12-months of Barrel Ageing

Today marks the 1-year anniversary of our little blog in cyberspace. It’s been quite a year! We had no idea when we started this blog how much it would enrich our lives through friendships made, conversations had, and giving us a focused outlet for assessing wine.

Traffic

When we first started this blog in June 2010, we got roughly 400 unique visitors in our first month. In 2011, we’re now closing in on an average of 2,000 unique visitors per month, and a hit count of over 50,000 hits/month. A lot more than we would have hoped for when we first started this personal “wine journal”.

Our traffic is highly localized with almost 77% originating from Canada, and a whopping 45% coming from Vancouver city proper.

Content

Our content has primarily been wine reviews, but we’ve thrown in the odd editorial when an issue really pushed our buttons. Over the past year, the articles with most page views are, in order:

  1. BC’s Enomatic Enigma
  2. WINEcouver > About
  3. Vancouver wine: The Love/Hate list
  4. WINEcouver > Stores
  5. Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva
  6. Black Hills Estate Nota Bene
  7. Lindemans Shiraz Bin 50
  8. Feudi Di San Gregario Aglianico
  9. Yellow Tail Shiraz
  10. Taste these! Wine picks for the 2011 Playhouse Wine Festival

We gained a good deal of following after writing the article on the Enomatic issues in BC, and the topic was quickly picked up by Gismondi in the Vancouver Sun, Wines & VinesCherries & Clay, WineLaw.ca, and Dr. Vino, perhaps wine’s biggest news aggregator online.

The remainder of our top content’s popularity is perhaps due to a dearth of proper online reviews on some well known wine brands such as Ruffino, Lindemans, Feudi Di San Gregario, and Yellow Tail. One exception to that list would be the Black Hills Estate Nota Bene, which we’ve gone on record about and gained some infamy for sticking in the “avoid” list. Honestly, we’re not biased against Black Hills Estate, and we think a lot of their Alibi blend. However, we do strive to be an honest source of reviews for the average consumer, and value is something that matters highly. “Take note” of that.

Focus for the coming year

We love wine, and especially the esoteric, scarce “geek” wines that our group of wine enthusiast friends endeavour to find and share. However, market data shows that the majority of wine purchases in BC are below $20, and as consumer advocates, we do make an effort to drink and review wines drunk by the majority, and also available to the majority via Provincial distribution.

While we do enjoy writing the odd editorial, there are some great blogs out there that have much more of an ear-to-the-ground on day-to-day industry changes. As such, we highly recommend Cherries & Clay for thoughts from a restaurant/trade perspective, and the blogs of Just Grapes Wine and WineLaw.ca for legal changes and implications provincially, and nationwide.

Final words

It’s been quite a year personally for us as we were married in August 2010. We both completed our WSET Advanced certificates in the early summer and were happy to find out that we both passed with Distinction. One half of our team (Mr Winecouver) is currently studying his WSET Diploma while the other half (Mrs Winecouver) dreams up blind tasting flights to challenge his palate.

The coolest thing that this blog has brought about is a networking and friendship aspect that we never imagined could happen from throwing some ramblings online. Through Twitter, and through this blog, we’ve met some seriously cool people. These “social media friends” have grown into true friends that we spend time with, drink wine with, and are happy to have in our lives. How cool is that!

Here’s to an even better year two!

Mr & Mrs Winecouver

PS: here’s some tweets from the past year that made us laugh/blush.

that wasn't the real @ no one knows what they really look like ~ @
Watch the cool kids @ for deadly honest #bcwine thoughts. They're willing to actually talk, not just push info. #WineWednesday
@OkanaganWriting
Jeannette Montgomery
#FF @ might have a drinking problem. Everyones thinkin it no ones saying it.
@donovanpee
Donovan P Mahoney

 

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Wine truths

“When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.”
by Henny Youngman

Wine Ratings

★☆☆☆☆ - Poor quality. Avoid. Save your money. Between 80-84 points.

★★☆☆☆ - Average quality or poor value. Between 84-88 points. Some expensive wines are downgraded for bad value.

★★★☆☆ - Good. Between 88-92 points. Or a good value on the lower end of the point scale.

★★★☆☆ - Excellent quality. Between 92-96 points. Or a cheap yet good quality wine which is excellent value.

★★★☆☆ - Outstanding, best examples in the world. Between 96 and 100 points. A perfect wine.