It is amazing to learn that I have racked up this many years of writing and this will be article number 1825. I missed out celebrating last year, but then I think we have all missed lots of celebrations last year. When I first started writing about wine, I had no idea what I was doing, whether anyone else would be interested or care and I still ponder these questions. It has been fifty years of enjoying wine, actually longer, having wine at family functions, but it was not adding to my learning about wine. Some may question why I write, because I have no accreditation and no designations or any alphabet letters after my name. I have drunk a lot of wine over the years and not the rotgut type that one would associate with a teen. In my youth, I saw wine as being very sophisticated and it by happenstance allowed me to drink on dates when I was still in high school, and that was very cool and exciting. It made me feel like I was William Powell or David Niven or even James Bond when he was having Champagne and not a cocktail. It also made me decide to learn about what I was drinking, and that became a life-long avocation.
As I look back at my early writings here, I really think it was showing that I was a rank amateur, and I still am, but I think that I have found a rhythm that works and sounds like me. The conceit of my writing is not to lecture or to sound that I am so knowledgeable, I will leave that to the cool kids. I like to write as if we are sharing a bottle of wine and some appetizers and we are having casual chats about wine. The first year, I wrote an article to be published every day, just to get in the habit of writing. After the first year I was less of a task master and published every other day, and I have only missed my goals, a couple of times over these years. I have also discovered that I like learning quirky things about the wine or the winery. As I delve into this little retrospect, allow me to say that I will never be one of the cool kids and be an “influencer” which is what everyone wants to be. I guess that I am too independent and will never be mainstream.
As long as my writing continues to be fun, I will do it, especially now that I am retired. I guess that I will never sound like a celebrated wine writer, because of my lack of use of descriptors when discussing wines. I find that when one spends too much time dissecting a wine, it is more like work, instead of enjoyment, and not everyone will discern all the nuances of the descriptors. These words weren’t used back in the dark ages, and today I find them uncomfortable to use, as it is not part of my vocabulary. I also don’t walk around a room holding a wine glass by the base, as I feel that it is pretentious, so I will continue to walk to my own drummer. Everyone that knows me, by now has gotten used to my attempt at being a photographer as I stop everything to take a photo of wine next to the bottle, to show that I have had the wine. I feel that so many people grab a bottle of unopened wine, especially the stellar high-ticket wines and take a photo of the wine in their hand, if I show an unopened bottle, I try to make it clear that it will be the subject of an article later on down the road when I have actually opened the wine and that could be several years later. As my Bride and I enjoy the joys of owning a wine cellar, even if I did build it, we will still enjoy the wines. I also have decided that I still enjoy the title that was bestowed upon me as a “Street Somm,” as I still talk like a Damon Runyon or Dashiell Hammett character. I am already looking towards my Tenth Anniversary.