Thoughts On The Occasion of Turning One

One year ago yesterday I embarked on a project to catalog my wine and food adventures in an informative way. To create a record for myself of where I ate and what I drank and at the same time provide recommendations to the growing number of friends that looked to me for such things. I was interested in the blogging phenomenon, and it seemed like a good form for my notes. At the time there were two blogs on the Internet that dealt with wine, neither of which had been updated in months when I started posting.

I had little idea of what I was signing myself up for, or rather, what I would end up turning it into.

Here I am a year later, the owner of Vinography™, thousands of readers strong and growing. I have written almost daily about food and wine for an entire year: over 40 detailed restaurant reviews, roughly 200 individual wine reviews, around 170 other posts ranging from news topics to editorials, and nearly 700 comments on all of these from you, dear readers.

I have also been joined online by dozens of wine blogs now, adding individual voices to a lively wine community online, one that is starting to attract attention from the mainstream.

The past year had many highlights for me. I was, of course, pleased and honored to be featured in Bon Appetit, to win a 2004 Food Blogging Award, and to be praised in the Sacramento Bee.

I’ve also enjoyed just the process of writing, finding out what matters to me to write about, and have been proud of many pieces that I’ve put up here. Here are a couple of my favorite posts:

  • Restaurant Review: Kyo-Ya: The Best Sushi in San Francisco (3/10/04)
  • If your wine was Gerard Depardiue, what would it taste like? (6/2/04)
  • 2002 Borra “Fusion” Meritage, Lodi, California (8/1/04)
  • My Conversation With Robert M. Parker, Jr. (11/12/04)
  • Thoughts On Older Vintages of Wine: Are They Worth It? (11/23/04)

    Not one of my favorites, but by far the most commented upon post (so much so that I had to turn off the comment feature for that article) has been the cure for the Asian flush: a brief piece about how Ruth and I found she could eliminate the red flush caused by alcohol by taking a Pepcid AC tablet. People were starting to ask me for medical advice, and it had to stop.

    Apart from the madness surrounding that particular article, my efforts here have been rewarded by encouragement, praise, excitement, collaboration, and interest from many.

    In celebration of that, and of the year that has passed, I decided to throw a little party.

    Last night I was joined by about 20 friends of Vinography at Bacar, a nice restaurant and wine bar in San Francisco for a few nibbles and good conversation over some great wine. Those of you who came, thanks so much for making the effort and it was really wonderful to meet those of you who were previously known to me just as e-mail addresses. Here are a few photos from the event. It was a great party and we’ll do it again next year !!

    (Apologies in advance for getting anyone’s name wrong and for not having pictures of some people.)

    Here’s a bunch of the revelers: Lee, Amy, Anil, Alaina, Maria, Peter, and that’s Ruth on the lower left.

    Maria and Peter

    Jen and Jon (and that fuzzy red guy in the back is me).

    Pim was such a dear, and bought me a cake. And not just any cake…

    Kieca. I didn’t get a picture of her boyfriend Matt.

    Sam, Jen, and Jeanne. Missing a picture of Sam’s boyfriend Fred.

    Meriko and Russell

    Me explaining something to Pim.

    Somehow Karen and Nino escaped without getting their picture taken, as did John, and David showed up at the point where I could no longer operate the camera safely!