Some of our regular meeting attendees are surely wondering why we haven’t yet held a weeknight tasting in this new annum of ours, and I apologize for not being more prompt with my communication regarding this matter. The reason for our lull is this: after much careful thought, deliberation, and protracted discussions with our longest-tenured members, I’ve decided that transitioning away from a regular schedule of weeknight meetings is the appropriate course for our organization. My reasoning is tripartite:
Reason #1: people have gotten busier. By “people,” I chiefly mean me, although I’m surely not the only one whose increasingly demanding work obligations have made it difficult to justify late-night wine guzzling on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Back when we were substantially more young and unemployed, meetings were held every week without fail — only holidays would prevent us from gathering in Brentwood or WeHo or Glendale for our expected dose of mid-week edutoxication. These days, however, the meeting announcements I post tend to receive just as many “wish I could” responses as “omg I’m there like alwayz” ones, and my own cluttered schedule has made it increasingly difficult to send out those announcements in the first place. Getting busier is just a part of getting older, I guess, a point which brings me to…
Reason #2: people have gotten older. In this case, by “people” I mean all of us, and by “older” I mean “unexpectedly mature and responsible.” A Young Winos meeting used to comprise little more than a boozy conglomeration of twenty-something misfits and miscreants crowding into a member’s apartment to drink wine — politely and attentively at first, but shortly thereafter without any aspirations to civility — and subsequently camping out for hours on the sofa, long after the last bottle had been drained, complaining about their jobs, their romantic prospects, and the lack of additional wine. Sadly, however, I can’t remember the last time we had a meeting like that. Our traditional start time of 9pm, which never seemed to be a problem for anyone in our early years, is a distant memory; people want to start at 8pm now, and they leave right after the meeting is done, instead of hanging out bullshitting until 2:00 in the morning. We’re becoming old people, and we don’t want to act like kids anymore. This, in turn, offers me an apt segue to:
Reason #3: I am no longer a twenty-something. I can’t deny the rumors any longer: I’m officially a 30-year-old person, and I’ve consequently been “aged out” of my own group. Sure, plenty of 30-year-olds have been polluting our ranks for years now (and no, I won’t mention any names, besides Jason Meltzer), but it’s a little different when we’re talking about the person who started the group. I was twenty-two when I posted that initial craigslist ad and first met Andrew, Jason, Erik… twenty-three when I first met Leah, Noah, Sasha, Jessica… twenty-four when I first met Emily and Jordan… and seven when I first met Max. Bottom line, I’m starting to conclude that I’m getting too old for this shit. How long is a guy supposed to keep maintaining an organization for twenty-somethings that he set up in his early twenties? I think we can all agree that the answer is probably “for the period of time in which he’s a twenty-something.” Anything beyond that, and one can’t help but feel that it might be time to set up a new organization.
So what is this “scaled back” version of the Young Winos? The other old-school members and I think it would be foolish to disband the organization entirely. Instead, we plan to keep the general format the same, but transition from an ostensibly “weekly” meeting schedule to something closer to a “quarterly” one. We’ll hold a meeting every few months, and all members — new and old — are welcome to attend. We’ll also hold dedicated special meetings (i.e. winemaker tastings, “new member” meetings, etc.) should those situations present themselves.
What does this mean to you? If you’re already a member of the Facebook group, don’t remove yourself, as this will remain our primary way to reach our current and former membership. When we do hold the occasional tasting, you’ll find out through Facebook. The group can also function as a forum to post wine questions, alert your friends to interesting events, and share your experiences with bottles that you drink. If you’re not a member of the Facebook group yet, you can join here.
Also: we still love the concept of the Young Winos as much as ever, even if the practical ins-and-outs are no longer commensurate with our schedules (and advancing ages). As a result, we’re very open to the idea of someone new taking the helm. If you’re a twenty-something with a serious passion for wine, and you believe you’ve got the unique blend of charismatic leadership, oenology chops, and dashing good looks to rally a new generation of millenials under the Young Winos of LA banner, please get in touch with me. I’d love to discuss that possibility with you.
For now, at least, I’d like to raise a glass to all of the impressive edutoxication this group has accomplished, as well as to all that’s yet to come. It’s been a crazy ride, and we’ll always have a ton of great memories — not as many as we might have if we hadn’t been drinking so heavily, perhaps, but great memories nonetheless. Keep in touch, and monitor the Facebook group. I hope to open a bottle with you all very soon.
–Jesse Porter, Head Wino