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Tag Archives: wine writing

Technical problems on the blog today

Website

Sometime during the night, at least six posts — including the post scheduled for today — vanished from the server that hosts the blog. Several other items, including comments posted over the weekend, disappeared as well, and we’re not quite sure why. The work of a disgruntled Denver fan, perhaps?

We’re working to find the missing material, but until we do, there will will likely be a delay in new posts. If we can’t find them, I will have to write them again. This will only make me crankier, and we know no one wants that. Because, of course, I didn’t make a local backup, trusting in the server company’s 99 percent guarantee.

Just call it another highlight in what has turned into an extremely troubled transition in moving the blog from its old server and platform to the new one.

Google AdSense, wine blogs, and Joe Camel

Google AdSense, wine blogs, and Joe Camel
Google AdSense, wine blogs, and Joe Camel

“Hey, kids. Why don’t you try some wine with your smokes?”

Most wine blogs can’t participate in Google’s AdSense network, perhaps the leading on-line ad service. That’s because, as I found out when I applied, we violate its terms of service: “We did not approve your application for the reasons listed below. Issues: Drugs, drug paraphernalia, alcohol, beer or tobacco. … Please remove all drug-related content from your site, then resubmit your application.”

That we’re doing nothing illegal and that we don’t have any drug-related content to remove seems like just another of those wonderful, Google-esque ways the search giant does business: Buying companies to close them, discontinuing popular services, or agreeing with the Chinese government that Internet censorship isn’t such a bad thing.

But Google’s decision to ban wine blogs from AdSense goes deeper than that, speaking to the contradictions inherent in wine and alcohol 80 years after Prohibition thanks to the NeoDrys, fear of underage drinking, and the three-tier system. Google doesn’t object to wine, as near as I can tell. It just doesn’t want to be responsible for someone buying it who might break the law, because that could lead to nasty publicity, lawsuits, and the besmirching of its good name. More, after the jump:

Rudy K. and neo-Prohibitionism

Prohibition-Era-Cocktail-Recipes

neo-ProhibtionismRudy K. is Rudy Kurniawan, the con man convicted last month for bilking wine collectors out of millions of dollars by passing off cheap wine as rare bottles worth thousands. The story, not surprisingly, was huge among the wine writing fraternity, both traditional and on-line, and a Google search yesterday turned up 1.8 million references to it.

On the other hand, a story that could affect every wine drinker — and not just those who can drop a couple of grand for a French first-growth that may or may not be real — was mostly ignored last year. That was the National Transportation Safety Board’s proposal to cut the legal drinking limit, which would be two glasses of wine for most women and three for men. Yesterday, there were just 37,000 Google references to the plan.

And some of us wonder why no reads wine blogs anymore. This contradiction, and what it says about wine writing and the wine business, is after the jump:

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