Moving into a new home is always an exciting venture. A "hassle" in many ways but in the end worth the pains.
To those who have been members of the forum at Stratsplace which will soon be going offline because of Art Stratemeyer's untimely death, welcome to our new home. As I've said before, all will remain much the same here as it was in the past. That is to say, I intend to remain "ye faithful curmudgeon" and, to some extent "mother goose". All of our former policies will remain in force and that is an easy matter as our host, Robin Garr and the WLDG have almost identical policies regarding forum decorum.
The only real change is a real name registration policy and that is a positive step as it wills to a great extent help to avoid the nudnicks (nuisances) and SPAM that can be so annoying. I know that a few are having a problem registering but give that a bit of patience as the tech person has just returned from vacation and is trying as diligently as possible to get everybody on-line as soon as possible. If problems do persist, drop me a note by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
To those who have not been following my work, a bit of self-introduction. Let us start of by saying that even though I taste more than 1,000 wines monthly and dine in restaurants anywhere from 6 - 10 times weekly, I am neither wealthy nor fat. Nor do I have a red, bulbous nose.
The truth of the matter is that I enjoy wine and food so much that I consider it foolish to abuse either of them. Let us continue by admitting that for more years than I care to admit in public, my joint passions for wine and gastronomy (can they be separated?) have provided me with a very comfortable and pleasant way of making a living.
Currently, for example, I am the wine and restaurant critic for the Israeli daily newspaper HaAretz and for the Israeli version of the International Herald Tribune. I contribute regularly on the subjects of food and wine to several European newspapers and magazines and am the author of the annual "Rogov's Guide to Israeli Wines" which is now going into its fifth edition. I also contribute annually to Tom Steven's World Wine Report and am a consultant to Hugh Johnson's Pocket Encyclopedia of Wine. My other most recent book, a compendium of culinary history and mythology, "Rogues, Writers and Whores" was released in late 2007.
As a young colleague once put it, I always travel first class, have no choice but to taste the world's best wines, dine in the world's best restaurants and stay in the world's best hotels. To add insult to injury, I am even paid for my efforts.
I have other passions as well. Those, however, are best not discussed in public.
As to differences between my forums and Robin's, there are not all that many except perhaps for the fact that living in and being based in Israel, a good deal (but far from all) of what I have to say relates to Israeli wines and the Israeli dining scene as well as to kosher wines and dining. I myself am not observant but probably taste more kosher wines than anyone else on the planet. I also write frequently (more frequently than on those) about the wines and potential dining and travel experiences to be found in other wine regions of the world.
Before closing – my thanks to Peter May for making the match between Robin and myself; my thanks to Robin and his team for agreeing to host us; and now looking forward to seeing old friends as well as making new ones on Rogov's Place.