Once again, the post-holiday has me clamoring for an extra make-up day.  Sitting here in the Lightning Closet, I am contending with a bunch of signs to piece together for the shelves (my adult equivalent of arts-n-crafts hour), listening to a combination of my old friend Dave Doughman’s band, swearing at motorists, and the horrible caterwauling of the control box for the neon signs outside (I am getting a major MYgrain right now).

The week unfolding however has some cool things lined up for UTGT, with a review of the anxiously awaited Dogfish Head Bitches Brew (we in Kentucky get everything last), plus some Bonny Doon wines, new wines from Kentucky’s Generation Hill Winery, and a new vintage of Mazzoni Rosso (the 2006 I ranked as my #10 wine for this year).

In the meantime, after having finished up the latest Buzz Bin Newsletter for the store, I have been thinking about all the ups and downs of the past year, and I decided to put together a list of the greatest hits and misses for 2010.

First, the hits:

At number 6, local rock star chef,Jean-Robert de Cavel FINALLY gets his new restaurant open.  Jean Robert’s Table opened up downtown earlier this year to the exaltation of his fanbase and friends.

At number 5, good friend and local blogger Tim Lemke going global with his contributions to new wine mag, Mutineer.  Tim is definitely establishing himself as a wine reviewer for the New Age.

At number 4, Strappo’s Market visits – good friend and Italian wine importer Terry “Strappo” Hughes stopped in this year again, showing off more of his amazing book, and winning over a lot of my favorite people, most importantly, my wife, in the process.

At number 3, getting Airfield Estates from Yakima Valley into this area.  While there were a lot of new wines making their way into our state, this no-brainer for the Tri-State (the birthplace of flight anyone) was a match made in, well, you know.

At number 2, meeting Marc de Grazia, the famed Italian importer and vintner, who I would liken to meeting Keith Richards or Jimmy Page.  It was a profound evening of good food, our friends at Vintner Select (de Grazia’s distributor for Ohio and KentuckY), and his Terre Nere wines.

And at number 1, after 2 years, finally getting the wines of my musical hero, Maynard James Keenan – the wines of Arizona Stronghold – in the state of Kentucky.  I firmly believe Arizona is where Oregon and Washington were 5-10 years ago, and I am glad to be able to bring our customers into this cutting edge region.

And now the misses:

#5, local distributor Bacchus Wine & Spirits going under.

#4, HR 5034 and its propositions continuing to make the distribution a murky, muddled mess, whether it sees passage or not.

#3, One of the folks responsible for me falling in love with wine, Type O Negative’s Pete Steele passing away.

#2, The Economy sucking most of the year.

And #1, My Big F-n mouth.  Going off half-cocked about the mess that is The Grateful Palate, and also popping off about a simple mix up with my Sommelier Journal subscripition.  My apologies again for being a “shoot first, ask questions too late” dumbass.

Live and learn, and hopefully not piss too many prospective readers off.

We’ll get back to our regularly scheduled reviews tomorrow.  Ciao, y’all.


  • December 1, 2010 - 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Aw shucks… From the “I’m Glad Someone Appreciates Me” Department http://bit.ly/dGrhvt

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  • December 2, 2010 - 3:55 pm | Permalink

    As always, I am your biggest disciple. Cheers!

  • Jennifer
    December 3, 2010 - 5:48 pm | Permalink

    As for #1 on the miss list, Keith. Don’t be so hard on yourself. At worst it was an error in judgment to post the letter without properly vetting it, but then Dan Phillips is a master of subterfuge and double speak. How else could this have developed into a disaster of epic proportions in the first place without alarm bells going off long before they did. Dan makes a great duck – all unruffled feathers on the surface, madly paddling underneath.

    And, hey, you brought a lot of attention to your blog and that can’t be all bad. Happy Holidays!

  • December 3, 2010 - 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for seeing the brighter side of it. And yeah, I had more comments on that one post than I’d had in a month. But you’re right – I should have vetted the thing better instead of playing the fanboy role I play too often. Happy Holidays to you too!

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