As the wine business continues to feel the economic crisis and a slump in sales hits every price point, we can only hope things come back a bit by slow bit and focus on some of the wonderful wines that are now much easier to find. We must go on living and be grateful for life’s blessings as much as we can and enjoy the simple things. This has been a rough year, but I am doing my best to see hope and the pleasure of this summer. There are plenty of things to keep me occupied and I am taking advantage of that to pass these slow times. There have been some fantastic tasting events and I can hardly keep my tasting notes and reviews up to date! I am working on many new stories as well and hope to get some travel notes posted as well, like my Fourth of July in Sonoma article. This last few weeks have raced by, with two or three fantastic Italian tasting events, a stunning Oregon tasting and a tour de force German Riesling panel. I got to see Dick Shea of the famed Shea Vineyards in Oregon and taste the new releases from his own winery all of which came from the difficult 2007 vintage, that said, his winemaker Drew Voit has blown me away again, with an amazing array of Pinots and a world class Chardonnay. Plus I connect with another Carmel hometown boy, like me, Eric Hamacher (shown with me above) who makes some fantastic wines in the Willamette Valley as well. Thank you all again for your support and comments over the last few months, I am very thankful! Also I want to thank Brandy Falconer for all her hard work and great stories from Italy and wish her well as she pursues her dreams in the wine world and life, I am sure we’ll get some more articles out of her soon. Cheers!