I've finally managed to retabulate the votes to eliminate the few clear examples of ballot-stuffing, so here are the long promised and semidefinitive results of the 2007 Compleat Winegeek Readers' Choice Awards.
Some perennial favorites (most notably New Region for Value and João/Kansas) fell off the list this year, and there is a healthy infusion of new blood. (Sleeping Cats makes a startling debut at number 4), but the biggest surprise is the toppling of the longtime champ in favor of the plucky newcomer
So here they are, in reverse order, the Readers' Choice Winners for 2007.
10. Viva Mexico!
I don't know why people like this one. It's pretty weird, I guess. I think the title is what attracts attention, as the juxtaposition of "Mexico" and "wine" is an unusual one. Plus, it's got an unexpected twist, which always goes over well with the all-important 35-50 year old white male demographic.
9. In Which Kane's Parents Leave Town for the Weekend
A bit of fun. I like the notion of a clockwise cheese.
8. Impostors Meet The Kesslers
The popularity of this little lark continues to surprise me, as it was a bit of a throwaway. Perhaps the sense of inconsequentiality that permeates it is what continues to keep this one on the list of favorites year after year. Still, any piece that introduces the phrase "Hardy Rodenstock's yard sale" can't be all bad...
7. Occult Wines in the Coulée of the Evening
The sheer volume of wines in this one made it a bit of a chore to slog through for me, but it's always been a favorite, although I never did get closure on the lesbian mermaids.
6. Joey's First Jeebus
God, we drank a lot of wine that day. But we never did find out where all the women went...
5. Clash of the Ayatollahs
The cast of characters is what's behind the continuing popularity of 'Ayatollahs': if you sit these particular Wacky Internet Wine Personalities ("WIWPs") down at dinner together for the first time and write down verbatim what ensues, then it's your own fault if you don't get something good. This one wrote itself, although rereading it now I can't for the life of me figure out why I chose to write 'fuck' as 'f---.' Was I under the brief misapprehension that I was writing for Disney?
4. Let Sleeping Cats Lie
I like this piece. It has everything: lots of great wine, many happy drunken people, novel outer borough locations, visiting winemakers, body parts that you never knew could fall asleep. What more could the discerning reader desire?
3. I Get the Shakes
I was feeling very unsettled at the time I wrote this, which I started over and over again, and decided the best course was simply to make a virtue of necessity. The undercurrent of frazzled rage is the key to its continuing popularity.
2. Waiting for Callahan
The perennial winner up until this year, the piece that sprang fully-formed into my head as Lisa walked home through a parking garage, causing me to giggle like a schoolgirl. I still giggle when I read it, which is why it's my own personal favorite.
1. Drinking and Driving with Francois Pinon
I've been astonished at the popularity of this one, which debuted just past the deadline for last year's voting, and now comes roaring out of the box to knock WfC out of the number one spot. It's an unusually conventional piece for me, as the wackiness factor is turned way down, with none of the usual cast of characters involved. Still, it's not as boring as it seems. I guess. Could it be the car?
Well, that's it for '07: many thanks to all of our very opinionated readers, we couldn't do it without you. Voting for '08 won't begin until September 18th, so please hold all emails on the subject until then.