Mike Madigan
3 min readMar 19, 2023


Day 1 of a New Wine Life

New literature, new story, no real destination just the experience and travel itself from one experience and room to another. One conversation then another, then and only then is the wine addressed. Truly, wine is an afterthought. At best. It’s the people, what I write about, my reaction and musing. These notes and what I am after the interaction. No, the wine is not irrelevant, but it’s not the centrality.

Reading wine writings when I first started this wine writing and blogging thing. I was after everything. That;’s what brought me what you might say is a reputation — my hunger and passion, seriously creative and exploratory attitude. My positivity. Not at all patting self, just relaying what I heard others say about me. I was flattered and humbled, and encouraged. I was certain the wine writing way was THE way for my pages.

So why did I get distracted? I don’t know, or I do. Life, right? And, to be honest, discouraged by the money potential of the wine industry. I was thinking too cornered, and defeatist frankly. This new wine life is not addressing money or revenue potential, forecasted earnings or profits, some stupid goddamn quota.

That day in the Imagery tasting room wasn’t my first. Was probably my 50th if you want to know the truth. This was one of the wineries that gave me more momentum as a blogger and writer, pursuer of wine and inciting winemaking fantasies. One day having my own label with my family, some engaging label and story that stayed with the visitor long after they left.

Why do I ever get pulled away from this Beat? From wine and its world…. The tasting room and my tasting room experiences and stories, those days at St. Francis about which I reflect and write often, 2006–2010. Working with some of my best friends and just sharing wine ideas and what we taste in each pour, what a guest said, why we work where we do.

In this new life, it’s on my terms. All of it. No bullying managers, no excess tasting room time even though I love the room and it provides a majority of my stories. No low wages, I do aim to generate quite a bit, all for my kids. I will enjoy myself, continue this profusely and near-obnoxiously positive octave.

My own imagery, associations with occurrences outside the wine area. Emphatic on hospitality and love, generosity and happiness, being kind, LISTENING rather than talking. Deciding a new story, new literature, wine and its literary qualities and meaning. All from a thought I had earlier right before putting my youngest down for a nap, watching the rain, seeing the brevity in the moment itself.

Grateful… wine again teaching me, welcoming me back to its room, instruction. LOVE, each corner and curve. What went into these Imagery wines, or any wine I’ve tasted in my wine life, a certainty of certainties. This moment isn’t eternal, but the story associated could be.