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Tuesday Tributes: Best of the Blogs
The New Number One: STEVE! Heimoff

By Charles Olken

I discovered blogging somewhat belatedly—about a year and half ago when I made the mistake of pooh-poohing new media while attending a wine luncheon in San Francisco. I was seated next to Steve Heimoff, my writing peer who covers California wine for The Wine Enthusiast, and there were a bunch of “youngsters” across the table discussing things new to me like Twitter, FaceBook and blogging. You understand how it is. I am “print journalist”, a member of traditional media, a dinosaur, a relic, a leftover from the days when people actually read newspapers that they held in their hands, wrote letters and communicated by telephones attached to wires.

Yes, I am that guy and blogging was unheard of. Never mind that Alder Yarrow, for example, had already been publishing his seminal blog, Vinography ( for four years, going on five, by that time or that some 1,000 separate blogs had found their ways onto the Internet. I was blissfully unaware of blogs and the rest of the so-called “social media”. That luncheon with Piero Antinori—the incredibly important Italian (think Tuscany’s Villa Antinori with its six hundred years of family ownership) who had been expanding into the new world with holding up on Atlas Peak in the Napa Valley, with Col Solare in the Columbia Valley and recently with the purchase of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars from founder Warren Winiarski—I had been rather rudely awakened from my apparent somnambulist state of blissful ignorance and directed by Steve Heimoff and others to join the 21st Century. And now it has come to this. Thanks, Steve.

BEST OF THE BLOGS is happy, indeed delighted to salute Steve Heimoff, because of this one little note appended to his blog of yesterday (and more on that full blog in a moment): “Check it out: as of this morning, is the #1 wine blog in America! Of course, the rankings change every day, but I can be happy today”.

It is a much deserved honor to have risen to the top, and it was earned the old-fashioned way. Good, thoughtful writing, an accessible style and flashes of humor have brought Steve to this day.

As for the rest of what he wrote yesterday, modesty forbids me from posting it all here. But the a couple of interesting paragraphs have been pinned in below, and there is a link to the rest of it. If you are not yet a fan of Blog No. 1, now would be a good time to find out what all the fuss is about.

From Steve Heimoff, September 13, 2010.

A Shoutout to Charlie Olken

“One of the most influential books in my wine education was The Connoisseurs’ Handbook of California Wines, whose first edition was in 1980. The little handbook, which would fit in the back pocket of your jeans, was my constant companion, as I jaunted around San Francisco visiting fine wine shops”.

And then this. “Well, Charlie has now tried to learn a new trick, and has succeeded. You can check out his new blog, which he launched last week. (The blog is free; you have to pay to access the online CGCW newsletter.) I predict Charlie’s new blog is heading straight to the top of the English language wine blog pantheon. Certainly, it will be required daily reading for the industry”.

There is a lot more on Steve’s site at: I heartily commend the site to you, not because he has honored CGCW with a mention of our new efforts, but because he is deservedly now the “numero uno” blogger in these parts.


Um Hooray
by Samantha Dugan
Posted on:9/14/2010 9:54:44 PM
Yay STEVE! and Charlie. Just wanted to show my support for both of you although STEVE! only talks to me 1 out of 7 times, who could blame him really. These adoration posts always have an awkward, "Should I step in here?" kind of feel to them. Well except mine...maybe you need a set of tots Puff Daddy. Just a suggestion from a slightly buzzy, buried in work, tot holding blogger. I dig you both is all....happy to have you to read daily.
Electronic Media
by Terry Rooney
Posted on:9/14/2010 11:46:12 PM
it's so nice to have your new blogs and website, Charlie. I remember when Earl Singer and you started out on the Apple Newton. That was certainly ahead of its time.God, it would be so perfect now to have your reviews on an iPad.I know I can access the website but a dedicated app is so much slicker. Any chance of that in the future. It's the new, new thing, you know!! Terry Rooney
New Blog
by Rusty Eddy
Posted on:9/15/2010 11:07:26 AM
So nice to be able to follow you in your own blog now, in addition to reading your comments on blogs like Steve's. I've enjoyed you since, well, a long time ago, Charlie, and continue to find your comments and reviews on the top of my list for content, integrity, wit and style.
The New Blog
by Charlie Olken
Posted on:9/15/2010 11:25:18 AM
Hi Sam.Terry--One thing at a time. I can only learn one new trick at a time. A moblile app is certainly going to happen. It seems to me that we should also add an RSS feed and other stuff that is way beyond my ken. I will let other folks figure it out, but since those other folks are techies, they probably know of what I need to know as well as stuff I do not need to know. Just wind me up and point me in the right direction.Rusty--Hello. Welcome to my encounter with the new world of blogging.
RSS Readers
by Terry Rooney
Posted on:9/18/2010 12:44:08 AM
A column years ago I read RSS pretty religiously for my favorite stuff--wine, computers, sports cars, NFL football, etc.Now I find myself following those subjects in Twitter, and enjoying it more. Others have also commented on a similar movement.My suggestion: RSS is over the hill. Twitter and iPhone/Android apps for wine would be a much better bet. Charlie, by the way, someone now has an emulation of the Newton running on his iPad.
No Subject
by Alfonos
Posted on:9/18/2010 4:14:39 PM
tweaking the metrics. that's how to rise on post rank.@italianwineguy
No Subject
by Alfonso
Posted on:9/18/2010 4:19:05 PM
Your blog protocal for comments is a little strange Charlie. A lot of what the blogosphere is about is linking. That also is how blogs rise in the rankings.

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