Sunday, May 27, 2007

Joe's Wine - A Year in Review

Happy first birthday, Joe's Wine!

As you can see from my Blogger profile, I have been a member since May of 2006. While some of my posts go back to 2003, my first official 'new post' was last year’s Brunello tasting - everything before that was a retrospective data dump of old e-mails to my tasting group.

While originally intended as a repository of notes for my wine tasting group, I couldn’t resist expanding the scope and opening up to the public (See why I blog below). Now at one year old, an awkward toddler always struggling to find the right words, perhaps a few numbers can help review what has been accomplished in twelve months.

A Year in Numbers

Testing the limits of a human liver, I have published 135 posts over the past year, including:

  • 112 tasting notes on 128 wines, including two WBW reviews
  • 8 posts covering our Formal Tastings - blinded reviews of 40 of the world's most famous (and expensive) wines, as reviewed by our tasting group
  • 5 posts covering travel to Napa Valley and Canada's Okanagan Valley
  • Various other comments and tips, including shopping reviews from various travels
As some of you may have noticed, I value diversity in wine. To put it simply:

"Every wine has a perfect time, place, food pairing and person to share it with." - Joe

My cellar and my reviews reflect this. My score summary page is a spreadsheet snapshot of my tasting notes and scores from the past year, but just to highlight the range of wines in those 112 tasting notes:

  • France: 40 wines, with less than half coming from Bordeaux, the Rhone and Burgundy - the other half were Languedoc, VdP, and weird appelations (i.e. 5 Madiran posts)
  • Italy: 26 wines, equally split amongst Tuscany, Piedmont and the rest of Italy
  • U.S.A.: 15 wines, predominantly Napa cab blends and Pinot Noir
  • Australia: 15 wines, a decent selection of Shiraz, whites and other
  • Spain: 11 wines, tempranillo dominated
  • South America: 7 Chilean and 5 Argentinian wines, fairly diverse
  • Other: 9 wines from New Zealand, South African, Austria, Germany and Canada
  • Red vs. White: 28 Whites, vs. 100 Reds

I added a statcounter into my blog in mid-September, and since that time it tells me I have had 6,115 visitors and 9,243 page loads. Approx. 6,000 visitors since January, when I really came out of my shell. The geographic diversity has been quite amazing - I have probably had visits from ~85-90% of the countries worldwide, with many surprises. Welcome to all!

Most Unbelievable Wines

For me, all were memorable in their own ways, but I should probably flag the following as freakin' unbelievable (in no particular order):

  • 1998 Henschke "Hill of Grace", very elegant
  • 2001 Elderton Command, powerful, complex, enjoyed twice
  • 1990 Chateau Clinet, very cerebral
  • 2002 Sea Smoke "Botella", best Pinot of the year
  • 2001 Domaine Pegau "Cuvee Reserve", best CdP
  • 1990 Chateau Montelena, awesome 17-year old Napa cab
  • 1999 Ornellaia, there is a reason this is so expensive
  • 2001 Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis, ahh, so this is what great Barolo tastes like

Honorable mentions go to:

  • 1999 Hacienda Monasterio, amongst the world's greatest wines at under C$40
  • 2005 Palacios Remondo Placet, best white of the year
  • Greatest Value? Tough call, but it is probably the Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon
Drinking too much?

No need to worry, Edward, as I have relied extensively on the livers of my wife, family, dinner guests, and of course our tasting group, to help round out an extensive year of tasting.

Google AdSense?

I can't possibly figure out how this will be lucrative, and I have a day job that would require me disclose this, so I will stay "ad free" for now.

Resolutions for the Next Year

My blog is light on white wines overall, and I really need to cover more Burgundy wines, and add some Loire wines.

For travel, I will be visiting Champagne at the end of June, and Sonoma Valley in the fall.

And, while this will always be a blog focused on independent wine reviews, I will adding some wine commentary beyond the obligatory tasting notes. The 'Daily' quote will continue, and I will add an archive of older quotes.

I hope you enjoy, and stay around for year two - Cheers!


Sonadora said...

Congrats on making it to the year mark! Looking forward to the 2nd year!

Joe said...

Thanks, Sonadora. I promise to put up some more California Zin for ya, and I will reference your trip to Sonoma for my fall 'Sideways 3' tour...

Sheena said...

Happy Blogday, Joe.

Edward said...


Well done! You are well advanced on the road to ruin ;-)

Your blog has become one of the must read wine blogs for me. Always well written, balanced and fun.

Marcus said...

You're hitting full stride now -- seems like your picking up the pace on posting which is a good sign one year in.

All the best for Y2

Joe said...

Hi Sheena - not sure how to take the Blogday wishes from an "Equal Opportunity Mocker", but I think a thank you is what I want to say!

Edward - Please, come, and donate your liver! Thanks for your comments.

Thanks Marcus - you were my first connection to the blogosphere, and you are my only Montreal connection - thanks for the support! FYI - I have some comments from last week's MidiConseils - will stop by and drop them off. (By the way, did you know they are closing the Art de Vivre store?)

Cheers to All!

Marcus said...


No more Art de Vivre?

They weren't selling enough, were they?

Thanks for your notes on my site, by the way...

Joe said...

I don't know the reason why, but it was close to the already impressive duo of 440 de Maisonneuve and Les Ailes... anyway, I'm just wondering what they will do for the tastings - not sure if the other stores are set up for that. I'm NOT driving out to Rockland...
Glad to be of service.

Brooklynguy said...

Congrats on one year Joe! Glad to hear that you will take a dip in the inviting waters of Burgundy and the Loire. I kind of enjoy wines from those regions too...

Joe said...

I can't say I have tried more than a handful of Loire whites, and no reds, so this (like everything I do with wine) will be a learning adventure. I have only slightly more experience with Burgundy, as we have discussed in the past. As Chicago said, "you're the inspiration"...

RougeAndBlanc said...

Thank you (and your liver) for all the reviews. What dedication! Keep up the good work.

Joe said...

Thanks for the comments Andrew. I look forward to your one-year review as well.