Wednesday, January 07, 2009

What can you expect from SHIRAZ for 2009?

First, Happy New Year to one and all.

Now, what can you expect from SHIRAZ for 2009? Well hopefully more than the last couple of years! Through 2007 and 2008 the posts here at SHIRAZ have been pretty infrequent. That was due to a decision to stop posting material that was simply a rehash of what was appearing elsewhere on the web. What I wanted to do was put more of my own opinions and commentary on SHIRAZ. Unfortunately that type of posting takes considerably more time to put together than writing a few lines to accompany a link to a newsy piece on an online paper or webzine or tapping out a tasting note. Plus I do have a real job that occupies 9-10 hours five days a week. For instance for the first 6 months of this year I’m already committed to reviewing research grant applications for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), writing a lengthy scientific review for a peer reviewed journal, and writing two, maybe 3, research grants. And all that is in addition to directing the research in my own laboratory as well as writing research papers. Come to think of it, why am I even continuing to post on SHIRAZ? Well simply put I love wine and I like to write, in that order!

But changes have to be made because the traffic here at SHIRAZ has fallen dramatically in the last two years and if I keep going the way I have been then the only person reading this blog will be me. So I’m setting some goals, New Year resolutions if you like.

Wine Travel blogging and Newsletter: At the end of each year Miranda and I travel downunder to visit with relatives and to do something involving wine. I do blog on this but usually in a much abbreviated form. However I have lengthy notes and a mass of collected literature not only on where we visited and what we tasted but all manner of information on wine in Australia. So what will happen this year is that I will post in detail on our recent trip through six different wine regions and this will be compiled into a PDF document that can be down loaded, free of charge of course. I am also thinking of going back and compiling PDF documents on our visit to New Zealand in 2006, Mornington Peninsula in 2005 and the Barossa in 2004. Fortunately the last two should not require too much work as fairly complete coverage of them did appear on SHIRAZ. There is also material on a visit to the UK last year that could be put together. And there are plans to visit Napa/Sonoma/Russian River Valley later in the year which should provide good fodder for an informative piece.

Drinking with SHIRAZ on Saturday: When I can escape from the list of household activities that Miranda fires at me for the weekend I head over to Vintage Wines for some wine tasting. Some of this material used to appear on my other (no, not defunct) wine blog Tasting Notes. The Saturday tastings at Vintage are usually structured around a wine theme, region, variety, etc. and I hope to be able to expand on the weekly event to provide information, and opinion, on the topic of the week. I don’t plan on doing this every week although that would be the ideal.

Reviews of Wine Books, Movies, DVDs: I don’t know how many books I have on wine but there must be a dozen or more just on my bedside table. Plus there is an increasing number of DVDs appearing for movies on wine as well as educational DVDs. One example being a copy of Jancis Robinsons’ Wine Course that arrived earlier this week. Expect reviews on as many of these as I can get though.

Naturally there will continue to be posts on topics of interest to me with perhaps more focus on the academic/analytical aspects of wine appreciation. And then there are all those tasting note books that have yet to disgorge their contents into the Tasting Notes blog.

Of course all this depends on me being able to find the extra time to devote to completing these tasks. I also have to start exercising again as well! Ah the joy of resolutions for the New Year.

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