The Internet, Where Content Is King!

(Originally published May 2013)

When you have been into wine for a long time you see lots of things come and go. In the internet age, this includes wine websites. Recently Hanes attempted to do some cleaning up of his browser bookmarks. And it was amazing to see how many are now “dead.” Underscores not only the relative value of content online but how tricky it is to survive over an extended period, especially if one’s goal is to, like, make money. Luckily, Hanes has been making nada since 1999 so no worries there!

It was nice to see AbleGrape still up and around although, Hanes confesses, he never uses it for wine related research. The latest “news” posted on their main page is from March 3, 2011 so Hanes is guessing he is not alone in neglecting this website. It seems that Wine & Spirits Daily is still charging for content so at least someone seems to be making some coin. At $360/year though, it would be cool to see a third party audit of how many people subscribe. Particularly when there is so much free content out there. Gratified to see The Organic Wine Journal and The Underground Wineletter still periodically posting new content. Hanes should actually read these websites, he might learn something. Looks like Steve O’s Wine Touring Guides is still up at – no graphical redo since like the early 2000’s but appears that content does get updated now and then, Hanes remembers this being a useful website. Looks like Jens Riis’s Spanish Wine Page is still accessible although the user interface is not the best. Think the content is being kept current. Enology International has a smattering of recent content and there is a link to Jordan Ross’s wine seminars and classes website but basically not a lot going on here. Another not so robust website is The Alchemist’s Wine Perspective, last content posted like January 2012. Although the article on how temperature effects the aging of wine is still key.

Conversely, VinoWire (“news from the world of Italian wine”) is still up but nothing new since 12/27/11, so it’s more or less RIP. is gone – can’t even remember what that website was. – gonzo. used to exist, Hanes remembers it for hosting the writings of Daniel Rogov, the Israeli wine writer who passed in 2011. Now, it and Daniel are gone. The Wine Maven on now sends you to GoDaddy which means… dead! TORB (The Opinionated Red Bigot) is up but not running as Ric Einstein has an illness and other stuff going on so remains one of the more fun legacy websites out there, would love to see this sort of energy again. obviously ran out of answers as it’s kaput. seemed to be, err, lost. Wine Brats at must have got beat on with a baseball bat, vanished. The Wine Doctor at is likewise history. The Wine Rhino has shuffled off – Lyle, wasn’t this one of your projects? has withered on the vine. was perhaps shorted. has apparently gone into secret hiding. Can’t recall what Wine Writers Xtra was about but nothing “xtra” about it now, gonzo.

And so on and so on. Many more which could be listed. And, to be sure, many new ones which could be added since Hanes more or less stopped doing online wine research years ago in favor of just drinking the stuff. But it is worth a moment to reflect on how many people have put their passion for wine online only to see it fade to the Blue Screen of Death.