Odds and Ends

Sometimes little things start to build up. Corks overflowing every container in the house. Bottles waiting to go to recycling. Tasting notes that need to be converted to reviews. Stuff like that. This post is filled with little items of that sort. Ideas or news that just don’t make for a post by themselves, but need sharing anyway if for no other reason than to clear my mental clutter.

They like us, they really like us!– Our design is being honored at two sites. The first is at Most Inspired which highlights sites they believe are good examples to inspire other designers. The second is Cool Home Pages, where were are being honored in four different categories; All Categories, Typography (the category that I am proudest of), Non-Flash, and Info. We are very honored to have been selected by both sites. Although, lately I have felt another redesign coming on…

– We recently had the very great pleasure of attending a tasting that featured more fantastic wines from Napa than a person could taste in a day. You would think that anyone in Texas, particularly a blogger that was lucky enough to be invited to taste all of these amazing wines for FREE, would have been thrilled that Napa came to him instead of the other way around. Not so. There was one jackass who spent his time sucking down free Napa wine while tweeting about how inferior it is to Texas wine. It really makes one wonder whether he is paid to do so, or if he is just that damn ignorant.

– Speaking of Texas, this is such a glorious time of year here in Houston. The unrelenting blast furnace has turned into perfect temps and sunny days. This is when it is great to live here and get outside and enjoy the festivals and outdoor dining, or just to grill in the backyard.

– If forced to pick only one band, I think I could be happy listening to no one but the Detroit Cobras for the rest of my days.

– We wrote a while back about Andrea Robinson’s line of wine glasses. Since that time I have become even more enamored of them. I am always disappointed when I open the cabinet only to discover they are in the dishwasher. Drinking out of them is indistinguishable from using one of our much more expensive glasses, but cleaning them is a heck of a lot easier.

– Living on the Gulf and not knowing whether it is safe to eat the seafood really sucks. Thanks BP, you bloodsucking pricks.

– I rarely have time to go on Twitter these days. It’s not so much that I miss Twitter, it’s that I miss being harassed and amused by all of my wine and food blogging friends. It’s amazing how much some folks can convey in 140 characters. Twitter, the modern haiku. Well, except if Thea has been drinking then it becomes so much more; haiku/word search/jumble.

– Writing about wine can be a very frustrating pursuit. There are only so many ways to describe wine, none of which truly convey the experience to the reader. But we keep trying, don’t we?

– Wine Spectator just released a mobile app for the iPhone only. To me that is just plain silly. Being the geek that I am, and working with a lot of folks who barely consider me a geek (Shoot me, I thought all 6 Star Wars movies sucked and I refuse to call the first one the fourth one, etc. But I digress…), the topic of mobile phones and apps comes up often. My point isn’t about which OS is superior, or any of that, especially since that is a settled issue, but it is that the numbers do not lie. Anyone who ignores Android when putting out an app does so at their own peril. Leave out the fastest growing, and soon-to-be largest user group in America, and your competitor will step in to fill the void, and eventually bury you. That doesn’t go just for Wine Spectator. That’s right Netflix, I’m looking at you. I got the G’s, I got the HDMI output, but I ain’t got you. I don’t want to leave you, but I will. Yeah, I might miss you a little, but you know what? I don’t care. (nsfw due to language)

There, we got all of that dusty crap put out to the curb. Don’t you feel better? I know that I sure do.

  • My wife has declared Andrea’s glasses her faves, so we are keeping them as well :).

    Congrats on the design nominations!

  • Thanks Joe!

    We’re both blessed with wives smarter than we are. ;)

  • Tmatthews

    Joe, Wine Spectator is working on creating our Vintagechart+ app for Android soon. Any suggestions for improvements?

    Thomas Matthews
    Executive editor
    Wine Spectator

  • Thomas,

    We subscribe to both WS magazine and WS online. The online version for us is mainly to be able to look up wines while in the store, restaurant, etc.

    That costs us, the subscriber $75-$100 depending on when we subscribed. However all I really get for my extra $49.95 is the wine ratings, which it appears you’re now giving to iPhone users for free. A bit annoying.

    In addition, I rarely have time to actually read the magazine. I would like to see an app that optimizes Wine Spectator on-line for the Android user, so I don’t have to turn, enlarge and pan my screen to read the articles. I’d still subscribe to the magazine, because there is something about a big slick publication that I enjoy.

    The vintagechart+ is a great idea. I’d love to see you include access to your podcasts within that app. For example if I’m looking for a Primitivo and you’ve a podcast comparing and pairing them, I’d like to have that linked in as a feature as well.

  • Hi Thomas,

    Glad to hear that you are coming out with an Android version. Having not seen the Apple version, there isn’t much that I can suggest other than to work so that your releases are concurrent and the apps are equal. Android is actually easier to develop for and supremely easier to distribute. The number of Android devices has already exploded, with a second wave about to crest with new phones and tablets being released every day. If your developers tell you otherwise, either pull their heads out of their Apples or replace them. iPhones have pretty much reached the saturation point, Android is just getting started. Making Android users wait for something iPhone users already have is a good way to let someone beat you to the punch. With the open nature of both Android and the way the apps can be distributed and updated so rapidly it gives a motivated individual or company a huge advantage to be first.

    Good luck with it, and I look forward to seeing what your developers come up with for us Android folks.


  • heh. This is funny!!! Love it.

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