Archive for August, 2008

Still a chance to win the ’64 Gaja… we want your input!

If you haven’t had a chance to complete the Able Grape user survey, which is also a contest for the best, most insightful, and most creative feedback, please do. I’ve been getting a lot of great responses to the survey so far, but I’d like to get a few more, so I’ve extended the deadline for entry until 8 September. Please tell your colleagues; the better feedback I get, the better I can make Able Grape for all of us. And to those of you who have completed the survey so far, my deepest thanks! Should you have any more thoughts, you’re welcome to go back and modify your survey responses until the survey closes.

If you’d like, you can also go directly to the survey, instead of reading the post about the contest.

Grape geek site(s) of the week: Iberian varieties

A couple of weeks ago, I went to an excellent seminar and tasting sponsored by the folks at TAPAS, Tempranillo Advocates Producers and Amigos Society. TAPAS, despite the explicit reference to Tempranillo, is about all Spanish and Portuguese grape varieties (I guess “SAPVAPAS” just didn’t have the same ring?). It’s a group of North American producers helping each other grow the varieties, make wines from them, and promote them in the market. I was impressed with the quality and diversity of the wines I tasted, and I encourage all of you to keep an eye out for the next TAPAS event; it will be well worth attending.

The TAPAS tasting, plus the upcoming European Wine Bloggers conference, in Rioja, have had me thinking about Iberian varieties lately. I thought it would be fun to point out some great internet resources for these varieties, and I’ll take my cue from TAPAS and use Tempranillo as an example. I’ve used Able Grape to find all of these results. Continue reading ‘Grape geek site(s) of the week: Iberian varieties’

WBW #48: Back to my Roots with Ridge Zin

(or, “how to avoid finishing the newsletter you’ve been working on”). Thanks to Lenn Thompson for founding the WBW tradition, and for picking a great theme for this fourth-anniversary round.

I honestly can’t remember what wine it was that I drank regularly when I was first discovering wine. I was so unsure of my own knowledge, and so eager to try different things, that I bought something different almost every time. I’d been casually drinking wine for about ten years, with little rhyme, reason, or repeat in my drinking patterns, before I can recall buying anything in any kind of quantity for frequent drinking. I ransacked my addled brain for some memory of those earliest wines and… …nothing. I do remember one of my first winery visits, to Ridge, in Cupertino, in the early ’90s. I lived just a few miles away in the heart of the Silicon Valley, and Ridge was just a bicycle ride down Foothill Expressway, and a tortuous, sweaty ride up Montebello Road. I loved the visit, and many that ensued, and I’ve had a soft spot for their wines ever since, though my preferred wines have changed (in the early days it was Zinfandel, and now it’s Monte Bello, Monte Bello, Monte Bello). I suppose, in an indirect way, I even owe one of my great loves to Ridge: I met a visiting French winemaker at a ZAP tasting when I mentioned that I liked her Dusi Ranch Zinfandel better than Ridge’s. Thanks, Paul! Continue reading ‘WBW #48: Back to my Roots with Ridge Zin’

A nice update, and a message to our community

"a vos problèmes, nous apportons des solutions"It’s always hard to write about database updates for Able Grape. In even the smallest update, there are so many new sites, and so many little improvements, that I never know what to single out for mention. So I pick a tiny smattering of things, to give you a flavor of what’s new, and a few fun sites to explore, hoping to neither bore you out of your mind nor to step on anyone’s toes by leaving them out.

Today’s update is no different. There are almost 400 new sites since the beta 2 launch a couple of weeks ago, bringing us to a total of 38,682 sites by the “old way” of counting, though I’ve just switched to a more stringent way of accounting, so let’s call it 38,315. In any case, it’s 400,000 new pages, bringing us to nearly 14 million wine documents! Here’s a sampler of some goodies: Continue reading ‘A nice update, and a message to our community’

Able Grape, a wine information search engine