Today marks my 100th post on Imbibe New York, and I thought I’d celebrate by reflecting upon how the site began, and where its been. In May 2008, I started this blog with a hangover, the day after attending my first NYC wine event–Brooklyn Uncorked! at BAM. At that point, I’d spent he past ten years, pre- and post-MFA, writing. I’d written fiction and nonfiction, spent seven years on one book, and written drafts of others in between. To me, I felt that I’d made progress as a writer, but I wasn’t getting where I wanted in terms of publishing. Why not attempt another approach to writing? I thought. Clearly, it was time to twist things up.
I’d always enjoyed wine…alot, but a honeymoon in Northern California changed me. My husband and I spent three days visiting wineries in Sonoma, Alexander Valley, and Anderson Valley—and though I don’t think I would enjoy now, most of the wines that I enjoyed then, the fact that I could identify aromas and flavors excited me; I’d hooked onto something that I was psyched to pursue.
And so, with these two forces at work, I took control of my life as a writer, when it felt like literary magazines, editors, agents, and publishers were controlling me. I started Imbibe New York, so that I could continue writing on a regular basis, and in some small way, feel that my voice was being read. I knew that I had to study wine, but didn’t know where. But by committing to posting once or twice weekly, I would begin my education before I started class. Once or twice a week, I would meet with friends to seek wines that I knew nothing about, so that I could taste, note, and learn. By choosing to write about our experiences at wine bars and events around the city, I’d found Imbibe New York‘s structure. And by making photographs a part of the blog’s focus, I could put my BFA, and all those years that I’d spent photographing, and traveling, to good use.
In July, Jenn, Farrel, and I started the Imbibe New York Wine Club, so that we could meet once a month to focus on a wine region or varietal and learn more about wine. Each Wine Club meet has provided me with a blog post (you can view the list here). This December will be our 15th meeting, and since the beginning, we’re grown in numbers, friendship, and wine. Since this fabulous group deserves more reflection than what what I’m allowing for here, I’m going to save my ruminations on Wine Club, for another time.
In the fall of 08, I decided to start the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Intermediate Certificate program at the International Wine Center in NYC. I studied my ass off, made some friends, learned a sh*tload, and passed the test with distinction. In the spring, I began the Advanced Certificate program, where I cemented friendships, studied harder, and passed, but there were times when my brain hurt. And though I know that I need to continue my education by entering the Diploma Program, I need to put it off for another semester, so that I can continue with this focus on writing about wine.
One of my main goals for this site has been to gain experience and produce tear sheets, so that I could publish and eventually get paid to write about wine. I’m still working on it. The ascent has been slow, but compared to the prior ten years, it has moved at the speed of light. But this is the nature of blogging, or internet publishing; the social network, and the nature of wine itself. I am paying my dues; I am writing–just about daily. And I like it. It’s a challenge to write about the same subject in ways that are engaging. To vary the language or perspective. To identify the root of my subject. And it’s up to me to mix it up when I get bored.
But for now I’m going to have to put these thoughts on hold for Part Two-because this post is getting long; it’s 10:30, and I haven’t cooked dinner yet.