Sorry for the absence


Sorry for the absence

Apologies for being a week without updating this blog. Normally I update daily, so this has been very uncomfortable for me. It was a technical issue to do with the maximum permitted size of my database. It was

It got too big. I updated my WordPress install to the latest version and this pushed the database far enough for me to be locked out by my hosting provider. So the blog was still active; I just couldn’t make new entries.

So, I had to upgrade my webspace, and wait for the upgrade to come into action, and then the server path for perl changed, so I had to edit my cgi scripts, and I had to dig around the wordpress php files to find out what database version is related to WordPress 4.0 and then go into my sql database, find the right line, and edit that to match. And I’m not a tecchie, really. So it was a bit scary. Other people pay people to do this sort of stuff, but since the beginning (hand coded html) I’ve always wanted to do everything myself. That’s how you learn.

So rather than agonize about my blog situation, the week off blogging has given me a chance to think about future directions and how I might do what I do better. Which areas should I focus on? How can I earn more from my web stuff so that I can devote more time to it?

I have some ideas, but I’d love to hear from others what they like about what I do (if, of course they don’t), and what they’d like to see more of. I’d also value constructive criticism (but go easy and don’t be mean, I’m only a think-skinned real person and I prefer my hard truths to be sugar-coated).

Here are some of the articles I have added to the main wineanorak site in the last week:

    An amazing tasting of Veuve Clicqout older vintages in different formats
    Matello: the first producer write up from July’s Oregon trip
    Heaps Good: stylish Slovenian wines from a Kiwi expat
    Vina Caric: lovely wines from Hvar, Croatia
10 Comments on Sorry for the absence
wine journalist and flavour obsessive

10 thoughts on “Sorry for the absence

  1. Now I know you are one lucky boy downing wonderful old “BIG” name reds and 1963 ports etc—but I`d rather your blog didnt become too elitist.
    I would certainly like to see a wine of the week and something we can all buy. And no it doesnt have to be dirt cheap—we all know £20 spent on a bottle only gets you £7 of vino!!!! This may crossover with your Daily Express writing so maybe thats why you dont give us a real heads up once a week?
    James Martins Saturday kitchen —-endless whites and all from the B***** supermarkets–save Majestic! Feel sure you come across some good “Independents” wine.

    Thanks—–and lets have more articles on New Zealand Pinot Noir Wine and ones which are available NOW–best to you.!

  2. I too would like to see some notes and thoughts on wines say for less than $25. I am never going to be in a position to try/find many of the elitist wines our leader posts on here.

  3. Really enjoy your blog Jamie and I’m very glad to see you up and running again.
    I love it when you unearth a natural/off the beaten track/quirky/accessible wine. I find it interesting that your latest blog is that of a wonderful lunch with these big old world iconic names which leaves me a little cold… I’m sure it was delightful but it doesn’t really do much other than reinforce a stereotype of exclusivity and fine dining which I know you’re not really about!
    Otherwise, keep up the good work

  4. Maybe it “Leaves me a little cold” because we are all dead jealous!

    To be fair to Jamie— recent articles from lunches at The Glass House and Le Trompette which included the most sensational selection of wines,…I know both restaurants ran a promotion this summer where for a limited period you could bring as many wines as you liked without corkage charge. So in one respect, not so ostentatious…just a matter of raiding the cellar. Wish more restaurants were so accommodating:^)

  5. “Wish more restaurants were so accommodating”.

    I live in the Cayman Islands. With the exception two minor importers, the standard of care applied to the transportation and storage of wines on the Cayman Islands is appalling. The primary retailer here routinely shuts off or cuts back the air conditioning in its stores at closing time. To make things worse, wines are often pulled from store shelves and sent to restaurants to satisfy the demands of diners, who are usually tourists who know nothing of the manner by which the expensive wines they purchase at the table are kept. Corkage is about $25 CI, or about 20 GBP.

    “natural/off the beaten track/quirky/accessible wine”

    I buy most of my wine while abroad. To me, natural, off the beaten track and quirky wines are not really that accessible. But at least I have the excuse of renting a car and touring the local wineries wherever I visit.

  6. I love your blog and especially your notes on great wines,although I appreciate that there will be many others ,who like comments on more modest wine.
    Looking back through your blog,it seems to me that you strike the right balance,and it is just a coincidence that you had two fine wine lunches in the last month–I take part of the blame 🙂 Laurence,you may not be aware,that I have known Jamie for many years,and we live quite close to one another,so it is natural to share fine wine with friends,from time to time.
    Frankly,we are all very fortunate that you are able to give all this free info,when so many inferior sites,are subscription only.

  7. I think your blog is one of the best around but I would like to see
    more about the Languedoc, which is my neck of the woods. The range
    of wines in this area, especially in the Corbieres (try the Colline
    des Hirondelles)is really excellent.
    There are more and more vignerons (and vigneronnes!) producing top quality organic/biodynamic wines, especially around the town of
    Lagrasse, and they are affordable!

  8. Hi – I read you blog because I feel it gives me a rough idea of what’s going on around the wine world. Also as an ex-pat Brit it gives me some kind of a connection to home.

    I’m happy to read about wines I’m never going to try, rather like someone is happy to scan a glossy magazine showing pictures of the Maldives or wherever.

    I think your (my perception?) recent move towards quite angular, though provoking / antogonising posts quite brave and it’s interesting to read the reactions.

    I think your scoring system is antequated and for me almost totally irrelevant. I’d rather see something like (a) undeniably excellent on any scale, (b) great wine but you have to get it, (c) good but unexciting. For me 92 or 93 just doesn’t make any difference and with grade inflation leaves me wondering what you actually mean.

    I find your tasting notes a bit more useful but I think you could run a count on the creeping use of such words as “mineral” and “precise” over the last 3 years. Is everything precise now? Wasn’t it before? Just pulling you leg of course, but you catch my point.

    I do think it’s amazing that the blog is free + especially all the dilligently written-up field trips. It must be a lot of work and I think 99% of people would not bother so much, whereas you have doggedly continued. But with regards moneyterising your blog, this is pure speculation but I am guessing you already have. I suppose I’ve been reading it about 6 or 7 years now but I am guessing that you are only in the position you are in today because your excellent, impartialled, reliable, interesting blog gained you many friends and admirers.

    For me I’d say more or less keep it as it is, posh restaurants and ’82 Bordeaux included but consider ditching the scores. It’s also excellent that you allow comments, for me that really brings it alive, enables me to see other points of view and reflects well on you when you take it on the chin. Thanks a lot.

  9. There’s really not too much I’d change about your blog Jamie – I think it’s really terrific. There’s a good mix of technical info, off-beat stuff and wine porn / fancy biz.

    I really like hearing from you on wine writing / scores etc – I think your recent remarks on score inflation in Oz were dead on. And really, it’s important that you’re critical. It’s what makes your writing interesting – your opinion is valuable because you’re no cheerleader (but nor are you needlessly negative).

  10. I second Andrew’s suggestion of a qualitative rating system. I’ll also suggest that ratings be couched with respect to their appeal to “old school” versus “new school” wine drinkers – or maybe their reflection as good examples of “typicity” versus “innovation”. (Personally, I appreciate any good wine whether it be typical or innovative.)

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