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09.18.2006

Wine, New York, and Web 2.0

When it comes to the Internet, I'm sandwiched between skeptic and cynic with a little bit of realist included along with the lettuce and tomato. With a day job running a firm that designs interactive user experiences, including web sites, I know a few small things about what works and what doesn't on the internet.

When it comes to the Internet and wine, almost no one gets it right. I've ranted before about the rash of Web 2.0 sites for wine lovers out there. No one has gotten it right yet.

But just the other day someone posted a link on one of the forums I read to perhaps one of the least ambitious, but one of the more useful Web 2.0 sites I've seen for wine: The New York Corkage Wiki. For those of you who may not be familiar with Wikis, they are public web pages that are editable by readers, allowing a community of interested parties to create, edit, and evolve content together.

The most famous Wiki out there at the moment is Wikipedia, which is quickly becoming as reliable as (and has already become more up-to-date than) the old twenty volume encyclopedias that are gathering dust everywhere in libraries and schools. (For those that are interested, there is also a Wiki based wine encyclopedia called EncycloWine).

Anyhow, back to The New York Corkage Wiki. It's a very simple idea that's incredibly useful: it simply describes the corkage policies, fees, and wine service levels at top New York restaurants. It's already got scores of top restaurants on it, along with those who notably don't let you bring your own wine.

So if you're a New York wine lover, you now have something that's at least as useful as the sushi spreadsheet.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.