Thursday, April 28, 2011

So Long, & Thanks for the Memories...

One October evening in Yakima about a year and a half ago, over dinner and a bottle of Plaza Socievole Syrah, Josh asked me to consider becoming the Washington Correspondent for The Oregon Wine Blog. My wine knowledge and experience at the time was significantly limited. I had been to Yakima and the Rattlesnake Hills a handful of times, had been volunteering at Delille Cellars for about 4 or 5 years and had made it down to Willamette Valley once or twice. From my visits to Delille I understood a bit about crush, bottling, and portions of the wine making process from a friend who was formerly their cellar master. I knew that I loved the wines of the Northwest, and I had seen my wine budget slowly creep up to the point where we’d occasionally stretch for a $30 wine.

Everything has changed. I’ve enjoyed writing about wine; from my very first post,
an awkwardly worded attempt to capture my thoughts on a DiStefano Cab Franc (wow that was poorly written), to my recap of the Wine Blogger’s Conference on Red Mountain to my most recent guest post on Drink Nectar about wine and its relation to Cognac. Writing for the blog has been a whirlwind. I’ve met some amazing folks and tasted some brilliant and some … not so brilliant wines. I’ve made great friends in winemaking; including, among many others, Ryan Johnson, Sheila Nicholas and Neil Cooper and I’ve visited some of the finest vineyards, cellars, and wine folk's living rooms in both Oregon and Washington.

The wine blogging crowd can be an odd one. Among us there are some awkward cats, some people with odd behavior and habits and one or two jerks completely without tact. There are some really good people with various palates and writing abilities - some of them spot on in both arenas and some who are way off in both fields as well. Every one of those people accepted me among them, particularly in the greater Seattle area, and through them I’ve learned a bunch. Folks like Sean Sullivan, Doug Haugen and Susie Curnutte have generously shared wine and knowledge with me.

I learned to tweet on the twitter machine. I have to be honest; I had no idea what the hell the point of this was at first. I’ve become pretty handy at it and you might say a bit addicted. I’ve developed relationships with people all over the country and we “talk” (if you can call it that) nearly daily about a variety of things, most of them unimportant. I’ve participated in “tweet-ups,” created hash-tags, and learned about and tasted wine from all over the world.

All of this has a purpose: to tell you that I’m hanging up my spurs as the Washington Correspondent on The Oregon Wine Blog. Recently the blog’s founder Josh - the same guy who invited me to take up the reigns here in Washington - has himself moved to Seattle. He’s worked hard to build the blog over the years and as a newly transplanted Washingtonian has graciously agreed to assume the Washington duties
for The Oregon Wine Blog. I may still do an occasional piece here and there for TOWB.

To borrow the worn out line: this is not goodbye so much as “see you later.” I can’t walk away from the relationships I’ve built, the wines I’ve learned to love, and the curiosity within me, and the opportunity out there to learn more. So, sometime this spring look for me to be coming back around. Ugh, another wine blog? That’s just what we need, right? Well I’m not so much concerned with that, but look for The Northwest Wine Anthem sometime later this Spring.


  1. Thanks for the memories...sniff...

    Seriously, though, we'll miss you but look forward to reading your new creative outlet.

  2. You have created a creditable and very interesting persona! Not good by, but see you soon the the "handsome wine blogger". ~coop

  3. Keep up the good fight, Clive. Good work here and see you around!

  4. Great work and we'll miss it... but looking forward to what's next. Good Luck and Thanks.