Happy New Year! After a great week-plus largely away from my laptop, it’s time to dive back into things for the new year and that includes a slight change of focus and direction here on the New York Cork Report.
In March, this site will turn 12. That’s far longer than I expected it to last, but as I look back on 2015, I think I’ve lost my way a bit. For a variety of reasons, the site has become largely a wine review site — something I never expected or wanted. Wine reviews, while valuable, are nothing more than a snapshot of a single wine at a single moment in time. I’ve always wanted this site to go well beyond that. There are so many great stories to be told in the New York wine world.
On the other hand, the reader survey I conducted over the summer tells me that reviews are still our second most popular type of content, after feature stories. So, we’ll continue with reviews (in fact, we’re going to publish more of them) but we’ll also do many more profiles, feature stories and — again, based on your feedback — opinion pieces about various topics in New York wine. Style and vintage tasting reports will also become a larger part of what we do.
I’ve also decided to make the site much more personal this year. Years ago, when other folks started writing for me, I wanted to grow the site into a full-size online magazine. That worked for a short period of time, but the online wine world has changed and I think a move back to a more personal blog is the way forward. There will still be other talented folks writing for NYCR, but it will be my voice you hear more than any other. As my journey in wine (and cider and spirits) continues, I want to bring you along for the ride.
At its peak a few years ago, NYCR was an important advocate for what was great or potentially great in New York wine, while also being critical of the let downs and disappointing happenings in the state. That’s eroded over time, which is how it’s become a review site. I, along with the few staffers that come along for this new journey with me, will get back to being advocates for those who deserve it and critics of those who don’t.
I’m not sure how exactly it will play out on the site, but we’re also going to move a bit beyond New York wine this year. First, it’s a personal goal to learn as much as I can about cider — New York cider in particular — in 2016. A few bottles that I had over the holidays have inspired that renewed interest.
There are also some interesting, delicious wines being made in other non-West Coast regions that deserve more attention. Some of the best wines I tasted last year were grown and made in places like Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Michigan and beyond. There aren’t “Cork Reports” in those states, so I think expanding my reach a bit might be fun. Those regions face, have faced or will face many of the growing pains, triumphs and frustrations that New York has. That added context will only expand my own understand of the larger wine industry.
There are other projects in the works as well. There may be a book. There may be a print publication in my future. I don’t know for sure just yet. The first step is getting NYCR back where I want it to be.
I’m also bringing back TasteCamp for 2016 and will be making an announcement on that soon.
Thank you for continuing to read this site and for sticking with me when I’ve gotten off track a bit here and there. Your support is important to me. Like I said, I can’t believe this site is going to turn 12 this year an that many of you have been here for many of those years. Cheers!