Blog Kick Off!

I suppose the time has come.  I need to justify my degenerate gluttony and alcoholism by claiming it is all in the name of zeitgeist.  This whole thing was born not only out of a love of several vices, but mainly a few friends convincing me this was a good idea.  I will accept entering the blogosphere and the stigma that comes with it.

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The idea is pretty simple.  I wanted to get across the point that there are a lot of things out there that the average person might miss because they feel that it isn’t approachable, and that’s really a shame.  Whether it is wine, food, spirits, craft beer or cigars, people can get really snobby and elitist about them, about anything really.  Each of these things carries its own subculture and with it, its own ivory tower.  I felt this way once.  I liked wine and craft beer and cigars but definitely did not like the people who were involved in that subculture.  To some extent that remains true.  I realized it is just like anything else: you will meet people in every context that are cool and others who are not so cool.  Just as is often the case with politics or religion, sometimes the people who are the worst advocates for something speak the loudest.  People view the wine culture as a bunch of stuck-up, trust-fund-babies sitting around discussing this year’s vintage and its tannin content while they count their money.  The thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about anything.  It matters what YOU think.  Walt Whitman said, “Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.”  If you like something, then it’s good.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

syb·a·rite

ˈsibəˌrīt/

noun

1.  a person who is self-indulgent in their fondness for sensuous luxury.

     This is where this blog fits in.  I am not claiming to be an expert on anything, but I know a little bit.  I am a scientist by trade and like many scientists, when something interests me I obsess about it.  Such has been the case over my adult life with food, wine, cigars, craft beer, and spirits.  Hopefully, whatever it is I am doing here will bridge that gap between the elitist snobs and people who have an interest but find it too unapproachable due to the existing subculture.  I stand as living proof that it is ok to know nothing and dive in headfirst.  Hopefully I can introduce people to things they would have never otherwise tried.  I don’t claim to have any special education.  But, I do try to learn as much as possible about the things that I love.  Hopefully, I can pass on some of the things I have pieced together through my travels as an amateur snob.
     I grew up taking a sip of wine from whatever family member wasn’t currently near their glass and as a kid I used to smoke Swisher Sweets out on the golf course on the rare occasion I got to play a round without an adult.  I don’t know what bone or organ it is that makes you love things that will kill you but I was born with all of them.  Everything I love is illegal, immoral, fattening, or addictive.  I think anyone who is an enthusiast, such as I am, probably has a pretty clear recollection of the drink/meal/smoke that made them fall in love with their chosen vice(s).    For me, in wine, it was the 2006 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir.   There was just something about it that stuck with me for a long time.  Ever since then I have been as serious about wine as my wallet allows me to be.  I could list similar experiences with food, whiskey, gin, beer, or cigars but for the time being, I will spare you.In posts to come there will be my thoughts on wines, spirits, beers, cigars, and various dishes at restaurants that I visit.  I will mainly be focused Monterey County wines and eateries because that is what is local for me but I plan on peppering in other California treats as well.  You can consider me the Huell Howser of vices (may he rest in peace): in search of California’s gold.  That said, I will try to have the majority of things mentioned on this blog to be available online so my readers can share in the experience. I don’t really have any credentials that would lend any authority to my words but as I stated before, that isn’t the purpose of this blog.  The idea is that even a man from the humble roots of two-buck-chuck and Swisher Sweets can find an educated palate.  I want people to branch out and challenge themselves and if I can lead people to that, then I will consider myself a success.  A bottle of wine never starts off at its true potential but matures over time and hopefully this blog will continue to get better with age in the same way.

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