This year has sped by faster than any other before it.
Of course that just means that I am getting older, but hopefully wiser as well. I have a lot to be thankful for this year.
My immediate family is loving and in good health and we've had many exciting adventures together this year. My parents are both still alive and I get to enjoy every moment that I am able to be with them. We cherish our friendships near and far and hope to see some friends that we were unable to spend time with this year.
I feel very fortunate to have visited Portugal twice this year and experienced another noteworthy harvest. Next year, I look forward to evaluating the 2007 Vintage Ports and further exploring more of Madeira, as well as the Douro.
Naturally, my mind wanders to FTLOP and all the exciting changes which have taken place this year. It is nice to see the website continuing to grow steadily and the popularity of the newsletter and Forum too.
In terms of the wines, Ports & Madeira's which I've been privileged to taste and drink, it is probably not much different than any year in recent memory, yet I never take this for granted. In reality, I am quite grateful for these opportunities which continue to present themselves.
It is impossible for me to ignore the bigger picture, with the landscape of my country about to change so radically, and for the better. Hope is renewed even in the midst of one of the worst economic implosions in eons. After all, fear is no longer going to be the "buzz" word emerging from our leader's lips. I can take comfort in knowing that planet earth will be a better place because of the regime change that will inevitably take place a month from now, in our nation's capital.
In retrospect, 2008 has been a pretty great year!