Greetings, my name is Miquel Hudin and I’m a wine writer living in a masia south of Girona, in the village of Fornells de la Selva. Most of what I write becomes a part of the Vinologue enotourism book series or my blog Enotourist, but I also write a monthly wine column at the magazine Barcelona Metropolitan and toss up various odds and ends on www.hudin.com as as well.
I’m confusing to most Catalans as while I speak the language with what I’m told is a Girona village accent, and despite my very Catalan first name, I’m not actually Catalan by birth. I’m originally from Northern California, having lived for about 15 years in San Francisco before moving to Catalonia. As the name story goes, it was originally Michael. My family is of Croatian and Portuguese origins and my nickname growing up was typically Miguel or some Slavic version of Mikhail. My other nickname was unfortunately Mike which I hated to no end.
While I was living in San Francisco, working in both wine and the web, I met this quite wonderful Spanish girl who I soon learned was actually Catalan, as most Americans are oblivious to what this means until specifically told. For that matter, most Americans think that mariachi bands and salsa (the Mexican one for tacos, not the generic name for “sauce”) are from Spain. I learned about the name Miquel and quite liked how it bridged my family heritage and avoided the “Mike” issue. Once I realized I’d be an imbecile to let this Empordà girl get away from me, we got married and I decided to change my name permanently to Miquel. Of course now Anglophones constantly see it as Miguel, so maybe I should just give up and go by Quel or the even more economic, “tio”.
After my wife and I lived together in San Francisco for a few years, we grew tired of the things in the US that people grow tired of and decided to move to Catalonia about two years ago. We initially lived in Barcelona on the side of Mercat del Born. After excessive exposure to cheap tapas and budget airline tourists getting drunk under our balcony, we decided to move to the old, 11th century family masia (don’t worry, it’s been renovated to have indoor plumbing and electricity) earlier this year.
Obviously rural life is a big change after over a decade and a half in city centers, but the tranquility and working outside is indeed a healthier life which as a long time member of Slow Food is something I find quite important. It’s also allowed me to focus more on writing the Vinologue books which, in Catalonia include editions for Empordà, Priorat, and in the next month, Montsant.