Cheers to Finger Lakes Month May 2015 with Fox Run Blanc de Blancs!


May is the annual Finger Lakes Month, and so  with my spring semester grades turned in, it seemed like time to celebrate!  We opened a 2011 Blanc de Blancs from Fox Run Vineyards that I received as a sample.

Established in 1990 in a former dairy, Fox Run is also celebrating its 25th anniversary.  Continue reading

Wine Bloggers Conference Agenda and Format: Under Review, Invites Input

This summer from August 12-16, 2015  the 8th Wine Bloggers Conference will be held at the Radisson Hotel in the town of Corning in the The Finger Lakes region of New York. The Finger Lakes Wine Country hosts over 100 wineries which grow 90% of New York’s wine around the four main lakes: Cayuga, Seneca, Keuka and Canandaigua.  Corning, New York, home to the Corning Glass Company,was named “Best Fun Small Town in America” in 2013 by Rand McNally.I’ve attended seven of the conferences so far, thanks to convenient locations and two scholarships (to 2010’s WBC in Walla Walla and in 2013 to Penticton); I missed the one in Virgina due to the expense of travel. Instead that year I visited wine regions in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California on an extensive road trip. But I am planning on getting to the Finger Lakes, a region that I’ve heard a lot about over the years, and been favorably impressed with their wines, especially their Riesling, which I’ve had the opportunity to taste in several virtual events.
Recently Allan Wright, organizer of the annual Wine Bloggers Conference, wrote alums to say that they are considering “making substantial changes to the agenda and format of the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference.”
He asked if we’d take a survey to let them know about which of these suggestions they should implement. I never heard what they thought about the community’s response to the previous survey. I did however find results on their website in a recent blog post.Below are the questions,  excerpts of my responses followed some of the results with comments, plus excerpts from their new survey about content which closed on Friday (check in case it is still open!). The tentative WBC15 agenda is posted here.

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Print Writers Accuse Bloggers of #WordCrimes at #WBC14

Wherein I somehow manage to weave together wine blogging, wine bloggers, and print wine journalists with Weird Al Yankovic, Mark Twain, Fenimore Cooper, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Christopher Walken…

“I may be mistaken, but it does seem to me that “Deerslayer” is not a work of art in any sense; it does seem to me that it is destitute of every detail that goes to the making of a work of art; in truth, it seems to me that “Deerslayer” is just simply a literary delirium tremens.

“A work of art? It has no invention; it has no order, system, sequence, or result; it has no lifelikeness, no thrill, no stir, no seeming of reality; its characters are confusedly drawn, and by their acts and words they prove that they are not the sort of people the author claims that they are; its humor is pathetic; its pathos is funny; its conversations are — oh! indescribable; its love-scenes odious; its English a crime against the language.

“Counting these out, what is left is Art. I think we must all admit that.” Mark Twain commenting on Fenimore Cooper’s literary novel, The Deerslayer.

WBC14-Participation-BadgeThere’s a bit of a controversy brewing over a couple of the panels and sessions at WBC.

And yes, print wine writers on more than one occasion accused online wine writers of various “#wordcrimes” to cite Weird Al.

One panel in particular, the one with three white male print panelists and moderated by Taylor Eason, has drawn a rant from Mary Cressler that has produced livid comments where she has posted it on Facebook as well as on her blog post. Continue reading

#WBC14: Speed Tasting RED #WINE



 Yesterday I explained about “speed tasting” and how it works at the Wine Bloggers Conferences, one of which was held in Santa Barbara County July 2014. As I’ve attended WBC08, 09, 10, 12, 13, and 14, I posted more than a few times about it (and a few links are in yesterday’s post).

While  today’s post gets straight to the red wines we tasted at our table (and here’s a link to all of the wines tasted), I do want to mention that I am working on posts about some of the panels and sessions, including the rather controversial one with the professional print wine writers.

Remember, while there are a few links to websites, you can click on the highlighted @followedbywineryname to go to their twitter page which will link to their website to learn more about these wines.

And here’s a pro tip: bring an envelope or folder to put the handouts from the red tasting and another from the white tasting to make it easier when you go to write-up the post! And wineries, be sure to give us some sort of hand out to help us in the those critical 5 minutes about what’s in our glass, price, twitter handle and more so we don’t need to interrupt you for these details while you are telling us your story. Or wineries: be the one to GIVE us a folder with your brand on it and suggest we put all of our notes inside! (Because while I brought the folders to the hotel, I didn’t bring them down to the tastings!)

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#WBC14 Built for Speed (Tasting): Roses, White, Sparkling Wines

WBC14-Participation-BadgeOne of the events that people either love or hate at the Wine Bloggers Conference is the Speed Tasting. Similar to Speed Dating, bloggers are introduced to a wine and have five minutes to respond with questions and to make notes and take photos, maybe even get out a tweet too. Some people–well one person anyway, Christopher Watkins of Ridge–can even tweet their notes in haiku–that’s 17 syllables for those of you who may have forgotten your poetry 101.

This year, I didn’t get to sit next to Christopher (because he wasn’t there) but I did get to sit with Wilfred Wong, formerly of Bevmo, as well as some other fun folks as we tried our best during the Speed Tastings. Continue reading

Rodney Strong: A Blending Party

rodney-strong-estate-knotty-vines-zinfandel_1On Wednesday, August 14, a select group of Southern California social media influencers will participate in a blending party, er, class at the Pierpont Inn in Ventura.

UPDATE 8/14/21 We will be using the hashtag #RSVSYM for tweets related to the blending class.

Robert Larsen from Rodney Strong will be leading the class Continue reading

Karma & London Calling

ahoyChelanAs I’m moving into my 10th year of marriage, my son is heading into 5th grade, I’m in my 15 year of teaching writing at the community college level, I’m 12 years into a 30 year mortgage, and I’m almost done with my second year of my PhD (about to earn a second Masters, this one in Depth Psychology), I sometimes see  opportunities and say, hmmn, I wonder, I wish. What if.

Shoulda coulda woulda. Continue reading