Ahh, Wine Blogging Wednesday. Once upon a time, WBW was a monthly spark for wine bloggers to collective think about a particular topic, and form the gestalt of the blog.
The sum of the many is the one.
Sadly, WBW all but disappeared over the past few years. Formed in 2004, WBW is having a resurgence thanks to a new committee and new life behind it. I for one, am grateful to have a guided post every month, as I struggle to be inspired and write posts that are both thoughtful, but also interesting to my readers. This month, as we kick off a new year, January’s theme reminds us to think about what make us start blogging int he first place. The Corkdork asks us what sparked our interest in wine, but more why we decided we needed to write about it.
For me, I actually have to thank my wine loving friend, and fellow blogger Liza Swift of the Brix Chicks for challenging me to put my money where my mouth was. There was never one wine, or a specific experience that made me put pen to paper. I had always been involved int he wine community one way or another. But Liza, whom I encouraged to blog before I even started my own, asked me why I wasn’t writing when she was.
Good point! Wine fascinates me. the fact that it is alive, and forever changing, inspires me. I have been drinking wine since before I was 21, and I have been entrenched in wine, while maintaining a techie career, for the better part of (*gasp*) 17 years. I felt compelled to share my favorite wine discoveries with friends via word of mouth, but then in a newsletter. That newsletter, which was filled with wines that I had consumed and fallen in love with, as well as tips on events that were up and coming in the Bay Area, and stories of my adventures in wine, are what sparked this blog.
Why do I write? To write puts thoughts on paper – or on the internet – and shares them with your audience, however selective that might be. To share the joy that I have experienced drives me. My tastes have changed from zinfandel to pinot, and further more to the complex wines of the Rhone. Starting out with my so called newsletter, I had the overwhelming feeling that to keep such knowledge to myself would be indulgent and selfish. Beyond that, writing is cathartic, regardless of whether it’s in a personal journal or in a public format. This blog, Facebook, and Twitter act as a life coach, therapist and best friend.
Wine is alive. Wine changes. Both time and place can turn the same wine in to very different beasts. What happens when you taste a wine 5 years after the initial release? Is it better? Is ti worse? Is my taste just different? All of these are true, all of these are not. Wine also changes in the glass. What other tangible and consumable object has this much life to it. It sound like I am quoting Maya from Sideways, but it’s true. Wine lives, and wine is alive.
What sparked me? My gateway wine was definitely zin. Having worked for and with ZAP for over 10 years, I was exposed to over 200 wineries that had a wide variety of zinfandel to offer. Is it the brambly jammy blackberry from Dry Creek? Or perhpas the spicy mincemeat raisin from Sierra Foothills? Dig a little deeper and try the rose petals and somewhat lighter style from Russian River. I still love zin, and while my everyday tastes have changed somewhat, there is nothing better on a cold rainy night.
Today, my passion is for learning about and discovering pinot. Why are pinots so fickle? What are they so different? How can I possibly love a pinot from Willamette Valley but also love one from the vast and strange Sonoma Coast? While keeping my love affair with pinot alive, I am ever the explorer. My latest quest. Grenache! Where fort art thou! One of the essentially Rhone grapes, you can get Grenache for days in the Rhone Valley and also in somewhat rougher, inexpensive Spanish Garnacha. But what about in the New World? Where can I find that meaty, spicy, unique in a way that only Grenache can produce, flavor here int he new world? Apart from a few favorites that I can’t seem to keep in my cellar, I am always on a quest to meet the winemaker who has taken on the bold new world of the Rhone, Spanish, interesting varietal. Beyond the Grenache, what of the misunderstood, misplaced, lost and lonely Mouvedre/Monastrell/Mataro?
It’s a bold new world out there, and wine is waiting.