Wine Predator Speaks at Governor’s Women’s Conference

Instead of going to the European Wine Bloggers Conference this year in Vienna, I put those plans on hold when I was nominated and then selected for a makeover and to speak at this year’s Women’s Conference in Long Beach.

Preparing for this event kept me very busy! I apologize for neglecting this blog and promise to get back to it! I have some great wines I am looking forward to reviewing–and I’m going to talk about glasses, too!

So what have I been doing? After getting the house ready for filming the “before” section, going down to Hollywood for a fitting and more filming, finding a theme song, and more, I went to work on taking advantage of the opportunity to be in front of as many as 10,000 women–and being listed as speaker at such an important conference! (Read about preparing for the conference here.)

In the past few weeks, I prepared and published a limited edition of a poetry collection (a regular edition will be released by en theos press December 2010),  and I worked with graphic artists and printers to have new business cards and bookmarks to promote my book and my business, The Write Alley Coaching and Writing Strategies.

Read more about my makeover here:

So "How Do I Look?" Today was the BIG DAY, the day of the Style Network “How Do I Look” show’s big reveal of myself and three other women at the Women’s Conference in Long Beach, California. It was also the “Day of Transformation and Healing” at the Women’s Conference with lots of amazing speakers including Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins. Unfortunately, I was only able to get a very small taste of the conference. (More on that in a later blog post; a blog post from … Read More

via The Write Alley

EWBC Session on the Future of Social Wine Media: new tech, media & publishing

Ryan Opaz of is moderating a panel on “Social Media Brand Future: New Technologies, New Media, and Publishing” with Esteban Cabezas, Marcio Ferreira, and Evelyn  Resnick.

It’s a time of disruption, certainly, as marketing professionals and the products they represent try to find their way in a topsy-turvy world where they no longer get to tell consumers what to think about a product and what to do. Consumers can find out for themselves and expect to be part of a conversation. But how can, how will this all play out?

With help from folks like Ryan Opaz who is bridging the gap by organizing events like the EWBC, suggests Esteban Cabezas of the Wine Academy of Spain. And more people like him (and Esteban too!). We have to get personal, he also says. And that can be uncomfortable for businesses.

Consumers go to the net looking for help in finding find their wine nirvana. Wine bloggers help them do this, points out a woman in the audience.

What’s the role of the wine writer versus the role of the wine blogger? Both are “publishing.”

Big debate raging on who is  a professional wine blogger and what that might mean.

As Jo Diaz put it in a tweet, “wineries are having a hard time making sense of all of this media power. Who owns the rights to tell consumers what they’ll like?”

Check out which is Jo Diaz on twitter for more of her tweets about this session and others. She’s a great tweeter and caught some of the finer points of today’s discussion. She’s also blogging from the conference so go to Jo Diaz’s blog what she’s seeing and saying!

EWBC Day 1: Able Grape’s Doug Cook on search friendliness or, how to help your audience find you

How can you bring quality traffic to your site by assisting search engines in finding it? That’s the topic for the next session at the European Wine Bloggers Conference with Doug Cook of Able Grape’s presentation on Search Engine Friendliness conveniently available for you to see on his site, Able Grape. I will be live blogging as best I can depending on my access to the internet.

Is more traffic better? Doug Cook asks.

No. Traffic that engages your site is better.  Does your audience see what you offer as adding value to the web or spamming you?

So how can you reach the people who want to hear what you have to say? How do you connect with people who want to connect with you?

First you have to understand the “long Tail” of search. Lots have been written about this concept. That’s because it really is key and important. When people are searching for something, they will each use a combination of terms which they think will get them what they need. When they land on your site with their search, if they don’t see what they’re looking for, they’re gone, onto the next site which may offer them their holy grail. They are NOT going to search your site to find what you know is there but they don’t know how to find.

So if you want good traffic with meaningful interactions what do you do? Continue reading

Wine Predator Arrives at the European Wine Bloggers Conference in Lisbon!

After 24 hours of travel, last night I arrived in Lisbon where Enoforum Wine’s Delfim Costa picked me up and escorted me to the VIP Hotel nearby –just in time to join in the evening’s festivities of dinner and tasting.

Most of the dishes on the buffet was new for me and I loved everything I tasted. Two kinds of octopus! Beans cooked in bacon or some variation of goodness using the flavor and fat from a pig (mmmn, bacon!)

But the real standouts of the evening were wines from Douro. The first I tasted was one that Delfim wrangled from one of the Douro Boys. It was spectacular and I swear I will find out what it was. Between us, Delfim suspected that it might be the best wine in the room. For me, it offered everything I want in a wine, especially a wine to enjoy with a meal. Keeping in mind that when I tasted it last night I was running on adrenline and no sleep having spent the previous 36 hours traveling! But my palate knows an amazing wine when one crosses it. This wine was complex–rich, full, fruit, yet also delicate notes of rose. I think I could taste a whole bottle of it and still be discovering nuances.

With my desserts, Delfim and I went in search of another red wine and some port. Well, the room was full of partially empty and completely empty bottles, but we found another red from Douro and a port (name to be inserted here soon!). Then we spied a 10 year tawny (name to be inserted here soon!), and the search was over. Delfim poured samples for me and himself as well as  his colleague Luis and Jo Diaz who organized the wine blogging contest from which I won my trip. It was a lovely tawny and I’d been hankering for some tawny for awhile so it was great to have that itch scratched. As the hour grew later, Delfim then Luis excused themselves, leaving Jo and I to talk and enjoy the tawny.

Earlier I’d watched with interest as one of the Douro Boys carried in a case. What treasures might be there? But as Jo and I were engaged in conversation, and happy with  the tawny, we continued as we were instead of joining the boisterous group at the other end of the room.

Fortunately for us, one of the Douro Boys (name to be inserted here!), brought over a white port, a very special old bottle of white port.

I am ruined. I’d never had a white port before (insert picture here!).  Now I’ve had one of the best, followed by a 1983 aged port which the Douro Boy served to us from a decanter to capture the sediments. Doubly ruined. The 1983 was fantastic–almost like Disney’s Fantasia, like a wind that purrs at times and other times pounces. It was like little cat feet dancing on my tongue. And for flavor–how to describe? Funny thing is the first descriptors are anise or licorice. I don’t like that flavor. Yet I loved it here. Jo found it too cold at first and smooth like silk satin. We both warmed ours up a little, and found more texture and more to the nose, which she described as velvet, as red and rich as a monk’s robes.

I brought the remnants of each into my room with me. When I tasted the 1983 again, it was all about SPICE SPICE SPICE! Like I had stuck my nose and my tongue into a spice cabinet! Eventually I narrowed it down to mostly cinnamon with some clove.

Come back to see the pictures, to click some links, and to see the names when I get a chance. In the meantime, here’s my first installment from the European Wine Bloggers Conference at the VIP Hotel in downtown Lisbon, Portugal!!

Portugal: where they have wine & corks & PORT!

As I pour myself my usual evening port (Jonesy from AUS $9 at the Ventura WIne Company), I have to laugh to myself because it just now occurred to me that I would be in Portugal, land of PORT! Seriously, I’ve been thinking about the trip we’ll make to a cork forest, and traveling the Alentejo wine region with Enoforum Wines as my host and live blogging at the European Wine Bloggers Conference…and and being in EUROPE where I’ve never been and so much to think about with travel and passports and packing and and and

I realize that I will be in the land of Port. Wow. I think I’ll have a little more please.

I’m a WINNER! Wine Predator to Attend European Wine Bloggers Conference & Enoforum Oct 30-Nov. 5!

This just in–Jo Diaz from Wine called less than an hour ago to let me know that YES I could go to Portugal for the Enoforum Wine Tour of Portugal’s Alentejo region! And arrive early enough to attend most of the European Wine Bloggers Conference!!


I leave on Thursday. I have A LOT to do between now and then including learning a little more about what this adventure will entail!

What an amazing opportunity! I get to attend the European Wine Bloggers Conference as soon as I get off the plane in Lisbon, followed by a trip sponsored by Enoforum to the Alentejo Region, in the south of Portugal.

OK, I’m giddy with excitement. Please let there be wifi on the plane so I can do some research and some blogging too about what’s in store for me in the coming 10 days.

Next week at this time I will be in LISBON!!!

European Wine Bloggers Conference Commences Oct.30

This weekend last year was the First Wine Bloggers Conference, held in Santa Rosa, in the heart of Sonoma County Wine Country.  And next weekend is the second European Wine Bloggers Conference to be held in Lisbon, Portugal Oct. 30-Nov. 1.

I remember when I first found out that there WERE wine blogging conferences in the US and in Europe. Excited, I looked on-line at videos and other reports about the EWBC, and dreamed that one day I’d be able to go.

I love Wine Blogging Conferences. Actually, I love going to conferences!  The two Wine Bloggers Conferences that I’ve been to have been a blast: I learned a lot (A LOT!), met so many fabulous people, and tasted so many amazing wines. Here are links to my posts about WBC 2008 and WBC 2009.

And then I got so close to going this year when I was named first runner-up in a contest to go to Portugal and attend Enforum and discover wine from Portugal, and then winner Sonadora got sick and had to cancel…but I guess there just wasn’t enough time for the organizers to make the switch from Wannabe Wino to Wine Predator, Instead, they’re trying to get their money back. There’s a possibility that I might be able to go with Sonadora another time. I sure hope so.

In the meantime I just saw a tweet from @catavino that the European Wine Bloggers Conference is looking for someone to live blog. Oh, I wish it could be me! I’ve live blogged two Wine Bloggers conferences, two WordCamps, and a few other events and conferences as well including MacWorld! Next year?  Sigh. So close and yes too far. I’ll just have to taste some wine from Portugal here. Maybe I can throw a mini European Wine Bloggers Conference at home.