read review (449 pageviews). I have to blame SEO on this one, because for me this was just another review I wrote, right in the middle of my breakneck five-reviews-a-week pace.

4) 8 Rules For Visiting Tasting Rooms — A step just up the ladder at 451 pageviews, this post was also one of the most-commented-on through the year. A hit with those who actually work at or run tasting rooms, I’ve been told this is now hanging up in more than one such establishment. Honored.

3) Top 10 Movie Quotes About Wine — This was a fun one to write. I love wine, and I love movies. At 476 pageviews, this post is only marginally more popular than the tasting room rules post, but apparently, people love lists.

2) Stephen Tanzer WAS A Jackass — With 41 comments, the most controversial of my posts from Notes‘ first year. I’ve never met Stephen Tanzer, I do not know Stephen Tanzer, but last spring the bloggers-vs-traditional-wine-writers “feud” was in full swing, and this was my contribution to the ig/noble effort (depending on your viewpoint, of course). Significantly more people saw this post (776 pageviews) than either of the two previous.

1) Pairing Wine With 1980s Action TV Shows: Magnum, P.I. — By FAR the most popular post this year (1,294 pageviews), and the reason why the #2 search term that led people to Notes all year long has been “magnum pi.” I’ve started this project of pairing wine—with more than a hint of sarcasm—with TV shows, and it isn’t going anywhere. This was the first one. People, it would seem, dig Selleck and his ‘stache.

Thanks for tagging along for my first year. I don’t know what is in store in the year to come, but hopefully it will be interesting, read-worthy, and wine-related. I leave you with this:

The Top Ten Wines Of My First Year

  1. 2003 Château d'Yquem Sauternes
  2. 2005 Uccelliera Brunello di Montalcino
  3. 2008 The Prisoner
  4. 2007 Leviathan
  5. 2005 Renato Corino Barolo
  6. Yalumba Museum Reserve 21 Years Old Antique Tawny
  7. 2006 B Legacy Reserve Merlot
  8. 2006 Steven Kent Merrillie Chardonnay
  9. 2007 Canihan Family Cellars “Exuberance” Pinot Noir
  10. 2008 Trefethen Dry Riesling
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