I published my first article on Vinolent in September 2009. Not a bad piece but not one of my best. The domaine name cost me £15 or so, and I used “blogger” for free. No one much read it.
Since then I have written more than 200 pieces. There are a handful of duds, and a handful of diamonds. Most of it is pretty good. I have published 44 “three bottles” posts, many of which are quite brilliant, and include Jancis Robinson, Allen Meadows, Neal Martin, James Suckling, Clive Coates, The Hosemaster, Eric Asimov, Simon Berry, Hew Blair, Roy Richards, Andrew Jefford and the legend that is Bazdad – Barry Phillips. I thank them all.
I’ve published countless notes from both academic and social tastings, and vented a little. I’ve been shortlisted twice for the Roederer awards and once for the Fortnum & Mason awards.
Rightly or wrongly I’ve kept to the style that I liked. I don’t “keyword” my writing. I don’t write the same old shite as everyone else. I like to think that I’ve stayed honest. And in just under eight years Vinolent has made 50 pence in revenue, courtesy of someone who wasn’t quite taking the mickey. Aside from my particularly generous Southwold sponsor, I’ve not taken a bean from anyone (though have enjoyed some generosity in kind).
The site is self-hosted these days, which means it costs money – not much – to keep it going. I’m not going to stop it – not just yet – but I do wonder what the point of it is sometimes. I’ve talked about jacking it in before though have always been encouraged to keep at it.
So – if you would like to be a part of Vinolent, to support it, then you can do so.
This isn’t a plea for charity (though I do need to renew my hosting deal) and I’m obviously not going to try to make this thing commercial. But if every visitor to Vinolent in 2016 gave me a quid I could pay for three years hosting up front, go and taste (and report on) the 2016 Bordeaux vintage AND pay off my Amex bill. Just a thought…