Happy Birthday, WineLine!

The other day I received a notification from WordPress congratulating me that I registered this blog on their service four years ago. That reminded me that Dave McIntyre’s WineLine is actually 14 years old this month.

That’s right – I started this blog long before anyone was calling them blogs. It was an email newsletter that I created when my first regular wine writing gig, for Sidewalk.com, ended in November 1999. I maintained an email list, which later migrated to listserv, and “published” once or twice a month, or every few months, whenever the muse hit unless I was busy with paying gigs. Then as now, WineLine was a very periodic periodical.

It’s been fun these 14 years!

My early WineLines are still online, courtesy of Robin Garr and his WineLoversPage.com. In fact, 60 of them are there, the last being January 2007, which is probably the time I switched to Blogspot. Then I tried Typepad, before finally switching to WordPress. I also still have my own website, which unfortunately I stopped updating in April 2009, but there’s a pretty good archive of my writings there, too, including many other articles (the paying ones that distracted me from the blog, although there are four-and-a-half years of weekly columns in The Washington Post that are not represented there).

My “Inaugural Issue” shows that I didn’t have much sense for blogging. Since I thought of it as a newsletter, I included several items that could have been published as individual blog posts, thereby artificially inflating my “stats.” My prose had more edge then, and I may have been trying too hard to be hip and funny. (Did I really call Jancis Robinson “the uber-wench of wine”? Yes, I guess I did, my admiration for her evident even then.) But even in this first issue you can see my belief that wine should taste of fruit not trees. It is interesting though that the first thing I wrote about in launching this blog was California chardonnay.

There was also some old-fashioned reporting, from the Napa Valley Vintners Association lobbying in Washington (WineLine #1) to my teargas experience at the “Battle of Seattle” (#3), where the American Vintners Association (now Wine America) was trying to get some trade protections into the world trade agreement. There was comedy, with my “You know you’re a wine geek” tribute to Jeff Foxworthy. And one of my favorites, written in the runup to the war in Iraq: “Code Rosé: Fear (of terrorism) and Loathing (of France) in Our Nation’s Capital” (#28)That one generated some fierce (and threatening) hate mail, as well as a fervent “merci” or two from readers in France.

I wrote about screw caps in May 2002 (#19) and again in September 2004 (#46). The latter article was a finalist for the International Association of Culinary Professionals journalism awards. The next month I wrote about the alchemy of Oregon Riesling (#47), including my interview with Jimi Brooks a few days before his untimely death. That article helped ignite my love of the Willamette Valley and its wines, and I didn’t even visit the region to write it.

I’ve never made a penny off this blog, and I doubt I ever will. Few people read it, and fewer comment on it. But I’ve learned a lot, met some wonderful people, and tasted some wonderful wines. There are many days I want to post something but don’t get to it. I have a backlog of material, just not enough time. But as long as it’s fun, I’ll keep at it.

Thanks for reading. I don’t say that enough.

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About Dave McIntyre

Wine columnist for The Washington Post, co-founder of DrinkLocalWine.com, and blogger at Dave McIntyre's WineLine (dmwineline.com).
This entry was posted in California, Food and Drink, Rants, Weblogs, Wine and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Happy Birthday, WineLine!

  1. Happy birthday, Dave. Listserv, indeed. How many can say that?

  2. Les Hubbard says:

    Dave, happy birthday and 14 is indeed a good many years. I suspect more people read your blog than you believe do. Regardless, keep up the good work for another 14 because you always have something interesting to say. Okay so the pay ain’t all that great! And keep pushing the DLW thing, Bush was wrong and so was one writer: the mission isn’t accomplished quite yet.

    Les Hubbard

  3. Allen Clark says:

    It’s all good, Dave. Here’s to the next 14 – (clink!).

  4. Jennifer M. says:

    14 years is a good reason to celebrate – congrats! And what wine will you be toasting the occasion with?

  5. Nancy Bauer says:

    It’s no easy task, what you’re doing. I have secretly admired your courage, brains and writing ability for a number of years, and now seems as good a time as any to come out of the closet. So to speak. Know that in the vast quietude of the blogosphere, you ARE making an impact. Happy birthday!

  6. Annette Boyd says:

    Happy birthday! I’ve been following you for many years (8?) and rarely comment. I bet I’m not alone. Keep writing.

  7. Ken Morris says:

    Congratulations, Dave. What a long strange trip it’s been. Here’s to 14 more!

  8. Frank says:

    Happy blogging anniversary, Dave! Appreciate your vinous knowledge and insights. All the best!

  9. Norman Holly says:

    An archival treasure trove, your birthday gift to us. Thank you, tusen tak, vielen Dank, mucho gracias, molte grazie, mercie beaucoups, tak so mycket..

  10. In dog years, that’s 98! You hardly look it. But seriously, always a fun an informative read. Thank you.

  11. So Dave, 14 years and no book yet? What’s holding you back? Always a pleasure to read any and all of your wine writing from the blogs to the Washington Post newspaper column. Lettie Teague wrote “Educating Peter.” What will Dave McIntyre write?

    • Dave McIntyre says:

      Right now my working title is, “*Burp*”.

      But thanks for your kind words. I appreciate all the nice feedback here today (and always).

      Sent from my iPhone

  12. Pingback: Terroirist: A Daily Wine Blog » Daily Wine News: Bag of Candy

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