It is hard to believe that I have been writing my wine memories and moments and have made it to a sixth anniversary. I have looked back at some of my earliest writings and kind of wince, but I guess it is a work in progress and I promise that I will try to get better. As a wine blogger I guess I am a failure, because to this day, I have not had any freebies come my way. Of course, I guess that I also have never asked for any, as I feel that there are some that make it evident that they are in for the gifts. When I was raised, it was a lesson instilled from the earliest days that one should not ask. It has always been on my dime and I tell you, it was a great learning experience. Those heady days in high school when I started learning about wine was fun and I started off as a wine snob from day one, because back then, wine really centered around France. There were a couple of other countries like Germany, Spain, Portugal and Italy and an occasional stellar dessert wine from Hungary. California was rumored to have a couple of wineries that were good, and the Finger Lakes in New York were also noted back then, but for the rest of North American and the New World, it seemed like they didn’t exist. I had some great mentors that helped me along the way and I am sure that they all figured out that I was not even of legal age when I started buying and drink wines, but they just “cough, cough” and looked the other way. When they were teaching me about wine, the lessons were “this is a great example of a Chablis” or “this is not what a Bordeaux wine should taste like.” Through the good fortune of boyish exuberance and luck, I had the chance to discover what some great wines should taste like and never was a descriptor uttered. I was taught how to taste, but to be truthful, I never learned how to spit, as I never saw anyone do it, they might taste, not like something and pour the balance out, but never spit. As I grew I discovered that I was not a wine snob and I am glad that I learned it very early on, as there was too much to learn and it seemed that new wines were growing faster than anyone could keep track off.
The greatest joy I have found from writing is that I have met, in the ethereal world of the internet, some very amazing people that exude humbleness for all of the knowledge that they have. I have great respect for most of the people that I follow and I am glad to say that most of them follow me as well. Some have great technical knowledge and some of them have forgotten more than I will ever know. Some have a great gift for writing and an even greater gift for humor and an ease of writing style that I wish I could emulate. Others are very pompous and let you know how important they are, as they will tell you often enough, in case you have forgotten. I have never asked to be followed here or in any other Social Media site, as I don’t collect numbers, but I do collect wine labels. I try to “like” the works of my fellow writers, as I know first hand how difficult it is to write an article. The first year I wrote an article every day to get into practice and after the first year, I publish every other day, and always at the same time, don’t ask me why, but I just like consistency. Some people that have followed me, I have done a quid pro quo attitude and followed them back and that is the last time I have ever heard from them. I guess you have to have thick skin when you write, when you are constantly ignored, and most, if they have a list of favorite writers of wine, I am not there, and I can live with that, so when those “friends” request that I vote for them for a free trip or similar award, I sometimes forget.
The main thing is that I love wine. My actual Armenian name that my Grandparents gave me translates to John the Baptist, and I guess that was foresight on their part. As I am out in the hinterlands trying to proselytize people to try wines. One of my followers told me privately that I was one of the first wine writers that he followed, because I was not afraid to show popular priced wines and that I was not only into cult wines and big names. It is true, that I will try to find the best wine at any given moment and sometimes it may be a bulk wine producer. I still want people to try wines and if they think that wines are too dry, then I will make suggestions for something easier to drink. I understand that some wines are overpowering, especially to the new drinkers.
I write about the moment, so I may not go to fancy wine affairs, but I do tastings, but most of the time I have wines with meals. Especially nowadays I like to go somewhere to eat where the food has to be at least as good as what I can have at home, so maybe I am more of a food snob with a long list of foods that I will not eat, which seems incongruous for what I write about. I tend to be gregarious when I am out, so I have been told, but only if I feel comfortable. There are some hole-in-the-wall places that I just adore and then I have also learned to enjoy five-star cuisine, and that was actually harder than it sounds like, but it is true. I also ramble, which I know and my Bride often stresses to me, but that is just me. I don’t write as if I am an Oxford Don, and I may talk like a Don from a local family, but all is good. I try to have a twinkle in my eye when I write, because this is not a job. I am thankful for WordPress that told me that today is my anniversary, as it wasn’t on my radar, so now I guess I must find something unique to drink tonight. Thank you very much, if you actually read this.
Wow, 6 years blogging. That’s great! There aren’t many topics better to write about than wine.
Becky, thank you very much. I am sure that almost any subject could be the subject of many articles. I guess wine is just an interesting subject and quite tasty. – John
Happy Anniversary John! I am so glad I stumbled across your wine blog because you share stories & experiences that remind me of my lovely New Yorker Motherinlaw and an era where ladies wore gloves to go out & gentlemen wore suits to ballgames. Thank you! Until your next posting, Cheers.
Allison, thank you and the feeling is mutual. I guess that I am from a past generation, and I remember the days that you speak of. It is fun to write about and I try to make the ordinary into something a bit more glamorous. – John
Congratulations John! I always look forward to your posts because they’re full of real-life people who just love wine. When we get right down to it, that’s all any of us is at the end of the day: a guy or a girl who is passionate about wine. Here’s to many more posts from the Wine Raconteur!
Lauren, thank you very much for those kind words. I try to do the best that I can, while having fun. Isn’t that part of the enjoyment of wine? – John
It’s the whole point of Wine! Cheers! 🍷
Happy Anniversary. I love reading our blog. You give a wonderful rendition of all the wines you sample, with great detail, and that I like. I don’t walk away thinking, huh? I appreciate that too. You’re warm, inviting, honest, and genuine. That my friend, makes for a great blog :):) I don’t get to read each post when you post it but I do so enjoy sitting down, and reading through the ones I have missed during the week. Thank you for taking the time to drink all that wine for us hahaha, and writing about it :):) I thank God for Blessing you :):)
Margaret, thank you for your kindness. I hope that perhaps a wine or two will sound interesting. The good thing is that my liver and kidneys don’t get a work out every day, but they have been enjoying mostly excellent wines since I was 16. – John
Hahaha then that is a blessing my friend :):):)
Danielle, thank you very much. – John
Hi John, wow 6 years. Please keep on keeping on with your style, always a good, informative and entertaining read. Cheers Oz
Oz, thank you and I am glad that you approve of my style, because some how, if I wrote any other way, it would not sound like me. – John
Happy blogaversary, John! You definitely have your unique style, which I grew to love over the years, and I greatly admire your ability to stay with your schedule – something I’m greatly struggling with. Looking forward to continuing reading your articles for many more years forward. And I’m curious what was the special bottle you ended up opening that night 🙂 Cheers!
Anatoli, my dear fellow wine blogger and friend, thank you for your kind words and I guess it took a little while for me to find the voice that I was most comfortable with. To answer your question we had Chateau Jacques-Blanc Cuvee du Maitre Saint Emilion Grand Cru 1999 from the cellar and I think I still have a couple more bottles left and it was a pure delight and just what I expected from it. – John