Sharing A Passion For The Wine Life

I never thought that when I got into the wine business back in 1997 and started studying for the Master Sommelier’s exam that I would have my own column in Hawaii’s most widely read publication.

And yet here I am, eight years on, still writing Vino Sense and trying to make sense of wines, and making it more accessible and a more common sight on tables all over Hawaii. I hope that through these pages I have conveyed the passion that I have for wine, some of what knowledge I have of it, and all the wonderful experiences that wine has brought to my life.

I have had shared my opinions over the years and I have heard back many of yours.

Looking back, a couple of my favorite columns — especially because of the feedback — were “Why Wine Is Better Than Beer” and “The Wine Snob.” The wine-versus-beer piece angered many. I had “hate mail” from some readers vowing never to read Vino Sense ever again, as well as some more educated rebukes of my arguments. In all, I thought it was one of the most provocative of my columns, and I absolutely loved the commentary. To the most vehement and belligerent of detractors I replied, “Thank you for reading Vino Sense. I will continue to enjoy beer in spite of you.”

And to wine snobs I still say, “Be gone with you!” Wine is a convivial beverage to be shared and enjoyed, meditated upon and passionately enhanced by those that share it. I do not need any snobs in my circle, and certainly not to rain on my love-of-wine parade or anyone else’s, for that matter.

I have also had so much positive feedback. I have met so many readers face to face, and I am so thankful to all of you who appreciate my writing. Those of you who have read my column over the years have seen my moods ranging from philosophical to technical.

I always try to be ahead of trends so that you are as well.

I always strive to be as transparent about my own palate and all that I write about without being negative. I hope that has come across in every way. Perhaps my favorite comment came from a gentleman who wrote me and loved one of my columns describing an event that I had attended. He said, “I love the way you write and the way you describe the wines. And I don’t even drink!” I take that as perhaps the highest praise.

I do realize that I am tremendously blessed to be able to drink some of the great wines of the world and to share those experiences with you. I know that much of what I write about, many will not be able to experience, but hopefully through these pages you can sense the enjoyment that it brings. And I also hope that it is plain to see that the wines I recommend range from the “you can find it at your local grocery store” to “it’s locked behind a glass case.”

In fact, in the future most of what I will be recommending should be quite easily found in your neighborhood wine store.

I am also very blessed to be able to write for MidWeek. It has been a great honor to be able to share my thoughts, desires and life on these pages. I remember when Don Chapman approached me to write for MidWeek and I had to ask myself, “Really?!” And I find myself looking back at the past eight years and wondering the same.

I haven’t been here for all of MidWeek‘s 30 years but I hope I can continue to write for it for the next 30.
Twitter: @Pinotpusher