Observations 2014

Don't be fooled by my expression. I'm in my happy place.Well, here it is December and I figured it’s time to jump back into the land of the living. It’s been a good year for the most part and I wanted to share a few tidbits that I picked up along the way.

As I’ve been involved in the local wine community for awhile now, I stepped back and took a look at how my perceptions have changed. I’ve taken a few classes, attended a variety of industry events, talked to many wine and restaurant professionals and tasted a lot of juice. Here’s a peek into what I’ve learned.

It boils down to this …

Wine enjoyment can be either as snotty or laid back as you want it to be. The culture of wine has gotten it’s somewhat pretentious reputation for a good reason. Oenophiles (wine geeks) like to travel the globe and taste wines from well known or obscure regions. Wine is produced everywhere. And in a lot of those places, it isn’t cheap.

The 2011 Cedar courtesy of Va La Vineyards

Photo courtesy of the Traveling Wine Chick, Elizabeth Smith

That said, as a fan and promoter of the thriving local wine scene here in southeastern PA, I found that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get good quality wine. Some of you may turn up your nose at the homegrown juice, but hey, more for us in the know. Good winemakers let the land speak to find out what the local conditions will give them. Different grapes thrive in different areas.

So anyway, I’ve gotten off track lately. I had high hopes for this endeavor when I started it and I still do. Where do I want it to go? I’m not really sure at this point. Wine reviews? I think that’s been done. I may go above and beyond for some local gems, though. How about wine photography? If my wife cursing under her breath while I try to get that perfect shot of my glass of Cab for #WineWednesday is any indication, I would say that’s been played out also.

So the big question is: Why wine? What is the appeal of this magnificent beverage to me?


A damn near perfect evening, if I say so myself.That’s it. Wine is meant to be enjoyed with others. Good wine and food is the cornerstone of quality social interaction. A few weekends ago, my wife and I got together with some acquaintances at a little vineyard in Avondale, PA and the night turned out fantastic. By the end of the evening we were all laughing, talking animatedly and enjoying every moment.

And it was Instagram-free. (Though admittedly Facebook wasn’t off limits).

Since I brought that up, here’s what wine enjoyment is not: The number of wine-centric Twitter followers you have. And yes, I have a few. It’s not a 90+ score from Robert Parker or Antonio Galloni. It’s not how much geekspeak the Somm-wannabes throw around at tastings.

Sunset over the little vineyardFriends and the fruits of the earth.

That’s it. Thanks for reading.

“Beer is made by men, wine by God.”
~ Martin Luther

Shouts to:

Va La Vineyards
Traveling Wine Chick
Saveur the Good Life
SMG Winespeak

… and everyone else who gets it.


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9 Responses to Observations 2014

  1. Beth says:

    Best post since I’ve known you. Kudos.

  2. thanks Doug, nice post! the PA “DRY” wine industry is up and coming and if i have anything to do with it, the word will spread. people near and far will know what a few of us already know: there is some very good “DRY” wine being grown and produced in PA!


  3. Great post Doug…that’s exactly what it’s all about…
    Wonderful friends, great food, awesome wines



  4. Ed says:

    It was a most excellent day of wine, food and friends. Looking forward to the next one!

  5. Great post–thanks to Beth for pointing me in this direction!

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