I would have never thought a year ago, I’d be where I am today. Honestly, I thought I would have tasted every, or nearly every, Oregon winery. But, here I am publicly admitting I didn’t… some might call it epic fail.
Maybe I’m just saying this because I’m drunk on all the free wine, but as it turns out, I’m glad I failed. I set a goal and I didn’t actually achieve the goal. In the process, I took a u-turn (or a turn into the Twilight Zone) and went a direction I never intended or imagined I’d go, and as it turns out, I’ve quite enjoyed the journey.
I’ll admit, I’ve been beating myself up a bit over the last few months when it became painfully apparent I wouldn’t actually achieve my goal. I kept on going though—touring, sipping, learning, blogging—regardless of what I could or couldn’t do; some might call it integrity, perhaps more accurately would be to say that wine blogging is something of an addiction. As it turns out, because of Sip with Me, I’ve seen, done and tasted more in a year than most people do in a lifetime, and that’s quite an achievement. Sharing the Oregon wine story with the world has been an added bonus, the personal reward for which I could have never anticipated.
The Burning Question
So, everyone’s asking me for the number. I officially visited 196 wineries of the 365 on my master list. That’s only 54% — a big fat fail. To be complately clear—I tasted many more wineries than 196, but didn’t officially visit their tasting rooms, so I can’t actually count them in my quest. A winery a day doesn’t seem so hard, but life, family, money, schedules, winter, navigational challenges, distance, stress and exhaustion were hurdles that jumped out at me and blocked my path more often than I anticipated.
Below is a list of the 10 Best and Worst Things I’ve Discovered About Being a Wine Blogger in the past year.
1. You meet amazing people—from winemakers, wine writers and other wine bloggers to wine lovers who are actually charged up by what you’re doing.
2. Wine samples. I’ve been able to sample a ridiculous amount of wine (reminder, mostly spat not drank).
3. From leisure to educational, wine opportunities and events abound and many doors have opened up.
4. Wine blogging = a great excuse for drinking as much wine as you want.
5. Other people think it’s cool, perhaps even romantic—and as we all know, impressing others is very important.
6. Blogging is worse than being a flasher: You’re expected to expose yourself to the public every day, and to keep upping the ante.
7. Everyone wants to use you… for free. Here post this about me, write about my event, my wine, my book, my product, my restaurant, my event space…
8. You can never leave the job at the office, like your shadow, your blog follows you wherever you go.
9. I finally understand where the word “blog” came from. Its similarity to the word Blob is no accident, and it very well might take over and smother you if you let it (see number 8 and 10).
10. A blog is really just a fancy word for Ball and Chain. You’re attached to it—all the time, you can’t just leave it behind. You’re always thinking about it, worrying about it, dragging it with you in public, in private. The two of you will become inseparable. Trust me, I’m now introduced as “This is Tamara, she’s a wine blogger.”
Okay, so my blog officially turned One. And like a typical one-year-old, my legs are just becoming sturdy beneath me and I am still just beginning to find the strength in my voice. But I’m growing fast, and I’ll be running and yelling before you know it. My journey through wine will continue as I persist in my goal to visit as many Oregon wineries as I can, though this time, without the pressure of any rigid timelines to adhere to. I hope you continue to read Sip with Me, because after all, it’s all about the wine, not about the time. On to bigger and better things!