There are many different reasons for why one does anything, reasons that may be small and large, significant and trivial, obvious and perhaps unknowable even to oneself. Certainly, there are many reasons one decides to write a wine blog. Learning how to budget was not one of them, but there were things like wanting to learn more about wine, wanting to practice how to write, and wanting to become part of a community. I loved drinking wine; I loved talking about it, and I loved the culture and ceremony around this most noble of beverages.
But of course, there are still other reasons.
My first post is dated December 23, 2007. 2007 was a very tough year for me and innumerable others. We lost a wonderful friend that June, and this world lost out on an incredibly talented, beautiful, and giving young woman.
The unbelievable grief of her passing–and reflection on her twenty four joyous years here–was a factor in my starting to write this blog. If one characteristic could define Sabina, it would be her love of life–an intense thirst to experience as much as possible. She lived life fully and applied herself in her studies and her interpersonal relationships with a vigor that shames and motivates me.
Have you ever read Cannery Row by John Steinbeck? It’s one of my favorite books. It’s set in Monterey, California, a seaside town that was for years and years home to the canneries and warehouses that Steinbeck made famous. By now it’s become a tourist destination; it’s also close to some great wineries. When we were in college I promised Sabina I’d take her there for a weekend trip. We’d get a hotel–maybe a bed and breakfast. We’d go around tasting wines. We’d go walking along the beach. We’d eat crab.
I never did get to take her there–I didn’t have any money back in college. If she was disappointed she never let me know. Instead, we took a day trip up to Napa Valley, where we stopped by V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena. It wasn’t Monterey, but it was awesome. And there, where the vines stretched out for miles and miles and the autumnal trees stood in their finery of red and yellow and orange, where I sampled some wines with the love of my young life, I became captivated.
It’s hard to keep up a wine blog, especially in law school. This is due to two reasons. First, I’m living on loans, which makes it hard to afford wine (especially the ones I really want… to… try). Second, I have to study, and alcohol doesn’t mix very well with studying. But, I’ve found that keeping a wine blog and writing a wine column in my law school’s newspaper are as rewarding as they are challenging. These commitments keep me searching for new wines and new information. They make me try and impose my own system of understanding on a field that is equal parts science, art, and magic. And it seems I am only beginning.
To those of you who I’ve been fortunate to have as companions on this journey: thank you. Two bloggers stand out (Shea and James) in their unstinting support and commentary, as does one wine shop in California (Mission Wines) and one wine shop in DC (Ansonia Wines). Thank you to Adagia Restaurant (Michael Barber and Kelly McCartney) in Berkeley for my first clumsy forays into wine and hospitality. Thank you to my roommate Alex, who inspires discipline in me by training for ever-more-ridiculous marathons. Thank you to my family for not staging an intervention. And thank you, Sabina, and thank you, God, for allowing me the joys of this eminently frivolous but entirely necessary endeavor.
To one hundred–and more–posts in the future,