At 10am on this particular Sunday, I am not in a typical church.
Instead I am sitting in the Church of the Early Morning Wine Drinkers, surrounded by 8 laptops and one iPhone. The bloggers wildly tap, tip, and talk, discuss twitter and whatever else comes up in our unconference topic, “Organic Flow,” facilitated by Nick Goveric, of Wine Scholarship.
We’re holding church at the First Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa, CA.
Six folks at the table are twittering actively. I seem to be the only one at the table without a twitter account (Nick says do it NOW!), and while I wasn’t accosted more about it, I can certainly see how I am left out in many of the conversations going on at this conference–and beyond. (The question is of course, how necessary are these conversations in comparison to other actions in my life?)
The idea behind this table discussion at the “unconference conference” session is that the best conversations occur around the edges, along the seams of the conference, so why not make that an official part? And with the help of Lenn Thompson of the blog lenndevours.com a well known authority on New York wine, we’re pouring a fine selection and collection of fresh, bright, cold, wines starting with a 2007 Rooster Hill Dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes region of New York, a perfect accompaniment to my bran muffin.
However, this King Ferry Treleaven Gewurtztraminer 2007, with my muffin is superb, even better than the riesling–it’s perfect for morning wine blogging or it’d be wonderful with a holiday brunch. I sent Lenn after the residual sugars but he couldn’t find the info. He did figure out where to go to watch the Giants Steelers football game, and most of this table, made up of east coasters, is going. Guess they’ve had enough wine–I hear rumours they’re moving on to beer and scotch. (Ahhh but a winery with a pinot has come calling and it looks like some of them at least will hit the wine trail one more time today!)
Next up, another New York wine, this one a Palmer Sauvignon blanc. It has a bit of funk, I agreed with John Witherspoon of Anything Wine, but overall, we liked it since it truly tastes like a sauv blanc, light, grassy, some pineapple, totally unlike a chardonnay. This seems like an obvious point but we’ve all noticed the trend toward turning sauv blanc into something heavy, syrupy, and chardonnay like. (Was this the one Elodie loved I wonder?) Nick thought at $17 it might be a tough sell.
We’re still drinking, over here, having moved onto reds (some people anyway–I’m sticking with the whites) while the various tables report on their conversations. One debate at one table was about ratings, rankings and reviews, and they pointed out that we bloggers should stick with only writing about what we find that’s worth writing about–wine that’s good as opposed to wine that’s not. The danger with blogging about something, anything that we don’t like we run certain risks (how do we know it’s not a bad bottle or??) Why not seek to create a positive environment in the blogosphere?
Joel Vincent of Open Wine Consortium talked about niches, and the pros and cons of exploiting that niche. Niches range from writing about regional wines like Texas (Chateau Bubba anyone?) or Lenn with New York. But he points out that to find the niche that reflects what you as a writer do best.
Next up a tasting called “Sonoma Luxe”–wines from wineries which don’t usually open their doors or participate in big events. Then time to roll on south to home.
Oh, and watch for photos from Beverly Taylor of Wine Sublime!