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Circa 1980, I was an attorney in Philadelphia who became obsessed with wine in much the same way as that more famous attorney from Monkton: traveling extensively in France. French sommeliers in the early 1980s assured me that their fine meals could only be drunk with fine wine and they were quite correct. Madness quickly ensued. In no time at all, I was berating myself for actually spending $25 on a bottle of wine (some Mondavi Reserve vintage from the late '70s or early 80s), which was one of the first ever premium purchases I made. 1979 Mouton Rothschild, 1978 Arnoux Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots, 1970 Taylor's and Fonseca Portos and other similar wines quickly followed, circa 1980.
By the end of the 1980s, I eventually started teaching wine courses, doing seminars and publishing articles in various publications. I later became the forum leader on the old Prodigy service. Its demise was the motivation for me to start my own website, what would now be called a blog. In internet terms, that was really ancient history--way back in 1995. It quickly evolved, had a professional side to it, generated a little income and got some nice reviews, being mentioned in publications ranging from the New York Times to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Business Week to Food & Wine. Pretty soon, all my spare time and vacation time seemed taken up by wine tastings, events and wine region travel. The problem was simple: there just wasn't enough time to do it the way I wanted to do it. In many respects it was a professional site, but it just wasn't complete and comprehensive.
Modern history began in 2006 when I was asked by The Wine Advocate to cover Portugal (now including Port as well, as announced in December, 2014). Since then, my portfolio has evolved to include Greece, much of the Middle East (Israel, Lebanon) and others (Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Republic of Macedonia, Cyprus).
Most recently, in December, 2014, I was inducted into the Confraria do Vinho do Porto, but there have been more than a few adventures along the way. No doubt, one hopes, there will be more.
This site designed and created in content and in form
by Mark Squires.