Category:Wine Curmudgeon

Happy Thanksgiving 2020

I’ve watched this video a dozen times, and I still marvel at how Kermit’s Muppeteer makes it look like a felt frog is actually playing the banjo. And how Steve Martin keeps a straight face is also beyond me.  (Video courtesy of Funny Or Die YouTube.)

Enjoy the holiday with the people who mean the most to you. The blog will return tomorrow with our regular features, including the annual Black Friday wine reviews.

Friday Birthday Week 2020 giveaway: 3 cheap wine books

cheap wine book

Yes, three autographed copies just for you.

Win three cheap wine books in the Friday Birthday week 2020 giveaway

The winner is Karen Jo, who picked 653. The winning number is 662 (screenshot to the bottom). This was the final prize giveaway for this year’s Birthday Week. Thanks to everyone who participated and an especial thanks to everyone who said such nice things about my work here.


Today, to celebrate the blog’s 13th anniversary, we’re giving away three autographed copies of the cheap wine book. This is the final  giveaway for Birthday Week 2020.

Complete contest rules are here. Pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and leave it in the comment section of this post. You can’t pick a number someone else has picked, and you need to leave your guess in the comments section of this post — no email entries or entries on other posts. Unless the number is in the comments section of this post, the entry won’t count.

If you get the blog via email or RSS, you need to go to this exact post on the website to enter (click the link to get there). At about 5 p.m. central today, I’ll go to random.org and generate the winning number. The person whose entry is closest to that number gets the books.

Thursday Birthday week 2020 giveaway: Four Schott Zweisel wine glasses

schottWin four Schott Zweisel wine glasses

And the winner is: James, who selected 267; the winning number was 259 (screen shot below).  Thanks to everyone who participated. Tomorrow’s giveaway — three autographed copies of the cheap wine book, just in time for the holidays. That will be the final daily giveaway.


Today, to celebrate the blog’s 13th anniversary, we’re giving away four Schott Zweisel wine glasses, just like the ones the Wine Curmudgeon uses. This is the the fourth of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the final prize.

Complete contest rules are here. Pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and leave it in the comment section of this post. You can’t pick a number someone else has picked, and you need to leave your guess in the comments section of this post — no email entries or entries on other posts. Unless the number is in the comments section of this post, the entry won’t count.

If you get the blog via email or RSS, you need to go to this exact post on the website to enter (click the link to get there). At about 5 p.m. central today, I’ll go to random.org and generate the winning number. The person whose entry is closest to that number gets the glasses.

Wednesday Birthday week 2020 giveaway: $100 Wine.com gift card

Win a $100 wine.com gift card

And the winner is: Cass, who selected 887; the winning number was 906 (screen shot below).  Thanks to everyone who participated. Tomorrow’s giveaway — four Schott Zweisel wine glasses, just like the ones the Wine Curmudgeon uses. That will be the fourth of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the prizes for the rest of the week.


Today, to celebrate the blog’s 13th anniversary, we’re giving away a $100 Wine.com gift card, good for anything on the site of the world’s largest Internet wine retailer. Thanks to Wine.com, a long-time supporter of the blog. This is the third of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the prizes for the rest of the week.

Complete contest rules are here. Pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and leave it in the comment section of this post. You can’t pick a number someone else has picked, and you need to leave your guess in the comments section of this post — no email entries or entries on other posts. Unless the number is in the comments section of this post, the entry won’t count.

If you get the blog via email or RSS, you need to go to this exact post on the website to enter (click the link to get there). At about 5 p.m. central today, I’ll go to random.org and generate the winning number. The person whose entry is closest to that number gets the gift card.

Tuesday Birthday Week 2020 giveaway: Wine Not women’s slippers

slippersWin a pair of Wine Not women’s slippers — because, Wine Not?

And the winner is: Doug, who selected 442; the winning number was 437 (screen shot below).  Thanks to everyone who participated. Tomorrow’s giveaway is a $100 Wine.com gift card from one of the blog’s long-time supporters. That will be the third of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the prizes for the rest of the week.


Today, to celebrate the blog’s 13th anniversary, we’re giving away a pair of Wine Not women’s slippers — because, wine not? (Sorry.) This is the second of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the other prizes.

Complete contest rules are here. Pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and leave it in the comment section of this post. You can’t pick a number someone else has picked, and you need to leave your guess in the comments section of this post — no email entries or entries on other posts. Unless the number is in the comments section of this post, the entry won’t count.

If you get the blog via email or RSS, you need to go to this exact post on the website to enter (click the link to get there). At about 5 p.m. central today, I’ll go to random.org and generate the winning number. The person whose entry is closest to that number gets the slippers.

Wine Curmudgeon most popular posts 2020

popular posts 2020

“Churro, we need to find a way to boost blog traffic. Your being cute didn’t do much.”

The Wine Curmudgeon’s most popular posts 2020: Not necessarily about cheap wine, and a lot fewer visitors

What does one make of a blog about cheap wine when a majority of the most popular posts weren’t about cheap wine — or  were even wine reviews?

That’s where we find ourselves as the blog celebrates its 13th annual Birthday Week. Only four of the top 10 posts from November 2019 to November 2020 were sort of about cheap wine. And one was about as far removed from cheap wine as possible — a six-year-old post about the $300 Coravin wine opener at No. 10.

Ordinarily, I’d blame all this foolishness on our overlords at Google, whose search engine algorithm has more to do with sending visitors to the blog than anything I write. But the past 12 months also saw a precipitous decline in traffic, about one-third from last year’s 600,000 or so visitors. That no doubt also contributed to the bizarre top post results — fewer visitors exaggerates the importance of the posts that do get traffic.

So what caused the drop? The pandemic, almost certainly, combined with the U.S. presidential election. There were other things on people’s minds that didn’t involve finding a $10 wine that doesn’t taste like alcoholic grape juice. Even sites like Linkedin, which should be immune, may have had some traffic declines.

Which I understand. The problem comes if traffic doesn’t recover if and when we get back to normal toward the end of next year. What’s the point of a wine blog where no one wants to read about wine?

The top 10 posts of 2020:

1. The four-year-old “Barefoot wine: Why it’s so popular.” This was the top post in 2019, as well, and was No. 7 in 2018. But it didn’t make the top 10 in 2016 or 2017, which makes no sense given how the Internet is supposed to work.

2. The Kim Crawford wine ad critique, which moved up from fifth in 2019. There are 38  comments, most very harsh about the ad; that’s not only a lot of comments for the blog, but that so many people agreed with me is also unusual.

3. The 10-year-old Barefoot wines (again) post was third for the second year in a row. How does a post that old get so much traffic? Ask our overlords at Google.

4. The residual sugar post was fourth, after being second for two consecutive years. This is something I am quite proud of, that wine drinkers can come here and get practical information to help them make intelligent decisions.

5. The Louisiana shrimp boil wine and food pairings post l call it my contribution to making the pandemic a little less difficult It’s also the first wine and food pairings post to make the top 10.

6. Ask the WC 1 — another pandemic-specific post, I think. It offers cheap cava suggestions, though why a seven-year-old post that was only partially about cheap cava is beyond me.

7. The 2020 $10 Hall of Fame. Long gone are the days when that year’s Hall of Fame was the most visited, and a couple of others would be in the 1op 10. Again, I have no idea why, and it’s more than a little sad.

8. Will the pandemic bring permanent changes to the three-tier system? This is self-explanatory — and  one of the few hopeful things to come out of this year.

9. A post about discount wine retailer Grocery Outlet. Which, hopefully, is coming soon to a town near you.

10. That damned Coravin post. I wonder if it’s because I actually discussed its value to wine drinkers, instead of fawning over it like most of the Winestream Media.

A few other thoughts:

• The $10 wine category was 34th for the second year in a year. Double sigh.

• The various five-day, $3 wine challenge posts dropped out of the top 10. The highest ranking one was 15th, and again, I have no idea what that means. One would think this would be a very popular pandemic-related post.

• My undercover, illegal interstate wine shipping post was 16th, which isn’t bad since it didn’t post until the end of July.

More about the blog’s top posts:
2019 top posts
2018 top posts
2017 top posts

Monday Birthday Week 2020 giveaway: Jessica Dupuy’s “The Wines of Southwest USA.”

Win an autographed copy of Jessica Dupuy’s “The Wines of Southwest USA”

And the winner is: Marty, who selected 601; the winning number was 625 (screen shot below).  Thanks to everyone who participated. Tomorrow’s giveaway is a pair of Wine Not women’s slippers. That will be the second of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the prizes for the rest of the week.


Today, to celebrate the blog’s 13th anniversary, we’re giving away an autographed copy of Jessica Dupuy’s “The Wines of Southwest USA.” This is the first of five daily giveaways; check out this post to see the prizes for the rest of the week.

Complete contest rules are here. Pick a number between 1 and 1,000 and leave it in the comment section of this post. You can’t pick a number someone else has picked, and you need to leave your guess in the comments section of this post — no email entries or entries on other posts. Unless the number is in the comments section of this post, the entry won’t count.

If you get the blog via email or RSS, you need to go to this exact post on the website to enter (click the link to get there). At about 5 p.m. central today, I’ll go to random.org and generate the winning number. The person whose entry is closest to that number gets the gift card.