Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

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Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby Jenise » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:18 pm

I'm ready to tear my hair out. This is not fun!!!

In the Cellar tracker overview, Eric estimates that the pre-mapping they will do for you will take care of 25-40% of the work for you. When he emailed me back after receiving the initial inventory and doing the pre-mapping, he said in my case it only caught the minimum: 26%. Only after spending the last three days mapping the other 74% do I realize that it actually would have been much higher but for two things. One, I had a column with a two-letter code in each one that I included thinking it would remain a standalone column "just in case". The codes were for country or subregion of origin, and sometimes wine type--which facitated sort routines that grouped like wines, otherwise alphabetical by wine name, for consideration. So 'sn' was for Sauternes, 'bx' for Bordeaux, 'ca' for California and so forth. Another column had region/subregions or grape name, which wherever possible for printing economy employed shorthand like 'CdP' for Chateneuf du Pape and 'Cab Sauv' for Cabernet Sauvignon.

With the best of intentions, of course, Eric merged both columns into the wine name. And where the pre-mapper could sometimes make 'California' out of 'ca' and 'Washington' out of 'wa', it couldn't make heads or tails out of the rest. That two-letter didn't do me any favors. And I could have replaced 'CdP' etc with spelling in full had I realized how that part was going to play out, and in a WHOLE lot less time than it took to back all that stuff out item by item so the mapping software could go throught the two or three steps each required to find a match.

Still working on it and I know it will be worth it in the end, but I am taking a breather and wanted to kvetch. I know a lot of you here went through it, too!
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:37 am

As an early adopter I had to personally create many of the German wines in the database. It was indeed worth it.
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby Jenise » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:05 am

David M. Bueker wrote:As an early adopter I had to personally create many of the German wines in the database. It was indeed worth it.


And for that I thank you! Reminds me, before I figured out how to create a new wine, I had a German wine with an AP#5 on it where the database only had AP#4. So I just skipped it. I should go back and fix that. Really only had about 10-12 wines that weren't already in the data base, which is so very very impressive. Was able to make do for all but three, which are both extremely rare and historically valuable, far more so for what they were created for than what they are. Emailed Eric for help with those.
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:16 am

The AP # thing on CellarTracker drives me nuts. It's so inconsistent. There's really only a few producers where it particularly matters, but I'll go in and see 9 entries for a wine where the producer makes 1 barrel (fuder) in a year. The AP varies from year to year just because it does.

It sometimes makes a meaningful difference with Prum, Haag, etc, but generally I am over AP numbers.
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby Peter May » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:04 am

How many different wines are you working with Jenise?
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby Jenise » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:06 pm

Peter May wrote:How many different wines are you working with Jenise?


Somewhere over 700 line items and overall about 1600 bottles and I don't have room for much more so I tend favor breadth over depth, buying small numbers of lots of different wines. Obviously. :)
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby Peter May » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:30 pm

When I started on CT I had about 300 different wines and I just entered them by hand and found it fairly quick and painless, and fewer than 10 were not already in the database and had to be entered from scratch, but that was quite quick by copying a similar wine as a base.

And because I didn't have my wines listed anywhere else it involved collecting a dozen at a time in two carriers and taking them to the computer, adding them to CT and taking them back.

Only problem I had was that I'd come across a wine that I'd laready entered in my CT cellar and I wasn't sure if this was an extra bottle of the same wine that had been filed in a different place or one I had already counted.

So then I decided to label each wine with the CT number so I knew iI'd dealt with it. So all the wines had to come out again to get labelled....

Was it worth it - yes. For me because at last I knew what I had and where it was located. (of course you already have that info on your own database.)
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby Eric LeVine » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:12 pm

Jenise, I wish you had emailed me before you were all done. I could have easily removed or reordered the offending column had I realized it was causing you trouble.

Per the FAQ:

"UserWine1 - UserWine8: Users can import up to 8 different fields describing the wine. Typically these include the name of the producer, the varietal, proprietary names, appellations, country, wine color and type etc. Please note that these fields are not imported, but rather they are concatenated together to help you search for a matching wine in CellarTracker. Only UserWine1 is required."

Too late now, sorry. :oops:

Please do see my email from last night re: your last three stragglers. (Which I mapped but am just waiting to hear back from you on before importing.)
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby Jenise » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:13 pm

Eric LeVine wrote:Jenise, I wish you had emailed me before you were all done. I could have easily removed or reordered the offending column had I realized it was causing you trouble.

Per the FAQ:

"UserWine1 - UserWine8: Users can import up to 8 different fields describing the wine. Typically these include the name of the producer, the varietal, proprietary names, appellations, country, wine color and type etc. Please note that these fields are not imported, but rather they are concatenated together to help you search for a matching wine in CellarTracker. Only UserWine1 is required."

Too late now, sorry. :oops:

Please do see my email from last night re: your last three stragglers. (Which I mapped but am just waiting to hear back from you on before importing.)


Oh Eric, I'm sorry. I sound so ungrateful and don't mean to be--in fact, a few hours later I wished I hadn't posted it, and came back here to delete it but David had already responded, so I left it up. I'm certainly not pleading ignorance, I read the FAQ. That's what convinced me that my region/subregion/grape column should go along, since in your example the wine names were so much more comprehensive than my sometimes-simplified versions. I just didn't think it through well enough to leave my origin code out. Should have practiced just adding wines to my cellar--if I'd done three or four I'd have understood how neccessary it was, so I'm more to blame than anyone.

Got your email and thank you for that help; I took care of them this morning by adding them to my cellar the conventional way.

Now that the work's done I'm really excited about being on Cellar Tracker. Loved this morning that when I went in, I saw a TN on the sidebar to the right about a wine I had just put a bottle in the tasting queue to try--after reading the note, it's back on the wall and won't be touched for two years. That and so many other things about Cellar Tracker are going to help me manage the cellar more effectively. It certainly convinced me that it's time to buy insurance!
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:24 pm

And I should add something - it's not the fault of CellarTracker or Eric that the AP thing is out of control for some wines. It's just a guy thing. Guys like data. Sometimes we go overboard.

Eric - I am indeed getting used to the new site. I also bought glasses. Helps a lot. I'm not as young as I used to be.
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby Charles Weiss » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:55 pm

It would have been worth doing the Bataan Death March in order to be able to reap the benefits of Cellar Tracker.
(disclaimer: I am not making light of the Bataan death March)

I dreaded switching to the new site, but guess what ; that works well too.
I'm now a believer in Intelligent design.

Thanks Eric.
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby Eric LeVine » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:57 pm

Thanks everyone! Jenise, welcome aboard! And David, I am glad that things are getting a little easier for you. We have plenty more still to tune, and I am really eager to get us cranking on our mobile specific version of the new site. Anyway, with Dan on board we are making tons of progress on a lot more fronts.
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby James Dietz » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:08 am

I look forward to reading your CT notes.
Cheers, Jim
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby John S » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:45 pm

It's definitely worth the hassle, Jenise! But it's partly your fault for waiting so long! :wink: :wink:

I always enjoy reading other people's notes on the wines I have in my cellar. Every day I look at people's notes on the wines i own - great fun. The other great benefit of CT is checking out the notes over time on your cellared bottles, to assess how the wine is drinking at this moment (i.e., whether it is ready for opening or not). Whenever I get ready to open a bottle I'm not sure of, I always check the recent reviews and see if other people says its ready now or not. I've saved myself from 'wasting' bottles many times from doing this!
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby Jenise » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:06 pm

John, you're so right about it being my fault. I just hadn't been able to find the block of time needed to 1)get the Excel spreadsheet updated to a point of reasonable confidence AND then 2) go straight into the Cellar Tracker process. I knew between the two it would take a week. But I'm sold on the benefits: I've been referencing the community tasting notes for years, and of course with more members all the time they only get deeper and more useful. And now I have my own TNs linked to my inventory, along with a record of wines I'm out of. I had not created either ability for myself, and as time has gone on I've craved it. And something I didn't expect, and love looking at now that my cellar's there, are the recent notes that pop up in the side bar on the wines I own: it's going to be so useful to read TNs I wouldn't have gone looking for just yet.
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby John S » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:42 am

Printing a wine list of your cellar is also quite fun - check out that option!
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby James Dietz » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:14 am

Is your cellar public, so others can view it?

What is your CT name, so I can 'friend' you?
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby Jenise » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:38 pm

Jim, I didn't take any pains to not make it public, so I guess so. I'm Neecies. View away, but promise not to laugh. :wink:
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby James Dietz » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:32 pm

Jenise wrote:Jim, I didn't take any pains to not make it public, so I guess so. I'm Neecies. View away, but promise not to laugh. :wink:


I'm not even going to ask what that means..... :shock:

We had a nice brunch at Arte Cafe on Sunday.. you may remember the place...

Just checked.. your cellar is dominated by Bdx and Cab.. and yet I'm not sure I would have guessed that... you need to try the '99 Barton soon... one of my favorites.. and I think we both bought a bunch down in Newport one Saturday many moons ago.....
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby Dale Williams » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:52 pm

Jenise,
late to the party, but yes it's worth it.

Just became a fan of Neecies. The fan designation is one of my favorite parts of CT. When you open a wine page with 50 notes, easy/timesavings just to scan for those that you are a fan of. All notes are data points, but seeing a TN from someone I feel I have a sense of is way more valuable. Rather than read 50 notes, getting David B's and Salil's impressions of a Riesling, or Jacques or Matt's impressions of a Bdx give me confidence.
Mostly I'm a fan of people I've tasted with a lot, with a few people I've been reading for years on WLDG etc.

When I joined CT I had less wine than now, but I had some slightly quirky stuff, so had to create quite a few wines. But as use exploded and database way expanded, other than a few added vintages I can't remember the last time I needed to add a wine.
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:56 pm

Now a fan and friends with Jenise on CellarTracker, and desptie the fact that we share many palate preferences, we only have 34 wines in common. I didn't think it would be a huge number, but I am shocked it's that low.
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby Jenise » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:14 pm

James Dietz wrote:I'm not even going to ask what that means..... :shock:


Oh, I just worry about people going "gee, why does she have that crap?" I'm a piker compared to so many. Yes, lots of Bordeaux--lots of 98's purchased that day you spoke of (you did expect Bordeaux, right? just not the other cabs?)--and lots of cab which I love and buy and hold and don't drink as often as other things, like pinot, which is why I have relatively little of it.

Sure do remember Arte. Same chef/owner?

Had a 99 not long ago, and it was finally a drinkable wine though still not where I want it to be. You may recall that for the last couple of years I've not been pleased with the way these have been showing. Your experience seems to have been so different.
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby Jenise » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:20 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Now a fan and friends with Jenise on CellarTracker, and desptie the fact that we share many palate preferences, we only have 34 wines in common. I didn't think it would be a huge number, but I am shocked it's that low.


I'm surprised too; have about the same with Jim Dietz and that's a surprise as well. Perhaps it has a lot to do with where I live; that I have so much Washington wine. It's not what I love most; but I feel some loyalty to my home state, and living and entertaining here it's a neccessity to have.
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Re: Cellar Tracker mapping: please tell me it's worth it!

Postby Jenise » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:30 pm

Dale Williams wrote:The fan designation is one of my favorite parts of CT. When you open a wine page with 50 notes, easy/timesavings just to scan for those that you are a fan of. All notes are data points, but seeing a TN from someone I feel I have a sense of is way more valuable.


I sure understand that. In spite of the fact that I only just got around to putting up my cellar, CT's been my go-to place for tasting notes for years. Where else can you get such expert information about aged bottles? Yours is among the names I recognize and value when trying to decide which bottle to open! Another delight is stumbling over a TN by 'Anonymous' and realizing that it's someone I know writing about a wine I brought to a tasting!

When I joined CT I had less wine than now, but I had some slightly quirky stuff, so had to create quite a few wines. But as use exploded and database way expanded, other than a few added vintages I can't remember the last time I needed to add a wine.


I believe I said I only had to add two. Both were madeiras purchased through a broker from Prince Charles' own cellar, like the one bottled expressly for and served at his wedding to Lady Di. I would have had to add a third, the 1952 madeira bottled for and served at his mum's Silver Jubilee in 1977, but amazingly, one other guy on the planet actually owns one! Point is, it had to be THAT rare to not already be there. Very impressive.
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