I've been silent on wine too long. And those days are over!
It's my passion and my dream. And candidly, I've not only been letting myself down. I've been letting all of you down.
The people who know me.
My friends who drink wine with me.
And those who have traveled with me.
Most importantly those of whom have read me. I failed you, and most of all I have failed myself.
And for me, failure is never an option.
You see, since 1985 I have been in some ways writing about wine, first on the old Compuserve Wine Forum, and then professionally in the Del Mar Times. I've been on Wine Lovers Forum, and on the predecessor of what is now the eRobertParker board run by long time friend Mark Squires, and I was contributing notes and insights before the idea of wine online was en vogue, and since that time I've been blogging, and then not blogging about wine.
I was a pioneer. Then I vanished. I'm sorry. I never should have. It was selfish. And it was wrong.
Some of you may recall that I often wrote up my tasting notes every night following diners, or when I travelled. Some of you may been on the newsletter list that I emailed out even before placing the list on Yahoo called "Road Reports." Back then you sendt me back nice notes long before we did things like that on Facebook.
And thinking back, I was doing all this long before there was a "web" and candidly as my business took off, as love entered and now left my life, and as challenges arose, I just had to hit the pause button on wine writing. And, I never should have.
Why did I lose my wine voice? Candidly, I really don't know. I wasn't in a wine slump. Quite the opposite. I have been tasting more, traveling more, discovering more and learning more, and yes buying more. If anything my sabatical from wine writing and food touring commentary has been like getting a masters degree, but in a very odd and fun way. And, it's made me better. I now know more about what I didn't know, and more people who I really do know. It's been roughly 9 years of reflection and understanding, but most of all it's been enlightening.
But of late, the more I taste with friends at home, the more I visit wine regions and the more I make new friends, the more I'm finding that the voice I once had is coming back. And, as a result I now know more, and have done more, so now it's time to tell more, and to live up to the title once given to my by pal Doug Margerum, as "the ultimate wine insider" some ten years or so ago. So yes, I'm back.....
Along the way I've been "knighted" in France by the Chevalier du Commanderie, have been tabbed as "the USA Ambassador" for the International Grenache Association and with the help of some amazing long standing friendships actually put my own mark on a wine not once, but now twice with more wines to come.
My two wine touring experiences this past week have been exhilirating, to the point of causing this personal rebirth. And that's not easy. Being a veteran of wine tasting in far flung places, trekking out to new regions in a way that has become almost commonplace I am never less appreciative of the genuine hospitalty and knowledge that one receives whan you actually go out and visit the wine regions that others don't usually travel to.
Seriously. Anyone can go to Bordeaux or Burgundy in France, or Napa and Sonoma back in the USA. But going early in life to Oregon's Willamette Valley, up to the region surrounding Seattle near Woodinville or to Paso Robles and finding new producers who become great friends over time is where the fun is. But find new wine trails, and travel along the wine road, well, that's just not something that one does every day.
So now, doing what I am calling the Three T's of wine. Taste. Touch and Tell is where it's at. And today starts that phase of my life (again) simply because it's been too long.
So join me (again). Travel with me (again) and taste (again) as I get in touch again and tell the stories of what is no longer a dream, but really reality.