21 January 2015

Decennium

Click.

There's a little button on my Blogger dashboard that lets you start a new blog, which I'm not doing. Way on the right side is a more useful button called "View Blog" that lets me check and see if the website has been hacked by North Korea or vengeful Ruritanian winemakers. I'm always a little wary of that new blog button and how easy it is to access. One click in 2005, and now I'm looking back on ten years and 1,488 posts. (I would have rounded up to 1,500, but Fredric Koeppel just hit that milestone for real today.)

Ten years.


Most blogs don't make it past a couple of posts, let alone a couple of years. And in fact, I've just performed my annual pruning of the links to other sites on the righthand column. Lots of great people, lots of great posts, but if they haven't written for a few months, I generally assume that they're not coming back. That's not a critique: few people have a vocation for this crazy pursuit, and there's no need for anyone to just go through the motions in order to put words online. At the same time, I want to direct my readers to a curated list of friends and colleagues who will provide a wealth of other perspectives on the world of wine and food.

I've discussed the BWR origin story many times in the past, but there were never any real goals for this site back at the start. Around about the five year mark I started thinking that it would be a real accomplishment to hit ten years. Now that it's finally here, I'm proud, but it's not just about the passage of time. There was a lot of hard work along the way, which is something that I don't think a lot of people realize. I hear this a lot: "It must be awesome just to sit around and drink wine in the evening!"

For every bottle reviewed here, I have communication with a publicist, a shipment that I might have to pick up somewhere later because I wasn't home to sign for it, voluminous packaging that I have to get rid of, excess wine that needs a home (usually the kitchen sink), and then the actual writing, photographing, publishing, and additional communication and social media engagement with the companies involved, followed by potential years of e-mails from readers asking, "Can you tell me which shops in Delaware sell this wine? Or can you just sell me a few bottles?" For the record, I've never worked in wine retail and I don't sell samples, which would be highly unethical as well as impractical. Nor do I get full cases of the same bottle as some folks think.

Has it been worth it? Absolutely.

Don't take the above as griping. Hard work and maintaining a good reputation have resulted in a lot of great opportunities for travel, meeting wonderful people, enjoying great meals, and increasingly, getting paid to write about food and wine for other publications. And there are so many future opportunities on the horizon. I don't see myself ever becoming a full time writer (the world is a different place today), but it's a nice sideline that engages a lot of skills that I don't always get to employ in the day job.

While paid writing gigs and social media command somewhat more of my attention these days, this blog isn't going anywhere and will always be the the central repository for reviews, news, and links to whatever I'm doing. Plus all of the other stuff that doesn't quite fit anywhere else, because I still love having full editorial control over my own piece of the web. The wines I get to sample thanks to the history of this site may end up featured here or on any one of a dozen sites I work for with lots more traffic and visibility.

As I've always stated, the real joy of this blog is the fact that people actually read it, and I thank every single one of you, even if you just click a little "like" on Facebook, retweet a link on Twitter, or comment on a bottle I've posted on Instagram. 2015 is starting out great and I'm excited to see where the second decade takes me!

* * *

Doing any sort of look back with links would be a massive undertaking, so it's easier to link to prior efforts at chronicling my annual highlights. Starting in 2008, each year I've written an anniversary post and/or a retrospective look back at the previous year. The dates here refer to the year in review, not the year of publication (generally in January of the following calendar year):

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007

9 comments:

Jameson Fink said...

Congratulations and welcome to the club! We need to have some Burgundy blazers or something.

Ben Carter said...

Jameson,

I concur. I'll start designing the patch to go on the left breast pocket. :)

Cheers,
Ben

Big Mike said...

Ben,

What an accomplishment!! I am so proud to have not only watched you grow into a great young man, but to have watched you become a real wine guy! Keep up the great work and wishing you another ten years!! Be Well my friend

Big Mike

Paul M. Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul M. Jones said...

Congratulations, sir!

Ben Carter said...

Mike,

Thanks as always! You're a big part of this thing getting off the ground with your early 2000s dinner parties!

Cheers,
Ben

Ben Carter said...

Paul,

Thank you, good sir! I need to truck more of this up to Nashville with a certain naughty dog!

Cheers,
Ben

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