On Tuesday I’m off to Sicily for a few days of vacation — my first in many months (I’ve literally been working 10-15 hours a day, seven days a week!). I’m very excited. After all, all work and no play makes Doug a dull boy. But I had to make… just one… more… database… update… before heading out.
First, because I know you’re counting, we’re officially up to 37,882 sites indexed. Among the new sites are hundreds of producers, from small, hard-to-find producers like Château Nuit des Dames, Enzo Tiezzi, Eric Guerra or Fabril Alto Verde, to big, easy-to-find producers, like the new website of Constellation Australia (previously known as Hardy Wines). There’s also a plethora of new journalism sites, from big newspapers like the UK’s Evening Standard to personal sites of talented writers like Eleonora Scholes, Helen Savage, or Patricia Guy; Henrik Mattsson’s site about his book on Calvados; John Salvi’s Bordeaux Weather Report; Alessandro Bindocci’s new blog Montalcino Report, about life in, you guessed, it, Montalcino; Jacques Berthomeau’s blog, Vin et Cie espace de liberté, about the business and politics of wine in France; the disarmingly sweet and almost haiku-like Mon Semainier; the excellent Brazilian blog QVinho… I could go on — there are hundreds — but hopefully that gives you an idea of the diversity. And of course, there are quite a few sites for official, in-depth information, like deeper coverage of the EUR-LEX European law database (want to find official documents pertaining to Благородно сладко вино or mistelas or oak chips? Note that the EUR-LEX results are available in a veritable Babel of languages; use the “more from this site” box, at the left of the result, to “peek inside” and find the language you want).
I’ve also been expanding the concept database quite a bit, so you should get far better results, and useful suggestions, for concepts from DMDC or atypical aging to point systems or producers like Quinta do Vale Dona Maria ( or worse yet, Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo) which can be written in a variety of ways, to separating out Domaine Cros from Domaine du Cros or finding Abbey Vale (is that written with a space or not?). And so on.
Ah, one more little thing. I’ve been asked a couple of times recently if Able Grape has a plug-in for Firefox or IE7. And why yes, it does, but I guess I’ve done a lousy job publicizing it (I’ll have to fire my PR department). Just go to the Able Grape home page, and if your browser can use the plugin, you’ll see a link at the bottom. Click on that link, and voilà! Search 13 million pages directly from your browser.
Hope you enjoy. As always, we aim to be comprehensive. Should you know of a producer, journalistic site, organization, or academic resource that’s missing from the database, please let me know. Should you find any query you think could be better, please let me know.