There Was a Time...
There was a time when I thought I would stop writing about wine. A time, between 2009 and 2010, when I thought my fascination with wine was at an end. Obviously, something happened to cause that thinking, and something happened to put me back on track. I'll address that further on.
This post has become rather long. It is in my nature to want to share. Ten years on and there's a lot I want to mention and get out of my thoughts. My thoughts pester me. I hope you find something interesting in these self obsessed musings.
There's a lot I left out. So the temptation to add and tweak is strong. Not sure I can resist.
When I began this blog ten years ago, I was working for Barnard Griffin Winery. After Fourteen months of hand selling wine, many industry events and daily customer interactions, my head was full of new to me wine related information. I was not sleeping well with a jumble of wine experiences and knowledge swirling around my head at night. I knew I had to do something.
|2006 Washington Wine Commission Dinner at Barnard Griffin Winery.|
Those are bottles of 2003 Reserve Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Blog? Start a wine blog?
I was comfortable with web design and newsletter writing, I had already reached those ten year milestones. Blogging seemed a natural progression. After several months of pondering the idea of starting a blog, researching the available blogging tools (as in what does it cost?) I chose Google's Blogger platform. It was my price, free. Thank you Google.
Writing on my blog became my outlet so I could sleep. And it allowed me to share my passion for Washington wine. It felt like a personal mission to spread the word and wines of Washington. Since I was working for a local Washington winery at the time and drinking primarily Washington wines, the name for my blog became “Wild 4 Washington Wine.” Much has changed since then, but the name of my blog remains the same.
"Am I biased towards Washington wines? Of course, I live here. If you have yet to travel over to this part of the world, then you my friends are missing out. So read on and hopefully you'll get the itch to stop by and have your taste buds pleased by Washington wines." My first blog post: Washington Wines Discovered, December 12, 2006
Today, I have accumulated a library of 617 posts, plus this one makes 618. My writing style has changed over the years, and I believe I found my voice. I have my own style and way of writing to share my sentiments regarding wines and wine country experiences. And I have realized many industry friends around the world. My circle has expanded. My knowledge has expanded. I continue to learn and build friendships.
People often ask me, “Where are you from?” Usually, I tell them Seattle. It's easier than trying to explain that I was born here in southeastern Washington, before we moved to Seattle. And I seldom share that my grandfather had a farm when I was born. That I come from a family of farmers and lost ranches. Southeastern Washington was not wine country back then.
Some of my earliest memories were of my Grandfather and I together at the farm. And of me and my younger brother running around that farm, exploring the barn and horse corral, protected by my grandfathers two beloved dogs. They kept the rattlesnakes away. Of tagging along, as my grandfather changed irrigation tubes late at night with the noise of frogs, crickets and a brilliant canopy of stars overhead.
|Me and my younger brother at Grandfather's farm, circa 1967.|
There were cattle, horses and bales of hay. We were always warned to stay off the hay bales. But they were supreme temptation. I still love the smell of hay, which takes me back to that time. And I don't mind the smell of cow manure, it too reminds me of the farm.
William H. Pollard
My grandfather, William H. Pollard, was born in 1911. He grew up on his fathers ranch in Eastern Oregon. His grandparents homesteaded in the Oregon territory. Grandfather used tell stories about the old days, when men were men and when times were difficult. He said he and his younger brother Jeff owned one pair of Levi's each. That when they took them off, they could stand up straight by themselves.
My grandmother Claudia, my grandfather's first wife, grew up in town, not in the country. Her father owned the general store. She told me that my grandfather and his brother were wild boys. That they would ride into town bareback. That they were armed with sharpened screwdrivers. She never explained why she married him. Though he only completed the 6th grade, he was strong, lean and handsome. There's a photograph I don't have a copy of, it is of my dad when he was a year old with grandfather, at the Oregon cabin they lived in. Such a serious face.
|William H. Pollard circa 1945.|
Grandfather was nine years old when his mother died. Not long after, his father lost the ranch. Life was tough, and became tougher. He left home when he was 15 and had to do mans work to survive. He worked hard and at many different jobs, sheep herder, miner, laborer, welder, Army Air Corps, etc. Eventually he saved enough to own his farm in Ringold, Washington overlooking the Columbia River. He built the house he and grandmother lived in, planted cherry trees in the front and grew wheat and alfalfa. A farm which my father wanted no part. I loved that farm.
Almost Growing Up on a Farm
My grandfather and I were best buds. He was handsome, rugged and tough. He made me feel safe, wanted, needed, loved. I would have done anything for him dressed in my cowboy hat and boots. I recall a day trying with all my little will and strength, trying to hold onto the tractor steering wheel, trying to keep it straight so that my grandfather could bail the rows of hay. The vibration shook my little body so much I feared falling off. It was terrifying as I clung to the wheel, my grandfather shouting instructions at me.
I did not want to disappoint him.
It was just the two of us.
He needed me.
I was six years old.
|That looks familiar, though not my grandfather's tractor.|
The farm felt like home. Returning to my parents in Richland was the last thing I wanted. I wanted to be with him. When it was time for me to go home, I would have a meltdown at the doorsteps. With all my heart, will and mind, I wanted to stay with him. Grandfather drove a yellow El Camino pickup. He would have to drive the El Camino around the block two or three times until my tears abated. Until I began to hope, think, believe that this time, this time I could go back to the farm with him. Just the two of us. Which never happened. And soon, too soon, the farm would be lost.
My grandmother Claudia, whom I also loved, his first wife, divorced my grandfather when I was five and took half of the farm and sold it. He was barely hanging on, which is why he needed the help of a six year old grandson. Within a couple of years he would have a younger, new wife, who died suddenly months after their wedding. And then, the farm was gone. It was too much heartache for him.
I have come to believe that if grandfather could have held onto the farm, if his second wife had not died, I would likely have become a farmer myself. And possibly, a grape grower too. If things had been different.
Excerpt of 2005 Interview of my Grandfather William H. Pollard age 93.
Discussed the US economy, jobs, living during the Great Depression, his view of modern politics and surviving. "Plug up your ass and Hooverize."
I am sharing this personal story with you because I believe it is part of the reason I am drawn to the wine industry. Not in growing grapes, not in making wine, but in trying in my own personal way, to tell the stories of growers and winemakers. Of hard working people I respect and admire. People I might have become. If things had been different.
2005 Entering the Wine Trade
Working for Barnard Griffin Winery, from 2005 – 2007, truly opened doors and put me on a new path. After twenty years of buying and drinking wine, I thought I knew a lot about wine. Working for a winery, it took little time to realize that I knew almost nothing about wine. So I studied and wanted to know more. Blogging, writing about wine helped focus my studies.
|Grandfather and Mom at Barnard Griffin Winery Spring Barrel 2007.|
Rob Griffin, Mickey French, Miah and the team at the family owned Barnard Griffin Winery taught me a great deal about wine and the wine business. I discovered I loved hand selling wine and sharing information with customers. The wine was really good, so it seemed easy. My palate expanded. My knowledge of grape varieties expanded. My appreciation for Washington wine and ability to describe wine grew and grew. It felt like I was at the hub of the Washington wine industry.
|Bottling day July 2006.|
|Sunshine and Wine 2006 Yakima, Washington.|
I worked events at the winery, fun, fun, and also events like Sunshine and Wine in Yakima. I met growers, cork suppliers, other winemakers, wine critics and customers from around the globe. My obvious enthusiasm for wine, led to me teaching Wine Sensory classes to other winery tasting room staff. And then I began to write for my wine blog, this blog, to share my enthusiasm with an even larger audience.
My wine writing at first was casual, haphazard, and without much focus. I was still figuring out things and seeking my voice. Even so, some of my early posts were more focused and still stand out for me.
Best Early Blog Posts
- Seeking Closure, September 20, 2007
- Sulfites and Wine, October 23, 2007
- Hightower Cellars – Red Mountain Bottling Line, October 8, 2008
|Self portrait by rooftop pool (24th floor) Abu Dhabi, March 2009.|
2009 Brings Change(s)
In 2009 I started a new blog. Not a wine blog, an expat blog. In 2009 my son and I moved to Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. We joined my wife who had been working there on a project since October 2008. Moving to the Middle East, enrolling my son in an international school, living in a Muslim country, limited access to alcohol, that sure changed things up. So I started my new expat blog, to share my adventures and discoveries.
|Expat William, another blog, my Expat Blog.|
expatwilliam.blogspot.com - Abu Dhabi Life
Living in Abu Dhabi, I became enamored of many things Arab. Especially Arab perfume, for there were perfumeries everywhere. Arab and Indian women and men almost always wear perfume. And after a little while, so did I. Click on the following link to read about my obsession with Arab perfume (EDP).
Coming to my Senses 8 December 2009
"My senses were stretched living in the United Arab Emirates; my common sense, my sense of smell, my sense of taste, my sense of style, my sense of standards, my religious sense, my sense of class and my sense of propriety. Of these senses, my inclination today is to reflect on my sense of smell."
|Favorite EDP, Galah by Ajmal Eternal.|
Arab incense was my next fixation; for you smell incense everywhere as well. Incense, the smell of incese would waft around the mall, down the alleys where I walked, and was often wafting from Arab women in their Abayas and Burkas. Love that smell.
|Incense burner, charcoal and Swiss Arabian Bait al Arab bahkoor|
What's That Smell? 22 August 2010
"Bakhoor is usually burned in a traditional incense burner called Mabkhara (also called a Majmor), using charcoal of wood or manufactured charcoal discs/briquettes - which I use."
Video Clip - Smoking shisha with Mohammad in the desert.
Excerpt – Expat William "A Full Day" 27 February 2009
"Today was a full day.A Shisha Smoker
While smoking shisha in the desert with Mohammad tonight, he was one of the drivers in our safari, we exchanged words in Arabic and English. "Moi", is the Arabic word for water. "Ram l", (sound like Raman), is the Arabic word for sand and "qam-ar", is moon.
Mohammad does not speak English, but he told me to walk barefoot in the sand and I will become strong. He said he loves to sleep in the sand. Tonight he will sleep in the sand.
"M'a sa-laama-a" (go with peace).
Today was a full day."
During my time in Abu Dhabi, you could find me at Arab Cafes, eating foul and smoking Shisha. For I became a shisha smoker for a time. I no longer smoke.
We also visited Doha, Qatar because I had to renew my tourist VISA. You fly out of the country and then back after a day, and your tourist visa is extended for 30 days. After Doha, I realized a dream. I saw Robert Plant perform at WOMAD Abu Dhabi. As a long time Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin fan, I was giddy and dazed by the experience. W00t! Fantastic show Robert!
Black Girl performed by Robert Plant, WOMAD Abu Dhabi 2009.
Living in the Middle East I acclimated. I learned new recipes. I became comfortable around Muslims and hearing the call of prayer five times a day. I began to collect tea pots. And I explored Abu Dhabi on foot and by taxi. And I more or less became accustomed to the heat and humidity. I don't miss the heat.
I swam almost every day, for there was a pool on the roof. The 24th floor was the pool. Swimming, and hanging out on the roof, I had far too much sun. For the sun was intense and became more so throughout our time there. Too much sun. I now avoid the sun.
|My reading list expanded in the UAE.|
Alcohol was scarce. If I wanted a drink, I could walk to the Oryx hotel around the block. A 15 minute walk to get to the hotel, then an elevator ride up to the top floor, followed by a walk up a flight of stairs to the hotel bar. Then I could order a drink. Beer, wine or booze. But it took effort. And naturally, I began to not miss drinking. And with all the shisha smoking, perfume wearing and incense burning, I lost my palate. I began to think that wine was no longer for me. Wine no longer excited.
|With John in Chicago 1986. We drove from Washington state to New Jersey that summer road trip.|
Death of a Best Friend
Then, September 2009, we returned home to Washington state. To more change(s).
Living in Abu Dhabi, I had still been able to keep in touch with my best friend, John Passantino. John lived in New Jersey. He never liked me living in the Middle East. He was happy when I told him we were returning to Washington state. I touched on John's death in a post I wrote in 2011.
“Most of that year I had enjoyed living as an expat with my family in Abu Dhabi, but we had to return to the States in September. John told me I had to return home for a reason. I ended up writing his eulogy within two weeks of that conversation.”
Tribute Song by John's cousin Phil, about his life and death. NJ Italian guys.
John overdosed on Oxycontin in October 2009.
It's strange, sadly strange, that the death of my best friend became the reason I am still writing about wine. Things happen, terrible things, and this causes other events to unfold or not. Such is the case with the death of John Passantino, 1961 - 2009. His death opened new doors for me into the bigger world of wine.
In 2010 I Found my Palate in Walla Walla
Before I go further, I'd like to let you know that I found my palate, and a renewed love for wine, in Walla Walla, Washington, in the spring of 2010.
Garrison Creek Cellars, June 14, 2010
“To my astonishment, a five hour tour of several Walla Walla wineries with my friend, Winery Architect Ed Luebben, re-awakened my wine appreciation senses and turned me on to Walla Walla wines. Today, I’m full of excitement about Walla Walla wines.”
2010 Wine Bloggers Conference – Walla Walla, Washington
With my palate newly restored and my enthusiasm for Washington wine at full tilt, I registered for my first Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla. I wanted to get things going again and wanted to improve my wine blogging skills. The upcoming summer Wine Bloggers Conference looked like my best opportunity. Except that the conference was sold out. Bummer.
I learned about the summer Wine Bloggers Conference by accident. It had not been on my radar after losing my palate. Having regained my palate too late in the year, I missed the window to register for the Walla Walla conference. Ah well, that same weekend of the conference was the same weekend of my high school reunion in Seattle. I had originally planned on going to the reunion with John. We had discussed it several times the previous year. After his death, it did not seem so urgent to attend.
Unable to acquire admission to the Wine Blogger Conference, I bought tickets to the reunion dinner and dance, reserved a hotel in Seattle and made plans for the reunion. Which, as you've guessed, I did not attend after all.
|2010 Wine Bloggers Conference - Semillon Panel at Buty Winery.|
(left to right) Jay Soloff, Melissa Peterman and Steve Heimoff.
Two days before leaving for Seattle and the reunion, I received a phone call from Zephyr Adventures. Zephyr Adventures is the company that hosts, coordinates, and arranges the Wine Blogger Conferences. They are cool dudes. They called to ask me if I could volunteer at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla. They were short staffed and needed another body to help with all the events. As I was only 55 miles away, and had attempted to register for the conference, could I help?
My answer was, thank you but, no. My high school reunion was that same weekend and I had already purchased tickets and made hotel reservations. Click.
And then I spoke with my wife. She asked, “Which do you want to do more?” I replied, “The Wine Bloggers Conference.” She looked at me and said, “So call them back and tell them you can help.” So I did, and I did.
|With Alan Wright president Zephyr Adventures at 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference.|
Walla Walla Lost and Found, 28 June 2010 "No big shock to you, if I mention that the remainder of my evening… is a bit on the fuzzy side. During the speed-blogging session, I was invited to attend a K Vintners and Charles Smith Wines Party. That would be Party with a capital “P”.
|Social media opened more doors to virtual wine tasting and friends.|
The Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla had my head spinning. In so many ways. It was a glimpse into the bigger world of wine, sales, marketing, distribution, writing/blogging and social media. My awareness of social media expanded. I realized I needed to create/embrace my own brand. And I became a fan of twitter. My writing began to improve that summer, at least I began to take my writing more seriously. And soon, I would begin interacting with many new friends online.
After that first enlightening Wine Bloggers Conference, I did not want to miss any more. I have now attended four Wine Bloggers Conferences a Wine Tourism Conference and have greatly expanded my circle of wine friends. I also learned to spit and not swallow after attending my first Charles Smith party.
Photography has also become more important to my posts. I hope you appreciate the effort to photograph my wine experiences.
* I embraced instagram this summer of 2016: Instagram.com/wild4wawine
What did my blog look like in July 2010?
Check out the Wayback Machine to see my blog on:
Wild4WashingtonWine.com, Gordon Brothers Winery Visit and Tasting on July 20, 2010.
Wild4WashingtonWine.com, Gordon Brothers Winery Visit and Tasting on July 20, 2010.
Wine Blogger Conferences I have Attended
- 2010 Walla Walla, Washington
- Wine Bloggers Conference Update
- 2011 Charlottesville, Virginia
- Dreaming of Virginia Wine
- 2012 Portland, Oregon
- Oregon Wine Country Discovery Tour
- 2013 Penticton, British Columbia, Canada
- An Ode to Okanagan Wine Country
- And 2012 Wine Tourism Conference in Sonoma
- Trade Event. Wine Tourism Conference Highlights
|Kiwi Daydreaming wine blog banner, Juli Crompe and me.|
New Zealand Wine Blog
In 2012 I became enamored of New Zealand wines. Naturally I wanted to start a New Zealand wine blog, www.kiwidaydreaming.com But I was not going to maintain another blog alone. This time I wanted a friend to help me blog.
Welcome to our Blog on New Zealand Wine 24 June 2012
"One of my new friends, who shares this obsession with New Zealand, is Juli. Juli has agreed to join me in this NZ wine blog project. She recently visited New Zealand and is eager to return. Juli and I have not met, but we both live Washington State. She's in Seattle and I'm in Richland. Working online together, we will discuss, review and recommend our favorite New Zealand wines."
Our New Zealand wine blog had a run of a couple of years. I still post the occasional review of New Zealand wines and winemakers. Juli is busy with other things in her life. We did finally meet in Seattle, in real life, a couple of times. She's pretty cool and fun to hang out with. She has her act together and we are friends. The online door is always open to her. She's welcome to write for me anytime.
* Juli also guest posted on this blog at least 13 times! Link to Juli's posts.
2013 - 2015 The Wine Muse Podcast Co-Host
The #WineMuse Podcast
An invitation to discuss Holiday wine pairings in 2013 became a two year co-host podcast gig.
If you have followed along with the Wine Muse podcast show I have co-hosted, then you know that 17 September 2015 was the final day of our podcast. It was a pleasure these last two years and an honor to speak with those in the winemaking industry around the world.
Many thanks to Linda Rez for inviting me to share my passion for wine. As the Wine Muse show evolved, we added conversations with winemakers and special wine industry guests. We expanded our knowledge and awareness of wine.
It was a lot of fun and so worthwhile. My mental image of wine continues to evolve. Maybe the #Winemuse will return in another guise. Cheers!
- Favorite podcast: Conversations with Friends, "My Favorite Wine" on the Wine Muse Podcast #winemuse plus a review of a'Maurice Cellars Syrah/Grenache
- Interview Collection: Collection of Winemaker interviews.
Social Media and Twitter Tastings
2012 - Present, Twitter Tastings - Great Palate Exercise - Many New Friends
I began receiving samples for online twitter tastings in 2011. But the following groups held monthly virtual tastings, so they stand out in my memory.
#winechat - It appears that #winechat was the first regular group I tasted with on twitter. 21 March 2012 "In particular, the featured Santa Rita, Medalla Real, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008, from the Maipo Valley, blew me away. The #winechat crowd was exuberant in their response too. It is an impressive Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, especially once you consider the retail price of US $18." #winechat still meets online on twitter, every other Wednesday at 6pm Pacific. Worth checking out.
Washington Wine Report - Somewhere on my blog is the first Washington Wine Report twitter tasting I participated in and wrote about. Found it! It was one of Sean Sullivan's 7pm tastings in 2012. Notes: 2009 Charles Smith Wines Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon 25 April 2012. Sean no longer hosts these virtual tastings. As far as I can tell. Shame. But he's a busy guy. Washington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan) hosted monthly Washington Wine virtual tastings. I began attending these virtual tastings in 2012. Truly a lot of fun and another way to connect with like minded souls. Good sensory and palate exercise too.
#winestudio - I met #winestudio host Tina Morey in 2011 at the Virginia Wine Bloggers Conference. We have since attended a couple of other Wine Blogger Conferences together. There is no way I could remain engaged with social media and wine without the help of some friends. My friend Tina Morey at Protocol Wine Studio has expanded my wine experiences this year. Together, using #WineStudio we've visited wines of the Hudson Valley, Virginia hard cider, Wines of Italy, and many other wine regions. Thank you Tina. * Tina has started a new endeavor, Wine Studio. Check out her new site and interesting projects. http://winestudiotina.weebly.com
#VAwinechat - My wine blogger friend Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like, is the Virginia Wine Blogger. He is the host of Virginia Wine Chat, #VAwineChat where the conversation and wine are all about Virginia. I've had some enlightening Virginia wine experiences this year. More soon on the blog. Thank you Frank.
#WinePW – Somehow, I stumbled into a wine and food pairing group of bloggers. They use the hashtag #winePW for their conversations about food and wine. Love this group. They are passionate, focused and engaged. And I have many new recipes and wine pairing ideas to try at home. It has been my pleasure to participate several times with the Wine Pairing Weekend group. It is a kind of crossover group, connecting food bloggers with wine bloggers. A natural overlap of wine with food. You can find them on facebook and twitter.
|#WinePW8 Greek wine and Avgolemeno.|
Resolution for Greek Wine, Recipe for Avgolemeno #WinePW8 January 2015
“I never learned Greek, though I heard it spoken occasionally over many years. I was never close to my grandmothers second husband, Mr. Emmanuel Brokos. He was and remains an enigma.”
Another Door Opens
My participation with the Wine Bloggers Conferences, twitter tastings and co-hosting a monthly wine podcast show, and writing about these experiences, led to an invitation. An invitation to visit my wine country neighborhood with friends. Which opened another door direct to my current job in the Washington wine industry. Funny how that works.
|Prosser wine country media visit 2014 at Mercer Estates.|
Prosser Wine Country
In October 2014, I was invited to tour wine country in Prosser, Washington with two friends from past Wine Bloggers Conferences. It was an eye opener for me. Especially since I live 25 miles from Prosser, but knew little about the people and land. That weekend began on a Friday at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center (Clore Center). One year later and I was working at the Clore Center, sharing stories about Dr. Clore and Washington wine.
Visit Prosser Washington Where the Story of Washington Wine Began March 2015
"My sincere thanks to the Prosser Wine Network and all the wineries, staff and the friendly community of Prosser, Washington. You have shared and shown me a Prosser I did not fully know or appreciate. I'll continue to get the word out."
|DO Emporda, Catalunya, with owner and winemaker of Mas Llunes Winery.|
Today - Traveling and Working in Wine Country
Where am I today? Yes, I'm obviously still writing about wine. 2016 was a wonderful year of wine and wine country travel. I have written about many of my wine country experiences and still have more to share.
The highlight for me of 2016 was my visit to Catalunya in NE Spain. I was invited to an award ceremony based on my writing. And I won an award for my writing about DO Catalunya wines. Catalunya is now in my blood. I am eager to return.
Catalunya a Return Home 1 July 2016
"How do you bundle that up? How do you fly away and leave it behind? I will be asking myself many questions as I reflect and write and edit photos. You can expect a full recounting of what I learned, felt and experienced in Catalunya. There is much to share. I miss you terribly."
4. Cuisine of Catalunya a Return Home 21 July 2016
"Manel and I drank a bottle of Vino Verdejo the morning I arrived. We snacked on bread sticks, olives, cheese and tapanad. Then we headed out for lunch at el Coro."
|Wine tasting on the road, Lodi, California.|
Another memorable wine country visit this year, a five day media visit of Lodi, California. My friend Frank Morgan recommended me to snooth.com as a good wine country writer and photographer. Thank you Frank.
Wines of Lodi, California, Re-discovered Wine Country 4 November 2016 "Quality was strong. Community was strong. Fellowship was strong. There is a tremendous amount of talent among the Lodi grape growers and winemakers. They are working diligently to showcase their unique Lodi Terroir. They have much to share."
Lodi, California, Re-Discover Wine Country, Introduction 15 October 2016 "There is another California wine country destination worth discovering. It is not over-priced, it is not crowded and it is full of local charm and flavors."
|Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser, Washington.|
Find me at the Clore Center
Today you can often find me working at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser, Washington. I've been working there since September 2015. The Clore Center is a dynamic, fluid environment. I have become accustomed to expecting change. Hand selling wines from an ever changing list of wineries and varieties, focusing on different AVA's each month, meeting new Washington winemakers, sharing their stories, I have learned even more and continue to learn.
This fall, I received a change of title, I am now a “Wine Educator” and help with educational sessions and wine tastings. Love it! It is my new outlet, so I am not writing as often.
|Clore Center November 2016 Blind Tasting Merlot|
Exploring Merlot at the Clore Center, by Dan Clarke, 11 November 2016
Travel writer Dan Clarke, visited the Clore Center and our November blind Tasting. He wrote about his experience. And he took a flattering photo of me too. Thanks Dan!
"Our guide this evening is Willam Pollard, a wine writer with substantial experience in the world of Washington wine (www.wild4washingtonwine.com). He explains that we will be tasting five wines made from Washington-grown Merlot and one example of this variety all the way from Chile."
Where does this leave me now? I'm not sure. I enjoy hand selling wine and customer interactions. I'm paid to talk, not just sell wine. The wine education I provide at the Clore Center is a pleasure. I enjoy being guide, teacher and occasionally expert. With over 900 wineries in Washington and 40+ new wineries added a year, there is no end to the new to me winemakers, wineries and wines. Plus, I get to taste many of those wines. Quality is strong. And I occasionally write about some of those wines, wineries and winemakers.
Traveling to Catalunya this summer was... sublime, enlightening, amazing, wonderful, captivating and has become a possible second home for me. I miss the place, people, language, food and of course wine. There is a tremendous amount of culture and history waiting to be experienced and understood. I still have much to write about Catalunya, it is nagging me.
So much has changed for me over these last ten years. All because I started to blog about my wine experiences. Wine blogging has kept me in touch with the Washington wine industry, where I work today. It has also opened doors for me in Oregon wine country, California, Colorado, New York, Virginia, New Zealand, Canada, Spain, France, Italy, Australia, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Sicily, Greece and many other countries.
|Tasting and tweeting about wine at home.|
I encourage you to write. Get it out of your head and make new friends. It does not have to be about wine. Though there is still plenty of room at the table. Writing has worked for me.
As Jane Pearson of Tapteil Winery once told me, “Wine is food, wine is life.”
Cheers to life!
William Pollard Jr.