My name is Bill Thompson. 2003 I started working with a friend (Kevin) who was very knowledgeable about wine. Though I had drunk wines in the past, my curiosity got to me and I started sampling wines over business meetings. One night at a business dinner I finally drank the glass that was my “Oh Wow” moment. It was a 2002 Joseph Phelps Insignia. It was Wine Spectators wine of the year. From that time forward, I was hooked and have been visiting California wine country (Napa, Sonoma, and Paso Robles) in search of additional wines that I love. Besides California wines we have traveled to Italy, Bordeaux, Spain, Portugal, and recently South Africa. I have to say there are some really great South African wines, for the price they are great values. If you are not a familiar with Washington wines plan to be pleasantly surprised. We spent three days in Wall Walla over our Christmas 2014 break and found some great wines on the south side.
I have been married to my wife and co-editor Chris since 1986. I consider us childhood sweethearts and remember going to high school during her lunch hour to see her.
I attended college at Northwestern Electronics Institute and the University of Minnesota and studied Electrical Engineering. I am a graduate of the UC Davis Winemaking extension program. Currently, I am volunteering and helping at a local Minnesota winery to gain more wine making experience.
This winter (2016) Chris and I spent the month of February in Stellenbosch South Africa. I assisted David van Velden of Overgauux Wine Estate in the cellar. I was monitoring fermentations of white and red grapes, conducting batonnage for the 2016 Chardonnay, barrel sampling 2012 Merlot, 2012 Cabernet Franc to determine the quality, and many other cellar duties. During our time, we also had the opportunity to meet many winemakers and their families. We left a part of our hearts when we left. We plan on returning to help with the 2017 vintage. David and I will be collaborating on a barrel fermented Chenin Blanc. It will be available the summer of 2018.
I am working on my label Wandering Cellars. Watch for it!
We have three grown children Nick, Michelle, and Andrew.
Besides my day job (Technical Account Manager for a major Semiconductor company in Silicon Valley), Chris and I own a Technology Systems company in Minnesota (WEBCO Security). Chris and her dad Frank started the company in 1998. WEBCO is the leading Technology Systems Company in Minnesota and I help and contribute when I can.
I considered myself a “technology geek” until I found wine! My passion now is everything and anything wine. I have started making and blending my own wines and plan to retire part-time in the Napa or Sonoma area in the future.
For me, wine is not a business. It is a lifestyle.
Besides Chris’ day job, she has a food passion and is the founder of her food blog Chris’ Recipes. I am fortunate that she cooks for me because her dishes are great! If you want her recipes here you go. http://recipes.billswinewandering.com/
My intention and hope with this blog are to educate others; share my experiences with wine; and share the special friendships that I have established with winemakers, sommeliers, hospitality and growers in the valley. And, I would like to add a winemakers perspective to the wines I drink.
I wish to endorse the best so that you too can experience them.
I generally purchase the wines that I rate. If the wine is a sample, I will make a note of it as I write the blog. I have my own wine rating system that I have tried to keep simple and easy for anyone to comprehend.
Life is too short to drink crappy wine. Expand your palate and keep trying.