Five years. On a day that would seem as if I were announcing the punchline of a really long joke, instead, I am rather proudly stating that it has been five years since I first began Under The Grape Tree. Blogging (despite its rather vulgar sounding verbage) has always been a way for me to “get my ya-ya’s out” as the Stones once so eloquently put it. I am a writer at heart, as I have droned on about all this time, and the few people that have read this litany of tasting notes and edicts from my besotted brainpan can attest. I make no money from this blog, and I am not getting tons of samples like most of my fellow blogging brethren do; my samples come from my suppliers. Working in the business, I feel my perspective to be a bit different from the folks who are passionate about wine, and blog about it as their hobby. I live this stuff every day. Wine is my career, my life.
I am not disparaging anyone here. Just stating where I am coming from with UTGT.
When I started this thing, I was in herd mentality, trying to emulate the random half-dozen or so bloggers I would read daily, and putting my own neurotic spin to it. I incorporated music, posted videos, paid homage to one of my favorite writers – Hunter S. Thompson – by coming up with titles to posts with subtitles and subtitles to the subtitles, and picked fights, albeit virtually, with several of the famous wine writers who had been long-since established, and rather easy targets.
But after the majority of bloggers out there jumped onto this trend or that trend, it was time to be my own voice.
These days, I do post my tasting notes. It is a way of keeping track of all the wines I taste, whether on the job or at home, and while there are those instances where some PR firm sends me samples, the majority of the wines I taste come from the various wholesalers who operate in the state of Kentucky. I have taken to give everyone I work with – co-workers, bosses, wholesalers, importers, winemakers – nicknames, creating a cast of characters that grows each day, creating a world within my world, with a purple sky and a rosé sun, with rivers of sparkling wine just outside my door.
Often times, I play it straight, give up the notes, and move on to the next post. Other times, I indulge myself in a kind-of prose masturbation, stringing words and epithets together in ways that usually aren’t meant to be together. I throw shout-outs to fellow bloggers around like a father-son game of catch, and bury veiled pop culture references in the titles of my said prose wanking.
I am quite grateful for those of you who have dropped in and read my insanity, and even those who have taken the time to leave a comment or two. Being for all intensive purposes, a local wine blog, having folks from California, Europe and South America even, read this web diary of mine, is a real honor.
And having been able to share with all of you my incredible journey, and what I can honestly say is the coolest job in the universe (next maybe to All-Being, Master of Time, Space and Dimension), is indeed a thrill.
April is a month full of anniversaries for me, beginning with this one. Some are joyous, happy celebrations (my wife and I celebrate 13 years of marriage April 22nd), and others a bit more tragic (I lost my Grandma Keith 13 years ago, April 10th and my father, 26 years ago, April 29th). April has always been a commemoration of change. And as this anniversary of UTGT marks my first with The Party Source, I can’t wait to see where my blog will be in 5 more years.
Again, thank you so much dear reader. Cheers!