My Wine Tasting Hero…

March 2006 tasting panel convened to determine...
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While getting a bit of exercise this morning, I was catching up on some of the wine blogs I enjoy reading when I came across this post by Richard Jennings of “RJ on”, wherein he summarizes his tasting notes of 128 from 30 producers at the annual Rhone Rangers tasting in San Francisco a couple of weekends ago. “RJ” is the most prolific wine taster I’ve come across!  The man is a wine tasting machine!  And what’s more amazing to me, is that he does this while maintaining his “day job” being an HR executive!

I first came across RJ via Cellar Tracker, where according to his blog he holds “the record for most tasting notes (currently over 21,000 and counting)”!   Likewise, I use Cellar Tracker to track and review wines.  He first came to my attention because as I would post my tasting notes, I would see his name pop up more than a few times because he’d reviewed the same wine.  At the time, I was less confident in my ability to taste and write reviews of wine.  Yet, I noticed that his scores and mine were comparable most of the time.  That gave me some confidence in my ability to taste and review wines.  That was well over a year ago. Since then I’ve made a few attempts to quickly summarize my tasting notes when tasting wines at various wine events.  It’s very challenging work. And I do mean work!  It requires much more discipline and organization than the uninitiated might think.

Nowadays, I find myself a bit conflicted between putting in the work necessary to capture meaningful tasting notes on more than a handful or so of wines, and simply enjoying an event.  For the time being, I suppose I’ve settled on a compromise, which is to blog about the most memorable wines.  The compromise comes in part because my wife and I attend wine events together, and it would be virtually impossible to both enjoy our time together at the event and put in work. But part of the compromise is also because I simply haven’t acquired all the skills necessary to taste, summarize and recount, as I said, more than 5-10 wines at this point.  It’s a work in process, and I’ll get better at it.  But I’ll never be an RJ!  And that’s OK.

There is a link to “RJ on” on my blogroll.  Check it out sometime.

In Vino Veritas!


  1. Martin,
    Thank you for the very kind words. I’m glad you’ve found some of my reviews useful, and I’m delighted that you’re gaining confidence yourself in reviewing wines and writing tasting notes. I also think you’ve arrived at an excellent way to enjoy and remember great wine–by just writing about the memorable ones. I aspire to doing that too one day. 😉 In the meantime, I’ve trained myself for some years now to be able to sample a large quantity of wines in a day and draw as much out of the experience as possible. It is a lot of work, and my palate is often wrecked for a day or two afterwards.

    I look forward to following your blog.


    1. Richard,
      You’re welcome! And I’m honored you’ve chosen to subscribe to my blog!

      Your background is of great interest to me as I too have a “day” job working in Finance/Accounting. Would you consider allowing me to interview you for a blog post? I would very much enjoy that! interviewing you for a blog post. Would you considI would very much enjoy interviewing you for a nd I interviewed you for a blog post?

      1. Martin,
        I’d be delighted to chat with you, and we could do it in the form of an interview if you like. If you’ll email me, I’ll send you my phone numbers and times that might work for chatting.
        Warmest regards,

      2. Richard,
        Thanks so much! My thought is to send ahead the interview questions, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to capture your responses without a recorder. If you’re Ok with that, I’ll put together a list of questions, and after you’ve had time to digest, we can set a time to talk.

  2. Sounds like an excellent plan Martin.

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