Tomorrow is Election Day.  Let the pundits have their fights.  I will not address that mess here.  Instead, as the Wine Enthusiast unleashes their Top 100 Cellar Selection list for the year, and the countdown to the Spectator Top 100 is imminent, I wanted to talk of my own little Top 50 list, due out at the end of the week.  Sure, it doesn’t carry the weight of the previously mentioned heavyweights, nor should it.  My Top 50 – this year a Top 100 – is simply a personal best-of for the year.

It has been a rather tumultuous year for me professionally (oh no, here we go again), yet with the recent changes came an overwhelming increase in tastings for me, and it has meant a lot of different things to me, both professionally and personally.

First, professionally speaking, it has given me renewed purpose in what it means to be a buyer, and it has forced me to reevaluate the way I approach wine.  For years, I haven’t put the time into really analyzing every wine I taste; it has been more of a cursory assessment, one of “are there customers who’d buy this or not?”  If I were to take my certified sommelier test or my certified wine educator test right now, I wouldn’t do so hot on the blind tasting portion.  I haven’t been looking at wine that way for a really long time.  But most importantly, I adopted my previous boss’ POV in that wine was just a widget, something without purpose.  The ONLY thing that saved me from completely abdicating the passion of wine tasting was this blog.

And fortunately for me, my new place has given me a renewed sense of purpose and perspective.

And personally, the volume of wine we are presented here at Party Source, the opportunities these present, has given me reason to reinvent myself, explore the parts of my life I shut down on in one aspect or another, like my writing, my music, and my marriage.

I can’t really blame these things on my previous employer – that would give them too much credit for my life – it’s really on me.  Yet I let my previous employer define me – I was where I worked, not who I am.  Does that make sense?  Sorry to wax philosophically, but despite the chaos that the Silly Season presents, here I am.

Wine Reviewed: 31

Wine of the Weeks: Chateau Cos d’Estournel 2008.

Good news in the wine biz: Or is it?  And then a question about sommeliers

Bad news in the wine biz:  There was this… but thankfully there is hope

Disturbing news in the wine biz: And of course there is this.

On the homefront: I have to take stock, like we all do, of what we have to be thankful for, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  A lot of people have it far worse than most of us right now.  The little things like having a fight with your boss, your wife tells you to take out the trash, or your husband spent too much money on Boy’s Night Out last week – doesn’t compare with no electricity for days, no running water, stuck in a high-rise with no lights, no power and no food – all I can say is contact your local chapters of the Red Cross and find out what you can do to contribute – food, blood, money – whatever is needed, do what you can.

What is on my playlist?: Gustav Mahler.

What wine(s) is (are) impressing me right now at the store?: Chateau Cos d’Estournel 2008, Bookwalter Protagonist 2009, Vieux Telegraphe 2009, Vilmart Ratafia NV.

Recommended reads, blog or otherwise:  Absolutely anything that is NOT political.

What’s on tap for this week?:  Those Guild wines I have put off for two weeks, a meeting with a Chilean winemaker, and of course, my Top 100.

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