I believe 2009 has been one of the most significant 12 months of my life. As I think back on the past 12 months I find myself wanting to categorize and define and organize it into neat packets.
Much of 2009 revolved around my life as a blogger, what it revealed and what it has resulted in. Another good portion of 2009 revolved around my now 20 year pursuit of establishing myself as a reliable wine PR and marketing guy. And a large portion of 2009 was a cascade of personal changes.
And though it really is hard to categorize and organize a year, here’s a brief attempt:
BEST PLACE TO RETREAT FROM THE WORLD OF 2009
The Bar at The Girl and the Fig
A most amazing restaurant on the Sonoma Plaza who’s owner, Sondra Bernstien and chef John Toulze and various employees have made each and ever stop in (stops that number more than I can count) a perfect experience, filled with great food, perfect Manhattans, attentive service, friendships…all filled with comfort.
BEST NEW WINE BLOG I’VE ENCOUNTERED BUT NEVER WRITTEN ABOUT
Written by Tom Johnson, Louisville Juice strikes me as a perfect rendering of the wine blog genre. Tom posts regularly, refers to news or other blog posts he’s come across, offers his own spin on the discovery and delivers it all in an engaging read. The fact that he calls his blog “LOUISVILLE” Juice masks the fact that the blog is the perfect daily stopover for any engaged wine lover living anywhere on the planet.
BEST WINE OF THE YEAR
2003 Failla Estate Syrah, Sonoma Coast
Maybe the most complex and satisfying juice I’ve put in my mouth in 25 years.
MOST REWARDING PR WORK OF THE YEAR
Inertia Beverage Group Acquires New Vine Logistics and lots of PR and Media Relations Ensue
FERMENTATION COMMENTER I’D MOST LIKE TO SEE START A BLOG
Charlie’s regular comments on this blog are often as good or better than the post he’s commenting on. Add to this his regular dialog with other commentators and you realize the man’s many years thinking about, tasting and writing about wine at The Connoisseurs Guide To California Wine have resulted in unique insights that need significantly more sharing.
MOST DISAPPOINTING REGULATORY DEVELOPMENT OF THE YEAR
Creation of the Calistoga AVA
When the TTB granted appellation status to the Calistoga AVA it forced two wineries that use Calistoga in their winery’s name to dramatically alter their business plan or to relinquish all equity their brands had accumulated. And they did this without any financial compensation. This act theft by regulation was criminal in view.
BEST DINNER PARTIES OF THE YEAR
A Dinner in Sonoma at the Girl & The Fig To Honor Alice Feiring
BEST WINE BOOK OF THE YEAR
The Finest Wines of Champagne
MOST IMPORTANT WINE ORGANIZATION THAT HASN’T GOT OFF THE GROUND
Academy of Wine Communications
Michael Wangbickler and the folks at Balzac Communications have made an effort to get this wine PR & Marketing Pro association off its back and vital again. If it ever gains steam it could serve an enormous service to the wine marketing community.
MOST IMPORTANT WINE ORGANIZATION THAT GOT OFF THE GROUND THEN STALLED
Open Wine Consortium
The Open Wine Consortium is a collection of VERY digitally connected wine people that started with a tremendous bang a couple years back. It’s potential as a social networking hub on the net is unquestionably huge. But in 2009, it stalled. It must get up off its back.
MOST IMPORTANT NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION FOR 2010 #1
Secure my retirement
MOST IMPORTANT NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION FOR 2010 #2
Take Piano Lessons
MOST IMPORTANT NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION FOR 2010 #3
Concentrate on the simplest, most important things: The people I love (you know who you are)
MOST IMPORTANT NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION FOR 2010 #4
Post on FERMENTATION More Often.
MY MOST SURPRISING ACHIEVEMENT OF 2009
Stopping Smoking After More Than 20 Years of Puffing
Even now, more than 2 months after quitting, I can’t believe I’ve attempted this…and can’t believe that so far…so good.