So after a great adventure from Seattle via Lake Chelan that included a flight on a seaplane (where poor 1000 Corks got sick!) and lots of delicious wine (a blog post is brewing on that!), I made it to Penticton, British Columbia to the 6th annual Wine Bloggers Conference!
Because our bus was several hours late and delayed at the border for an hour, we missed the first event featuring the sponsors and so the conference proper kicked off for me last night at scenic See Ya Later Ranch high above the north end of Lake Chelan for the Constellations tasting of wines of Okanagan.
No, this isn’t my suitcase and I didn’t pack radishes! But isn’t this salad cute? The dirt was a ground nuts, herbs, and spices with a feta yoghurt dressing! Catered by Okanagan culinary darlings, Cam Smith and Dana Ewart from renowned Joy Road Catering, the food definitely celebrated local terroir.
As delish as that was, the highlight for me was a cab/syrah blend from Nk-Mip which was served with a lightly poached fresh wild BC salmon on a sorrel aoli with greens and sweet golden BEETS! I’d wax on or give you a link to the menu and the pairs if I could but today we have a full 12 hours schedule of wine activities, speakers and events. If you’d like to see the agenda, go here.
This morning started with a keynote by Jim Conaway, author of the recently released novel, Nose as well as the best-seller, Napa: The Story of an American Eden (which I bought) and its sequel, The Far Side of Eden: New Money, Old Land, and the Battle for Napa Valley. One of my favorite points he made was to remember that place is also a character in the story of the wine.
Then we heard about the State of Wine Blogging, and had a wonderful lunch paired with wines from Ontario where I discovered that asparagus with orange, parmesan, and proscuitto if paired with Rosehall Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir tastes like bubblegum! (Don’t get me wrong–it was very good with the grilled portobello and had enough oomph to stand up to the grilled sirloin!) The Lakeview Cellars Icewine Vidal was a nice pair with the goat cheese cheesecake with fruit compote.
Right now I’m sitting in on a session on creating compelling content with Michael Wangbickler from Through the Bunghole, Jeannette Montgomery from The Third Glass and Okanagan Writing, Marcy Gordon from Come for the Wine. Among other tidbits, Marcy reminds us to “Take the content through the cotton gin of YOU.” Mike’s three takeaways are “know your audience, do your home work, and tell a story.”
Nixt is a speed tasting of whites, sparkling and ice wines from British Columbia, then we’ll go off on various excursions; read more about them here. I’m heading up on a mountain hike but I’d really love to go on the Stand-Up Paddle Board excursion too! All excursions include wine tasting dinners. So excited!
Follow my adventures on twitter and I’ll try to get more blog posts up soon!
And thanks to the Wine Bloggers Scholarship and their donors for helping me get here!