It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. There are several reasons for that, mostly personal. Mainly, I wanted to focus my energy on my Washington Post wine column, which reaches a much wider audience and, well, it pays. But The Post still mentions this blog in the tagline of each column, and my wife keeps chiding me to take that out because I don’t post here any longer. Every now and then WordPress notifies me that someone has subscribed to the blog, and that tells me there is still interest out there. Some friends have also asked me about WineLine.
So here we are. Maybe it’s time to bring Dave McIntyre’s WineLine back to life. It’s always been a zombie. I started it in late 1998 as an email newsletter when my gig at the time, Sidewalk.com, dried up because banner ads hadn’t been invented and no one could yet make money from a website. This was before the word “blog” was coined, or maybe around that time. Robin Garr was kind enough to host my humble little newsletter on his WineLoversPage website for a few years. I went to Blogspot, then Typepad, and finally WordPress. Will I migrate to Substack, like the rest of the world? Perhaps. I like Substack. It’s a writer’s community. I might not feel so lonely there.
I’m reviving WineLine — or at least restarting it, I hope it will be vital enough to continue — because there is more to write about than I can fit in my column. Wines that are delicious but perhaps too small production or more expensive than my target range for a weekly newspaper column. Or just more wines than I can include in my current format of three recommendations per week. My reactions to wine news, articles, silly brouhahas on social media. Most importantly to me, local news about Virginia, Maryland and the “Other 47” — a focus that defined my early wine writing but no longer fits in The Washington Post’s current self image as a “national” publication.
So what will you get with the “new” Dave McIntyre’s WineLine? Nothing polished. If I had a media team helping me, or if I’d simply gotten my act together, I’d have several weeks or months of posts ready to go so I could keep feeding you a stream of brilliant wine writing. But no. The only Force that is with me is inertia. You won’t get self-promotion; I’ve never been good at that. Content will be irregular, but it will be spontaneous, heartfelt and honest. Unvarnished (as in, my wonderful editors at The Post won’t be here to save me from myself). Humorous, I hope. Thought provoking, even. Sometimes just “Hey! Try this!” You may get a rant, but I hope no whine. (See what I did there?) Think of these not as posts or articles, but as letters to a fellow wine lover.
I hope you will enjoy it. Most of all, I hope you will let me know if you enjoy it, by posting in the comments. That’s the only way I’ll know if I’m reaching anyone or just talking to myself. Maybe we can get a good conversation started over a glass of nice wine.
All best for a wonderful 2023 vintage for you and yours. And thank you for waiting.
Hi Dave, This is a pleasant surprise. Are you still with NRC? I retired about 10 years ago and am loving it. I assume you are keeping your column in The Post, even though I notice it isn’t published as often. Keep up the good work and “Cheers!” Brian Richter
Thanks, Brian! Nothing’s changed yet (except the frequency of my columns, as you noted.)
Glad you’re back!
Dave, As you know most people who follow you and those like me appreciate the commentary and are excited to read your take on wines that make an expression or impression. I think you are on the right spot on this, the need for local wines in our community and sharing their stories of our own small producers. Who is very much out of the reach of the national highlights. But is that what the readers want? If we are collectively, as a whole, focused on the “local” and “local business”. Who would think the readers of DC, MD and VA who are the community of these small producers, small businesses is not important to highlight? Who would not be a strong supporter to our our producer within our local community? Yes it is great to hear about the new vineyard in SW Oregon and the village in Patagonia now and then. Equally to share with those how are most interested in supporting local producers in MD and VA. I think this will hit the spot. Thank you. That’s my full glass thought.
Thank you for the feedback — this is good encouragement for me to keep up this outlet.
Hi urbanwineguy – I totally agree with you, but coverage such as “nearby wineries to visit” is assigned to the Weekend section of The Post. The Food section takes a broader, more universal approach. So it’s not that I’m prohibited from writing about local wineries — I still manage to work them in from time to time — but it should not be a locally focused piece, aimed at readers in the DMV. That’s tricky. For example, I can — and do — include local wineries and winemakers whenever possible in general pieces about various wine issues, along with winemakers from elsewhere. I like this approach because it puts local winemakers and their wines on a par with their peers in California, Oregon or elsewhere.
Look at it this way: Most Post digital subscribers are not in the DMV. They would be interested in reading about Virginia or Maryland wineries for two main reasons: 1) They’re planning a trip here and would like to visit some wineries. They can read the Weekend articles on where to go for that information. 2) They are genuinely interested in reading about new trends, new areas or regions making great wine, even if they can’t buy those wines where they live. Unfortunately, these readers are few and far between, at least in The Post’s subscriber base, apparently.
I’ll stop here for now. Thanks for reading WineLine, and for commenting!
Welcome back, Dave. I’ve checked back periodically for updates. I enjoy your WP columns but appreciate the chance to hear back directly on the WineLine. I thought of you recently after a trip to New Orleans. A group of us went to dinner at a not-too-fancy restaurant where we were handed a hugh wine list with extravagant prices. A couple of us opted for the house wine by the glass. Terrible mistake. In your opinion, when, if ever, should one opt for the house wine?
I am equally surprised I had a secure login for your site still saved! Welcome back
Thanks, Miguel. Now I just need to get down to Texas!
A couple of comments…
First, some time ago, in thou WP article, yumentioned the de Negero website. A loss for Calvert Woodley but it has become my main source for wine. Sometimes will split a case with a friend. Don’t think I’ve paid more than $25 a bottle and regularly 12 or less.
Second, I’m disappointed that the WP reduced your space by eliminating the listing of stores where your wines of the week can be purchased. Yes, can check the distributor but one more step…
Third, I wish more stores would highlight your recommendations like Rodmann”s does. It would help both sales and customers.
Thanks for your efforts.
Hi Richard – Thanks for your comments. Yes, de Négoce has some great bargains.
As for store listings for my Post recommendations, some distributors are now listing stores on their websites and social media feeds. A simple Google search of the wine often turns up some local stores too.
Glad you are back and I look forward to reading! Per the comment above always feel free to share my info if anyone is looking for my wines. Cheers!
Thanks, Lyss — will do!
Hi Dave, This is my 1st time back also. I’m here because had the pleasure of reading your Post article and followed the link.
I am not a wine connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination. Far from it. However, I, as so many others, do enjoy a good bottle of wine and an excellent one on occasion. Look forward to hopefully benefiting in this shared passion and sharing some fine wine with friends and family.
Thank you, Azalea, and welcome!