It’s A Tough Job, But Somebody’s Gotta Do It

Roberto Viernes
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Wednesday - July 22, 2009
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I’ve been writing for MidWeek since 2005 and have had the pleasure to share so many of my ideas, opinions, experiences, complaints and predictions with multitudes of people. It’s like a window into my palate. I am so appreciative to you, the readers, for the feedback, and I welcome even more.

Some things I’ve learned is that I have to be intellectually honest about what I write. Often I think I have an idea in my head and in the process of writing change my mind and find that I come to a completely different conclusion. I love that writing challenges me to be clear, effective and support everything I write.

I also love that I have the opportunity to share some of my wonderful wine experiences with you. For many of those experiences, words fall short. But this column allows me to record and express some of my true sentiments, feelings, experiences, tastes and results of the wine world. These are the things that drew me into the wine business to begin with. The great wines of the world, the food that goes with them and the many great people in the wine business all continue to spark my imagination and quench my thirst and fill my belly in so many ways.


I also love the process of research. When I open a bottle of wine, it’s not just for pleasure, it’s for research. I know many are envious of me that I “have to” taste and drink wine as an occupation and for research. That’s not the only research I do, of course. I also use books and other publications. I imagine that I am like a grapevine and every year my roots get deeper into knowledge and experience. Older vines produce better fruit, so the longer I do this, the better I’ll get (I hope).

Over the years, I have received a few negative comments and e-mails from time to time. No death threats, thankfully. But I have received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback that I enjoy so much. As this column is a window to my own palate, when I read a few kind words, it is nice. But I also do appreciate the “other side of the coin” as well, as it opens my eyes and mind to other perspectives.

Perhaps the most comments were incited by my column on wine snobs. I guess wine is still fraught with elitism and snobbery, the likes of which I hasten to decry. The columns I like to do most are the “Year in Review” and “Predictions for the Next Year.” The first is a great way to appreciate all the wonderful experiences and learn from the bad ones. The second is always interesting, as it forces me to put all my knowledge of the past and present to focus on the future - a truly mind-bending exercise.

I raise a glass in toast to MidWeek and all the readers who flip through the pages to seek new perspective, learn or just to enjoy. I am an avid reader of several MidWeek columnists. Like truly fine wine, may MidWeek only get better with age. Cheers!

Appropriate Celebratory Libations:

NV Pommery Brut Royal ($55) There is no real substitute for Champagne. This one is wonderfully floral, dry and elegant. Madame Louise Pommery would be proud.

1984 Opus One ($200 @ auction) Anything from 1984 would be OK, but Napa Valley was blessed in this year as was Oahu when MidWeek was born.

Roberto Viernes is a master sommelier. E-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
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