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10 Years of Blogging About Wine

bigstock-Slice-Of-Tenth-Birthday-Cake-6637863.jpgToo many things have been said about the fleeting passage of time to come up with a new way of expressing awe at the rate our past accumulates behind us. I can still remember thinking myself quite clever for coming up with a term that literally got zero google results in 2004 (Vinography!). I only wish I had taken a screen shot.

I've been writing about wine for ten years now. Comparing the young man who naively began this journey back then and the unshaven hack on the fourth day of his latest press trip (typing away in a lonely hotel room in the town of Chateauneuf-du-Pape), the contrast is laughable.

The energetic and clueless wine geek back then thought posting the Wine Spectator scores for a recent vintage in Piemonte passed for interesting, even though he hadn't tasted Nebbiolo more than a handful of times in his life.

And then, 10 years into this adventure, there's the e-mail I received a few weeks ago letting me know that I had been inducted into the Wine Media Guild of New York's Wine Writer Hall of Fame, an honor shared by only 22 living wine writers. It's an honor I hardly deserve, considering what I know about wine could fit in the pinkie toe of some of my fellow inductees's bodies of knowledge.

But the distance I've traveled in understanding and competence, at least relative to my beginnings has been vast, and I've loved every minute of the journey. I'm incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to ply this shadow career of mine along with all its fringe benefits (witness the rainy-but-nonetheless-thrilling view of the world's greatest Grenache vineyards out my window at the moment).

Perhaps the most gratifying aspect of this adventure has been the fact that people actually enjoy reading what I can manage to squeeze onto these pages with the free time stolen from my job and my family. Sometimes I want to shout out loud: "but I could be so much better at this if I just spent more time doing it!"

Despite my imperfect capabilities and inadequate time, you, dear reader, keep coming back for more. You offer your thoughts now and then, and occasionally dive deep into debate. You encourage me, both by simply showing up, and by reaching out and saying how much you enjoy something now and then.

So the most important thing to say after ten years is: thank you. Thanks for your patience and your participation, and your public and private encouragement.

The 10th anniversary is supposed to be a gift of tin, with aluminum being an acceptable second choice. That's perhaps fitting, as I type away on my Apple laptop that happens to be carved out of a single piece of aluminum. All my gifts to you, readers, are made out of aluminum.

Our 10th year is going to be a good one.

My book will be published this spring; I'll be participating in the annual Symposium for Professional Wine Writers; heading to Washington State to speak at Taste Washington; moderating a panel at the upcoming In Pursuit of Balance tasting in San Francisco; going back to Austria for more Riesling and Blaufrankisch; drowning myself in Oregon Pinot at IPNC; and much more.

I hope you'll stick around for the ride.

10th birthday cake image courtesy of Big Stock

Comments (20)

Bill Ward wrote:
01.31.14 at 7:11 AM

Congrats! Keep up the grand work for 10 more!

Tom Wark wrote:
01.31.14 at 7:26 AM


I believe I've read every single post you've published at this site and I intend to keep reading them until they rip my computer and phone from my cold, dead hands. The commitment is impressive.

Well done!

Tim wrote:
01.31.14 at 9:56 AM

Congratulations on your decade milestone. I look forward to every week and of course the next 10!
Keep it up and I agree with Tom and Bill and the thousands of your fans. Cheers!

Alan Goldfarb wrote:
01.31.14 at 10:03 AM

Alder in the wine media HOF? He's the Gil Hodges of wine writing; except Alder made it.

Fred wrote:
01.31.14 at 10:54 AM

Congratulations, Alder. What Wark said is true for me too. F.

TexaCaliAli wrote:
01.31.14 at 5:20 PM

Alder, what Tom & Fred said indeed. Plus - thank you for inspiring so many others not only to extend their wine knowledge and curiosity but to also have the nerve to write about it! An inspiration to me since the beginning. Cheers to another decade full of wine adventures. - Ali

Anonymous wrote:
01.31.14 at 5:33 PM

You're an inspiration, Alder. Congratulations on the milestone and looking forward to another ten. Cheers!

01.31.14 at 5:34 PM

Oops, I'm the anonymous!

Vinarquia wrote:
01.31.14 at 7:57 PM


John wrote:
02.02.14 at 9:28 AM

Alder, what made me keep reading your writing after first coming across it was simply the fact that you write well. A lot of writers who know their topic equally well, maybe better, aren't as interesting to read.

Go write a Year In Provence or something.

Michelle wrote:
02.03.14 at 9:12 AM

Such an achievement! Congratulations!

02.03.14 at 9:34 AM

Alder, I am inspired by your humble words about an incredible journey, so timely as I start my own blog journey with Vino Ventures. I had just "w(h)ined" to a friend that after 6 months I have acquired only 184 followers. (This friend is one who will be getting a copy of your book!) Then I read your anniversary blog. It felt like a gift. See you in Napa at the Wine Writers Symposium. Kathy

Lisa wrote:
02.03.14 at 4:33 PM

Congrats! Inspiring!

Mark wrote:
02.09.14 at 6:50 PM

Alder-I can't help but say congratulations. Yours is a blog which has helped to shape a new generation of wine bloggers, even those of us in the retail side of the trade can only hope to have a portion of the influence that you've earned over the years. Congrats and BTW....I didn't know that you and FB basically share a birthday!

gary wrote:
02.15.14 at 4:27 AM

Congratulations and thank you. Oh were I a pinky toe of your pinky toe knowledge....

Carrie wrote:
02.20.14 at 12:14 PM

Congratulations on your success and your personal growth over the last 10 years. We will be pouring at Taste WA this year, come on by the Cave B Estate Winery table so we can meet. All the best in your next 10 years!

Rafaela wrote:
11.22.14 at 3:39 PM

We stumbled over here from a different website and thought I might as
well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
Look forward to finding out about your web page again.

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11.23.14 at 5:02 PM

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and I find It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I'm hoping to provide something back and aid others like you helped me.

mp3 mobi wrote:
11.23.14 at 5:06 PM

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11.24.14 at 5:53 AM

Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
Extremely useful information specially the last
part :) I care for such info much. I was looking for this certain info for a very long time.

Thank you and best of luck.

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