New year thoughts

Although it’s an arbitrary date in the diary, January 1st is a good time to think about fresh starts. We all need a fresh start now and then, and once a year is quite a good frequency.

2011 was a complex year. Good and bad. Probably more good than bad.

Many of us enter 2012 with lowered expectations, I suspect. But there will be plenty of opportunities. I’m looking forward to it a good deal.

Most of all, I love my job and I want to carry on doing it. However, there’s a fear at the back of my mind (and I reckon this is shared by many freelance media types) that the ruined economy is going to make earning a decent living more tricky. That sort of fear can be really destructive.

But this last 12 months have been good. I hope that this next 12 months will present me with more opportunities to drink, travel and learn. And make a living.

In terms of the balance of how I spend my time, some changes might be in order. I’d like to do more presenting, lecturing and consulting work, to complement my writing gigs. I’ve made some progress in this direction in the last year. It has been fun.

I’m still focusing on books, and after the launch of Authentic Wine, Sam Harrop and I have landed a new contract to write a book that will be titled ‘Flawless’. It’s about wine faults.

I want to do more writing for consumers: people who drink wine but who don’t know a lot about it. I’m incredibly grateful to the likes of Oz Clarke and James Halliday who wrote books that helped develop my nascent interest in wine 18 years ago. Their books really helped hook me as a wine lover. I think we need to make more effort to reach people with a bit of interest but no knowledge.

Despite what some ‘realists’ say about the wine industry (horrible term), I think it’s fantastic. Yes, it can be a bit inward looking, and slow to embrace change. But it’s such fun to work with, brim full of smart, generous, talented and enthusiastic people. The majority of wine people tend to care more about doing the right thing, and doing it well, than chasing cash, and that makes it enriching and fun to hang out with them. I hope it stays that way.

9 comments to New year thoughts

  • Good thoughts Jamie. I agree with your thoughts about authors like Oz Clarke who were instrumental in informing me about wine as well. Unfortunately
    modern mass media seems to require the informed to dumb down too much. I’m not sure we’ll see a 21st century version of Oz’s ‘The Wine Book’.

  • Love your positive thoughts! Wishing you a very Happy New Year filled with only great wines Jamie!!
    Cheers:)
    Judit & Corina

  • Andrew Halliwell

    Yep, Oz Clarke was my guru too. Effortless and infectious combination of information, passion and enthusiasm. I wanted to try all the wines on every page and was inspired to read on.

  • I should search that book out, since I am floundering in the dark here :-)

  • Alex lake

    Good luck with that. I really like the idea of a book about “flaws” – plenty of facts as well as matters of taste… (a Musarophile writes)

  • Dieter

    Looking forward to that book and best of luck! It’s a very frustrating subject for consumers to get consistent information on and such a work is long overdue.

  • Tim Carlisle

    There are a few wine fault books out there – but none of them are really very good – with your background you ought to be able to do it more justice so that other science geeks like me can understand too.

    Definitely a place for someone to take wine to the people a bit more, there are few writers who would like to do it – BUT – I think their look is a little elitist (jackets / suits) far better to see jeans and a t-shirt!

    Have you thought about presenting tastings for consumers with wine merchants? The bits of the world you really know about are those bits that many merchants want to promote but are afraid to because their own knowledge is less good.

  • I’d be very happy to present tastings for consumers with wine merchants.

  • Hi Jamie
    I have a tasting coming up in the City

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