It’s as simple as that: Welcome to The Cork Report. Except it’s not. In some ways, this is new — new design, new domain and some other new things that I’ll get to in a moment. At the same time, it’s nothing new at all. It’s still me, writing about the wines that I care about and that I think you need to know about. But not just from New York. And not just writing.
I loathe writing about my blog itself but after my summer hiatus, which gave me a lot of time to reflect and consider what my next steps were, I think it makes sense to outline exactly what is different and will be so here. So, if you’ll indulge me just a bit…
Expanded Focus Beyond New York State
When I launched the New York Cork Report, it was because there was very little being written about the Long Island (and eventually New York) wines I was discovering and falling in love with. If there had been something like the NYCR already out there, it’s doubtful that I would have started the blog at all.
But, other than Howard Goldberg’s weekly column in the Long Island section of the New York Times, virtually nobody was writing about Long Island wine — at least not in a compelling, authoritative way. When I started writing about wines from the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley and every corner of New York wine country, the same thing was true.
Now, things are different. New York wine regions, particularly the Finger Lakes and Long Island, get a lot of press now from outlets ranging from parenting and travel blogs all the way up to the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. My Google alerts, which used to only hit a few times a week now flood my inbox nearly every day.
My point is that I don’t need to carry the flag for New York wine the way I have for more than a decade. At least not as much as I have.
Make no mistake, I’ll still be writing about New York wine extensively, but through things like TasteCamp and my time spent on the board of Drink Local Wine, I’ve met so many amazing people making great wines from places that even I didn’t expect, along with places I have come to expect wines worth knowing about. There are bloggers and local writers covering many of these regions, but I think I can bring an honesty and seriousness to the coverage of these areas that isn’t there consistently.
So, expect more coverage of wine from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Ontario — really anywhere that isn’t California, Washington and Oregon. And I reserve the right to write about wineries in those states too if they inspire me. That won’t be the focus though. There are already great places to learn about those wines.
The New York Cork Report site won’t be taken down. I’ve migrated the “Tastemaker” series to this site along with some other stories that align with where I plan to take this site. The old site will remain up as a resource and archive of the work the team and I did over the years.
Different Goals and Focus
There was a time in the midst of what I refer to as the NYCR’s heyday when I wanted to be the Wine Spectator of New York wine. I wanted a large team so that I could cover every aspect of wine, food and other adult beverages. Being comprehensive was important to me then.
That is not the goal here with The Cork Report. I don’t have the time to blog every day, so I won’t. But, you can expect weekly feature stories, a continuation of the Tastemaker series and Todd Trzaskos has agreed to come over to this site with me to continue as News Editor.
This site will be about me exploring corners of North American wine that go largely ignored. And cider too. I’ve become somewhat obsessed with learning about cider and find much of the writing on that subject underwhelming too.
You’ll notice quickly that there aren’t any wine reviews on The Cork Report. That’s by design. I’ll write about individual wines here and there, but they won’t be in a simple review format. Instead, my tastings will inform and drive the rest of the editorial around here. So no, I won’t be publishing tasting notes….here.
More Than a Blog
I’m still working out a lot of the details, but I’m planning to publish quarterly (at least) tasting reports that will include my notes on the wines I taste every week. These will be available for a small fee that is to be determined.
TasteCamp, the immersive annual (almost) wine conference I created in 2009 will also grow this year and intertwine itself with the site a bit more. Heck, there might even be a consumer event in the works.
And, to extend the reach of the sort of experiences we offer with TasteCamp, I want to explore new live video and social media apps. Facebook Live, ZCast and the like might work well for live chats with winemakers or even panel discussions on the deliciousness of cabernet franc.
Who knows? I may even start doing the podcast again.
Last, I’m going to partner with regional tour companies to offer excursions lead by yours truly.
I wasn’t going to launch the site today. Very little of this last section has been sorted out yet logistically, but as one of my old managers was fond of saying “Design and deploy — don’t delay and perfect.”