There’s little joy in the glass tonight, for today we lost a friend. Jeremy Pringle, fellow blogger (winewilleatitself.com); writer; ‘dilettante wine punk’ and mate was sadly, suddenly, found dead in his home.
JP and I first connected a little over five years ago. Back then I had just started this blog, and Jeremy and I were just each others fans. He would comment on my post, I’d ask him why he didn’t start his own blog, and we’d all nod sagely about the joy of wine.
On a whim, JP sent me a bottle of his favourite wine – the 2006 Curly Flat Pinot. I didn’t ask for it, he just sent it because he loved it. No desires, just keen to share the vinous joy. In turn, that started a chain of bottle swaps, often betting over the AFL (Jeremy was a Brisbane Lions fan) and any excuse really to trade wines we loved.
It didn’t take long before Jeremy had his blog (I won’t take any credit – a sheer weight of others pushed him to do it) and quickly we were more than just fans and now comrades – both pushing out the wine blogger boat and rowing furiously against the tide of ‘old media’ sniping.
|THAT table. JP in picture, boor to my left…|
That camaraderie was cemented at a wine media trip about three years ago, when Jeremy and I found ourselves on a table with one of the most obnoxious wine boors of the wine industry – both trying to defend the notions of what a good and bad wine entails in the face of someone who believed they knew everything.
The real joy, though, came from disagreeing with Jeremy – he loved a spirited discussion, had strong opinions that he didn’t mind voicing and was willing to respect well formed responses. Not seeing eye-to-eye with Jeremy meant an enjoyable debate and I liked the stirring (even if he could be frustrating).
In more recent times, I think Jeremy overtook myself in the wine writing game, turning his skill of language, philosophy (he marked university papers for a while there) and music (he also taught a little music on the side) into well crafted prose both for his own website and in more traditional, long form print media articles.
Blog traffic was on the up, his writing skills were fully appreciated. He was kicking goals and on the rise.
For all that success, sadly Jeremy and I share one thing in common that I wish we didn’t – we’ve both struggled with our personal demons. I was lucky to slay most of mine some years ago, yet JP had been dogged by the darkness only recently – to the point where he had withdrawn from social media and put his blog on hiatus in a bid to right everything again.
I conversed, in a staccato of overly short DMs, with JP only a week or so ago. He seemed clear in thought, acknowledging that there was a light at the end of the tunnel and keen to not let this dog-eat-dog wine industry (it’s vicious. With the worst often coming from wine writers themselves) take him down. I only wish I had of pushed more and eked more out of him at the time.
Regrets, I’ve had a few…
Regardless, enough dark thoughts, let us praise the man who is gone. Gone, not forgotten, and with much in his wake.
See you mate.
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No words tonight. ~Neala