SEA to LAX: Back from 2010 WBC

I missed my flight last night (and so did several others!) because of a gnarly accident on the interstate, but I made it back home from Seattle to LAX this morning in time to teach my 10:30am class (thanks to help from my husband’s cousin Scott!)

There’s still so much I want to write about! Even with all these posts up about the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference which ended yesterday in Walla Walla Washington, I have a half dozen half written posts and notes for a dozen more!

I haven’t even discussed the glorious B & B Vine & Roses and the wonderful talk I had late into the night with Tim Sinclair of Sinclair Estates on the night before WBC. Or the adventures of the WBC-Or-Bust Bus or Saturday’s #jackpot bus (yes that’s an inside joke) and sooo much more!

I will do my best to continue posting regularly and I hope you will continue reading Wine Predator. It’s so easy to subscribe to this blog by email and get the latest news about my prowls for good adventures and good wine–just click on the link in the upper right hand corner. If you’re on twitter, follow me, and I’ll follow you back. Just click on my twitter feed on the right side bar.

And please comment before you go! Say hello, especially those of you who were at WBC! I love visitors who comment! That way I can go visit your blog too!

WBC 10: In closing…next year will be held in Charlottesville VA

And in closing…

Some thank yous to many worthy folks. Some info about next year’s European Wine Bloggers Conference in Vienna from Ryan at Catavino…And now, where will next year be? The drum roll please….

The 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference will be held in Charlottesville VA in the Omni Hotel in downtown with an evening reception in Monticello.

According to the announcment, “The conference only works if people go for it.”

We’ll see if they do. Will I be there? Well, VA was my third choice if that’s any indication…I was really rooting for Paso Robles. Virginia is a long way to go, but I know I’d get a lot out of it just as I have the previous ones.

You can register starting now for the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference to be held in July 2011.

WBC 10: Chef Jeffrey Saad on 3 no brainer wines to match with food

How do you know which wines to pair with food? Who would like a glass of milk with a pizza? asks chef Jeffrey Saad in the Food & Wine Pairing Seminar (who, btw blogs on WordPress.com using this theme!) Continue reading

on the couch with kaz and randy at wbc 10

I wanted to live blog my radio interview but I couldn’t I have to admit. I’ll post it when it goes live. Promise. It was fun.

Here’s a photo of the Wine Biz radio guys.  I sat with at the Saturday night dinner. And that’s all I’m gonna admit to!

WBC 10: Top Gun Blogging

The last formal breakout sessions of the 2010 Wine Bloggers Confernece in Walla Walla WA are Top Gun Blogging with Andrew Lazorchak, Ben Simons and Joe Herrig and Bloggers, Wineries and PR Firms with Beth Cotenoff, Grace Doyle and Michael Wangbickler. Continue reading

WBC 10 Effective Writing

On the home stretch here at the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla WA. I’m packed up and outta my room thanks big time to my roommate Erika Szymanski willingness to ship a bunch of wine and materials home for me. (Whew!)

And I’ve made it to the 9am session: More Effective Writing in Your Blog with Meg Houston Maker, Andy Purdue and Hardy Wallace and wrote as much of it down as I could as usual. I’ll add the links as soon as possible.

Meg says there’s two ways to learn how to be a better writer: read and write. And pay attention to what you read and write. She has 24 Points to get better: Continue reading

Live Tasting & Blogging: 12 Red Wines 5 Minutes Each

This is wine blogging as speed dating…fast and furious! I sat with and compared notes with Christopher Watkins who blogs for Ridge at 4488, one of my favorite wine blogs. I also sat with Amy Cleary who works for UC Press. I’d met Christopher before and only knew Amy through twitter; it was fun sitting with them as we queried the wineries and learned to find wines to fall in love with and I look forward to reading their blog posts and will link up to them asap.

Nicholas Cole Camille Bordeaux blend

Nicolas Cole Cellars focuses on bordeaux style blends. 2004 was supposed to be first harvest but weather said no.  I think I couldn’t quite hear him. It’s all estate grown except for the merlot. All hand harvested and minimally irrigated. 1150-1275 elevation and the way the cold circulates they do pretty good. They sell also. Whole berry, free run juice, french oak new and neutral. Not native yeasts at first and now to make sure but getting started and soon will use all native yeasts.

Spofford Station 2004 Cab Sauv

James Lee Cellars & Spofford Station–she grows the grapes and does all the schlepping. Highly impacted by the Missoula floods. Underwater. 36′ of top soil. classic bordeaux style. Cab, merlot, syrah plus some wines for blending and some for bottling. Farming integrated and for three months her cattle gets the leftover grapes stuff. So her cattle come pre-marinated. Branded cows.  In this area.

2007 Belnero Tuscany Castello Banfi

Under $40 but she says it’s a great value. Second vintage. Goes well with food. How did we end up with Italian wines here? Kate Corcocoran enjoyed the conference so much last year that she asked if she could bring some to this year’s. Note to self: learn more about Horizon Project.

Monthaven 2008 Cab sauv from central coast

Octovin is a bag in a box packaging. Yesterday we tasted a Big House White bottled in this way. Artisan wine cool package. $24 for 4 bottles worth of wine. How’s the wine? Good value

Worthwhile Wine Dark Lady of the Labrynth from South Africa: Pinotage

Wine from the area of South Africa Doolhof from Wellington area. Aged in heavily oaked barrels. Wow. Wow. Mocha! For real. In the nose, very exciting. Meaty rich. Herby. makes me want to just start drinking. And once I taste it I just want to keep drinking it.  $19. Not in California yet. NOTE: At the end of the tasting, I tasted it again and found the oak overpowering and a little too molasses-y.

Magnificent Wine Co’s House Wine from Walla Walla 7 grape blend $13

32 Cab 30 merlot 31 syrah some malbec etc. 50,000 cases in Trader Joes. All Columbia Valley, this is Charles Smith second label from K vintners wanted to make wine that was drinkable approachable etc. 13% alc but tastes hotter than that. Great pizza wine easy choice. Made at Waterbrook.

Ortman Sangiovese 2008 Paso Robles around San Miguel

Wine making philosophy is more about balance making the fruit the focus of the wine of that particular varietal and to use techniques to show that off and add complexity. Hand picked, destemmed, fermented in tank, handled like pinot noir, punched down in open top to manage tannins. Innoculate with a strain of yeast. It reminds me of a blood orange or like a chocolate orange.

Lot 1 Louis Martini

Retails for $120 a bottle. Been in the valley forever and has access to some amazing fruits. Winemaker wanted to make something that captured a sense of Velvet. 15.48% alcohol. everything is hand done. Submerged cap for a bit then punch down on the top that makes it so extracted. All punch down will make the tannins too harsh so did the combo. Racked. Egg white fining. Getting back to the old school tradition like between his grandfather and his great grandfather. Nationally available n small amounts. A shame to taste a wine this great in this setting. I’m putting my glass aside for later! Continue reading