As 2012 draws to a close, we continue the overlooked-due-to-hangover tradition of wrapping up the most popular 1WD articles of the year.
This list serves two purposes: a chance to highlight a “best of” from the 1WD content over the past year, and a nod to the engagement of folks like YOU, which makes a site like this worth revisiting. Also, it allows me to take a sort break from creating new content here (ok, three purposes!), which you might not like but I’d argue is required (well-deserved is debatable).
We’re sticking with ten once again this year, which sadly is more victories than my Steelers were able to conjure up this season.
Also, the shift away from comments and towards social sharing continued this year, and so I’ve decided to highlight the 1WD posts that you deemed most worth sharing with others throughout the past year. I’ve a done a (very) rough calculation of that across Twitter, the Book of Face, and the unwanted step child of social networks, Google+. The result below (after the jump) is, I think, pretty much in order of ascending social sharedness, but is not necessarily indicative of the most-commented posts (the focus of previous year-end 1WD wrap-ups) nor the most viewed (those numbers would pale in comparison to my Playboy.com gig anyway, which is much, much, much more a reflection of the insane amount of people visiting the PB site than it is a statement on my writing abilities).
Anyway… on with the show!…
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Today, I could be writing any number of travel-related wine pieces from the large number of jaunts I took in the first three quarters of 2012 (how large is that number? let’s just say I’ve had to visit the doctor to treat complications from my ass having spent so much time sitting in airplane seats).
But I’m not going to do that. Not today. Those stories can wait.
Instead, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is, and give some long-overdue attention back to a long-time friend of 1WD. Of course, if his wine sucked he wouldn’t be getting the attention here; but it doesn’t, so he will.
Gabe Jagle is a long-time commenter on these virtual pages, often adding insightful points and taking the conversation in the comments field into fascinating wine geek territory, areas that we might not otherwise have explored even on posts that see dozens of interesting comments. Gabe doesn’t just do that here – he also does it on several other wine blogs, and he generally seems to enjoy the geeky discourse. In fact, he’s prolific enough and so imbued with the power wine-geeky that it was several months in to our blogger/commenter relationship before I even knew that he was an assistant winemaker to Brad Ford at a small Oregon producer, Illahe Vineyards in the Willamette Valley.
That genuine love for the grape and for its discourse is what lead me to finally meet Gabe in “real” life earlier this year, after the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland. Gabe is a likeable guy, mild-mannered and with a lanky appearance that to city-slickers like me just screams “Pacific NW Farmer” – kind of Shaggy meets lumberjack (he’s probably going to hate that, but it’s the best I could come up with between writing interruptions from my toddler daughter).
I was interested enough in Illahe’s wines after tasting one of the Pinots during my Portland visit that Gabe and I loosely agreed to try to get me samples, which arrived recently. And while they’re not going to set any concentration-loving palates on their ears, those Illahe wines are in possession of a quality that seems to come along rarely in wines these days: authenticity…
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