Monday, February 08, 2016

Happy New Year - Year of the Monkey

Yeah, I missed the traditional American calendar New Year, so how about celebrating the Lunar New Year? Here is what's ahead for you and me in the year of the Monkey - 2016.
The positive and negative quality of the Monkey Year 2016 culminate in a year that anything can happen. There is little point in storing up goods or planning one’s life. The influence of the Monkey puts everything into flux. Things will get accomplished, but largely through personal and individual efforts. Group movements, such as political upheaval or revolutions, will not make a mark during this year.
This cheeky animal bursts with exuberance, bringing a lightening fast pace and fantastical motivation. The Monkey increases communication, humor and wit, helping us get through stressful times with grace and ease. Business flourishes and risks tend to pan out. The Monkey’s gift is the ability to find unconventional solutions to old problems. Daring to be different can lead to success.

For myself I am going to try and keep my humor and wit, and will muster up any grace that I can find - - when necessary. I know I have a bit of grace left in me for the deserving. Thankful to hear my risks in life will pan out. 

First of all, I appreciate my readers who have stayed with me through the last 10 years. I appreciate it more than you know, as well as always surprised when someone reaches out they are a reader of this blog. Last year I did change up the ol' blog a bit, and instead of the 99.99% concentration of all wines of Walla Walla, I have added wines from other regions, as well. These changes to the blog also assists me in research and wine education beyond where I live. 

As you may know in November 2014 I released my first book, "Wines of the Walla Walla Valley: A Deep-Rooted History." It's been a lot of fun being a guest at various book shops, wineries, and even public lectures about the rich wine history of the Walla Walla Valley. And the book writing continues, as just before the end of 2015, I signed another contract to write my second book about the history of the Walla Walla Valley. This time the emphasis will be on the agriculture and the food scene - - and there are already negotiations in the works to write a third book. I've also been taking a few creative writing classes to perhaps write a murder mystery some day. I figure my years of working in funeral homes, law firms, and wineries should be put to creative use.  

I have also returned to some freelance writing with the emphasis of wine and food for local and regional lifestyle publications. It is almost writing 24/7 at my household. In the mean time, I do get asked if I still sell wine. No, that is a chapter that is behind me. The only thing I sell at this time are non-alcoholic items  where I am in charge of being the creative producer, such as books and a logo. The Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman blog has always been of its own creative entity and not legally affiliated with the The Grape Vine LLC which was a LLC partnership. The name and art, Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman," was lent to that corporation. 

Since I first started writing my blog in 2005, there has been a lot of growth in the wine blogging community. Many former bloggers, such as myself, have moved on to other wine writing or wine-related projects. However, there are still many new wine blogs popping up to enjoy. Critics like to say that wine blogging is not relevant anymore, but if that is so, why such success for so many new and current wine bloggers? 

Today I cannot even begin to mention all of the wine blogs out there to view, and I have resigned myself to not bother keeping up. However, I can share that each wine blog has their own opinion and characteristics - something for everyone. I recommend to find a few you enjoy, but please remember to keep your mind and your palate open. Stop taking the wine world so serious, unless of course you have a few million bucks invested in it. As a consumer, just relax, discover, and enjoy. If you like a buttery oaky Chardonnay, then enjoy it no matter if I or another blogger tells you that over-oaked and diacetyl-laden wines suck. We're just asking you to keep an open mind, keep tasting wines, and once in awhile try a blended steel-fermented/two year-old barrel Chardonnay with clean notes of citrus and mango. Remember our palates change like our hair color - - or at least for some of us our hair color changes.   

Let me make a recommendation to you, and especially to the male readers. Reach out beyond the male perspective of wine and check out some of the many wine blogs by women, if you haven't already. Wine writer, Jo Diaz of Diaz Communications keeps a list of women wine bloggers. You may just find a different approach, as well as remove some of the gender stereotypes. We like other wines than just "Chardonnay and White Zinfandel." Some women wine writers also like beer. Aghast! One may even discover that there are women winemakers in the world, as well. (ahem)

Unfortunately, there are wine blogs who are rather dismal and their only motive is to harm and figuratively maim other wine bloggers. They bitch and bully when a prominent wine blogger gives out information they don't agree with. Instead of clarifying or giving their own professional opinion, they call out names instead. Seriously, to call people names and try to ruin their reputation is very sophomoric, "my love," besides missing out on an opportunity to assist and share your own professional opinion. It's important to share the wealth of knowledge in a wine blog instead of using others in a nonconstructive way to gain an audience. 

To sum it up, as an old friend use to say about men who were bullies or drove small trucks with noisy exhausts and big monster tires, "Sorry about your penis ... "  

A sympathy card is on the way. 

Over all, this is just a long way to get around to let my readers know that I appreciate all of you very much. Any success I have been blessed with started here due to my readers. Thank you, and here's to a healthy and profitable New Year for all. 

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