I've made it to year 3...
January 22, 2005: First post, the first review came the same day. I started this whole thing just as a place to keep notes. I'm astonished at what it's become.
August 5, 2005: First linkage via another blogger, Professor Bainbridge, law prof at UCLA and wine lover extraordinaire. Barbara from New Zealand soon followed, kicking off my international audience. For a long time, I had a lot more readers in England, California, and the Southern Hemisphere than I did here in Memphis.
September 1, 2005: Comments are enabled.
December 1, 2005: One of my most personal posts, in which I eulogized my high school English teacher. I still get lots of mail from this one.
April 15, 2006: First correction requested by a French winemaker.
September 10, 2006: The first "Benito vs. the..." post, in this case Beets and Pluots. I chose the topic as sort of an Iron Chef challenge, not any sort of animus towards the ingredients used.
October 1, 2006: My parents discovered the blog. I didn't mean to keep it secret, but I'd slowly moved from being semi-anonymous to somewhat public, and once the cat was out of the bag, I made my name known to everyone. Traffic increased substantially, and old friends have gotten in touch with me through the blog.
May 13, 2007: First visit to a winery as a blogger.
August 22, 2007: First "Benito vs. the Hotel Room" post, featuring osso buco.
As of today, I'm the #1 search on Google for Benjamin A. Carter, and in the top 10 searches for Ben Carter and Benito. The first two are cool, but the last is fairly surprising considering the number of famous historical Benitos, as well as the continued popularity of the name in the Italian- and Spanish-speaking regions of the world. One of these days I'll beat Mussolini!
My stats (only tracked since June 8, 2006 via Google Analytics):
79,117 visits from 128 countries
Most popular by country:
1 - United States
2 - Canada
3 - United Kingdom
4 - Australia
5 - Germany
6 - France
7 - Brazil
8 - Netherlands
9 - New Zealand
10 - Singapore
As for the US, I've still got more readers in California and New York than I do in Tennessee.
Thanks go out to all of you who have read this blog, left comments, or shared a table with me at some point. If this thing is still going at the five year mark, I think a big party is in order.