As 2013 begins, we’d just like to wish all of our readers a Happy New Year — and of course thank you for reading NYCR and being a part of the New York wine community. Not a day goes by that I’m not amazed with what we’ve created together here in this corner of the rnet.

2012 was a challenging year here on the site — but for the best of reasons. Newborns in the Thompson, Dawson and Flaherty homes made writing time difficult to come by on occasion. Not everyone realizes it, but NYCR is a true labor of love for the staff. We all have day jobs that pay our mortgages/rent and put food on our respective tables. These jobs are often well beyond 40 hours per week. Add families and just living life and it’s amazing that we’re able to cobble together a website like this one. But it’s because of our shared passion for locally produced libations that we find the time to make it happen. I know that I can’t imagine my life without this website — although I guess I could find other ways to fill the hours spent on it.

This is going to be a big year for the NYCR; one filled with changes, new programs and a focus on becoming an even more useful resource for consumers — while also concentrating on bringing the disparate New York wine industry together.

Julia Burke, an important part of the team who joined us in September 2009 — first as a regional correspondent in Niagara and then later as our first beer editor — has decided to resign her editorship. I can’t overstate how important her contributions have been over the last three-plus years. She was the one who convinced me of the importance of creating a beer program here on NYCR and basically built it herself. We wish her well and know that her writing career will be a fruitful one. Beer remains an important section for us, and we’ve begun our search for a new beer editor.

2013 will also see the addition of two annual tastings that Evan and I will undertake — comprehensive, blind, vintage tastings that will result in complete tasting reports and scores. In early spring, we conducting a tasting that covers 2010 Long Island red wines. We’ll follow that in late summer with a tasting of 2012 rieslings and perhaps gewurztraminers. In future years, I can very easily see us expanding this project into other regions and grapes.

There are other things fermenting in our minds, but we’ll save those for another post.

Thanks again for reading and commenting — and we hope you have a safe, healthy and prosperous 2013!