Thursday, February 3, 2011

Like Wine? tracks your wine

For some years now I've been using to track my wine cellar. I've discussed them before here and I love using it. It's not like I have lots of wines, but I do have a wine fridge (cellar) from Sears that holds thirty-six bottles.

By using CellarTracker, I can always know what I have available and what other's notes on that wine are, note how much I'm spending, what the drinkability window is, which I find extremely useful as I try to speculate on wine by buying cheap and holding until its matured, thereby, hopefully, tasting better and being worth more.

There are other sites out there I use, related to wines. is a good one, especially on their 1 cent shipping days. Another one is A very cool site for learning more about wines. However, even cool sites like this are not beyond being questionable in tactics and data collection as you can see from the email I got today from

"Over the past eight years, CellarTracker has grown tremendously, both as a tool for collectors and also as a repository of tasting notes that can be freely searched by any wine lover. Nearly 35,000 people have chosen to share public tasting notes, and it is that spirit of sharing which is so essential to the vibrancy of CellarTracker. I am disappointed to say that your trust and mine have been violated by a competitive website.
Last week Paul Mabray at VinTank published a blog wondering if Snooth was scraping large amounts of information without permission from CellarTracker. One day later, Philip James, the founding CEO and current Chairman of Snooth issued a confirming apology and explanation. Despite repeated assurances to the contrary in late 2007 and again in late 2008, it turns out that Snooth was continuing to pull data from CellarTracker. Snooth has now attempted to scrub their database of all content (1 million wine definitions and 1.7 million public tasting notes) taken from CellarTracker.

"If you still see evidence of your public content ("user tags" drawn from your public tasting notes or "glass ratings" drawn from your public scores) on the Snooth site, please let me know. In addition, there is a new facility on the Snooth site to report copyright violations and request DMCA takedown. Just click the REPORT LISTING link in their INTERACT tab at the upper right on their page for a wine.

"Depending upon what we find from this exercise in "crowd sleuthing," I may need to take further action. However, for now I think it is important to just focus on getting the data thoroughly cleaned off the Snooth site."
Eric LeVine

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