Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Focus

I've gotten back into reading through the various wine blogs that I've been neglecting the past year, and I'm noticing a trend that many of them focus on reviewing wines. Now there's nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, I think there is a huge opportunity for blogs of that nature to provide feedback to wineries and consumers from perspectives different from the Spectator, Advocate, and Enthusiast.

I'd like to take this blog in a different direction. I want to focus more on the experiences of being a wine drinker, especially from the perspective of a pair of 20-somethings. I think this can be a place to share our observations and thoughts about wine and the wine lifestyle. There will probably be a review of wine here and there, but overall the voice of this blog will be a bit different from the typical wine blog. I also want to discuss topics and news about the wine industry in the Willamette Valley, and what I feel the impact will be. I haven't found much of that perspective around the web, so I hope to try and fill that need.

Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 - A Review

As this year is coming to an end, I'm finding myself reflecting on what has happened over the year, but also the things that didn't happen. I didn't find the time to blog like I had hoped, even though I think about blogging at least once a day. We've had some really great experiences, but I sometimes wonder how much more we could've done with our year. Looking back at the year, here are the standout events for me.

March was a great month for two reasons, the NCAA tournament, and the Boise Co-Op. For the second year in a row, Portland State made it into the NCAA tournament, and this time was playing in Boise. Now, how often will I get to watch the Vikings play in the NCAA tourney within driving distance of home? Probably not in the near future, so we took the opportunity to watch them play in Boise. While there, we visited with some friends of ours, who introduced us to the Boise Co-Op wine shop. The Co-Op is like nirvana for wine geeks. They have one of the best selections of wine we've seen, but that's not what makes the shop so great. They have an entire room that is temperature controlled which houses some pretty amazing stuff. I think we spent 45 minutes in there just geeking out on the wine that was there. We ended up getting a 6-pack of various stuff while we were there (thanks to recommendations), but sometimes I wish they opened up one in Portland.

In May, we hosted our first double blind tasting. Well, it was double blind for everybody but Sirpa and I, as we had picked the wines. For us, it was just a single blind tasting, as I bagged up the wines when nobody else was looking, and by the time we poured them, I had forgotten which was which. It was really enlightening to experience a wine without knowing what the producer was. The weekend with good friends and good wines was definitely a highlight of the year.

Early in November, we went to a party in celebration of some friends visiting town (the same friends that introducted us to the Co-Op). Now, I had heard some things about the parties that were hosted by the person that was hosting this one, and basically, they were usually a big group of wine geeks geeking out over wine all night, with plenty of juice flowing all night long. Turns out, that's exactly what it was. What started as a sampling of vintages from 1993-1999 of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir added a blind tasting between '05 California, Oregon, and Burgandy Pinot Noirs, as well as some bigger reds and some ridiculous desert stuff. '60 Port? '52 Madiera? Check and check. A really amazing night with some awesome people, I couldn't have asked for more.

I think I'm finding that while going out tasting and exploring with Sirpa is fun and enjoyable, being able to share our findings with friends as well as experience other new things with them is the most enjoyable aspect of wine. Sure, the flavors are usually delicious, and a responsible buzz from time to time isn't a horrible thing, but the shared experience of friends and wine is the best.

To the friends we've shared amazing experiences with, and to the friends we haven't seen enough, cheers to you!