Welcome to 2010!

My goal with Washington Wine Report is to bring Washington wine to you and to bring you to Washington wine. That remains my mission this year. As we start the New Year, however, there are a number of things I hope to accomplish. These can be generally summarized as 1) improving the content on the blog 2) improving the ability to get at the content and 3) providing as much transparency as possible into what I do and how I do it when reviewing wines.

In terms of improving content, there are a number of things I am looking to do this year. One is to spend more time in the vineyards and at wineries. In particular, I am looking to go to wineries and areas I haven’t been to before or been to in some time. In the past, my travels have been limited by work and activities related to mountain climbing (I teach climbing in the winter and spring and climb every weekend in the summer). This has necessitated that my trips to wine country are less frequent than I would like, forcing me to be more selective about where I go and when I go.

As some of you know, my workplace shut its Seattle-area office at the end of 2009 (you shouldn’t cry any tears for me on this one I assure you). My loss is your gain, as I will be looking to use some of my additional time while I look for work traveling around Washington wine country. My hope is that this will allow me to bring more information to you about Washington’s many producers than I have been able to in the past.

In terms of improving the ability to get at content, as with any blog, content gets easily lost. While there are labels and search functionality, they are not as robust as I would like. I will be looking to address this in a number of ways over the course of the year, but the first one is by having a tasting note database that readers can peruse. This will be, initially, just a downloadable spreadsheet that will include information about producer, vintage, rating, etc. My hope is that this will allow readers to more easily get at some of the review information in a summarized, searchable, sortable form. Look for this in the coming days.

In terms of transparency, inspired by research I did for a series of posts comparing the major print publications last year, I plan to provide more visibility into what I do, how I do it, and why I do it. To this end, I will be dedicating a post to my rating system system – what it is, how it came to be, and why I have stuck with it. While I don’t plan to make substantive changes to how I taste or rate wine, my goal is to provide as much visibility as possible for readers. Additionally, I will dedicate a separate post to background information about the blog itself – what its goal is, how it came to be, how I taste wine, and what my ethical standards and disclosure policies are.

More on each of the areas I am looking to focus on in 2010 in the coming days, weeks, and months. If there are things that you would like to see this year, leave a comment or send me an email at [email protected].

Here’s to a great start to 2010.