Tag Archives: blogging

Sunday Read: My Summer blogging series has come to an end…

My dear readers, Nina and I returned safely to A2, just in time for the opening game of football season (Nina got season tickets this year, I opted to invest my share into wine…duh). We had a marvelous trip to South East Asia, and finished it off with 28 hours in my beloved Seoul, where I lived for 5 months many years ago. It was a bag of mixed feelings, being back in that city after so many years, meeting old colleagues and eating true Korean food. Just a wonderful finish for this trip. As I mentioned before, we visited GranMonte Winery in Thailand, and I plan on writing about this estate in the near future.

Today, I want to pause a moment and do a retrospect on my summer guest blogging series. First of all, fellow writers, thank you so much for your contributions! I was blown away by your posts and the generosity with which you supplied them. It was totally heartwarming to site so many thousands of miles away in Thailand, Laos or Cambodia and see the posts come up…thank you.

Second, the series was a great success. It kept the visitor numbers pretty much stable throughout the summer, which is what I had hoped for and was glad to see. Some of the posts broke or came close to old records of mine: One post made the most likes I ever received on a post (Megan, your readers are very like-prone! :), another almost made my daily views record, yet another made it a first with a self-composed song…most importantly, the series kept the conversation going, as was visible through all the commenting on the posts.

Third, I thought the content was really great: The diversity of approaches to my theme “Somewhere, Beyond the Sea” showed what inspirational writers all of you are. I found the content to be enriching, educational and fun. To me, this is what wine writing and blogging in general is about. The most important key aspect for me, though, was to see how the personal sides of all writers shone through. It is the personality aspect, and bringing people together, which I liked most about this endeavor.

In case you missed any of the posts, here they are again, in chronological order. That should make for a long, long Sunday Read. It is good to be back home, and I am looking forward to taking up posting again. Thank you all, writers and readers, for your continued interest in my blog. It is a great place to be in.

The Wine Raconteur: Chateau Latour 1961

Linda Foxworth: Beyond the Sea, Confined by Beauty

The Armchair Sommelier: Drinking Carmenère with the Devil

Talk-a-vino: Liquid Pleasures Beyond Wine – Rum

Tracy Lee Karner: 2011 Forster Kirchenstück Riesling inspires Happiness

Stefano Crosio: Cloudy Bay, Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2012

Erica Vitkin: Is Ignorance Bliss?

Kawavino: Trebinje – The Wine Capital of Republika Srpska

Cowboys and Crossbones: If this Wine Glass could talk

Talk-a-vino: Surrounded by the Ocean – Truro Vineyards

The Wine Raconteur: Torbreck “The Factor” 2001

Oenophilogical: Dry Creek Fumé Blanc 2011

Whine and Cheers: A Cuban and a Bottle of Carménère on Prince Edward Island

The Food and Wine Hedonist: While The Winegetter is Beyond the Sea…

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A few random facts from behind the facade…

I don’t know about you, other bloggers out there, but there are a couple of things that I find make this whole endeavor so much fun beside the writing and interacting.  I have now been blogging for over a year (I am not much into anniversaries, so I just ignored the fact for a while) and there are just some things I want to share. I am curious what cracks you up. And for those readers that don’t blog, this might provide some interesting insight…

For example, when I look at my stats page which shows me my daily, weekly and monthly views, I do get a kick out of the map and list of countries that tells me where my visitors have come from. Over the last year, the vast majority have come from the US (about four times as many as from the next country), followed by Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia and South Korea. What is the most fun, though, is spotting visitors from tiny countries, or countries that I care about: like my one visitor (ever) from Botswana, Fiji or the Virgin Islands, or the two visitors from Zimbabwe. The map that is shown is colored according to number of visits. And there is a white corridor that stretches from North Korea through China, through Central Asia, pretty much all of Northern, Central and Western Africa to the South American republics and territories North of Brazil and Colombia. Except for a number of hits from Nigeria and a few in Sierra Leone, Kenya and Cameroon, Africa is practically blank (except for Southern Africa)…which makes me sad.

My visitors Map May 2012 until May 2013

My visitors Map May 2012 until May 2013

It also shows me the most frequent recent commenters (in order of appearance: Stefano, Tracy, Megan, Anatoli, Jeff and Julian, in case you were wondering!) and the most commented on posts (again from most down: About, The Wine Century Club, Sunday Read: Almaroja Pirita 2007 ArribesSunday read: Why you should be drinking cheap wine and Trader Joe’s Espiral Vinho Verde).

Another cool feature of the support tools is that it tells me which blog post has been visited the most. This has to be taken with a grain of salt because by far the most hits are to my front page (five times the following page’s hits), which contains the latest three articles. The counter cannot distinguish which posts are visited on that page, so it just tells me “Homepage”. But behind that, this picture emerges (again, all time records):

  1. Trader Joe’s Espiral Vinho Verde – my idea of summer wine
  2. I’m back with a note on U.S. customs duties for wine
  3.  About
  4. 2009 Epicuro Salice Salentino Riserva
  5. 2009 Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

The first single vineyard Riesling article comes in at spot 19 (sic!), the 2011 St. Urbanshof Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett. At least some of my winery profiles rank at 8, 13, 14 and 16. That is kind of a bummer, because I was really hoping to be pushing Rieslings more, but it is also a reflection of what people search for in search engines and what leads them to my site. And people do search for wines that are widely available…and these Rieslings are still filling a niche. And I blog about wineries in Germany that have not dominated the market or wine news.

And that brings me to the best (at least funniest) feature for me: I am also told what search terms lead people to my site. Over the last weeks, for example, I have seen the number of hits from search engines spike that contained the words “wine”, “us customs” and ” air travel”. When I searched some of these terms in Google, my blog came up in third position on page one, behind two much older posts. I guess this explains why that article made it to number two in my ranking of most popular post.

The most popular search terms, however, have been these (with variations of the terms):

  1. vinho verde trader joe’s
  2. cantina zaccagnini montepulciano d’abruzzo 2009
  3. the winegetter (YAY!!)
  4. salice salentino riserva 2009
  5. how many bottles of wine can i bring to the us

Now, those are not very funny. So what is the funniest about these? It is the singular search hits I get. In one case, a friend of mine played a trick on me and reached my blog via these search terms: “winegetter amazing german man riesling blog”. Naturally I was all excited and plastered these news all over my Facebook site until Nina confided in me it was one of our friends…and there are other hits I just cannot explain to myself: how do you get to my site with the search word “mllongo”, and what does that even mean? Or “where can i buy michigan mcintosh apples”, hell do I know? Or ‘why are cotes du rhone so earthy”. Great question, but I am definitely not the one who could explain that…

But sometimes, my posts also hit the nail on the head, like today, when someone searched for “martini bianco with lemon on ice images”. If you remember, my post on Martini Bianco contained a photo of exactly that drink that I had taken…dang, and now I want one really badly.

I still love the front end of my blog, and it is what keeps me writing. But I do enjoy those behind the scene facts I am given. Add in the growing number of visitors in general, and I feel like I am on a pretty good trajectory.

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Sunday Read: An Evening of Two Bloggers and Their Brides

This Sunday read will be a much more personal read than the usual, I hope you don’t mind. I realized Friday evening that my comments count reached over 1,000. While I am well aware that a lot of those are my own (but less than half), it still brought a very important point home to me: What a wonderfully engaging crowd I have found since I started this. In my About page I wrote that I was trying to get a conversation going with you, my readers, and thanks to you all this has actually happened! Thank you for that.

Also, these discussions have enriched my wine experience. The TBA discussion under my Gunderloch Tasting Part 2 post (read the comments here) has definitely broadened my horizons in ways that I did not anticipate. That is just one example, but there are many more.

I just want to take the time to say thank you for reading, for commenting and for engaging with me. It means a lot. You have made this site better and more fun than I ever imagined possible.

Another thing that this whole blogging has brought is new friendships. Over the last weeks, I met with local bloggers: Josh over at Sipology, John over at The Food and Wine Hedonist and, just last week, with John over at The Wine Raconteur (btw, does ones first name have to start with a J to make it in the booze-blogosphere??). Each experience was unique and fun and good. I relished meeting these people that I had gotten to know, more or less, through their writing. It gave us a connection, it made conversation flow easily and was a lot of fun. I am very much looking forward to more of them.

Now, and that is were the personal read comes in, John (The Wine Raconteur) wrote up our meeting that we had with our wives last week. It seems like he had a great time, just as we did and it might be interesting for you to get another’s perspective on me (take it with a grain of salt, it is way too flattering). The meeting brought it all home once more: For me, life and blogging and anything I do is about personal connections. They are what matters. And it was somehow awesome to talk with a “stranger” and be able to say “Oh, I know that about you.” Because I did.

If you have not checked out John’s blog, give it a try. He writes about experiences with wine, restaurants and old Detroit in an inimitable way which makes him deserving of the blog title The Wine Raconteur.

Two Bloggers and Their Brides (and a Tokay)

With that, I leave you on this Sunday. I hope you survived the snow at the East Coast, and enjoy cold or sunny, wherever you are. Again, thanks for making this blog so much fun!

The Wine Raconteur: An Evening of Two Bloggers and Their Brides

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