2009 has been another exciting, interesting, busy and delicious year for this passionate foodie. I have dined at a number of new restaurants, tasted many new wines, traveled some, and expanded my knowledge of food, wine, blogging and writing. Once again, I have many fond memories.
So as 2009 nears its end, I want to spend a little time to look back at this past year, to savor some of my favorite memories and achievements. I have already provided three summary lists for 2009, my Top Ten Wines Under $15, Top Ten Wines Over $15 and Top Ten Wines Over $50.
Now it is time for a general summary of the past year, a rundown of several key events. These are some of the most important food and wine events of the past year for me. Please note that there will be some more specific 2009 food, wine and Saké posts coming very soon.
Back in June, I introduced a new feature on my blog, Monday Rants. Every Monday, I post about something that irritates me, a food or wine issue that bothers me for some reason. Sometimes they are small, more personal issues and other times it is far more serious. I am hoping to start a discussion, to see if others feel the same way too or if anyone disagrees with me. I have had some people contribute, providing their own slants on the issues and I hope that even more people will enter the discussions in the new year.
1) This year, I visited Las Vegas twice, once in the spring and once in the fall. As last year, I attended the UNLVino Wine Tasting, a huge three-day wine tasting event. I reviewed many of the different wines and Sakés that I tasted. During my Vegas trips, I dined at several excellent restaurants, including Raku, Beijing Noodle No.9, and Cut. I hope to return to ULVino in 2010, ready to taste some new wines and explore some new restaurants.
2) I also made several short local trips to Maine, Connecticut, and Vermont. In Maine, I made several food and wine stops while in Portland. The highlight of my Connecticut trip was dinner at David Burke Prime Steakhouse. While in Vermont, I attended the Cheesemaker's Festival, and got to try numerous Vermont wines. There is plenty to see and do in New England and it is well worth taking weekend trips to catch the culinary sights.
3) This was also the year for the first TasteCamp, which was held on Long Island. TasteCamp was a small get-together of mainly East Coast wine bloggers. We visited Long Island wineries, tasted many wines, dined together and had an excellent time. It was great to meet some bloggers who I had previously only known online. In 2010, TasteCamp will be held in the Finger Lakes region of New York, and there will be even more bloggers there. I look forward to attending, getting back together with my fellow bloggers, and meeting others new to me.
It was my pleasure to meet many more food and bloggers this year. TasteCamp, mentioned above, was an excellent opportunity to meet a number of wine bloggers. I also met other bloggers at various food and wine events this past year, finding some new friends. I think the local blogger community has become closer over the past year, and it also has been good to see new bloggers starting out. Twitter has certainly been very useful in connecting with bloggers from all over. I am sure that in the new year, the community will continue to grow closer and I will meet even more fellow bloggers.
Massachusetts Law & Wine:
It has been a tough year for wine lovers in Massachusetts. First, the Attorney General Martha Coakley appealed the court decision which declared MA House Bill 4498 unconstitutional. When it was declared unconstitutional, there was hope that soon enough, MA residents could order wine directly from wineries. The hearing on the appeal was recently held but we still have to wait several months for a decision. I hope the court upholds the prior court decision and the Attorney General decides not to file any additional appeals.
Plus, Governor Deval Patrick approved a 6.25% tax on alcohol. Alcohol had not been taxed prior to that, so this added a significant cost to buying wine, causing some to run to New Hampshire to purchase their alcohol. This tax is unlikely to change any time soon.
Saké was very prominent on my blog in 2008 and it has been equally, if not more, prominent in 2009. In fact, it has been so prominent this past year, that I will devote an entire post to a review of Saké happenings this year. So look forward to that real soon.
I am very thankful for all of my readers this past year. My readership has continued to grow and I have received more comments on my blog. I am glad for those people who have enjoyed and found my blog posts entertaining and informative. I hope to attract more readers in the new year, as well as to have more of a discussion with those readers I have. Please feel free to add your comments, so we can have a dialogue about the issues and items I write about.