Wine Predator: A Blog Worth Celebrating, says Jo Diaz with photos from Portugal!

When Jo Diaz of Juicy Tales aka Wine Blog Org told me I was runner-up for her contest to win a trip to Portugal with her as the guest of Enoforum Wines, I felt great. Then when winner Sonadora aka Wanna Be Wino had to cancel at the last minute, within days, before I could even catch my breath from jumping around with excitement, I was on a plane to Portugal.

Although we had each attended the North American Wine Bloggers Conferences in Santa Rosa, Jo and I didn’t know each other. But once in Portugal, we came to know each other well. As we explored the castles and countryside, the wineries and the vineyards, she kept catching me and taking photographs of me in the craziest spots taking photographs or the view. She warned me that she was going to do a slide show blog post “Where’s Gwendolyn?” taken after the “Where’s Waldo?” books.

I didn’t know that she was going to feature my blog in her “Wine Blogs Worth Celebrating” and use that opportunity to present a video of her photos of me in Portugal!

Here’s what Jo said:

Gwendolyn Alley, of Wine Predator and Art Predator, was my traveling companion to the European Wine Bloggers Conference and to visit Enoforum Wines in Portugal last fall. We shared nine days of our lives together… strangers in a strange land (only as it relates to the United States). She’s continued to reflect on our experiences. And, I don’t know anyone else who throws his or her entire body into taking photographs the way Gwendolyn does. She’s always writing about her passions of art and wine, and has a unique skill that I always enjoy.

Wow, huh! And I’m in great company: Jo’s list included

Joe (and Amy!) Power from Houston who I met on the WBC or Bust bus last month; they’re great generous people who write Another Wine Blog

Tom Wark of Fermentation who does wine PR

Sonadora (who was supposed to go to Portugal in my stead and instead went in January 2010) of WannabeWino

Wine Journalist Steve Heimoff (who I “debate” in this video from the previous post!)

my pal Ken Payton who writes one of my favorite wine blogs,  Reign of Terroir

Alawine… which produces lists  Top 100 Wine Blogs (one of these days!)

Paul Gregutt, Northwest wine writer

Robert Whitley ~ Wine writer, publisher, and wine competition organizer  Wine Review Online

Laura Ness of My Vine Space, a wine writer from the Santa Cruz Mountains

Stark Silver Creek which covers all things West Coast, including food and wine

See Jo’s original post for all of her comments about why she chose these blogs!!

Watch Wine Predator In WBC Documentary Teaser!

At the Wine Blogger’s Conference last month in Walla Walla, Catavino (aka Ryan and Gabriella Opaz) invited me to sit for an interview with documentary film maker and photographer Zev Robinson. He’s doing a film on the Wine Bloggers Conferences with a focus on European WBC organizers Gabriella and Ryan Opaz and Catavino. They wanted me to discuss my experiences at the three North American Wine Bloggers Conferences as well as the European one.

So although I  knew I might miss some of the final tasting of the conference, the one that paired 10 tidbits with various wines, we took that time for an interview where I spoke honestly and passionately. I compared the conferences I’d attended and discussed the wine blogging community in general. Some of what I had to say I knew when I said it might be controversial. I come to wine writing from a career in academia and journalism, and that shapes my perceptions and experiences.  I come to wine blogging from being active in online poetry writing communities which obsessively debates similar topics: how to guide people to find the “real” deal, the wine writers or poets who really know something about the topic.

Watch the video to get my opinion on that controversial topic! This is just a teaser! He plans to do more shooting at the European Wine Bloggers Conference in Vienna in October where he’ll get some video with the always outspoken and provocative Ken Payton of the blog Reign of Terroir.

Anybody got a spare plane ticket to Europe by the way? I’d really like to go to Vienna to this year’s Wine Bloggers Conference there!

Where Did Wine Predator Go?

After putting up 18 posts in a half dozen days during the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla Washington, I returned to my summer job: teaching two sections of a 5 unit college composition class. It’s got me working 50-60 hours every week, teaching one class 12 hours a week during the day and the second class 12 hours a week at night. I barely have a chance to open a bottle of wine much less blog about it!

I did, however, get one of my goody boxes thanks to my WBC roommate Erika Szymanski. I got so much good stuff at the Wine Bloggers Conference–books and other materials–that I couldn’t get it all home! So she packed up all the paper products and corkscrews etc and shipped it to me for $15. There’s a few bottles of wine and a bottle of beer too that she’ll send me when it seems like the weather cools down enough.

So I’ve carefully put it into a box with my other materials from previous wine blogging excursions and expeditions including the previous wine blogging conferences (four!) and will get to it as soon as I get through this stack of midterms. Or maybe next week’s research papers. Or…

Too many writing ideas and too little time! Putting it away sure made me itchy to get writing!