Sunday, January 2, 2011
Year In Review
The first quarter saw the death of my father-in-law and a bout with an intestinal disease. Both happening during the snowiest part of the year. It got a little bit worse, you might say, in late spring when the chest pains got pass the point of making excuses and denying there was anything really wrong. By-pass surgery and 12 weeks of recuperation were not on my list of goals for 2010. The last four months saw cardio-rehab, big change in diet and even worse a cut back in wine consumption. But, I'm here, I'm better, I'm feeling great and looking very much forward to retirement.
The blog of course suffered a little during the recuperation and recently has taken a bit of a slide as I got kinda hooked on computer games, fantasy sports (NASCAR) and earlier bed times. Some of the blog goals were not met, so now I will have to give more attention to my goal setting objectives and take them more seriously. One item I want to spend time on is going pro with the blog. I've been getting a lot of good info on that issue from Joe Roberts (1WineDude) and his video postings on going pro. That was never an intent of Why Wine Blog, but it may turn out to be an very interesting goal as part of my retirement planning. When I say 'going pro,' I am not suggesting taking classes on wine or becoming a sommelier or even a connoisseur, but how I develop and write articles and how I use paid advertising on the blog. I enjoy writing articles and reviews from the perceptive of an amateur and that's how it will always be.
Last year I chose four wines that I needed to learn more about to continue my wine education. I think the biggest eye opener was the fact that these were very good wines that for many years I just refused to believe in. One, the Carmenere, has been disappointing, but the Zinfandel, Syrah and the Peitie Sirah have joined the list of my favorites. Still undecided as far as what wines I should be trying in '11. What I would like to do is find and try wines from as many States as I can possibly find. I also have become more interested in the wines of France. I understand they do make wine there and have heard they're pretty good!!! Still have to put together that list.
Now for my best of 2010. More difficult to do this year. I actually had very few that I would not consider. I guess in that sense, it was a very good year.
My best Rosé - Heron Hill Cabernet Franc Dry Rosé 2006. - Opened my last bottle with spicy grilled chicken and a summer salad. One of only two Rosé wines tried this year, but still would have been hard to beat.
Best White wine - Atwater Estate Vineyards Riesling 2008. - How can I choose anything other than a Finger Lakes Riesling. Tasted more Riesling this past year than I have had in my entire life. All but three were Finger Lakes. The 2008 Atwater was what I brought to our Thanksgiving dinner. I just didn't bring enough.
Best Red wine - Viticcio Chianti Classico Riserva 2006. - I know, I know, I love Italian wines, but this one I think is special. A $40 wine opened last winter with Shirley's Lasagna was absolutely eloquent. If not for the price I would have posted a review.
Biggest Surprise - Here I have to list a few.
1. Standing Stone Vineyards Pinnacle 2007. - Although known primarily for white wines, the Finger Lakes does very well with Cab Franc and Lemberger and their red blends. The Pinnacle is a classic Bordeaux style blend. I'm usually wary when wineries give their wines a funky or even classical type name instead of just labeling it 'meritage.' On the recommendation of my favorite bartender, who knows absolutely nothing about wine, I purchased the Pinnacle at the recent New York Food Festival. This wine was in competition for my best red of 2010. Marvelous Wine! Much better than your favorite Bolla, Mike!!!
2. Maison de La Colline La Craie Sancerre 2009. - This French Sauvignon Blanc was delightful. My fault for always believing the only descent white wines from France were Chardonnay and Champagne.
3. Glen Ellen Proprietor's Reserve Petite Sirah 2007. - What can I say. This year I fell in love with Petite Sirah. The Glen Ellen was among the best I had. But more remarkable was the price on this wine. Labeled as a value wine, or let's just say 'cheap wine,' this Petite Sirah is the best deal anybody shopping for good wine will find.
4. Anyela's Vineyards, on Skaneateles Lake. WoW! Great Finger Lakes wines and not on Keuka, Cayuga or Seneca Lake. Stay tuned to Why Wine Blog. More to come about Anyela's!
Now a new year has begun and new goals must be set.
Personally, I have to exercise more, watch diet and drink only good wine.
The blog has to become more fun, add some advertising and just maybe taken a little more seriously by me.
As far as wine exploration: No plan of attack yet. Have some Adams County PA wines in the fridge and just maybe look to the "Other 46." Gonna be a good year, Let's Get Started.