I’m Gwendolyn Alley, Wine Predator aka Art Predator, and I will be your guide to stalking, finding, and slurping delightful and drinkable wines! Welcome to my wine world! You can contact me by email: gwendolynalley (AT) yahoo (DOT) com.
I’m someone who loves wine and writing, and who wants to learn more about wine while writing about it. I love to travel, camp, and eat and drink well, and I will share my adventures in dining and drinking and unusual places! Some of these posts I will import from one of my other blog, Art Predator.
I am passionate about wonderful food, great coffee brewed strong, enjoyable wines, and music you can dance to. I really do swoon over a lovely wine matched with a meal (good) and I can taste onions on my husband’s kisses when he’s had them cooked in chile for lunch (bad). I am someone who savors flavors, scents, sights, and sounds, (after all, I am the ART PREDATOR!) and I have always surprised people with the sensitivity of my nose and my palate.
I grew up playing in my grandfather’s wine cellar (pictured; click to read more about that topic). When I was 20 and putting myself through college, I worked for Peet’s Coffee and Tea. Back then there were only four stores and Mr. Alfred Peet himself trained everyone for three days out in his office at the warehouse and roasting facility in Emeryville.
Over time, I became familiar with many of the regular customers, including the four owners of Ridge Winery who asked me to come work for them so often that finally I did!
I worked there about a year, mostly on Saturdays when the tasting room was open. I left to backpack from Mexico to Canada and to attend the University of California Santa Cruz where I earned BAs in Environmental Studies and Literature/Creative Writing. I also have a graduate certificate in education and a Masters in English from the University of Nevada Reno as well as graduate work in conservation biology. My career track took me away from wine and into academia: teaching, developing, facilitating and marketing programs and events mostly in education and English.
A few years ago, when I went to my first Grateful Palate warehouse sale and the Grateful Palate himself, Dan Philips helped me select a case of wine while I sampled bacon and snacks, I remember thinking as I drove home, “I would love to work here.” I realized, if not at the Grateful Palate, I wanted to switch gears and leave academia and teaching writing to doing more writing –I wanted to work somewhere in the wine world.
Following that realization, I have been researching social media in the wine industry and paying even more attention to what I am drinking. I even applied for the Murphy-Goode Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent position and put this video together with help from my friend Imre Juhasz DP:
In July 2008, we went on a “wine staycation”–figuring if we traveled closer to home, cooked ourselves and camped, we could afford to drink great wine! The series of posts related to that trip and wine can be found in the blog and collected on a page.
In October 2008 and in July 2009, I attended the first two Wine Bloggers Conferences in Santa Rosa, California.
And in October 2009, I was selected to attend the European Wine Bloggers Conference in Lisbon Portugal and to travel the Alentejo region of Portugal to discover the region and to taste the wines with a focus on those by Enoforum which sponsored my trip from Oct. 30-Nov. 6. Posts from the European Wine Bloggers Conference are collected here; posts from the Alentejo trip will be posted on a page soon.
Then in June 2010 I won a scholarship to the Washington Wine Bloggers Conference as well as a place on the WBC or Bust Bus.
I’m fortunate enough to live just north of Los Angeles which makes it possible to regularly attend industry tastings.
If you can use a Social Media Specialist, contact me! I am a high-energy, self-directed, deadline-oriented individual with exceptional communication skills and who is able to:
- Develop and write for blogs and
- Edit and publish content for inhouse and other blogs
- Monitor wine or other industry and related
- Measure and track the effectiveness of blogs and social media efforts
- Supervise a team of part time writers and guest contributors
- Use a platform
My education includes a bachelors in Environmental Studies and one in Literature/Creative Writing, a graduate certificate in Education, all from UC Santa Cruz, and a Masters in English from the University of Nevada Reno. I have over
20 years experience teaching writing and editing,
30 years experience in journalism and marketing,
ten years experience in on-line marketing developing websites and newsletters,
three years experience blogging and doing social media.
Let me help you share the abundant stories you have about your wines and products with the world!!
SAMPLES I accept wine samples from producers interested in having their wines reviewed on this site. However, I will not guarantee a review if you send wine to me. I may or may not disclose that I received the wine as a sample if the review is posted. If you are interested in sending samples, please contact me in the comment box or by email gwendolynalley (@) yahoo (dot) com.