Checking in

I have been writing grapeobserver.com for a few months shy of five years now, and from time to time, I reflect on its purpose.  Writing about wine takes time, and the latter is for me a very scarce commodity.  Sometimes I find it hard to describe why I am keen to devote so much time to it.  I didn't do a particularly good job of explaining it recently to a non wine enthusiast.  On reflection, I suspect it is because wine has come to resemble the gazing upon of an alternative path, which only becomes visible in glimpses, through a series of gradual pushes into the unknown.  Equally, experience has taught that the grass is frequently a rather similar shade of green on the other side of the fence and my side isn't so bad.  So, perhaps then it's more like a vacation that invigorates.

In writing, I enjoy most the interactions with wine producers and importers.  Being given the honour of tasting and reviewing wines that others have gone to the trouble of producing or sourcing is not something I take for granted.  The publication of a couple of recent pieces in wine magazines with much broader distribution than my own has also been a source of pride.  The years of toil undertaking the WSET diploma and lesser qualifications are also opening education paths, and allow a certain confidence that I have the right academic underpinnings to comment.  The latter is of course not a universal affliction, but conversely, academic knowledge is not everything.  The other side of the coin sees a lot of time spent on what is frequently a solitary intellectual exercise where many competing views are equally valid, and the reality remains that my family and professional life are paramount.  And so I must temper my commitment from time to time for what is foremost a labour of love.  Unluckily for the reader, the vein of my interest is not yet sated, and so wine writing on grapeobserver.com continues.  The only certainty being that the destination is quite uncertain.
Wine Thoughts
August 24, 2014
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