As we come to the close of 2014… well, I’m kind of in a weird place looking back on it. The year has had a lot of ups and downs for me, but I’m happy to write that the professional side of things has been almost exclusively UP for me in 2014.
But that has not come without some serious effort, and right now, I just can’t wait for the f*cking year to be over!
And so, I might be taking a bit of an extended break (a couple of weeks, I suspect) from posting here. We’ll see if I can actually stay away; I’m not promising anything!
This seems as good a time as any to take a quick gander back on 2014 here on 1WD, and see what articles you all decided were worth reading the most. In some cases (ok, several cases), I am somewhat shocked as to what pieces of content turned out to have the most views. You might be less surprised, but I’ll bet you’re stilling willing to give me crap express your well-considered opinions on the merit of each of the articles listed below.
Here’s to another year together, folks!
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Last week, I had the pleasure of having my name added to the impressive guest list of those who’ve been interviewed by Lynn Krielow Chamberlain on her iWineRadio podcast. The short (for my run-on mouth, anyway), and relatively safe for work (by my standards, which admittedly are rather loose) interview is embedded/linked below for your listening pleasure.
I’ve not much more to say about it, apart from the fact that the interview mostly covers my entrance into the wine world, about which I am almost always brutally honest. I always find it odd that people want to interview me, since I am a family man who has a relatively boring life most of the time, punctuated by band gigs and trips all over the world tasting wine. There seems to be a preoccupation in interviews on the fact that I bootstrapped my way into the wine biz by starting a website, rather than having been anointed by a traditional print masthead or some other gatekeeping body, which I suppose is interesting (but only just) in an of itself.
This is almost invariably followed by a question about how/why I feel in love with wine, to which I invariably want to answer: “what kind of moron wouldn’t fall in love with this stuff?!??”
For a moment, let’s remove the beguiling aspects of wine from the equation, and put aside its intriguing complexity; its coalescence of art, craft, and multiple sciences and related pursuits (such as chemistry, history, and geography); its ability to connect us to a moment in time, and almost magically transport us to us to a particular place on the earth. Forget all of that for just a minute or two.
What’s left? A hedonistic, pleasurable beverage that lubricates life, begs to be shared, draws us together, enhances moments, gets us buzzed an occasionally gets us laid. Where I come from, those last few points alone are worth the price of admission when it comes to wine; the other stuff is just a bonus!
And so that’s those are the reasons I got into wine; there was nothing noble about it. The consumer advocacy type of stuff, and the desire to try to change the wine media world for the better, and to offer interesting alternatives to sharing and telling stories about wine… all of that stuff could be argued as being a little bit noble, but that all came much later. I’m still the guy who wanted something to taste great, to be shared, to maybe get me lucky, to make me and others feel good about life by drinking it. And here’s hoping I’m always at least a little bit that guy, because I’d hate to get so wrapped up in the intellectual side of wine that I forget to have good time with it, which is, after all, the purpose for which it was designed!
1Winedude on iWineRadio – August 2014
Picture this: It’s a gorgeous and sunny day in South Africa, and I’ve just finished giving the keynote address at the 2013 Nederburg Wine Auction. I’m drinking Cape bubbly and grazing for food, and mingling with interesting people from all over the Southern Hemisphere. Of course, I’m exchanging business cards with all of these folks – winemakers, media, buyers. Then the inevitable question comes (after the equally inevitable oohing and ahhing over my way-cool tiny moo.com business cards, I mean):
Them: “So… what do you do? In ‘real life,’ I mean? ”
Me: “You’re looking at it!”
I have to accept this as inevitable and totally understandable, since so few people can actually make any money whatsoever independently in the wine biz. How are you able to ditch your IT career? Is your wife insane for letting you do this kind of stuff? …
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