But here I am, finally taking a step of faith and trusting that what I have to say matters and that it will be a fulfilling experience. In a sense, my trepidation at writing about wine is similar to what I have observed in many wine buyers and drinkers over the years. There is uncertainty about purchasing the right bottle because it is something new, unknown, and something with which they are unfamiliar. They are afraid to invest in something that may let them down. And this is exactly the reason why it is important to me to be writing. It is my hope that I can help wine consumers trust themselves when it comes to wine; trust that they are making the right decisions, that their opinion matters, and that, through wine, they will have a fulfilling experience. And ultimately, I hope to convince more and more people to try wine, even though it may be unfamiliar territory for them, because I believe that those who let their fear of wine keep them away from it are missing something that can inexpressibly enhance their lives.
Let me answer a few questions that I, myself, had when starting this project:
What is this blog really about?
In a word, experience. I want to share my wine experiences with you. From tasting, to meeting producers, to learning about different regions where grapes are grown and methods of how wine is made, I want to experience it all and tell the story of wine. There is so much to experience and I want to do it all. And, I want you to share in that with me. Because to me, the more you know about wine, the better you can experience it. I want to help you be an informed and educated wine drinker.
What is this blog not about?
I am not seeking to be another rating site or someone who tells you what to think about wine. Wine, to me, is personal. Just like I cannot tell you who to marry or what your favorite color is, I can't tell you what wine to like. But I can offer advice and insight into what a particular cabernet tastes like, or why wine from Pacherenc is so unique. And so, I am not going to tell you what to like or what not to like or what to buy or what not to buy. I will enable you to make those decisions for yourself.
Who am I?
I suppose I'll start with the basics: My name is Chad Watkins. I've been professionally drinking wine for 6 years now. I've also been studying wine for the same amount of time. In those 6 years I've traveled to Alsace, Bordeaux, the Languedoc-Rousillon, Napa Valley, Piedmont and more. I have taken several courses and earned recognition for the WSET Advanced Certificate, the Certified Specialist of Wine exam, and the French Wine Scholar program from the French Wine Society. I am also a Certified Bordeaux and Napa Valley Educator. In addition, I have professionally tasted thousands of wines giving me a wide range of experience. I am married to the most insightful and funny woman ever, Jamie, and together with our cat, Olive Oil, we reside in Northern New Jersey. I love to travel, I love music and movies and I love to cook. There’s few things better than an incredible meal paired with an incredible wine, especially if both are shared with incredible people.
Who are you?
I believe the best learning experiences are those that are interactive. As such, I encourage you to give me plenty of feedback and ask lots of questions. I'll do my best to keep up and thus, instead of a one-sided conversation, we can have an ongoing dialog about the things most important to you. If I’m not writing about things that matter to you, I’m not accomplishing anything.
And so I end this entry thankful for this new beginning, thankful that you have taken time from your busy life to read this one entry, even if it is the only one you ever read, and thankful for the chance to take part in the long history of wine. It is, after all, a history that is revered and noble, and yet a staple of daily life, and a history that is far from over. It is the story of a very (un)common grape.