Yes, readers, debuted three years ago this week, December 2006. This brief retrospective glance chalks up as Post No. 554.

Who knew I had so much to say? (He said, disingenuously.)

I don’t know how many wines I have reviewed in three years; forgive me if I don’t go back and count each one. A lot, anyway.

What’s gratifying, besides the responses and the give-and-take of opinion that blogs afford, is the readership that has steadily grown since the beginning. In January 2007, the first full month of record-keeping, my counter program, from, recorded 6,800 visitors; in November 2009, the last full month, the number of visitors was 35,739. (The best month was October ’09, with 36,496 visitors.) Anyway, the increase has been about 80 percent. Total number of visits, from the start? 836,418. So close to a million!

I dwell on these statistical matters because I still harbor the illusion that with enough readership, this blog will draw advertising and provide a modicum of income, so that while I am spending hours writing posts, reviewing wine and expressing my opinion about issues in various aspects of the wine industry, I could feel that I am not too grievously neglecting other writing work that actually pays. Or perhaps every reader who visits BTYH could click on a bunch of those little Google ads, which so far bring me about $100 a year. Woo-hoo! Yeah, I’m feeling pretty mercenary; tomorrow is my birthday, and I could use a boost.

Anyway, thanks to all you readers for coming to BTYH and finding something valuable here, whether they’re reviews, commentary, opinion, food and wine matching or the expression of a personality. And thanks to the wineries and estates, the importers and the local wholesalers that send me wine or call and say, “We’re tasting such-and-such today, come on over.” Obviously, I couldn’t do this job without wine samples or tastings and such, and, as the FTC now demands, such debt must be acknowledged.

Thanks also to all the readers and voters that helped BTYH win the “Best Wine Blog Reviews” prize from the American Blog Awards this year. That was a tremendous thrill and also a reminder of the standards that I must maintain, so I’ll keep truckin’ along from this side and try to make the whole shebang fun for everybody, combining experience, knowledge and imagination with a love of wine and food and sharing all of it with you.

Third anniversary image from