Murphy-Goode Announces Final 50 24 Hours Early?

Murphy-Goode announced the Top 50 for their Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent 24 hours early –and I’m not on the list.

What’s up with that? Not just that I didn’t make the list, but 24 hours early? Did they outsource the selection to AUS? Programming snafu? Their site was showing there was more than a whole day to vote when all of a sudden there was not! I know because I was on their site around midnight California time!

After all the goodwill and interest Murphy-Goode has generated with this campaign, how much of that will that disappear because of disappointed losers? It’s one thing to be disappointed because you didn’t make the cut–another thing to find out you didn’t even get one more day to campaign!

Not that voting seemed to really have much of an impact. I was able to see the numbers of the Final 50 before they totaled them out. (I know you would have thought they would have done that BEFORE going live!) Some of the Final 50 had less than 100 total votes–some even under 50.

VinTank did well –7 of their 8 candidates made the 50.

I’m drowning my sorrows in some really good single malt, I’ve voted for VinTank’s Todd Havens and a few others who will do a really goode job, I’m teaching myself how to spell good again (good not goode), and then I will take myself off to bed knowing that the really right job is just around the corner.

In the meantime, I’ve got my life back. I’m not chasing after that job. I am enjoying being back in the classroom again teaching lit this summer. In the fall I have two comp classes where we’re going to study Chris Carlsson’s book Nowtopia  and put into practice ways to reinvent the future today.

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to work in the wine industry doing social media. In particular, my goal is to work to support and promote local and regional wineries actively embracing the biodynamic/organic/sustainable spectrum. VinTank, are you listening?

In the meantime, life’s really good. Without that job where I put an e after that word.


And, if I took that really goode job, when would I have time to blog for YOU, my loyal readers?

Thank you for your votes, your kind words, and your support during the past few days as I drummed up last minute votes for my last minute campaign.

PS My beloved Macbook Pro is on the fritz–the power cord doesn’t want to take a charge. So if I disappear here for a few days, it’s because I’m wanting for Apple to send me a new one–FREE. Gotta love Apple. They take care of their peeps.

Wine How To: Avoid Bad Corks, Avoid Bad Wine

Wine How To: Avoid Bad Corks and Avoid Bad Wine

Gwendolyn Alley is Murphy-Goode part of my campaign to be Murphy-Goode’s Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent, (and just because it’s fun!!), I’m participating  in a blog carnival over at Andy’s Goode Life Blog where she asks us to respond to one of these three questions. She’s hosting a contest to see which is the best answer, so please read, comment, and vote for me!

  1. When I drink red wine, I often get the dreaded “red wine teeth,” which is an embarrassing condition to have at a party when I intend on talking, smiling, or otherwise showing my newly wine-stained chompers. And is there any way to reduce this affliction without hampering my enjoyment of red?
  2. What are your tips to avoid “palate fatigue” when tasting so many wines in a session?
  3. Why smell the cork?

3. Why smell the cork? Well, if it smells bad, it’s gonna taste bad. When you pick it up to check it out, if it’s a crumbly mess, the wine’s gonna be too.

Truth is? Most wines are fine. And smelling and feeling the cork doesn’t tell you as much as that first taste of wine does, since sometimes a cork breaks but the wine is great. If you don’t like a wine, don’t drink it. Don’t be embarrassed. Send it back.

When I was at the Wine Bloggers Conference last October, we had a event  at a big name winery. I was hanging out with a VIP PR person who used to work there; now she works somewhere even bigger. A bottle was opened, our glasses were generously filled. My swirl looked good, my sniff okay, but her nose instantly wrinkled up: it’s corked, she said, taking a quick sip, then dumping her glass and urging the server to get rid of the bottle and open another. I admit, I tasted mine, even drank some. It wasn’t bad or corked to my palate, but it wasn’t great. I dumped; the next glass still wasn’t great but it certainly was better!

Lesson here: sometimes it’s subtle. She knew the wines there, knew that this wine was bad, and rejected it. I didn’t know the wine, wasn’t as confident, and probably would have accepted it. I learned a lot from her in that moment. I learned to be brave and to trust my palate. I only wish I’d been that brave when, visiting a friend in Florida, she  ordered a Ggrich Chardonnay at her club. It was okay, drinkable, but not great, definitely a disappointment, especially at that price. And that’s a wine that SHOULD have been mind-blowing. I should have done a little whistle-blowing, but none of us did.

Here’s one more story, one more lesson from later that night at the Wine Blogger’s Conference while tasting wine with sommelier Doug Cook and wine author Alice Feiring. Doug expertly opened a jeraboam of an older French red, casually checked the cork, and poured the first glass to Alice. She eagerly tucked her nose into the Reidel Doug brought for the occasion, and quickly brought it out. Her face was indescribable–except to say it was not PLEASURE she was expressing.

So again the lesson is, yes, sniffing the cork and giving it a squeeze might give you a hint, but the tale is in the bottle.

Since then I have sent a tough duck breast back at the famous Ranch House in Ojai, and other dishes that weren’t right. Now I’m brave enough to do the same with wine. Fortunately, everything I’ve had since then has been fine!

Put a Wine Predator to Work in a Vineyard? Please Vote Yes!

Put a poet to work in a vineyard!

Gwendolyn Alley is Murphy-Goode A POET TO WORK IN A VINEYARD!

Hi, I’m Gwendolyn Alley. I’m a blogger,
poet, multimedia journalist,
college teacher and I want Sonoma
County in my backyard so I can share
Murphy-Goode wine with the world as your
Wine Country Lifestyle correspondent!

My grandpa built this wine cellar and carved
this door.  I love the magic of wine with food.
I know these Murphy-Goode Alexander
Valley Cabernet Sauvignons will be
great with tonight’s tritip.

My grandpa taught me to respect nature,
the land, what grows there, what we make from it.
He also gave me a passion for challenge
and adventure. The world is my backyard.

I’m ready to grow in your backyard,
Murphy-Goode. Using all the cool social
media tools, I’ll share my adventures.
I’ll hike vineyards, discuss sustainability,
harvest grapes, taste barrel samples, and
enjoy wine with the Murphy-Goode family.

VOTE for Gwendolyn! She’s Murphy-Goode!

For the Monday Poetry Train, I turned my script for my video for the Murphy-Goode Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent blogging position into pentameter (at times, even iambic!) Go here for another poem about the same grandfather which I posted last year.

OK, my script may not be my best poem ever posted to this site, but please click on the link, watch my video, and vote for me by putting your email in the box even if it’s NOT my best poem! Don’t you think they should put a poet to work in the vineyard? Voting for this round closes on Friday when they will announce the Top 50 and voting opens up again. Thank you for your support!

Gwendolyn Alley is Murphy-Goode video application here.

Wine How To: Avoid Palate Fatigue

Gwendolyn Alley IS Murphy-Goode!  Please vote here: I applied for the “dream job” as Caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef I discovered a whole community of fellow applicants–warm, interesting people who share my interests. Same thing around this time as an applicant for the Murphy-Goode’s Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent.

One of the cool people is Andy over at Andy’s Goode Life Blog where she’s hosting a blog carnival by asking us to respond to these three questions:

  1. When I drink red wine, I often get the dreaded “red wine teeth,” which is an embarrassing condition to have at a party when I intend on talking, smiling, or otherwise showing my newly wine-stained chompers. And is there any way to reduce this affliction without hampering my enjoyment of red?
  2. What are your tips to avoid “palate fatigue” when tasting so many wines in a session?
  3. Why smell the cork?

Since I discovered I had several stories I wanted to share, I chose to answer all three questions but in different posts since it was getting so long! So here’s my answer to #2. And please head over to Andy’s place and vote for one of my blog posts! Good practice for voting for me over at Murphy-Goode…

2. How do I avoid palate fatigue? I smile at this question, thinking back to the Delicious Wine Tasting in Santa Monica earlier this month. I brought three friends with me, Helen and her partner Grant who both work in the hospitality industry and influence wine selection at the high end restaurants, and my friend David who I’ve learned to rely on for good notes, a delicate palate, and a willingness to drive f I don’t do enough spitting.

Helen does a local TV show called “Tidbits” and we were shooting a segment, so we had a camera and mic. We were interviewing and tasting. It was exhausting, partly because most of the people we were talking with were French and we’re not. Plus our French is awful but our curiousity great. The food had run out early on, right after we’d had something after our nearly 90 minute drive; I’d even heard an organizer make a snide remark about one of my friends “making a meal out of a bread bar.”  So another 90 minutes later, when more bread and cheese arrived, we filled the tiny plates, chose different wines to see what happened with the food, and settled into some couches outside the room to compare notes and take a break.

This is where I answer the question, by the way. Continue reading

Wine Predator’s Murphy-Goode Wine Blogging Job Video is UP!

Soooooo Goode: watch my video & vote, please!

MG ap pagesmHere’s a screen shot of my application video for the position of Murphy-Goode Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent!

Please click on the link below to watch the video on their site and to vote for me, please!

Thank YOU!!

Pretty in Pink Father’s Day Celebration for Our Super Hero

In the Pink Drink for Pre-Dad’s Day Celebration


Here’s MY SuperHero, sneaking in a nap between chapters of Melvin Beederman, Super Hero, one of their favorite chapter books to read and reread. And reread again. We couldn’t recommend Melvin more. The Dad comes highly recommended too.

For the Big Monkey, aka Dad to the Small Boy, catching some extra shut-eye is a favorite weekend pastime.

So is putting some sockeye salmon on the grill! dadsday09PINKsmThank goodness for us! That’s another reason why he’s my Superhero–the man knows how to grill and grill it good!

Saturday night we went pink: pink salmon, pink sparking Codiniu pinot noir cava, pink beet salad with goat cheese and walnuts on greens from our garden, even a pink lobster! Plus some homemade basil-arugala pesto for some colorful contrast. The dry, pink sparkler made for a beautiful table as well as a festive occasion; bonus was it went well with the meal. What a treat! Yummy!

Now you can see why we’re celebrating Father’s Day all weekend! Happy Father’s Day to all the dads! Today and every day! Cheers!

A Really Goode Wine for a Really Goode Dad

Father’s Day: An Excellent Excuse for an Excellent Meal & Really Goode Wine!

frifathersday09smMy campaign to be the Murphy-Goode Wine Country Lifestyle correspondent has required me to find, buy and drink Murphy-Goode wine. I know, I know, it’s a tough challenge, but I’m up for it!

When I first heard about the Murphy-Goode wine blogging job, I had just bought a bottle of 2005 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at my favorite wine store, Ventura Wine Company.

Say what you will for the advantages of on-line retailing, and the energy and enthusiasm of Gary Vaynerchuk, but I like going into a brick and mortar store.

I like feeling the heft of the bottle, fingering the labels, readng them over front and back. I love talking with Nick, the owner, or his daughter Nicole, and getting into conversations with other customers, exchanging tips and recipes. Continue reading