Wine Predator Named One of 5 “Wine Chicks that Click”!

Did you know that there are about 1500 active wine blogs? And that about 1000 of them are written by “citizen bloggers” like me?WBC13

See a list of Wine Bloggers here.

Allan Wright and his colleagues who organize the North American Wine Blogger’s Conference keep track of this kind of info; recently, I completed a survey for them for wine bloggers and another one for food bloggers. (Did you know I spoke at a wine and food panel at the International Food Bloggers Conference November 2011? Yep! I also spoke at the 5th WBC in Portland!)

A week ago, Lettie Teague of the Wall Street Journal posted about the State of the Wine Bloggosphere using information from an interview with Allan Wright and after reading 10,000 pages of blogs.

Her results? Continue reading

Petite Sirahs From The PS I Love You Symposium Tasting: Part 1Wineries A-C

I usually avoid writing the kind of blog post that just lists a bunch of wines.

I like to tell stories.

And I think story telling is my strength.

But sometimes it is necessary to just resort to a few keys words to convey a story about wine when you’re trying to talk about many wines.

In this case, many bottles of wine–but they’re all Petite Sirah.

I am trying to remember if I’ve ever been to a tasting of one varietal like this other than Dark & Delicious which is also Petite Sirah and I’m scratching my head. I’ve been to New Zealand new release tastings where there was mostly sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir…but that wasn’t the point of the tasting.

I went away from Tuesday’s PS I Love You Petite Sirah symposium and tasting flabbergasted at how different these wines can be based on terroir and wine maker style and vintage and more. To suss out terroir a bit more, instead of organizing the tasting alphabetically, I’d love to attend a Petite Sirah tasting organized by AVA!

So here are the links to many of the participating Petite Sirah wineries, most of whom belong to PS I Love You, the Petite Sirah industry advocacy group organized by Jo Diaz, with a few of my notes from the wineries alphabetically from A-C. Continue reading

Jo Diaz Names Wine Predator As A Wine Blogger Who Matters

Recently Jo Diaz discussed Steve Heimoff’s column “Beyond Blogging” about  Jeff Lefrevre’s column “How to Become a Wine Wonk” in Forbes. (Did you follow that or did it get too incestuous?)

In his column, Jeff recommends several wine sites and wine bloggers worth reading and why. His list of 12 sites includes Joe Roberts aka 1 Wine Dude, Alder Yarrow of Vinography, Tyler Coleman aka Dr. Vino and Steve Heimoff of Steve, all fine wine bloggers, many I have come to know, some better than others, at the various wine bloggers conferences and through social media.

Steve talks about monetization among other topics and in a comment on Steve’s blog, Jo not only points out that the wine bloggers worth reading and writing about were all males (and I think they’re all white as well), but she was also willing to follow up on this topic on her own blog and to discuss this in public AND call attention to the fact that women in wine end up on the “living” section of the news. (Another commenter left this link with numbers to back up the observation about gender and race).

Jo then listed women wine writers that she thinks have “grace and style, who are blogging and have sites that really matter.” And –here comes the good news–I am featured on her list of these women wine bloggers!

For her article, Jo compiled the photo above. From  left to right, you’ll see Megan Kenney aka Sonadora of the blog Wannabe Wino, Sondra Barrett Ph.D who blogs at, Alana Gentry who blogs at girl with a glass, and finally myself.

Jo’s article includes a nice write up about each of us then goes on to mention Pamela Heiligenthal of Enobytes, Gabriella Opaz of Catavino, Jancis Robinson, Leslie Sbrocco, and Karen McNeil.

So if you’re looking for some weekend reading, you might explore one or more of these sites–written by both men and women. And certainly you should make Jo’s blog part of your regular reading!

Which wines to serve for a Happy Thanksgiving?

For weeks now, the wine bloggosphere has been dizzy with recommendations for wines to pair with Thanksgiving meals, especially how to find wines that will work with everything from appetizers to turkey to pecan pie!

The answer is: bring a bunch of different wines!

As you can imagine, I am the wine person in our gatherings. I usually bring Continue reading

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!!

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!!!

Have fun, Sonadora, wine blogging in Portugal! Wine Predator Comes in Second!

A twitter post from Jo Diaz about a contest for a wine blogger to travel to Portugal drew me like a mouse to cheese to her blog where I found out that yes, the winner would get an all expense paid trip to travel in Portugal for week exploring the wines and the region plus $1000!

Something right up my alley!! So of course, even though I found out about the contest only a day or two before the deadline, I applied, getting my submission in just in time! Here are my 200 words:

WOW an all expense paid trip to the Alentejo Wine Region of Portugal with Jo Diaz of And to blog five entries?

Choose me, Art Predator aka Wine Predator! Have Macbook, will travel! And blog like mad about wine!

As an established blogger, I’ve posted live at the 2008 and 2009 Wine Bloggers Conferences, at WordCamps and other events.

As Art Predator, I prowl for the aesthetic—that which engages the whole soul, according to Coleridge. Wine, food, travel: I’m always looking for exciting experiences to share with my readers and subscribers.

Plus I’ve never been to Europe! Instead of a post college trek Continental trek, I backpacked from Mexico to Canada. They don’t call me a “wash’n’wear” kind of gal for nothing!

I am thrilled by the opportunity to share with readers the joys of the journey and what I learn about the exciting wines of this region. With my background in creative writing and environmental studies, I will write with flair about the land and the people, because as lovely as the wines may be, it’s the stories that surround them that create a full aesthetic experience which “engages our souls.”

Well the good news is that the wonderful Wannabe Wino aka Sonadora is going to Portugal at the end of the month to attend Enoforum with Jo Diaz of and to write at least five blog posts about the trip and her experiences!

And the other good news is I’m first runner-up to go!

I know, I know, it could be seen as all bad news. But it’s really not. I am thrilled to be first runner-up behind Sonadora. I read her blog, Wannabe Wino, where she was a fabulous host to the August Wine Blogging Wednesday prompt and she has does an excellent and honest job of describing and reviewing wines, we follow each other on twitter, not to mention she had a really great response to the challenge of saying why she should be chosen to go! You can read her response and the announcement that she won on Jo Diaz’s blog here.

What an amazing opportunity for Sonadora! The European Wine Bloggers Conference is happening when they arrive, and I am sure that Sonadora, like I would, will take advantage of the chance to attend everything and do everything she possibly can.

So who or what is this Enoforum which is sponsoring the trip? According to Jo Diaz, “the six founders are the six cooperative wineries from the Alentejo Region, in the south of Portugal. These six wineries encompass 12.000 hectares (296,523 acres) of vineyards, with a yearly production of 60 million litres (6.7 million cases) of wine. In September 2005, new shareholders joined this group: “PME Investimentos, S.A.” and “INVOCAPITAL, S.A.”” They will also be hosting Jo and Sonadora for a few days in Lisbon.

Have a fun time you two! I look forward to reading about the trip!

And what does this mean to me, Wine Predator? And what does it mean to you, oh faithful Wine Predator reader?

I’m inspired! I’m invigorated!

You may have noticed that I’ve slacked off some here…but I’m back! And I have a lot of wine bottles hanging around waiting to be written about!!

So we’ll see you around!!