2015 Year In Review – Happy Holidays!

2015 has been a fabulous year both professionally and personally!  I’ve accomplished a lot this year and am looking forward to how both my professional and personal life develop as the years continue to tick by.

I just wanted to take a moment to reflect upon the year that is/was 2015, and to recap all the major highlights that have happened.



In Feburary, I attended the 2015 Symposium for Professional Wine Writers thanks to a generous scholarship sponsored by the Robert Mondavi Winery.  There, I met several other extremely talented wine writers, and crammed in a lot of very useful information and

Visiting Chateau Montelena after the 2015 Symposium for Wine Writers (image copyright R.Yeamans-Irwin 2015)

Visiting Chateau Montelena after the 2015 Symposium for Wine Writers (Copyright R.Yeamans-Irwin 2015)

made some key connections in order to help improve my wine writing craft.

It was at the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers that I met Meridith May, editor for SOMM Journal, The Tasting Panel, and the brand new magazine called Clever Root. As a result, I was able to contribute to all three publications, with the final piece slated to publish in February of 2016.  Here are just a few of those pieces that I was able to print (with permission) here on the blog:


Throughout 2015, I continued my work at Wine Industry Insight, and as a result of my hard work was promoted from Assistant Editor to Editor.  I love working with Lewis Perdue on the WII every day, and hope for many more years of wine business news editing fun!  If you’re not already subscribed to the Wine Industry Insight’s daily NewsFetch, you should be!  It’s free!  Sign up here.

In the fall of 2015, Lew and I launched a new website for the craft beverage industry crowd called Craft Beverage Insights.  Like Wine Industry Insight, it’s designed to keep people in the craft beverage business up to date on the goings on of the craft beverage industries, with the NewsFetch and website updated daily with current craft beverage news and events.  I am currently the Editor for Craft Beverage Insights.  Check out the website here, and feel free to sign up for the free daily NewsFetch here.


I was also honored to have been nominated for several awards this year, and was chosen as a finalist in two categories of the 2015 Wine Blog Awards: Best Overall Wine Blog, and Best Writing on a Wine Blog.  Of those two awards, I WON the Best Overall Wine Blog WBA-Winner-Logo-(overall)-2015-smlaward for 2015.  I couldn’t be happier with the honor, and if you’re interested, you can check out my acceptance speech here.

In addition to the Best Overall Wine Blog 2015 Wine Blog Award, I also received the 2015 Best Wine Trade blog award from Winerist.

Finally, I also won 3rd Place for the Best Investigative/Journalistic Wine Story of the 2015 Born Digital Wine Awards for my piece on The Effects of Climate Change on the Global Wine Industry . After making it’s digital debut, the article was chosen as a finalist and later selected to be the 3rd place winner of the Best Investigative/Journalistic Wine Story award this year.

I couldn’t be happier, more humbled, or more grateful for all of the honors and awards I have received this year.


At the end of 2014, my new husband and I had moved out to Colorado for his job and now over a year later, we are absolutely loving it!  We closed on our very first house on the last day of 2014 and officially moved in the first week of January this year.  We are loving the house and hoping for many fun filled years to come here.

Photo copyright R.Yeamans-Irwin 2015

Photo copyright R.Yeamans-Irwin 2015

The biggest news for me personally is that we are expecting our first child very soon!  Having been pregnant for the vast majority of 2015, I wasn’t able to drink as much wine as I would have normally (i.e. I stopped drinking or even tasting all wines after I became pregnant), the reasons why were beyond reasonable enough for me!

I am due in just a couple short weeks, and once the baby comes I will be taking a short maternity leave.

What is to come?

Next year proves to be a very exciting year with the continued development of my professional career as a freelance wine writer and editor, as well as the impending birth of my first child and all the new joys that will bring.

Soon, I will be on maternity leave and will be presenting to you some great guest blog posts from other wine writers and bloggers that have graciously agreed to share their work with you on my blog.  I plan to maintain the same once per week schedule with those guest posts, so expect to see something from someone new for the first several weeks of 2016.  For those that have not already answered the call, if you are interested in guest posting for me while I am on maternity leave, please check out this blog post with the details and shoot me an email!

As soon as I am settled in with the baby and back off my self-imposed maternity leave, I’ll be bringing you all new reviews from the pool of current wine research.

I wish you and yours the very Merriest of Christmases, Happiest of Holidays, and Happiest of New Years!  Stay safe, have fun, and don’t forget to enjoy that wine!