(Sept 2009, badly in need of updating…)
About Simple Hedonisms
What are ‘Simple Hedonisms’? Its a term I used creative license to create, describing life’s simple pleasures, of which we have an abundance in Sonoma County; great wine, good food, great down to earth people who appreciate our blessings, and each other.
The intent of the blog is to help consumers maximize their experience with these simple pleasures, and to better help educate them, and connect enthusiastic consumers to passionate artisans of food, wine, and wine country’s lifestyle.
The ‘hedonisms’ highlighted will mainly be wine (of course), restaurants, microbrews on occasion, and events that combine these with music and art. I started reviewing venues on Yelp (over 200, Yelp Elite) and got lots of feedback I should start a blog. When Yelp started deleting reviews to leverage ads, and I realized how much more I could do in this medium, I started building this site from scratch. (as opposed to hosted.)]
Much of my focus will be on the story of the winery, and the owners/winemakers who embody the beauty of wine as art. I will also include occasional articles on restaurants, events, and wine-making to help casual wine lovers appreciate wine more, and to help make visits to wine country more meaningful, instead of the merely random series of tasting room stops it often ends up being. With 130 wineries on the Russian River Wine road alone, why leave this to chance?
Too many people wander around somewhat unguided, in their quest to discover wines and wineries. It is my goal to assist in that journey, as well as to help you better find the particular artisans and wines that match your tastes, and ultimately, to see wine and wineries in a broader light. I have been an avid consumer of wines and visiting wine country(s) for many years. In the last 18 months I have substantially increased my formal knowledge, education, and contacts in many aspects of the industry from viticulture to wine making and marketing through course work at UC Davis and Santa Rosa JC, as well as spending time in wine production, home wine making, and planting a mini-vineyard.
While there will be a lot of focus on small artisan wineries, particularly in the Russian River area of Sonoma County –- where I live -– I will certainly will not exclude Sonoma Valley, Napa, Mendocino, and other CA areas as I visit. (Oregon may end up being a focus as well depending on my work.) Personally I have toured wineries all over Sonoma County, Napa, Mendocino, Santa Ynez Valley (Santa Barbara), Paso Robles, as well as Tuscany, Chile, and Argentina.
I will comment on the wines I taste, more to aid the consumer then review them per se, as zillions do that now. I do review the many wines that I purchase and cellar on Cellar Tracker, and share these on Facebook and Twitter, and likely the blog) via the Cor.kz iPhone application. I will accept samples for review if you wish, as well as visits to your establishment to meet, glean some of the history, and review.
I am well known for my love of events, and many follow my Facebook Event postings. I have launched a calendar here, which I hope to improve over time, but it does have the added functionality of being able to download into Outlook, Google Calendar etc so you can sync to your iPhone, Blackberry or PDA of choice.
That’s the plan for now, but it will be organic based on feedback, interest, and audience. They say don’t try and cater your blog to your readers, but I don’t always do what I am told, so I will to the best of my abilities make this interesting, educational, and fun for readers.
Carpe Diem. And remember, Life is Too Short to Drink Bad Wine!!