Happy Birthday to me! Well, to my blog, Living Napa Cabulous. While I had been tweeting about wine for years prior, I decided to launch the blog a year ago to expand my wine reviews and travel tips beyond 140 characters. I’ve learned and experienced a lot over the past year, many of these memories thanks, in part, to this venture.
If there’s one big lesson I’ve learned, it’s that blogging takes more time than I initially thought! Juggling two blogs, a (new) full time job that requires travel, charity work, a fairly balanced sleep schedule, gym time and any form of social life is challenging. Though I lost some steam in the frequency of my posting, I still keep up frequently on Twitter and post here when I have something really remarkable to share.
Another lesson I learned is that the blogging community is both warm and competitive at the same time. Through blogging, I have met some truly amazing people, including the wine-loving, Green Bay Packer Backers I live-tweet through each game with on Sundays. I also met fellow wine lovers here in Chicago who have since become some of our best friends – including the great minds and palates behind www.BarlinWine.com and the new Tasting Scout app, as well as others who I’ve met through local events. Just this past weekend, we got together with our Barlin Wine friends, which often means we get to introduce each other to wines the other may not have tried or would otherwise be thrilled to taste. Our regular night out line-up included the difficult-to-get Larkmead 2009 Cabernet Franc, Wren Hop Vineyards Siren’s Lure 2009 Pinot Noir and Merryvale 2008 Profile, in addition to some tasty port from Prager Port Works. (For the record, the Wren Hop was my favorite of the night, which says a lot since I’m not ordinarily a Pinot lover.)
On the other end, I learned that wine lovers and writers can be a little “judgey.” Those in that camp are fewer and farther between, but there are a handful at the top of the ladder who criticize anyone’s commentary besides their own. For example, someone once scoffed at my use of the term “chewy tannins.” And, some wineries have voiced their distaste for wine bloggers. What’s this world if everyone can’t share their subjective opinion?
Relative to my love of Napa and wine, I’ve been fortunate to taste many new wines, discover new wineries recommended by other bloggers and meet with winery owners and winemakers – all with the opportunity to cover these experiences for my readers. I’ve also enjoyed sharing Napa wine and travel tips with friends and strangers who have come upon my blog and hearing their reaction to my recommendations.
I’m less than two weeks out from my next visit to Napa Valley and purposely sought out new wineries and tasting experiences to profile for you. I can’t wait to give a recap in the coming days. In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed my ramblings this year and that you’ll stick with me for another year of tasting, toasts and tips!