Changes in Latitude, Changes in Gratitude (Reflections on TasteCamp East)

Vinted on May 4, 2009 binned in on the road

TasteCamp East, the first-ever gathering of Right Coast wine bloggers, is now freshly behind us.

I came.

I saw.

I nuked my palate tasting hundreds of wines in a two-day whirlwind tour of Long Island wine country.

You will read more ( a lot more) from me regarding my take on the current state of Long Island wine – and some very, very good wine is being made in the North Fork, and even better wine is being made in the Hamptons. 

But that is a topic for another entry on this blog.

Today, I only want to give thanksto the wineries of Long Island, for their generosity and hospitality; to Lenn Thompson, for doing the yeoman’s work of pulling together the first TasteCamp, and for providing the broadest, deepest, and most comprehensive introduction to Long Island wine that I could have ever hoped to have had; and most of all to my my fellow Right Coast wine bloggers.

After spending a few short days with that group, I’m humbled and deeply grateful for having had the opportunity to be included among the ranks of such a knowledgeable, talented, passionate and fun group.

Those aren’t just the fuzzy Kumbaya words of a slightly-inebriated wine lover – to me, they underscore an important aspect of how wine “media” are interacting with wine consumers. 

The online community of wine writers is a vibrant group, with a viability and relevance that is increasing nearly every day as a new generation of wine consumers (and those older generations that are increasingly influenced by them) not only demand a new, more immediate way of interacting with wine, but also join our blogging ranks.  These newcomers to the world of wine don’t give a crap about our pedigree, our credentials as writers, or our proven experience-levels with respect to wine (as measured in traditional ways such as certifications and the like).

They only care that we’re transparent, and that we prove consistently that we know what we’re talking about and are dedicated to passionately improving our craft and giving them solid advice.

It’s a bit of a scary prospect sometimes, because once you start to get an interactive readership on a blog, you can’t help but to want to try live up to those standards.  Knowing that you’ve got so many colleagues (and friends) on the Right Coast who are living up to those standards is, simply put, inspiring.

Much more to come, both on the topics of Long Island wine and that demanding generation of new wine lovers.  But for now, here’s to Long Island, here’s to Lenn, and here’s to many more TasteCamp meet-ups with the folks who are inspiring me!






  • gabriellaopaz

    Glad you had such a great time. We truly wish we could have been there, albeit a little out of our niche, it would have been a great experience to extend both our friendships and our palates. Look forward to your write-up!

  • Dirty


    Bummed to miss this, but it looked like a great event and Lenn pulled it off.

    Look forward to the photos and notes!

  • 1WineDude

    Thanks, folks! Would've been great to see you there.

  • Diane Letulle

    I'm impressed you already put up a post. And I agree that thanks are due to Lenn and the Long Island wineries who showed us such wonderful hospitality. I think I told you I was going to send you a link to the write-up I did on the Windows on the World class, but I don't have your email so here it is (sorry to mis-use your comment field).
    P.S. –It was great hanging with you & the family, Diane

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks! It was great seeing you again, looking forward to your take on the weekend's event.

  • Taster B

    Nice sentiments Joe. Hey, your tongue looks pretty good there. My teeth/tongue were already a shade of black by that point.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks – but my fingers are STILL purple from the stop at Lenz…

  • mydailywine

    So jealous that I was unable to attend this year! Look forward to your posts about NY wines. This should a be a region to watch in the coming years.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks – I think they're almost there. Not that there aren't some stunning wines being made in LI, it's just that the francophilic (sp?) focus might be a little off the mark (more on that later this week…).

  • Steve Heimoff

    "a new generation of wine consumers (and those older generations that are increasingly influenced by them)"
    Well speaking on behalf of the older generations, I would like to think that some of you newbies have been influenced by us! Actually, I know you have : >
    [signed] It's a 2 way street

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Steve – I didn't mean to imply that the street was one-way, and you're right about the influence going the other way as well (in fact, it's a damn good thing that is happening!). Cheers!

  • John Witherspoon

    Hey Joe
    Nice write and as similarly to Taster B – I think my lips, tongue, teeth and uvula were all a nice shade of black currant! haha

    Great to see you all the bloggers and your family.

    • 1WineDude

      Right back at ya, bro. Love the uvula comment… got me chuckling out loud!

      • John Witherspoon

        haha – glad you liked it! by the way that Tokaji last night was killer, had another few sips after you left last night.

  • 1WineDude

    Because, as a father, what I need is even more guilt in my life… :-P

  • Lenn Thompson

    DUDE…thanks so much for bringing the family up to TasteCamp for the weekend. It was great seeing you, Kerri and Lil L again.

    It truly was my pleasure putting this together for the great community of people that we're a part of. This was really an example of what these events can and should be — by bloggers, for bloggers and ABOUT wine and bloggers.

    You and I had some great, albeit brief, side conversations that will most certainly lead to some posts and further investigation and rumination. Thank YOU for that.

    I think there will be some lively debate in coming weeks…which is what it's really all about — CONVERSATION.

    • 1WineDude

      You did a great job, Lenn.

      My take on LI will be up tomorrow (I hope), and I hope to spark lots of conversation about it – which as you rightly point out is the whole point. Cheers!

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