picture-49Ah, nothing like trying to write a bio of oneself to realize how silly and pretentious it all sounds. And here I thought a nice glass of 14-year-old Savennières would make it all come out more easily. Oops! did I spill some on my sweater? Ah no, the wet wool’s in my glass… I think I’m just going to sit here and enjoy the wine…


In a previous life, Doug Cook was VP of Web Search Engineering at a little company called Inktomi, which then became part of a big company called Yahoo!. After what can only be described as a pre-midlife crisis, he went gallivanting off to study wine professionally, and, among other things, earned his WSET Diploma. Along the way, he discovered the frustration of trying to find up-to-date, authoritative wine information on the web. Thus was born Able Grape, a search engine for trustworthy wine information. The current beta version is very much a work in progress, improving almost every week, but already indexes more than 20 million pages from 41,000 wine sites. He hopes you’ll send feedback, ideas, and comments to him (email: his first name at ablegrape.com), and kindly asks two very small favors: one, help get the word out, either by linking to us or by telling your friends and colleagues about Able Grape; and two, please register so we can keep in touch with you as we make major improvements.

Doug was most recently the Director of Search for Twitter, Inc, and in mid-2010 returned to work on Able Grape and other projects. He also occasionally writes for Wine Business Magazine and teaches the odd wine class in the San Francisco Bay Area.


19 Responses to “About Doug”

  1. 1 wendy February 15, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Thank you soooooo much! This will make studying much easier!

  2. 2 Dain Ehring February 16, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    This is an awesome site. Very excited. I read about it in the San Fran Chronicle yesterday (Fri). Nicely done. I’ve already sent to my friends.

  3. 3 Mimi Aye February 20, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Nice to meet you in Barcelona. Thanks for putting this together. Nothing like a love of wine and the misery of wine study to fire up creative people. Look forward to using AbleGrape. In vino veritas.

  4. 4 caryl March 8, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Heard about your existence today from the BKWine Brief. Able Grapes is great and much appreciated: if not an actual life-saver, then a real time-saver. Well done!

  5. 5 PICOLEUSES May 4, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Just find your site today!! I am always searching for wine information. I do participate to http://www.vinorati.com where I do log my wine journal.

    looking forward to use it also in french.

  6. 6 mildura May 14, 2008 at 3:40 am

    Great site! I heard about it from a post on an Australian wine forum. Keep up the good work.

  7. 7 goddessofwine June 27, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    So good to find another ex-Yahoo in a better place! I worked for GoTo.com, which became Overture.com, which was also swallowed up by Yahoo! I was referred to your site by my friend and mentor, Ian Blackburn, of LearnAboutWine.com, and am thrilled to find a site that helps me get my tasting notes in record time. Keep up the good work!

  8. 8 ablegrape June 27, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    Hi Denise. I am enjoying building something for myself, with all the ups and downs that brings. For the record, Yahoo! wasn’t such a bad place, though. Lots of great people. It’s just sad to see what’s happening to them now. There are a lot of smart people who’ve worked hard for many years, building what is still a great site, and it must feel like that’s being frittered away through some silly management decisions. I sincerely hope they can weather this latest challenge. It’s still my preferred (non-wine) search engine!

    Thanks for your kind words about Able Grape. I’ll do my best to keep making it better!

  9. 9 PK October 11, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Had wondered what happened to Doug. A perfect return to the web!


  10. 10 Ken Payton November 2, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    I wanted to again thank you for the extraordinary fine wines you poured back at the Flamingo after Alice Feiring’s talk. Very, very generous. I wish you and your site the best!

  11. 11 ablegrape November 3, 2008 at 8:21 am

    Hey Ken, Nice to meet you, too. And what is wine for but to share? Can’t think of a better (and more fun) group of people to pop those bottles with… just slightly bummed the 3L of 1978 Lungarotti Rubesco “Monticchio” was corked… ah well, I guess that’s part of the game.

  12. 12 Edward Ragg March 27, 2009 at 3:50 am

    Hi Doug! Have been writing on Catavino for a while now, but am only just learning about Wine Web 2.0. Saw the Able Grape searcher on Ryan’s and Gabriella’s site and have put it in our sidebar too! (www.longfengwines.com/wine). Looks to be a great resource. Best of luck with everything! Edward

    • 13 ablegrape March 27, 2009 at 10:19 pm

      Hey Edward,

      Thanks for the kind words, and for the help getting the word out about Able Grape. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen of your blog, keep it up! And please let me know if I can improve Able Grape’s coverage of what’s going on in China… seems to a fascinating market there.

  13. 14 Jose Eduardo May 20, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Hi Doug,

    I hope I will see you again at the EWBC 2009 in Lisbon. I’ve been promoting your project among our staff, soon they will be using it instead of google for their daily searches.

    Cheers from a very hot Alentejo.

  14. 15 Cabbages & Roses March 15, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Nice to meet you at the Design Bloggers conference…I really wish they had given you more time to present. Thanks again. Suzie

  1. 1 One more (not so) little update… « Able Grapes and Garbled Peas Trackback on June 30, 2008 at 1:31 am
  2. 2 Ablegrape - Motore di ricerca sul vino « Gastrolinguistica Trackback on July 18, 2008 at 3:31 pm
  3. 3 Rispondi e ti sarà dato « Gastrolinguistica Trackback on August 6, 2008 at 12:49 pm
  4. 4 Besoin d’infos sur le vin? Cherchez ici (enfin, là). « À chacun sa bouteille Trackback on August 10, 2008 at 10:13 pm

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Able Grape, a wine information search engine




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