Let me explain why, after half a lifetime writing for newspapers, I should suddenly enter a world with which I am almost completely unfamiliar, launch a web site and turn my weekly wine column into something called a blog (what an awful word).
I am doing so because I am no longer needed.
It's all to do with age.
Not mine but with a time in our history when newspapers have become more interested in serving their shareholders than their readers.
Today they are driven as much by corporate accountants in offices here and overseas as the editors who used to call the tune.
The function of the number-crunchers is to cut costs. And the most simple and obvious way of doing that is to get rid of staff and then to knock off columnists who provide much of the comment, the colour and the interest in the various newspapers in their chains.
The answer is then to replace these people and their multiplicity of views with a single, syndicated columnist.
That, anyway, has been the case with wine columnists contracted in New Zealand to write for regional newspapers owned by the Australian-owned Fairfax group.
I was one of them.
Our replacement is John Saker wine editor of Fairfax's flagship lifestyle magazine in New Zealand, who now writes a fortnightly one-size-fits-all column for the group's six regional newspapers (on alternate weeks the space is filled with a beer column)..
John is a good bloke and an accomplished writer, but he, or anyone else placed in the same position, can never match the diversity of opinion or the local/regional content provided for readers of the various newspapers under the old arrangement.
A pity. But I guess we must also face the other reality faced today by newspapers. And that is the challenge posed by the electronic media which allows me to communicate with you like this.
In a sense then I owe a debt of gratitude to the dreaded accountants and to the industry to which I gave so many years, for making me face the reality of today, and the future.
Apart from my method of communication, nothing will change.
I will continue to write in a way that everyone can understand and to shoot from the lip.
I hope you will enjoy it.
Talking of reinvention
Also born-again is the Left Field range of wines from Te Awa, taken over in 2012 by Villa Maria. Now part of the Te Awa Collection, which includes Kidnapper Cliffs, the range has been extended to include wines grown in regions other than Hawke's Bay. Each of the varietals (a sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, pinot noir, rose, chardonnay and merlot) are individually named for the various quirky creatures that now adorn their labels.
Best of the bunch: Fresh and fruity, lightly creamed Lizard Fish (pictured)
Hawke's Bay chardonnay and the soft, berried, cherried Flamingo Recluse
Marlborough pinot noir. Retail $17.95 but $14.99 is some supermarkets.