Opinion

Eight Years of Frankly Wines: Passion Conquers Everything

Today – 2nd of July 2021 – marks eight years since the first post on Frankly Wines!

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Longevity

In May 2015 I corralled fellow members of DNS Wineclub and some fellow wine bloggers from Dublin into attending a public tasting at Honest 2 Goodness in Glasnevin, Dublin.  During a memorable evening of great wines and great company, Paddy from The vine Inspiration posited that not all of us present would still be writing in a year or two’s time.

From our original gang of five wine bloggers I am the only one to still be posting regularly.  Lots has happened in those eight years…life just takes over sometimes, including “proper” jobs and children (we have gone from a total of 3 kids between us in 2013 to now having 12!  Perhaps a parenting blog might have been more appropriate…)

Style

I try to strike a balance on Frankly Wines between information, entertainment and accessibility.  Where possible I like to use a map to explain where a particular wine region on winery is located because location is one of the key things to understanding most wines (plus I love maps…)

Above all they have been fun to write!  I never thought of myself as a writer before starting Frankly Wines, although I know my English is excellent [/humblebrag], but passion conquers everything.  One thing I try to do with every article is improve my knowledge with the research I do in advance of actually writing

Guest Posts

This is the 452nd post on Frankly Wines, but not all have been written by me.  I have had very generous guest posters for three different series:

  1. Valentines’ Day Wines (2015)
  2. Wines for Xmas (2017)
  3. Wine + Music Matching (2020)

Thanks again to all those who have contributed over the years.

Top Posts

Easily the most popular theme – in terms of views – across my posts has been wines from Supermarket Lidl.  This is undoubtedly due to the fact that they are an international outfit and so people search for reviews of their wines in many countries.  Of course, it helps that I have a good relationship with Lidl Ireland and receive plenty of samples from them to write about.

The second most popular theme is my (admittedly irregular) Top 10 posts; Top 10 Reds of the year, Top 10 Value Whites, etc.  While they might seem like clickbait, they are a genuine attempt to list wines (out of the hundreds or thousands that I might taste in a year) that most impressed me.

An older standalone post that has resurged in popularity over the past few years is Who’s The Dada, a post from 2017 which ended up being the most popular overall of 2020.  I don’t know why this post became so popular, though it is about a very commercial and high selling wine, but it appears as the #4 on Google results for “Dada Wine Review”.  For 2021, a new rival popular wine post has emerged: 19 Crimes Red.

Of course I would love for articles on wines from boutique and specialist importers to be more popular, but as the biggest source of views on my page is through search engines it is the popular wines that will tend to wine out.

My Favourite Posts

Above we’ve looked at the most popular posts, but which have been my favourite posts to write?  Here are a dozen I look back on with fond memories:

Thank You!

Thank you to all my readers, past, present and future.  Your views, likes and comments have inspired me to keep writing throughout the years.

Single Bottle Review

Who’s the Dada? [Frankie’s Single Bottle Review #14]

As most regular readers will know, I’m very lucky to receive sample wine bottles on a regular basis, in addition to invitations to trade and press tastings.  While spitting at tastings is de rigueur (and, quite frankly, necessary if you want to maintain both your palate and the ability to walk unaided), sample bottles are drunk without spitting chez moi.

So what do you do when you have a good few samples that you need to try, but you’re cutting back on the booze for a bit?  Share them with wine friends is the obvious answer! Thus, at an informal dinner with friends from the DNS Wine Club I produced four bottles of relatively inexpensive red wine all wrapped in foil – for a mini blind tasting.

The objective of the blind tasting wasn’t to see which was the best wine, but rather to see how good we were at guessing the vintage, main grape(s), country of origin etc.  And we were painfully average at that!  However, one wine was agreed to be the tastiest – and happened to be the go-to bottle of one of the tasters:

Finca Las Moras Dadá Art Series 1 2016 (12.5%, €10.00, widely available at SuperValu, Dunnes Stores and all good independent off licences)

Las Moras Dada Bonarda Malbec

There are actually lots of different wines in the Dadá Art Series, but this Bonarda / Malbec blend is the most widely available.  It’s actually quite an unusual blend, as Bonarda in Argentina is the same grape as the obscure Deuce Noir from Savoie in France (and formerly part of Italy) rather than the slightly better known Bonarda Piemontese.  Malbec is of course Argentina’s signature black grape.

Obscure or unusual don’t matter in the end, it’s what’s in the glass that counts – and this is lovely!  Blackberry crumble with lashings of custard, it’s that kind of lovely – black fruit from the grapes with plenty of vanilla from the American oak.  And for a tenner in Ireland, this is great value for money!