Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Blog Tag - I'm It

Joe at Joe's Wine Journal tagged me, and now I'm it. I wasn't going to play because Joe has cooties, but then I decided that cooties aren't so bad. Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never harm me. 4th grade moments people, I apologize. "Tag" just brings me back...

Not sure how this "Tag" thing started, but bloggers have been tagging each other, requiring them to answer in five parts the question - why do you blog? Then to tag further bloggers.

So why do I blog?

1) One day while bored at work I was reading some Wine Blog Wednesday posts and I came across this one about Clos Rougeard on Fork and Bottle. I found myself basically in tears after reading this piece. That's right- in tears! So what's up with that? Am I some sort of crybaby? So I cry easily, so what? But more importantly, I had been feeling like the time I spend at work was time wasted, time that barely contributed to the well being of people or the earth or anything. I have been trying since I can remember to find work that really involves me every day, that challenges me, that makes use of my abilities and yet forgives my failings...not so easy. I love wine and fantasized about the life of growing, tending grapes, making wine. And I read this well written and caring piece about the Foucault brothers, people who are passionate about what they do, and I it really hit home for me. I felt that they represented everything that was missing from my professional life. And I was really impressed by Fork and Bottle's rendition of Clos Rougeard's story, enough so to email them and tell them so...

2) And both Jack and Joanne wrote back to me, offering words of encouragement regarding work and life. Joanne said " I hope you find what you love." Well, I'm still looking professionally, and maybe I will get there soon, but I figured 'I love wine, and there aren't many blogs out there devoted to my favorite wines, so why shouldn't I blog?' So I created one. But it sat for weeks without an entry. Who was I to blog about wine? Did I really have that sort of chutzpah, that type of hubris, to assume that what I would write about wine would actually be of any interest to anyone?

3) Then I realized that actually, it is irrelevant to me whether or not anyone wants to read the blog. I mean sure, it's nice to have a soapbox to stand on, but for me, that's really not the point. For me it boils down to this - I love wine, drinking it with my wife and friends, visiting wine regions, tasting everything I can get my hands on. And I approach it the same way I have approached other passions from my past, like chess or poker - I remember everything and I am willing to study, I am interested in the theories of the game, the ground rules, the various strategies and positions. Within them, I enjoy experimenting. Blogging for me became an experiment. Why are there no "pedestrian" blogs writing about Burgundy? Not everyone is A Burghound, nor does everyone have the cellar depth to hang with Bill Nanson at Burgundy Report. What about those of us who can throw a little $ around, but need some guidance? Same for Oregon Pinot, and for the Loire Valley. I decided that I would write the blog that I wanted to read.

4) And then I got my first ever comment, on my third ever post, about a tasting of some New York Wines. The commenter was none other then Lenn of Lenndevours, one of the blogs that I was already regularly reading. Lenn offered to show me around the North Fork of Long Island, something that I have not yet taken him up on, but definitely will, and this offer based on the camaraderie he felt after reading one blog entry? How did he even find that post? Anyway, Lenn's comment really encouraged me to keep writing, and hammered home the idea that I don't have to be a professional to do this, that I can do it for the pure pleasure of drinking and sharing thoughts about wine and food, and the pleasure of reading your thoughts.

5) And that is where it is - blogging is a community of people sharing thoughts about something that is meaningful to them. I don't have a myspace or a facebook or a friendster page. I better brush up on that stuff though before my daughter turns 10, but that's another project. I can't play poker anymore because I have too many responsibilities to put a grand down on the table and fight it out until 3 in the morning. Chess has been with me since I was a little kid, but it's sort of isolating in the study it requires and in the solo nature of the game. A few years ago I had to give it up as I couldn't participate without seeing positions when I shut my eyes to sleep. Now I sometimes think of wine and food pairings and the like when I close my eyes, and I accept that I am a bit obsessive by nature, but at least now I am obsessing about something social, sharing thoughts and reading about other people's experiences. A healthier diversion than many others until I can find my place in the professional world.

So I will tag the folks who inspired me early on:
Jack from Fork and Bottle
Joanne from Fork and Bottle
Lenn from Lenndevours.

You're it!

8 comments:

Marcus said...

Nice job. Your writing is always impressive. I liked Joe's entry too. Very different than yours though.

I think that's why you two are at the top of my links.

Sonadora said...

Great post. Getting comments is inspiring. So chess is kind of like Tetris...if you play too long all you see are the shapes? Maybe I can use that as an excuse the next time my husband tries to teach it to me....

Brooklynguy said...

Thanks Marcus - very kind of you indeed. Looking forward to reading your tag post too. and Sonadora - learn the game if you can. my favorite chess quote - "Chess is the gymnasium of the mind."

RougeAndBlanc said...

I agree with Marcus that your articles are always enjoyable to read. In some funny way, through your blog, I have opened my eyes to Loire and Burgandy wines. As a matter of fact, you have inspired me to start my own blog to record wines I tasted.
Andrew

Brooklynguy said...

Hey Andrew - I have been to Rougeandblanc and I will go back soon to check out your new posts. I am so honored to be a part of what motivates you. thanks for your kind words.

Joe said...

Hi Brooklyn - well I couldn't tag and not comment!
1) Wine frequently brings me to tears - corked after waiting four years to open a 1998 Burgundy, a broken bottle of Sangiovese in my carry on bag, the bottle of 1998 Barolo on the wine list that was sold out, a broken cooling unit in the middle of August, a lousy 1 bottle allocation of a 2001 Flaccianello, the river of tears is swelling...
2) I now have five bottles of Loire red. Before you I had zero...
3) A great niche, and ably filled
4) My first comment was from some computer geek who found my Statcounter 'entertaining'. Even my friends wouldn't visit or comment. (The hook was I stopped emailing the round up of our formal tastings)
5) Poker and single malt scotch have been discarded like an old flame, as wine has become my one, true love.
More eloquent than I, and glad I gave you the kick in the pants. Cheers!
PS-Thanks for the comments, Marcus, and the playful nudge Sonadora.

Brooklynguy said...

Hey Joe,
i really appreciate your kind words. feels great coming from a guy like you. and i am doubly proud about your loire red acquisitions. curious to see your notes when they happen. thanks again, and i guess neither of us will get rid of the kleenex anytime soon.

Joe said...

for my Loire reds, I was debating putting them head to head vs. a California that I have. We'll see - just looking for the right pairing.