The website was down for about nine hours on Wednesday morning, and anyone who tried to access the site got a placeholder that made it look like I was out of business. But no fears — I'm still here and plugging away.
The cause was a DNS mishap, related to a soon-to-come site redesign. Don't worry if you don't know what DNS means. I do, and knowing doesn't help much. Just makes my head hurt.
A tip o' the Curmudgeon's fedora to TypePad customer service, which got the site back up in just a couple of hours and did it in professional fashion.
But that doesn't mean I'm not thrilled. Or overjoyed. Or any adjective you want that describes complete and boundless happiness. And thank you. I may even find time today to enjoy my achievement, instead of my usual worrying and fretting about filling up the blog and making a living at it. Maybe with a little Puligny? Of course, I also have this nice $10 rose. …
What makes me the happiest is that the award was voted on by people who read wine blogs, and that those people voted for me. That means they want to know the things I write about — the idea that wine should be easy and enjoyable, that it doesn't have to be about marketing gimmicks and winespeak, that wine writing should do for wine what intelligent, critical writing does for anything else: inform and educate the consumer.
Which, by the way, I'm going to keep doing, and would have even without the award. But you knew that anyway, didn't you?
The wines have to cost $10 or less (Dallas prices, though I will make an exception if prices seem to be higher here) and be generally available. That means no store brands or private labels — wines like Trader Joe’s Two-buck Chuck, which are only sold at one retailer.
The final decisions are my own, and take into account what I think wine should be: varietally correct, balanced, and interesting enough to buy again. I taste most of the wines that make the Hall more than once, and regularly taste the wines with others.
Finally, I take suggestions and input from blog visitors and wine drinkers, people I know in the wine business, and other wine writers.