Those of you who pay attention to the archives on the side margin may have realized that this little K&L spirits department journal will turn six years old this Sunday. When I think about that age statement I'm both shocked that it's only been six years (because it feels like much longer) and bewildered that people still read this thing (although it's getting more hits than ever). What started as a way for us to better serve our spirits customers turned into more of a travel magazine and op-ed column than an actual destination for real spirits news, ironically being read more by people who don't shop here than those who do. I have learned so much over these past six years—more about myself and human nature than about spirits. I've emailed with tens of thousands of readers. I've engaged in some crazy conversations and some wild adventures. As my palate has evolved, so have my perspective and my desire. The more I write, the more people I'm introduced to. The more we interact, the more they change the way I think—for the better and for the worse sometimes.
I'm up early this morning because unfortunately when you wake up at 6 AM for twelve days in a row and get ready to grind out the holiday season you can't just turn it off—even when you'd like nothing more than to sleep the rest of the year away. But that's OK because I wanted to get a few thank-yous written in honor of today's Thanksgiving celebration. I wanted to say a big thank you to all of our customers who braved the insanity this week and still made the trip out to shop with us. Everyone was patient and more than polite despite the overcrowded parking lot and mass of humanity. Thanks to all my co-workers who kept smiling and working hard in spite of the fact that we were all pretty exhausted. A monstrous thanks needs to be given to the operations staff who picked, pulled, charged, and shipped about 10,000 orders over the last week or so. I can't even imagine how tired those guys are. We've still got a few more weeks to go, but at least we can all take a breather today.
While it's standard practice to give thanks on Thanksgiving, there's a little more meaning behind my sentimentality right now. I'm rather depressed with the way most booze is being portrayed online today with the focus on stats, collectability, and billions of Instagram bottle selfies for the purpose of......of what I'm not sure exactly. I do know that I'm not interested in presenting our products in such a manner to our customers, nor do I want to be lumped into that world by default. Summarizing spirits down to a bottle shot and a short review negates the romance we feel as drinkers, the history behind some of these brands, and the passion these producers feel for their craft, which is the core of what makes them desirable in the first place! It's a snap reaction to a society that has never had less of an attention span as it currently does, and it cheapens the ideal of great booze that many of us hold dearly. That's why beginning this Sunday, November 29th—six years to the date I started this site—I'm going to spend a little more time on a new adventure, one geared toward bucking this trend entirely.
For the last few months I've been working on a new website for K&L and we're just about ready to show it to you. This new website will focus entirely on the opposite of everything I just mentioned above and it will involve more of our buying team working together in a group effort to show you exactly what we do and where we go. We just need to get it off the ground with a few good weeks of serious content. That's why I'll be getting on a plane this weekend, hitting the road, and doing what I do best: drink, eat, talk, and write (the third one being the only thing I really do well, however) while snapping photos and documenting out on the trail. To be clear: this isn't going to be a buying adventure where I'll be looking for new products, or tasting potential K&L imports. It's simply my initial attempt (and perhaps final) to steer the perception of wine and spirits to where it belongs—to the people, the places, and the stories behind them.
So get ready! Oh, and for all the readers who complained about me never having posted a photo of myself in six years, I've included the one above for your pleasure.
I'll see you this Sunday at the new site. I'll post the link here before I leave.