Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wining at year's end...

JD & the Goddess
Hard to believe it's the last week of 2012. The Goddess of Wine and JD have gone to lots of wine tasting events, lots of dinners, lots of gatherings, lots of wineries. There has been good wine and bad wine - some astonishing in both directions - and a lot of drinkable, but ordinary wine. We've made new friends, said goodbye to some old friends, made discoveries both personal and professional.

One thing I realized early in the year is that, as much as I love wine and hanging with winemakers, I don't like huge wine events. After attending ZAP, Family Winemakers, Santa Barbara County Vintners, Rhone Rangers, Paso Garagiste, various LearnAboutWine events, and more, I concluded that I would prefer to set up meetings with winemakers and learn about their wines one-on-one rather than run madly about a great hall or outside venue trying to taste unfamiliar wines while fighting through crowds. There's just not enough return on the investment of time, energy and, in some cases, money. I do respect the wine writers who are able to taste 200 wines in 2 - 3 hours and take good notes and remember what they've tasted - and I'm pretty good about remembering what I've tasted - but I no longer want to race from table to table, trying to taste every wine before the media gets kicked out.

So, my goal for 2013 is to focus on small winemakers who are trying to get their wines in front of folks who appreciate locally-grown, handmade wines. I'm going to make the effort to meet the winemakers and learn about their passions and their dreams in order to understand the struggle to make wine that people want to drink. I hope that the three of you who read this blog will understand my desire to learn on an individual basis, as well as my desire to support local businesses.

Along with that, I'm working hard to find some new venues to teach about wine. I'm negotiating with a few places, and hope to have some good news early in the year. Ideally, I would love to find a storefront where I could create an actual wine school, and I'm building a business plan to that end.

My little group of wine geeks, the Wineaux of the Goddess, will continue to meet monthly at FABS. 2012 was all about individual varietals. 2013 is going to be regions of the world, starting with Champagne, of course! Just because I want to support local, small business doesn't mean I'm ignoring the rest of the wine world!

So, thanks to one and all who have provided fun, support, food, and, of course, wine in 2012. It's been a heck of a year, and, as usual, I'm still behind in my writing about some of the interesting and unusual wines I had the privilege of tasting.

Cheers to the New Year!

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