INSANELY cool improvement to Vivi’s…

OK, I’ve found the functionality that each and every wine blogger in the world should add to their blog. Its called “AnswerTips” and it allows you to click any word, abosolutely ANY word on this blog and have a pop-up window tell you what the definition of that word is. Its a “widget” for TypePad blogs and a little tricky to setup for advanced templates. Not sure its available for Blogger et al but if you can figure it out it is well worth it. Here is the code that adds the functionality to my site. I don’t think its site specific so if you know how to work with well-formed XML, have at it…

Download XML here…

If you figure it out for other platforms beyond TypePad, post about it and leave a link here so other can find out how!

Thanks AnswerTips for helping us Enjoy the Wine Life!

Wine and Sports – what could be finer?

A study by market researcher Nielsen found wine consumption among U.S. sports fans increased to $81.40 in 2006, which was up $14.60 from 2005 which was in line with increasing consumption of wine in the United States.

The interesting part of this?  According to the report, certain sports drove a much higher gain than others.  In particular, LPGA fans spent $125 in 2006, up 17% over 2005 and overtaking the PGA tour as the top spender per fan.  Tennis was second followed by PGA.

Now, you might think those are all high-fa-lutin’, hoity-toity sports and in some cases more of a “game” than a sport.  But get this – the biggest gainer was….

THE NFL – with an increase spend of 63%, up to $94, over 2005…

And people mock me for opening a premium wine while the ‘Skins are layin’ a whoopin’ on the cowboy…HA!

American Wine Blog Awards Finalist!

Wow, I just got the news this evening and I have to say I’m finding myself a little giddy.  I thought that Tom’s intiative to establish these awards was very admirable and over the next few years its going to establish itself much the same way Wine Blogging Wednesday has built itself into a semi-institution. 

I have to be honest, I knew I was nominated and that was cool.  I was actually nominated in a couple of categories but I am actually particularly proud to be a finalist in the Best

Graphics category because over the last couple years I’ve enjoyed writing about the Wine Life and everything about it, including tasting notes, gadget reviews, etc. etc.  But I’ve actually spent a tremendous amount of time and energy into the look and feel of the blog.  I enjoy the Zen of negative space for website design and consistency of the look and color scheme was important to me.  I choose the graphics carefully and often reject even my own photography.  Its a labor of love and I’ve been happy to do it.

This site was inspired by, of all things, the newly renamed Apple Inc.  There is a principle in high tech that the simpler a product the more engineering goes into it.  If something is very straight forward and incredibly simple, it normally takes exponentially more engineering then a similar product that isn’t quite as simple.  Apple is a good example of that.  Their products are simple to use, to the point, and always have graceful designs.  The users benefit tremendously with a complete enjoyable experience – from just looking at the product to actually using it.  This principal even extends to their website, which does a nice job of using negative space with simple navigation.

Thats my inspiration – working tirelessly to make a simple, elegant, dynamic site.  A site that leverages negative space to create a visual experience that is consistent and shows depth without the use of a multitude of complexity.

Thanks to those who nominated me and to anyone who may vote for Vivi’s Wine Journal.

While everyone is reviewing the site, one note on the name (as it always seems to confuse).  I had an Aunt Vivian whom I was very close with.  A couple years before I started blogging, she passed away from a series or respiratory ailments.  I dedicated the blog to her and named it after her.  I’m Joel Vincent and this blog is loving dedicated to the memory of my Aunt Vivi.

Thanks!  And Enjoy the Wine Life!  Cheers!