The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

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MarkH
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#51 Post by MarkH » March 9th, 2012, 1:31 pm

Dale Williams wrote:Don’t think so, Robin had no affiliation for years at that point. I think basically the old proprietary WLDG software (with threaded discussion!) was not set up to require registering to post. A shall we say deranged poster (who posted here for a while, but I haven’t seen since he got some bad publicity in his hometown) starting posting weird stuff, and when some got deleted he went on manic posting sprees, posting hundreds of messages a night re the FBI investigating, accused people of child porn, etc. Volunteer moderators were taking overnight shifts just deleting posts. So Robin moved the forum to Netscape wine forum out of exhaustion. Which lowered number of people. I guess that forum still exists, but Robin then reformed WLDG on his own site using phpBB. That is the current WLDG (which I enjoy posting on, though it is a much smaller community than the old WLDG).
Some of us from the old CompuServe Wine Forum have long felt that the reason for the move to Netscape (as opposed to many other available options at the time) was done as a parting shot at Jim Kronman. It's why you don't see us on WLDG today.
loren.grossman wrote:Yup. I was in the compuserve wine community and the AOL wine community (with Mark Horvatich and others - Mark I think I still have some of that Summit Lake Emily Kestrel 1992 that you recommended way back when - the tannins are STILL no ready ;)). Mark - not sure if you ever went to the Elliot Apter offlines - those were the days. No idea where Elliot ended up. But the tastings were epic. I think that is when Adam Lee was just getting started with Siduri as well - it was fun meeting Adam in person back in the day when the Lees were just starting out on their own (mid 90s).
Loren, I went to one Elliot Apter event in Chicago, held in his hotel suite after a TCWC Bordeaux vintage debut dinner. Yeah, those were the days...it's not often you get the opportunity to talk to Paul Pontellier one-on-one while drinking '53 Margaux, and '27 and '48 Taylor port.

I still own a couple bottles of the '92 Emily Kestrel, though I haven't opened one in more than 10 years. I also still have a couple cases of White Cottage wines from the mid-90s...the last one I opened ('93 cab) was fabulous! I also recently opened my last bottle of '95 Coffaro Estate Cuvee...also fabulous, and BY FAR the best wine of Dave's I've ever tasted.

I haven't spoken with Adam, or pretty much anyone in Napa/Sonoma, in the past few years. My interest in wine has diminished considerably as my life has taken a different direction. And yes, it was a lot of fun meeting so many people who were just getting their start. My first visit with Adam was back in the fall of '94 when he was working for Lambert Bridge. After tasting through the L-B wines, he introduced us to another L-B employee named Dianna Novy, and they said they had new project called Siduri. We tried barrel samples of the '94 Rose pinot, and so it began...

I should add that most of Adam and Dianna's Oregon pinots have aged extremely well. I'll also add that in the past three months, I've had four bottles of '99 Christian David that were all outstanding.

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#52 Post by Todd F r e n c h » March 9th, 2012, 1:42 pm

Serge Birbrair wrote:
Wine Talk I just abandoned and gave it to Daniel.
'Gave', or sold?
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#53 Post by MarkH » March 9th, 2012, 1:46 pm

Serge Birbrair wrote:I was banned from Wine Spectator with prejudice, word "Serge" is banned on WS. Probably over 15 times.
For some period of time, the WS board admins (as well as another site called WinoDepot) used the word censor to map "Serge" to "monkey". I personally thought that was a cheap shot, but then again, in that era the WS boards more resembled a playpen than a wine discussion site. The WS boards IMO improved dramatically when Robert Taylor took over admin duties...

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#54 Post by Chris Seiber » March 9th, 2012, 2:29 pm

There is some country song with lyrics to the effect of "the one thing all your failed relationships have in common is you." neener
Serge Birbrair wrote:ahhh...Wine Boards...

I was banned by Squires 3 or 4 times, I don't remember all the alt-egos.

I was banned from Wine Spectator with prejudice, word "Serge" is banned on WS. Probably over 15 times.

Robin Garr only banned me once. We didn't share love for Cuba. Irony of it is - my g/f now is Cuban and she hates Castro as much as I do. She'd be probably got banned by Garr too! :)

Rogov banned me once after I caught him in one of his tall tales about him drinking Tokay with Marshall Zhukov in Moscow at peak of the Cold War.

2 Australian wine boards who hate each other guts as they run by competing stores, found something in common - banning Serge!

Wine Talk I just abandoned and gave it to Daniel.

Cellar Tracker still keeps up with me but Eric had to amend the board rules thanks to yours truly! :)

Wine Therapy - I was credited with hacking and destruction of it. I made enough REAL shit in my life, giving me credit for something I didn't do was over the line and absolutely unnecessary.

WB - is "too big too fail", there are so many "serges" here that one more or one less doesn't make any f*cking difference.
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#55 Post by Brad Kane » March 9th, 2012, 2:41 pm

Roberto Rogness wrote:Re Therapy / Disorder: didn't someone manage to crash / destroy Therapy's entire data base losing all the content then Disorder was the same folks coming back from the ashes?
Yes.

That said, I'll incorporate it into my timeline.

I started on wine boards back in the late spring of '96. First on the AOL wine baords, which, as others have said, was a very lively place and there were a lot of good posters there and good discussions. Allen Meadows used to post these incredible tomes about Burgundy there before he started Burghound. In fact, that was his screen name. Allen actually used to im me suggestions of red Burgs that I might like. Gerry Dawes also used to post there and made the Spanish folder there a good place to learn. Charlie Olken was a moderator, who, of course writes the Connoisseur's Guide to California Wine, as was Dick Peterson, who used to be the winemaker at BV. A number of folks here used to participate there, though I got tired of the fights and the lack of a real names policy. Btw, for whoever was wondering about Eno (Enophile),) that was Marshall Manning and Randy "Bucko" Buckner was a regular participant there before eventually becoming a moderator on the WLDG.

At the same time I started participating on alt.food.wine, that also had some interesting discussions, but too much spam. I remember back then John Gilman posted something about a NY wholesaler having poor storage and then having their lawyers having a word with him and then him having to post something nice about said distributor every two weeks or month. Something like that. My first interaction with John was asking him how many times he had to bend over.

Also in '96, Peter Hirdt told me about Robin Garr's Wine Lover's Discussion group, which ended being my favorite place to hang out for awhile and I met a bunch of folks there.

Technically, my first offline was I think either the end of '96, or beginning of '97 and it was an AOL wine board affair. It was at Paul Napolitano's house, ( he who got kicked off of Squire's board for calling Mark a hypocrite and I think elicited Parker's famous "pleasure police" line) with Laurent Drogin and Peter Hirdt. Later that year, afaik, I organized the first NY WLDG offline (with some Compuserve folks there) that Robin Garr came in for. Notes from that event are still up here.

In '99, Squires added a wine bulletin board to his site and it was a good board in its youth, with a number of knowledgeable people and good discussions. I believe it was in '02 when it became a part of the Parker site and the number of participants exploded. Still, for a while the discussions there were terrific and, imho, it became the best place for wine discussions on the web. That, as we all know, changed later.

In 2000, a few folks had a falling out with Robin Garr and started Wine Therapy. Sort of the root cause was that some members of NY group of participants, petitioned Robin to create a spot at the bottom of all the posts in the forum called "The Basement," where they could have fun creating fake personalities, being quite clever in their discussions of wine and poking anonymous fun at some of the board participants. Hey, NYers are a snarky bunch. Robin even used to participate there. Eventually, however, Robin received a lot of flak over the basement and I think he shut it down. So, some folks created Wine Therapy. Robert Callahan actually started the board ( as some can tell you, he had a very contentious relationship with both Parker and Squires from their Prodigy days) and most of the folks there tended to like wines we now think of as "natural wines," with a great deal of discussion about Loire wines. Of course, Joe Dressner was a frequent participant there.

Unfortunately, Rob developed some health issues and stopped participating after awhile and also let any site security updates go, so it became a bit outdated. In '07, when an unwanted participant was told to go away and not come back, or so I'm told, said person apparently went into the code and managed to delete all the tasting notes and discussions on the board up to that point. Seven years worth. It was a huge loss. The board managed on for about another year, but with Robert out of commission and still holding onto the keys, so to speak, and with Albanian spammers starting to run amok due to the lack of updated software, a few folks from Therapy generously created Wine Disorder out of the ashes around August/September of '08. Wine Disorder is still very cliquish and there are a lot of inside jokes that go back to the Basement days of the WLDG, but the level of wine knowledge there is extremely high and it pretty much is the hub for discussions of cutting edge and "natural" wines, with a lot of emphasis on Loire discussions, but hardly exclusively. Indeed, it seems like much of what's discussed by Asimov and other wine writers and bloggers these days have origins in what's discussed there. Be forewarned, though, to participate you have to gain access by contacting the ruling Politburo (a surly lot, to be sure), there is a rather severe hazing ritual for newbies (just ask Frenchie or Leenda!) and it's pretty much the anti-spoof board. It's definitely not for everyone, but I consider many of the folks there dear friends.

As for here, I joined the exodus from Squire's board and joined Berserkers in March of '09 and, well, ya'll know my story here. So many good peeps and discussions here with a broad range of tastes. [welldone.gif] [thankyou.gif]
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#56 Post by Bob Cuozzi » March 9th, 2012, 2:58 pm

My experience:First was Wine Spectator in the mid/late 90s.....everyone used "handles" ....for example Russell Bevan was "Bacchus" and was a major presence. But as that got a little heated and/or regimented by WS itself a lot of us drifted over to Brad Harrington's WCWN.......I have met an extraordinary number of superb folks from my participation on that board (WCWN). In 2001/02/03 Jim Cowan and I made three road trips all over the country and met a lot of folks for what we called "off-lines" then. That board is a lot quieter now but I still am a regular poster. I checked Wine Therapy a little at one time but it seemed a bit full of inside jokes and references for my taste. Recently I have been reading this board too and enjoy the posts although I rarely post.

Cheers, Bob

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#57 Post by Eric Anderson » March 9th, 2012, 4:50 pm

FWIW, I was on the usenet version, and from there went to WLDG and then quickly to WCWN. Still recall the WS meltdown that had WCWN going crazy with posts. Stopped paid subscription to WA that I'd had since '83. Just wasn't worth it anymore. Segued to the Parker board, increasing participation until the pay wall went up. Followed the great unwashed over to WB.

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#58 Post by Roberto Rogness » March 9th, 2012, 5:07 pm

Does anyone from the old AOL board remember when someone spoofed my handle by inserting a "1" in place of the "I" in WINE EXPO (which were indistinguishable in the font they used) and then posted stuff to make it look like me?

That's when you need to write an open letter and take a time out...
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#59 Post by Brad Kane » March 9th, 2012, 5:15 pm

Roberto Rogness wrote:Does anyone from the old AOL board remember when someone spoofed my handle by inserting a "1" in place of the "I" in WINE EXPO (which were indistinguishable in the font they used) and then posted stuff to make it look like me?

That's when you need to write an open letter and take a time out...
Yep. There was a bunch of stuff like that going on there, which is why I eventually left. Plus, AOL eventually killed the boards by mucking around with the folders.
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The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#60 Post by Thomas DeBiase » March 9th, 2012, 6:22 pm

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
Thomas DeBiase wrote:I think I have the distinction of being the first second generation wine BBer... My father being a member of the old Prodigy boards and then myself registering for the old Squires board back in 2000. Those North Jersey and Philadelphia offlines were so much fun and I met a lot of folks that I still am in contact with today.

If you told that 22 year old kid 11 years ago that he would be out in the Russian River Valley making Pinot Noir for a living I would have never believed you!
What were the offlines like?

Have you joined us on a BerserkerFest or Offline yet? I'd imagine some of those would be REALLY hard to beat!
I'm sure BerserkerFest is a blast and will be joining many in the future! There was a very rowdy Shiraz contingent in north Jersey that pulled corks without reason, German wine society tastings with Beth and Joe. Just a great time with some really great people!
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#61 Post by Ron Kramer » March 9th, 2012, 6:25 pm

Lewis Dawson wrote:
Bob Foster wrote:Almost everyone on Prodigy had a nickname. Mine was JPB (Just Plain Bob) It was given to me after someone called me Mr Foster and I told them it was just Bob.

Mark, I may have coined ITB; I thought TN started on Prodigy but I could be wrong.
LOL, I can't remember my log-in handle on Prodigy. I do remember Parker always being referred to as "42b". In fact, somewhere I have one of his books, personally autographed to me and signed "42b".

I may be wrong on this, but I'm pretty sure I coined the term "trophy wine" back about 1994 or so, in response to a photo of Marvin Shanken and his young "trophy wife".

I was WBJ88 wine board junkie --88 was tight end hall- of- famer ron kramer

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The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#62 Post by Mark F r a n k s » March 9th, 2012, 6:56 pm

Thomas DeBiase wrote:
Todd F r e n c h wrote:
Thomas DeBiase wrote:I think I have the distinction of being the first second generation wine BBer... My father being a member of the old Prodigy boards and then myself registering for the old Squires board back in 2000. Those North Jersey and Philadelphia offlines were so much fun and I met a lot of folks that I still am in contact with today.

If you told that 22 year old kid 11 years ago that he would be out in the Russian River Valley making Pinot Noir for a living I would have never believed you!
What were the offlines like?

Have you joined us on a BerserkerFest or Offline yet? I'd imagine some of those would be REALLY hard to beat!
I'm sure BerserkerFest is a blast and will be joining many in the future! There was a very rowdy Shiraz contingent in north Jersey that pulled corks without reason, German wine society tastings with Beth and Joe. Just a great time with some really great people!
I remember one in particular when we all drank stupid amounts of wine then went out to a bar to shoot pool (and do shots) for a few hours. One guy wound up going to a 7-11 and somehow making a nice cheese platter back the hotel where we all popped more bottles and wound up having security called on us after we were having chair races down the hotel hallways at 2am.
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#63 Post by M. Dildine » March 9th, 2012, 7:08 pm

The finest thread ever written on a wine board was written on the Squires Board circa 2006 or so. It was entitled "Best Television Westerns."

It will never be equaled.
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#64 Post by Tom Reddick » March 9th, 2012, 8:54 pm

Serge Birbrair wrote:
Brad Kane wrote: Of course, Joe Dressner was a frequent participant there.

Unfortunately, Rob developed some health issues and stopped participating after awhile and also let any site security updates go, so it became a bit outdated. In '07, when an unwanted participant was told to go away and not come back, or so I'm told, said person apparently went into the code and managed to delete all the tasting notes and discussions on the board up to that point. Seven years worth. It was a huge loss.
Brad Kane, an "an unwanted participant" did not erase Wine Therapy, it was done by Joe Dressner which he allegedly admitted on his death bed, from what I heard . Told to me by Frank Shobe and Jon Moramarco acquaintances.
http://rockssandfruit.blogspot.com/2007 ... ragic.html
God bless him if he was telling the truth. I miss Joe terribly. He was a great man and a giant in the world of wine as things should be.

As long as everyone is staking their claim to originating things, let me stake my claim to the first "outrageous disrespect for wine" thread on alt.food.wine for the Mouton and Pizza thread when a bunch of us in the fraternity house downed a few greasy pizzas with 1990 Mouton. A much more recent rant against me for saying Moose and Monty instead of Musigny and Montrachet by a DC sommelier is like comparing the Sex Pistols to the Spice Girls. We have all become pansies when it comes to what we get offended about on wine forums compared to the old days.
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#65 Post by Brad Kane » March 9th, 2012, 9:01 pm

Tom Reddick wrote: As long as everyone is staking their claim to originating things, let me stake my claim to the first "outrageous disrespect for wine" thread on alt.food.wine for the Mouton and Pizza thread when a bunch of us in the fraternity house downed a few greasy pizzas with 1990 Mouton.
Ha! I remember that thread and your posts back then.
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#66 Post by Brad Kane » March 9th, 2012, 9:12 pm

Mark F r a n k s wrote:
I remember one in particular when we all drank stupid amounts of wine then went out to a bar to shoot pool (and do shots) for a few hours. One guy wound up going to a 7-11 and somehow making a nice cheese platter back the hotel where we all popped more bottles and wound up having security called on us after we were having chair races down the hotel hallways at 2am.
Mark, weren't you part of that group I think with Ed Assidio and Steve Levy who were drinking Duck Muck and every other ooze monster from the Grateful Palate portfolio? I remember Ed posting things like "eighth time tried this month." Or, at least it seemed that way. LOL
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#67 Post by john stimson » March 9th, 2012, 9:18 pm

So far no mention of the IWC board, in existence since about 2000, where I started much later. Subscription only, so not really part of the social medial thing, but a high quality board missing some of the crap of the other boards (and maybe some of the excitement), perhaps a little more cerebral. A little quieter now, perhaps because Berserkers has done such a good job and because fewer people pay-up to subscribe to wine news letters.

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#68 Post by KyleCWilkinson » March 9th, 2012, 9:51 pm

I want to hear more about the discussion board getting completely erased. Also, I don't see why people kept saying to let sleeping dogs lie and why some posts in this thread got deleted.... after all...
(Please note: there will be opinions on this thread that likely will come across as negative, i.e. 'bashing' of one or more professional wine critic and/or forum owner/administrator. If that offends you, I suggest you don't read on. I'd rather this be a truly open conversation and historical outline of the history of wine online, and that may include opinions from those who post that may or may not coincide with your own)
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#69 Post by David K o l i n » March 9th, 2012, 10:13 pm

77 posts and no Mishy?

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#70 Post by rob klafter » March 9th, 2012, 10:55 pm

I have a niche spot as I signed up for squires e-zine in feb 2002. I saw a note online (via dial up modem) that Parker had co- opted squires. I did a bit of front running and signed up as member 800 something. One before RP. Then a few days later it was eRP. Nance Dolcemascolo also welcomed me iirc. Posted up a storm. Made a bunch of friends. A few enemies, mainly by defending Lyle ;). Posted so much for the golden 3 years from 2003-2006. Was part of a tasting group that has serious cred now looking back at it. Jamie kutch was part of it and I was at the dinner at Montrachet when he brought a kosta brown barrel sample and germinated ideas of making wine. While I tasting group less now and family raise more now, I value what I got from eRP. WB is close and the best we got now.

I front ran again when I saved the picture of the new squires board wine drinker when they site revised. Lots of discussion of whether this was a pic of Mark or RP

Still use this as an avatar.

I know toward the end I helped Kleban see the underbelly of the Parker Board. Then subscription and poof. Never went back

Either way now I have a bunch of grand cru growing older ready for future good nights.

And a bunch of good friends

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#71 Post by Bob Foster » March 9th, 2012, 11:20 pm

Roberto Rogness wrote:Does anyone from the old AOL board remember when someone spoofed my handle by inserting a "1" in place of the "I" in WINE EXPO (which were indistinguishable in the font they used) and then posted stuff to make it look like me?
My bet is that it was done by Bob Wood. He was the master at changing i.d's. We didn't know who was doing it until one night at 3 am there were a slug of these fake id posts and about 2 minutes later posts under Woods real name. No one else had posted (or posted afterwards for hours) I concluded from that he was the source of all the fake posts.

I kept urging Prodigy to require folks to use their real names. Never could get them to go along.
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The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#72 Post by Thomas DeBiase » March 10th, 2012, 2:42 am

Mark F r a n k s wrote:
Thomas DeBiase wrote:
Todd F r e n c h wrote: What were the offlines like?

Have you joined us on a BerserkerFest or Offline yet? I'd imagine some of those would be REALLY hard to beat!
I'm sure BerserkerFest is a blast and will be joining many in the future! There was a very rowdy Shiraz contingent in north Jersey that pulled corks without reason, German wine society tastings with Beth and Joe. Just a great time with some really great people!
I remember one in particular when we all drank stupid amounts of wine then went out to a bar to shoot pool (and do shots) for a few hours. One guy wound up going to a 7-11 and somehow making a nice cheese platter back the hotel where we all popped more bottles and wound up having security called on us after we were having chair races down the hotel hallways at 2am.
Definitely remember that one!
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#73 Post by L e o F r o k i c » March 10th, 2012, 4:54 am

Lewis Dawson wrote:I date from the Prodigy days, as Ron Kramer mentioned above. I've forgotten the details of how that forum morphed into the Mark Squires board, which later became to be hosted by eRP.com. Many memorable battles from the early days. Dude named Robert Callahan (sp?) was one of the first chronic Parker-baiters. He hated Parker, and I'm sure the feeling was mutual, although RP was much more dignified and diplomatic in his posts than was Callahan.

It was pretty easy to trap Callahan in his own illogical statements. He often painted himself into a corner, couldn't get out, and would just sulk off and disappear for a while.

Oddly, the 100% Euro-centric Callahan pushed the somewhat Euro-centric Parker into frequently defending California wine. At one point, Parker challenged Callahan to a blind tasting of French and California wine, with the sole measurement being to identify the country of origin. This lead to an offline, and there were maybe 10 or 12 members present (I was not one of them). As it turned out, the Cal-trashing Callahan could not tell where the wines were from, and many that he identified as his favorites turned out to be US domestic wines.

(In this tasting, Parker played a cruel trick on Callahan, but without doubt the dude deserved it.)
here's the notes from that evening

http://www.wine-people.com/paradise_at_ ... n_wine.htm
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#74 Post by chaad thomas » March 10th, 2012, 5:07 am

How about a little love for Craig Camp's now defunct vinocibo.com forums? I think it ran early 2000s, and was a lot of fun for me. I remember fondly Roberto's participation there; anyone else?
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#75 Post by chaad thomas » March 10th, 2012, 5:31 am

L e o F r o k i c wrote:
Lewis Dawson wrote:I date from the Prodigy days, as Ron Kramer mentioned above. I've forgotten the details of how that forum morphed into the Mark Squires board, which later became to be hosted by eRP.com. Many memorable battles from the early days. Dude named Robert Callahan (sp?) was one of the first chronic Parker-baiters. He hated Parker, and I'm sure the feeling was mutual, although RP was much more dignified and diplomatic in his posts than was Callahan.

It was pretty easy to trap Callahan in his own illogical statements. He often painted himself into a corner, couldn't get out, and would just sulk off and disappear for a while.

Oddly, the 100% Euro-centric Callahan pushed the somewhat Euro-centric Parker into frequently defending California wine. At one point, Parker challenged Callahan to a blind tasting of French and California wine, with the sole measurement being to identify the country of origin. This lead to an offline, and there were maybe 10 or 12 members present (I was not one of them). As it turned out, the Cal-trashing Callahan could not tell where the wines were from, and many that he identified as his favorites turned out to be US domestic wines.

(In this tasting, Parker played a cruel trick on Callahan, but without doubt the dude deserved it.)
here's the notes from that evening

http://www.wine-people.com/paradise_at_ ... n_wine.htm
Leo,

Now that's cool! Thanks a bunch!
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#76 Post by loren.grossman » March 10th, 2012, 6:03 am

Mark_H wrote:
Dale Williams wrote:Don’t think so, Robin had no affiliation for years at that point. I think basically the old proprietary WLDG software (with threaded discussion!) was not set up to require registering to post. A shall we say deranged poster (who posted here for a while, but I haven’t seen since he got some bad publicity in his hometown) starting posting weird stuff, and when some got deleted he went on manic posting sprees, posting hundreds of messages a night re the FBI investigating, accused people of child porn, etc. Volunteer moderators were taking overnight shifts just deleting posts. So Robin moved the forum to Netscape wine forum out of exhaustion. Which lowered number of people. I guess that forum still exists, but Robin then reformed WLDG on his own site using phpBB. That is the current WLDG (which I enjoy posting on, though it is a much smaller community than the old WLDG).
Some of us from the old CompuServe Wine Forum have long felt that the reason for the move to Netscape (as opposed to many other available options at the time) was done as a parting shot at Jim Kronman. It's why you don't see us on WLDG today.
loren.grossman wrote:Yup. I was in the compuserve wine community and the AOL wine community (with Mark Horvatich and others - Mark I think I still have some of that Summit Lake Emily Kestrel 1992 that you recommended way back when - the tannins are STILL no ready ;)). Mark - not sure if you ever went to the Elliot Apter offlines - those were the days. No idea where Elliot ended up. But the tastings were epic. I think that is when Adam Lee was just getting started with Siduri as well - it was fun meeting Adam in person back in the day when the Lees were just starting out on their own (mid 90s).
Loren, I went to one Elliot Apter event in Chicago, held in his hotel suite after a TCWC Bordeaux vintage debut dinner. Yeah, those were the days...it's not often you get the opportunity to talk to Paul Pontellier one-on-one while drinking '53 Margaux, and '27 and '48 Taylor port.

I still own a couple bottles of the '92 Emily Kestrel, though I haven't opened one in more than 10 years. I also still have a couple cases of White Cottage wines from the mid-90s...the last one I opened ('93 cab) was fabulous! I also recently opened my last bottle of '95 Coffaro Estate Cuvee...also fabulous, and BY FAR the best wine of Dave's I've ever tasted.

I haven't spoken with Adam, or pretty much anyone in Napa/Sonoma, in the past few years. My interest in wine has diminished considerably as my life has taken a different direction. And yes, it was a lot of fun meeting so many people who were just getting their start. My first visit with Adam was back in the fall of '94 when he was working for Lambert Bridge. After tasting through the L-B wines, he introduced us to another L-B employee named Dianna Novy, and they said they had new project called Siduri. We tried barrel samples of the '94 Rose pinot, and so it began...

I should add that most of Adam and Dianna's Oregon pinots have aged extremely well. I'll also add that in the past three months, I've had four bottles of '99 Christian David that were all outstanding.
I remember the $10 futures program by Coffaro. What an amazing deal. Loved the 1995. And the White Cottage did age amazingly well, especially given how delicious they were when brand new. I actually went out and visited with Dennis and his energy was infectious. Aaron Pott made some wine from his fruit for awhile recently. As for Elliott, last tasting I attended of his about 13 years ago was a 59 and 61 1st growth horizontal with Clive Coates attending. He also poured 53 just to show how he believed that vintage was as good as the other more heralded vintages. Once in a lifetime for me.

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#77 Post by Victor Hong » March 10th, 2012, 6:11 am

John S wrote:For my part this is pretty much sequential. I missed the prodigy days.

alt.food.wine (usenet)
winespectator forums
Robin Garr's winelovers
Brad Harrington's West Coast Wine
Squires Board
Parker Board
Berserkers

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Who is the wildebeest?
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#78 Post by Brad Kane » March 10th, 2012, 7:31 am

chaad thomas wrote:
L e o F r o k i c wrote:
Lewis Dawson wrote:I date from the Prodigy days, as Ron Kramer mentioned above. I've forgotten the details of how that forum morphed into the Mark Squires board, which later became to be hosted by eRP.com. Many memorable battles from the early days. Dude named Robert Callahan (sp?) was one of the first chronic Parker-baiters. He hated Parker, and I'm sure the feeling was mutual, although RP was much more dignified and diplomatic in his posts than was Callahan.

It was pretty easy to trap Callahan in his own illogical statements. He often painted himself into a corner, couldn't get out, and would just sulk off and disappear for a while.

Oddly, the 100% Euro-centric Callahan pushed the somewhat Euro-centric Parker into frequently defending California wine. At one point, Parker challenged Callahan to a blind tasting of French and California wine, with the sole measurement being to identify the country of origin. This lead to an offline, and there were maybe 10 or 12 members present (I was not one of them). As it turned out, the Cal-trashing Callahan could not tell where the wines were from, and many that he identified as his favorites turned out to be US domestic wines.

(In this tasting, Parker played a cruel trick on Callahan, but without doubt the dude deserved it.)
here's the notes from that evening

http://www.wine-people.com/paradise_at_ ... n_wine.htm
Leo,

Now that's cool! Thanks a bunch!
Wow! That brings back memories! Squires even wrote up the event here.

I believe that dinner ended up being a bit of a setup for Callahan because he was a pretty outspoken dude at the time and frequently clashed with Parker. I had started working with Rob at Garnet Wines and Liquors earlier that summer and heard all about the tasting leading up to it and the aftermath. According to Callahan, he and Parker agreed upon a set of rules ahead of time, such as no Beaux Freres were to be included, but then Parker went ahead and included them. Not to defend Rob, as, again, he was pretty outspoken, but I can attest to the fact that he was sick as a dog in the days prior to and on the day of the event.

Love the picture of the group. Sure wish Yaniger still posted on wine.
itb.

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#79 Post by Peter Shurman » March 10th, 2012, 8:01 am

the more I read about Parker, the more I dislike him.
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#80 Post by Mark F r a n k s » March 10th, 2012, 8:55 am

Brad Kane wrote:
Mark F r a n k s wrote:
I remember one in particular when we all drank stupid amounts of wine then went out to a bar to shoot pool (and do shots) for a few hours. One guy wound up going to a 7-11 and somehow making a nice cheese platter back the hotel where we all popped more bottles and wound up having security called on us after we were having chair races down the hotel hallways at 2am.
Mark, weren't you part of that group I think with Ed Assidio and Steve Levy who were drinking Duck Muck and every other ooze monster from the Grateful Palate portfolio? I remember Ed posting things like "eighth time tried this month." Or, at least it seemed that way. LOL
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#81 Post by Lewis Dawson » March 10th, 2012, 9:31 am

Brad Kane wrote:
Lewis Dawson wrote:(In this tasting, Parker played a cruel trick on Callahan, but without doubt the dude deserved it.)
Wow! That brings back memories! Squires even wrote up the event here.
I believe that dinner ended up being a bit of a setup for Callahan because he was a pretty outspoken dude at the time and frequently clashed with Parker. I had started working with Rob at Garnet Wines and Liquors earlier that summer and heard all about the tasting leading up to it and the aftermath. According to Callahan, he and Parker agreed upon a set of rules ahead of time, such as no Beaux Freres were to be included, but then Parker went ahead and included them....
Yes, the Beaux Freres double cross was the cruel trick I referred to. Callahan identified the Beaux Freres as Burgundy, and one of his favorites, much to his public humiliation. Still, I always thought Parker was wrong to offer up the ground rules, and then violate them.

(Added on edit: After reading the Mark Squires background on the event, from the link provided, my last sentence above would seem to be an overstatement of the facts.)
Last edited by Lewis Dawson on March 10th, 2012, 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#82 Post by Ron Kramer » March 10th, 2012, 9:42 am

Serge Birbrair wrote:From Wine Therapy posts it appears that Parker set Callahan up, which wasn't very honorable thing to do. If Callahan was hosting the event and did the same thing, we'd be hearing about it 'til 2059 Bordeaux matures :)

Parker had an advantage which he didn't hesitate to use. Can't fully blame him for that, Napoleon did the same things all the time.

Not true at all, perfectly OK since RC had dissed the wine so badly. It is exactly what I did to Steve Wolfe with the '89 Beaucastle.

Thank you, thank you for that link and photo, great memories. I think Robert Slovacek has passed away.

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#83 Post by Nancy Dolce » March 10th, 2012, 10:30 am

Cris Whetstone wrote:Don't forget my favorite OG, Nancy Dolcemascolo!
Ah, I missed this thread because the other popular discussion has taken all of my non-working hours!

Yes, I got hooked in early 1990 on Prodigy when wine, food and beer were all in the same forum. I remember looking for SuperBowl recipes, so it must have been January 1990. John Mariani was the moderator. Wine was spun off away from food, as was the beer section if memory serves.

I dabbled in WLDG before going to work full time. Work saved me from the dark side of this world since the boards are blocked.

Squires board came along in December 1998 after the demise of Prodigy. Parker and Squires had been moderators on *P as people called it. Di Lampkin sent me the top secret email invitation to join Squires. The member numbers came after a change in servers. They were assigned alphabetically by first name, so I was #101.


Does anyone remember the argumentative woman who was always stirring trouble? She was fairly young and I believe blonde. This would have been on Squires.

I have not read all of the notes so far... Must break away!
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#84 Post by Nancy Dolce » March 10th, 2012, 10:37 am

David K o l i n wrote:77 posts and no Mishy?
Bingo! That was the person I was asking about in my last post. Refresh our memories!
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#85 Post by Ron Kramer » March 10th, 2012, 10:46 am

Serge Birbrair wrote:Ron, I know what you did but that's different, as there was neither any rules nor animosity between you and Wolfe.

Neither yours nor Wolfe's reputation suffered from it and Wine Advocate business is solely based ON THE REPUTATION. Outcome of Parker' breaking HIS OWN RULES benefited...Parker.
His opponent was humiliated in public, great outcome for Parker, don't you think?

Imagine French guys who put Parker on the spot on live TV did something similar and gave Parker some counterfeited wines for him to make fool of himself?

Frenchmen would be called all names available in the English language.
Link please -- as I understand it he nailed it.

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#86 Post by Dale Williams » March 10th, 2012, 10:46 am

Serge Birbrair wrote:Imagine French guys who put Parker on the spot on live TV did something similar and gave Parker some counterfeited wines for him to make fool of himself?
Frenchmen would be called all names available in the English language.
You're probably trolling for this, but since this is a history of wine fora, for other readers it is worth noting yet again that the total evidence of the incredible French TV blind tasting feat is Parker's own post on the (US only I believe) Prodigy boards. Squires then posted it on AFW (where one of the few international posters was puzzled by this tale of French TV superstar Bruno de la Palme). Then the story was repeated again and again as proof of Parker's acuity. When it was rolled out yet again about 5-6 years ago on eBob I questioned why no one had seen the tape. Squires eventually replied that because Parker did so well, the French had never shown it. Parker claimed to have a tape of it, but it was in the wrong format and his office was moving so he didn't know where it was. Truly a humble soul.
So we'll never know if he really did this truly remarkable double blind tasting feat. We do know that at multiple EWS Bordeaux tastings where he knew all of the wines present he's not been able to identify the vast majority.

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#87 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » March 10th, 2012, 11:08 am

Sometime around the end of 1997/start of 1998 I spent some time on the Wine Spectator boards. Very quickly I moved over to Robin Garr's WLDG (the frames version on a proprietary platform - more on that later). This was shortly before the split that resulted in Wine Therapy. Spent a little time on the WCWN board (learned some good things about Tuscan wines there), and then joined up on Squires' board.

The WLDG has been through numerous changes since 1998. There was the aforementioned split with the Therapy folks, then came the move to the Netscape version of the forum. It was due to two factors - instability in the proprietary forum software and the raving posts that Dale Williams accurately described earlier. It was a bit of a move of desperation, and due to bad software and terrible access processes the experiment was short lived. Robin then moved over to the current platform, on the same base software as over here on Berserkers (just a lot less customizaiton). I'm currently a moderator on the WLDG, though things are quite civil (except when we talk politics), so very little moderaiton is required.

I won't recount any of the Squires/Parker/Berserker timeline, as that is well covered.

I will highlight a couple of things about being on the boards.

A number of my dearest and closest friends have come from my time on the boards. Connecting through a common interest/passion versus just running into folks at work certainly builds stronger bonds.

The opportunity to connect in person has been fabulous. I've had dinner with folks in Paris, London, San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles, Munich and countless other places. That doesn't even consider the countless dinners and evenings with folks in Connecticut, as well as the Boston and Philadelphia areas.

Whatever our differences, we can go back over the amazing events, the 2003 Squires/Parker board offline in Baltimore, the Cafe Matisse dinner in 2001spring immediately to mind. It has been and still is a really fun ride.
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#88 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » March 10th, 2012, 11:10 am

Serge Birbrair wrote:
Brad Kane wrote: Of course, Joe Dressner was a frequent participant there.

Unfortunately, Rob developed some health issues and stopped participating after awhile and also let any site security updates go, so it became a bit outdated. In '07, when an unwanted participant was told to go away and not come back, or so I'm told, said person apparently went into the code and managed to delete all the tasting notes and discussions on the board up to that point. Seven years worth. It was a huge loss.
Brad Kane, an "an unwanted participant" did not erase Wine Therapy, it was done by Joe Dressner which he allegedly admitted on his death bed, from what I heard . Told to me by Frank Shobe and Jon Moramarco acquaintances.
http://rockssandfruit.blogspot.com/2007 ... ragic.html
Deathbed confession? Please, this story is about as likely as the urban myth that Darwin converted to Christianity on his deathbed. I have much less history on these boards than many here, going back only to alt.food.wine and missing many listed stops along the way. But there is considerable misinformation here about what I do know, enough to make me discount much said here that I don't. I have no idea whether Serge was responsible for the deletion of the Wine Therapy archives. But his disseminating nonsense like this does make the accusation slightly more verismilitudinous.

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#89 Post by David K o l i n » March 10th, 2012, 11:10 am

Serge Birbrair wrote:Ron, I can not, in the days it allegedly happened I was "banging cheerleaders" quoting Moe Green from Godfather.
"Banging cocktail waitresses two at a time"

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#90 Post by Roberto Rogness » March 10th, 2012, 11:12 am

COCKTAIL waitresses two at a time, no?
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#91 Post by David K o l i n » March 10th, 2012, 11:17 am

Roberto Rogness wrote:COCKTAIL waitresses two at a time, no?
Fixed it before you did. Thanks

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#92 Post by Brad Kane » March 10th, 2012, 11:21 am

David M. Bueker wrote: The WLDG has been through numerous changes since 1998. There was the aforementioned split with the Therapy folks, then came the move to the Netscape version of the forum. It was due to two factors - instability in the proprietary forum software and the raving posts that Dale Williams accurately described earlier. It was a bit of a move of desperation, and due to bad software and terrible access processes the experiment was short lived.
Agreed. Eric Stauffer had quirky, but home grown feel to the original forum software on the WLDG. Actually, many of the people that participated on Therapy also continued to post on the WLDG, but the killer was when Robin switched the software, which was pretty horrible. You couldn't even see who started the posts, only who posted last in it and he contended that that wasn't a problem. That, combined with the board being taken over by Mishy, that hybrid guy, I think JJB and a few other erratic folks chased a lot of the more wine knowledgeable people away. It didn't help the WLDG that Squire's board also took off with the Parker site around the same time and that helped the exodus. Oh, and let's not forget the censorship issue there that arose with Bucko.

As you say, though, it's been a fun ride and I've met and become good friends with a lot of great people from all over the country and world thanks to these Internet forums.
itb.

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#93 Post by Lewis Dawson » March 10th, 2012, 11:42 am

Sigh... [smileyvault-ban.gif]
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#94 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » March 10th, 2012, 11:49 am

I thought this was a history of the wine boards, not a history of the wine boards acording to Serge (whose most notable accomplishment seems to be getting banned on a regular basis).
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#95 Post by Lee Short » March 10th, 2012, 11:56 am

Brad Kane wrote: That, combined with the board being taken over by Mishy, that hybrid guy, I think JJB and a few other erratic folks chased a lot of the more wine knowledgeable people away. It didn't help the WLDG that Squire's board also took off with the Parker site around the same time and that helped the exodus. Oh, and let's not forget the censorship issue there that arose with Bucko.
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#96 Post by Bob Wood » March 10th, 2012, 12:00 pm

Bob Foster wrote:
Roberto Rogness wrote:Does anyone from the old AOL board remember when someone spoofed my handle by inserting a "1" in place of the "I" in WINE EXPO (which were indistinguishable in the font they used) and then posted stuff to make it look like me?
My bet is that it was done by Bob Wood. He was the master at changing i.d's. We didn't know who was doing it until one night at 3 am there were a slug of these fake id posts and about 2 minutes later posts under Woods real name. No one else had posted (or posted afterwards for hours) I concluded from that he was the source of all the fake posts.
You give me way too much credit, Bob. I'll admit to ragging on Roberto for the same reasons I rag on him today. I'll admit that I made too many peanut jokes at your expense,and I'll admit that I participated in way too much mean-spirited frivolity that involved Brad and his sisters. I'll even admit that I once met Phil Ward and Steve Manzi in person at the same party and that I created a few fake names - notably on WLDG. That said, I didn't create Roberto's alter ego and I was never awake at 3AM - nor was I ever moronic enough to do something as stupid and glaringly obvious as you describe.
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#97 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » March 10th, 2012, 12:02 pm

All in good time Serge. All in good time.
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#98 Post by Bob Wood » March 10th, 2012, 12:06 pm

Bob Wood wrote:
Bob Foster wrote:
Roberto Rogness wrote:Does anyone from the old AOL board remember when someone spoofed my handle by inserting a "1" in place of the "I" in WINE EXPO (which were indistinguishable in the font they used) and then posted stuff to make it look like me?
My bet is that it was done by Bob Wood. He was the master at changing i.d's. We didn't know who was doing it until one night at 3 am there were a slug of these fake id posts and about 2 minutes later posts under Woods real name. No one else had posted (or posted afterwards for hours) I concluded from that he was the source of all the fake posts.
You give me way too much credit, Bob. I'll admit to ragging on Roberto for the same reasons I rag on him today. I'll admit that I made too many peanut jokes at your expense,and I'll admit that I participated in way too much mean-spirited frivolity that involved Brad and his sisters. I'll even admit that I once met Phil Ward and Steve Manzi in person at the same party and that I created a few fake names - notably on WLDG. That said, I didn't create Roberto's alter ego and I was never awake at 3AM - nor was I ever moronic enough to do something as stupid and glaringly obvious as you describe.
Now, as long as we're on the subject of AOL, it's time to raise a glass in honor of Lonnie Ferrell, the original Tex and reputed cousin of The Big Bopper, who was making sheep and armadillo jokes when Bill Landreth was in short pants. He was also the perpetrator, along with Roberta Boomer, of one of the all-time great practical jokes - a joke in which I was the victim. May he rest in peace.
"Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?" - Steve Jobs, 1983

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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#99 Post by Lewis Dawson » March 10th, 2012, 12:08 pm

What was the practical joke?
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Re: The History of Wine Forums and Social Networking

#100 Post by Bob Wood » March 10th, 2012, 12:11 pm

Lewis Dawson wrote:What was the practical joke?
Ahh . . . you would have had to have been there.
"Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?" - Steve Jobs, 1983

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