Not Quite Readers’ Choice: Top Ten Articles of 2010

Vinted on December 30, 2010 binned in about 1winedude blog, best of

As New Year’s Eve approaches, we are greeted with the familiar sights of fireworks, the sounds of annoying Vuvuzela-like party favors, and the coming of cheesy year-end recap. posts!

So today, we’re not ranking wines, but articles. I had fun pulling together the 2009 recap. of the most-commented posts on, so I thought I’d do the same for 2010, using the totally unscientific method of listing all of the posts form the Archives page and ordering what looked like the ones with the most comments.

The rationale of course being that these are the posts that you, the extraordinarily talented, modest, and altogether too-good-looking 1WD readers felt were most worth the effort of contributing your time, passion and opinions.

As was the case last year, controversy (and Robert Parker – honestly… I’m starting to wonder if you folks are obsessed with RMP… you can probably seek help for that, you know…) won out.  I consider the majority of the topics covered in the round-up below (two were giveaways, which weren’t controversial but did turn into interesting discussions on how we take tasting notes, and our preferred methods for cork extractions) to be at least somewhat controversial in the wine world.  And then there’s what seems to be the holy triumvirate of wine controversy: namely, BioDynamic winemaking, The Wine Trials author Robin Goldstein, and uber-critic Robert Parker

One interesting trend I’ve noticed in the latter half of 2010 is that there are fewer comments and a lot more Twitter RTs and Facebook Likes for each post. I’m convinced that by the time we get to the 2011 round-up, comment count will not be a sufficient yardstick for the most interactive posts of the year, and I’ll have to do a lot more work to determine the list based on a combination of factors including comments across different social media platforms. If I did that for the 2010 list, we’d have a different number one (the Tim Hanni interview would be the leader by a long shot) and mostly a different list altogether.  And that, to me, speaks powerfully to all of the sand-shifting going on in the social media space – a bit difficult to handle at times, but way more interesting than everything staying stagnant!

Since this is naturally a time for reflection, I’ve been looking back on 2010 and I’m energized and encouraged – it was, by any reasonable measure, a great year for and that’s of course thanks mostly to you who read it and give it a life of its own, always taking the discussions in directions that I never could have imagined.  I’m not interested in standing still, though; I promised that things wouldn’t stay the same and I do plan on continuing the evolution of 1WD that has taken place in the latter half of 2010 – focusing more on wine itself and particularly on destinations/travels related to wine, of which you’ll see much more in the first half of 2011.  For those hankerin’ for discussion of wine blogging itself, I’ll touch on that as part of my ongoing “Going Pro” series (detailing the triumphs and travails of my foray into making 1WD fiscally viable), so you’ll still get a bit of that –  but it’s not going to be the main component of 1WD.

Anyway… the year-in-review is below, with the posts listed in descending order of comments received.  Thanks again to you, the 1WD readers, for making this blog what it is, and for being the acidity to my tannins, the pumpkin to my pie, and giving me the continued opportunity to be myself and have fun doing it!

Happy New Year – and here’s to another year of crazy-good dialog together!

10) Do You Take Wine Notes? (Giveaway! 33 Bottles of Wine Pocket Notebook Edition)

9) Happier Times = Less Wine? (Will A Better Economy Mean Fewer Wine Blogs?)

8) Biodynamic Wine, Mystified (Is BioDynamics A Bunch of Fertilizer?)

7) Debunking the Argument Against Wine and Social Media

6) “Fun and Messy and Wonderful” – An Interview With Buehler Vineyards’ Helen Buehler

5) How To Make Wine Evaluation Even Less Objective? Don’t Spit!

4) The Otter Badgers of Wine Reviews: Joining the Wine Rating Revolution

3) Your Screwing Preferences (Giveaway!)

2) Wine Satan or Wine Savior? An Interview With Wine Trials Author Robin Goldstein

1) “The First Serious Wine Blogger”: The 1WineDude Robert Parker Interview






  • Josh Wade

    Great list, Joe. I particularly loved #2. I remember reading each and every one of these articles. Keep it up (the writing that is) in 2011.


    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, bro – as always, I appreciate the kind words & support.

      I think *everybody* remembers #2 – that got a LOT of discussion going! :-)

      The funny thing is, I never intentionally sit down to write controversial shizz. That probably sounds disingenuous given the above Top 10 list, but it's true – it's not until *after* the post starts getting discussion that I start to wonder if lines got crossed, or how others might interpret the writing. That's something I need to get better at doing and will be focusing on that more in 2011, because I don't want people thinking that I'm trying to "move up" or get attention by stepping on the throats of more established people, for example, or intentionally trying to drum up a sh*t-storm over a topic.

      It's a line I need to walk a bit better, I think.


    • Jean Tournier

      Great list, I remember especially of the #4!
      Found your blog on another blog, and I must admit I didnt know about it before, but I'll definitely be following you!

      Thanks, and happy new year

      • 1WineDude

        Thanks, Jean – Happy New Year!

  • joeshico

    Wonder what the list would be like if a poll was taken by all your followers as far as what post each liked the best.
    I believe the only ones missing from this top 10 would be the 'Giveaways.'
    For me, the Robert Parker interview was the most fascinating. A big coup for the Dude and very professional.
    Looking forward to more from 1WineDude in 2011. Happy New Year, Joe.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Joe – I guess in a way, people have already voted, but they've done it with comments, FB "Likes" and twitter comments/retweets?

      It seems kind of presumptuous to list them out for a poll, though – at least it does in my mind, though I may just be overly cautious? In any case, if I get some time I may see if I can get the RT/FB/Comment counts and post an alternative Top 10 in the comments here with those results – but family time beckons for the remainder of the week, so I'm not promising anything! :)

      Happy New Year!

  • 1WineDude

    Thanks, Jeff – means a lot to have you in my little corner of cyberspace, as it were! By the way, thanks again for your assistance on item #1 above!

    The China article didn't make the cut in terms of number of comments… glad you brought it up though (link is below for lurkers).

    I will be interviewing some people about the Chinese / Asian wine market in 2011, though, so the topic isn't going away! I've also got a BioD interview planned (both of those likely will be in podcast format) so I expect that one will generate a lot of discussion as well.

    I'm already looking forward to seeing how this list will look this time next year – as I mentioned, I expect fewer comments and a lot more twitter and Facebook activity so I will probably use the combination of all three to determine the "most popular" list in 2011.

    I also got a couple of questions privately about how this list compares to my personal favorite posts of 2010, so I'll hijack this space to also answer that: In summary, there is very little correlation between my faves and the most "popular" (as determined by comment number, anyway). C'est la vie!


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