Almost exactly one year ago, I started this blog with a brief introductory post. I explained who I was and what I intended to do with my slice of the internet. One year, 70 blog entries later, and I'm still finding my voice. Apparently that can take a long time, according to some writers I've spoken to.
I've averaged a bit over one blog entry per week, which when compared to people like 1WineDude or Steve Heimoff, is basically nothing. More than once over the past year I've vowed to post more and in some instances I've been successful, doing two or three blogs in a week. Once again, I'm making that effort because as Josh Wade at DrinkNectar said in his anniversary post, creating a lot of (quality) content is a huge traffic driver.
Oh and I got to drink some epic wines as well, I probably should mention that. As a result, I got my name on a barrel of 2010 Syrah from Skylite Cellars. Now that is truly cool!
I was also excited to start getting wine samples, after all who doesn't love getting free wine? Being able to write about what I was tasting, getting feedback and creating dialogue continue to remind me of how much fun blogging can be. On a slightly more serious tone, multiple times I saw the importance of full disclosure by those of us who blog. Ethically we must hold ourselves to the highest standards, period.
Blogs, be they wine or other subjects, are not static creations. They evolve over time and are a good indicator of the effort put in by the author or authors. If I had to grade my own blog, I'd give it a C+ because I've been wildly inconsistent but feel that I have a fundamentally good "voice" to add to the chatter. Clearly there's work to be done, improvements to be made, and better content to be had.
Being able to find a group of fellow wine geeks has made me a better writer and taster, no doubt about it.
Our little group has already inspired people to start their own Wine Mafias, as well as gained each of us citizen-bloggers a bit more publicity. Wineries, to their credit, are gradually starting to realize that for the small cost of shipping some samples to a group of enthusiastic, well lubricated bloggers, they'll gain a good amount of publicity.
More than that though, I've become friends with my group. They're all wonderful people who are passionate about a wide range of things. Our love of wine and our desire to share that singular passion unites us, further proving that wine is in fact a way to unite people across age, gender, culture and anything else.
This year I've also made some great trips up to Walla Walla, Napa, Sonoma, and the Willamette Valley. I've toured some of America's premiere growing regions, tasted some stunning wines and made some amazing friends. Once again I marvel at wine, how it unites us and enables us to share something, to find a connection and grab onto it.
The next year of my blog will hopefully find me visiting the Finger Lakes in New York, Virginia, and back to my usual spots. Granted, I'm not rich so that may be tough to accomplish in one year, but I'm optimistic. Chile, Argentina and South Africa all beckon, as does Europe and Australia/New Zealand. One day I'll visit them all, tasting my way through the wines of the world.
Finally, I'll state that I want to do more posts that explore my love of craft beer, spirits, and cigars. While they will never take away from my passion for wine, I feel each of these subjects are fascinating in their own right and would love to share them with you. If you stick with me through this next year, I suspect you'll be happy you did. Next November, another anniversary post will reflect back on whether I accomplished any of those goals I set out to and then explore what's next for me.