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10.21.2007

Welcome To The New Vinography.Com

It's been a long road to get here. Like remodeling a house, the only thing you can count on is that things will take twice as long and be twice as difficult as you expected. From strange issues with the latest version of my blogging software to server crashes with my ISP, it seems like everything conspired against me for the last two weeks to get the new version of the site up.

But at last, it's here. And for those of you familiar with the site, you'll notice some differences in how it is organized, as well as some differences in the way that you interact with Vinography.

It's a difficult process to migrate not only from one design to another but also go through a major blogging software upgrade at the same time, and as as result there are some changes and improvements that regular readers should be aware of.

COMMENT NOTIFICATIONS HAVE BEEN RESET
I know many of you have been using the "notify me of follow-up comments" feature of the site for over a year. That feature still exists, but in the migration to the new site software, all your previous "subscriptions" to such follow-up comments have been reset. So you will not receive e-mails with follow-up comments unless you subscribe to those posts again. You are welcome to do so by simply leaving a comment with the text "I want comment notifications" and checking the box to sign up for notifications again.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE
I think it's inevitable that a couple of the most recent comments may have been lost in the shuffle. The transition to the new site was not instantaneous, and so I've probably missed some. I'm very sorry about that, and if you see one missing, please consider resubmitting it. Likewise, there may be a couple of you who signed up to be on my mailing list just before I moved the site over, and slipped through the cracks. If you're not getting my weekly updates then that's probably the case. Please us the registration form on the home page to re-subscribe.

SOME FUNKY TEXT
You'll probably see some funky symbols peppered into the text occasionally, especially on older posts. This is because of differences in the way that the new version of MovableType handles special characters like the accent on the end of the word "rose." I'm trying to figure out some automated way of fixing this problem, in the meantime, please bear with me.

CAPTCHAs
There will be one small extra step for users wishing to leave comments on the site, and that is a CAPTCHA image, where you are asked to enter the letters shown in an image. This is used to prevent automated programs from placing spam comments on the site. Many of you probably didn't know this, but Vinography receives over 2000 such spam comments every day. My blogging software has a filter that catches 98% of them, and now this CAPTCHA requirement should get rid of the other 2%.

IMPROVED SEARCH
One of the things that the upgrade to Movable Type 4.0 gave me was an improved search engine for the site. It will run faster and return better results for you.

BETTER CROSS PLATFORM COMPATIBILITY
The new design also features much better browser compatibility across platforms. The dropdown menus in the previous design were funky at best for certain operating system and browser combinations. I think you'll find the site much easier to use, especially if you're on a Mac.

CUTE LITTLE THINGS
One of the best things about a total redesign are the little touches that can be added. Readers now have the ability to control the text size on the page (the site will remember your last setting, so you can always read the site at a text size that suits you). I've also added controls to make browsing through my list of wine blogs and recommended books a bit easier.

MORE TO COME
Now that the new design is up and running, I'll be rolling out some new features, new pages, and more in the coming month or two, so stay tuned, and as always, thank you for your patience and your readership.

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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.