Elaine Chukan Brown is a wine writer that uses WakawakaWineReviews.com as a means of sharing more of the story. Her works also appears at Serious Eats, Wine and Spirits, and various trade magazines, among others. Her previous work as an academic philosopher informs her views of wine, and people. In traveling wine regions, and interviewing people in wine her primary goal is always to witness the life in front of her, be it in the person or the glass. Elaine previously served as Dartmouth College’s Charles A Eastman Fellow, McGill University’s Tomlinson Fellow, and others. She began life through her 20s as a commercial salmon fisherman in Bristol Bay, Alaska, where her family still operate their businesses. She currently lives in Sonoma, California.
Venn Wakawaka: Philosophy, Writing, Wine
Be the change you wish to see in the world. -Gandhi
I am a writer-philosopher that devotes myself to wine. The entire project of this site, in fact, is an act of devotion. Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews is unsponsored, and done entirely by me. Except for the occasional guest post, or guest photo (both of which are always clearly attributed) all work done here — illustrations, writing, and photography — are done by me, Hawk Wakawaka.
Until recently, I was a philosophy professor, primarily teaching Normative Philosophy (that is, Ethics and Socio-political philosophy) at a University in Arizona. My professional training bleeds into everything I do. It’s simply how I live in the world–being thinkee-thinkee curious. Since deciding to leave the life of academia, I choose to apply that training in a slightly different way. I listen.
The writing here arises from careful listening and conversation with people in wine, as well as taking time with wine itself. I strive to bring such care to those people that gift me with their time, and to then share that gift through the writing here. It is what I love to do.
The drawings I do for fun. The photographs I take because I love them too.
me in first grade
I meet far more people than I’ve had time to write about. I taste far more wine than I choose to share. Still, each meeting and wine comes as a blessing that informs.
Before falling through the rabbit hole of academic life, I studied and wrote as a poet. In poetry writing I found a mode of critique that continues to inform my work. To truly understand a poem, and how to improve it, I had to assume the poem already had its own identity separate from what I hoped for it to be. The best way for me to strengthen the writing was to imagine my way into the world of the poem, and recognize what the personality, shape, and motivations of that world amounted to. Only when I recognized that could I then ask what the poem needed.
My approach with tasting wine, and with listening to people are similar. My job is to taste and listen my way into the world of the person in front of me, to understand it; to taste my way into the particular wine. Only when I believe I have succeeded in this task do I then write about it. The experience of devoting myself to such a process is a gift. Sharing the experience through writing is an act of service, a wish to give back in new form what has been given to me.
To put it all another way, the three circles in the Venn Diagram at the top could just have easily read, Devotion, Service, Experience–they are the same three elements I find in Philosophy, Writing, and Wine, respectively.
Cheers! Live Sincerely.