My last post started a great discussion about disclosure and transparency, so it is in that spirit I will write a bit about my background as a wine writer.
In short, I have no credentials. Although I have a B.A. in communications, I didn’t take any journalism classes. My MBA did nothing for my love of wine but perhaps provide a bit more income when I was in the corporate world. Nor have I ever taken a formal wine education course; not even those $25 ones offered by good wine stores. All of my knowledge about wine has come from tasting different wines over the past 25 years. I’ve also read quite a few wine books. I should also point out that my quest began with jug wines and I progressed to “fighting varietals” and it was only in the past decade that I really broadened my wine horizons and developed my palate.
From the beginning, however, I preferred New World wines for their pure fruit. My love for Zinfandel came within my first year as a wine newbie where Sebastiani Zinfandel was my main choice for $2.50 a bottle. This was back when Sam Sebastiani was still the winemaker for the eponymous family winery and this wine was a simple, but true version of the variety. For special occasions I splurged on bottles from Lytton Springs Vineyard and Ridge Geyserville. I also tried the odd bottle of Bordeaux which seemed thin and disappointing when compared to Napa Valley Cab.
Years past and my income increased to a point where I was able to enjoy better and more expensive wines. This is really where I really took a turn into wine geekdom and set the table for starting this blog and podcast in December 2004.
My tasting process for bottles reviewed normally is held in my home over a 2 or 3 day period. I use the same Riedel stemware for each wine tasted and try each wine with and without food. My notes are a composite over this period. When I taste at wineries or large tasting events, I only try the wine once. Each of these reviews should be judged as first impressions for the wines in question.
No matter the venue for tasting, all reviews presented here should be taken as just my opinion and not replace your own experience with the same wines.