Admittedly it’s not been a terribly solid run of luck but back in the 1970s, my originally San Franciscan parents decided to move to the countryside with groovy ideas to grow all their food and live off the land. As I didn’t share that desire (and honestly, their drive to do it fizzled out quite quickly as well), I moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area to attend the University of California Berkeley where I attained a degree in English Literature.
Whilst reading Milton and Hemingway, in my spare time I took it upon myself to become the youngest Oscar-winning screenwriter and wrote, directed, and acted in a few short films with friends. Once graduating, this silliness thankfully gave way to actual employment, ironically working for the film director, Francis Ford Coppola. This actual Oscar-winning director and screenwriter had rebuilt the historic Inglenook winery in Napa Valley.
While that would be the closest I would ever get to an Oscar (they have the ones from Godfather on display in the tasting room) it gave me my first serious introduction to wine for the simple reason that I received an employee discount of 50%. Wine suddenly became a very cost-effective alcohol for one on a salary that spoke clearly as to having received a degree in the Humanities.
After the first Dot Com flame out, I went on a lengthy trip to Europe, visit my father’s familial roots in Croatia. Tasting wines from grapes I couldn’t pronounce and learning how California’s Zinfandel did on its native shores made my horizons go atomic.
This connection to Europe formed a foundation that, while keeping my day job as a web developer I worked for both a Central & Eastern European wine importer as well as an Italian wine shop.
I then eventually returned to Europe for month longer stay, researching the wines of the modern countries that emerged from former Yugoslavia.
This research culminated in a small, self-published book in 2007 that ended up being two regions in South-East Europe, Dalmatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, but it started the whole “Vinologue” book series.
In subsequent years I became more serious about my wine writing and more books followed, including three in Catalunya, Spain after I moved there: Empordà, Priorat 1st & 2nd edition, and Montsant. After so many years immersed in the intricacies of Catalan wine, and after several trips and months of research, my last book covered a completely different geographic area that is both ancient as well as brand new, the Republic of Georgia.
Having specialized in Spain, the Balkans, and Caucasus, I also started writing for various English-language publications including: the World of Fine Wine, Decanter, Harpers, Guildsomm, TimAtkin.com, Wine & Spirits, Meininger’s, Alquimie (now sadly defunct), JancisRobinson.com, Berry Brothers & Rudd, Root & Vine, Hitta Vin (in Swedish), Oenologique, The Buyer, Barcelona Metropolitan, as well as Vadevi and Cupatges (both in Catalan).
All the while I’ve been maintaining a regular flow of wine content on this website for over 10 years. The name changed several times until finally re-launching it as a subscription magazine in 2019.
Since moving to Spain, wine judging became a more earnest endeavor due to the abundance of wine competitions everywhere in Europe. And while I’ve judged at several local competitions, my main focus has been on the Decanter Awards since 2017, only with breaks due to the Covid Pandemic.
There have also been several smaller competitions such as: Concours Mondial de Sauvignon, Concours International de Lyon, Bacchus International Wine Competition in Madrid, Grenaches du Monde since 2018, and Priorat Tast del Decenni to name a few.
The tendency of writing is other a lonely craft which is why I’ve been ever so please to have received recognition for the efforts with awards such as: The Wine & Innovation Award by Millesima in 2020, the Best Drinks Writer in 2017 by the Fortnum & Mason Awards, and the Geoffrey Roberts Awards in 2016. Moreover, I was selected as a Fellow at the Wine Writer’s Symposium in Napa Valley in 2018, and have been shortlisted for several other competitions including the Louis Roederer International Wine Writer’s Award.
One minor note in that my name is, well, “different”. While the Hudin part is most likely Old Ukrainian (although my immediate family is from Croatia), my first name can throw people off as yes, it’s not Miguel, but actually, Miquel with a Q and it is pronounced like “mee-KEL”. Why? Because it’s the Catalan spelling of Michael and before you ask, it is indeed the name in my passport and all my legal documents.
The following photos for press and publicity usage. Please add attribution as noted.