Speed Dating, Speed Tasting: #WMC21 Live Red Wine Social

A festive live white wine tasting crew: Beth-Ellen, Pinny, Melanie, Theresa, Gwendolyn, Jennifer, wearing cork crowns made by Lisa Stoll; photo by George Rose #WMC21

Two weeks ago, the 2021 Wine Media Conference came to the end. Now in its 13th edition, I’ve attended nine in person and one virtual– missing out on gatherings in Virginia, New York, and Australia. One highlight for me has been the all day excursions, but with 2021, a lack of sponsorships meant these were lackluster. No surprise. Many wineries are not in the position to throw out all the stops for a wine event for a large or small group of journalists. The pre-and post conference excursions have also been highlights, and this was true in 2021 as well; more on these soon. 

Some sponsors really stepped up to the plate, and Troon is one of them: they stepped up to the literal plate during the Southern Oregon pre-conference excursion by providing a winery dinner prepared by Fire and Wine authors Sean Martin and Mary Cressler! Continue reading

Day 2 Highlights: 2020 Wine Media Virtual Summit #WMC20

from our Velenosi Virtual Verdicchio tasting

When the 2020 Wine Media Conference in Eugene was postponed due to COVID, a Virtual Summit sprung up in its place. From Thurs. August 20 through Saturday August 22, 2020, participants from all over the world joined sessions on a range of topics starting as early as 7am Pacific and continuing every other hour until 4pm with wine tastings at 4:30pm for fifteen people registered for the now- postponed  2021 conference. 

As mentioned in my post on Day 1, I attended most of all of the sessions, and took as many notes as I could considering my left wrist is broken in two places and with two fingers injured on my right hand — and that there was a lively discussion going on at all times in the comment section!  

Here’s a few highlights and an overview of Day 2; next I’ll post Day 3 and finish up with thoughts about the Velenosi virtual tasting pictured above. I’ve asked fellow attendees for their highlights or takeaways, or beverages but haven’t got too much to work with yet. NOTE:. Session images provided by Zephyr conferences; wine images by me. Stay tuned! Subscribe! 

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Day 1 Highlights: Virtual Edition Wine Media Conference 2020 #WMC20

Instead of tasting wine in Eugene, it was in my backyard…

We’ve all been zooming, attending live tasting sessions, and various other virtual events replacing live gatherings now for a lifetime it feels like.

In the Before Time, I had planned on attending the Wine Media Conference in Eugene Oregon this week. I’ve attended previously: 2008 and 2009 in Santa Rosa, 2010 in Walla Walla, 2012 in Portland, 2013 in BC (that’s CANADA!), 2014 in Santa Barbara, 2016 in Lodi, and 2017 in Santa Rosa again.

But COVID hit, and this one — to be held in Eugene– was postponed to 2021 with a virtual conference held instead.

The 2020 Wine Media Conference Virtual Summit took place from Thurs. August 20 to Saturday August 22, 2020 with sessions starting as early as 7am Pacific and continuing every other hour until 4pm with wine tastings in the evening for those fortunate enough to get in on them early enough.

And I must say, I think it was quite a success! And I’m quite sure that most of the attendees agree! Kudos to organizers for putting together diverse offerings and presenters!  Continue reading

Here’s Why To Try Old or Ancient Vine Zinfandel from Mendocino or Lodi

What should you pour on Thanksgiving to pair with turkey, ham, or prime rib?

I say Old Vine ZINFANDEL!

(Although I must admit after tasting these three Beaujolais with coq a vin I was reminded how well that works too!)

Last Wednesday, on Zinfandel Day 2017, Sue, John, and I tasted FOUR old vine or ancient vine zinfandel: three from Lodi as part of a Facebook live event and one from Mendocino; all four were samples sent for our review consideration. Two of them should be easy to find in your nearby supermarket! Plus I tasted a blend that features Lodi and Mendocino old and ancient vines fruit that has been aged in bourbon barrels — and you should be able to find that one as well.

We’re fans of Zinfandel around here: we also did a Pre-Zinfandel Day warm up post featuring two more old and ancient vine Zinfandel from Lodi.  Last summer we did a Lodi-centric tasting with 13 zinfandels.  And after the 2008 and the 2016 Wine Bloggers Conferences, I came home with MANY bottles of Zinfandel which we tasted and I wrote about here (2008) and here (2016).

But if you’re not convinced that zin is the direction you want to go, check out this post all about what wines to bring for Thanksgiving.

And now back to ZINFANDEL.

Old or ancient vine zinfandel? What does that even mean?

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Cheers to Finger Lakes Month May 2015 with Fox Run Blanc de Blancs!


May is the annual Finger Lakes Month, and so  with my spring semester grades turned in, it seemed like time to celebrate!  We opened a 2011 Blanc de Blancs from Fox Run Vineyards that I received as a sample.

Established in 1990 in a former dairy, Fox Run is also celebrating its 25th anniversary.  Continue reading

Wine Bloggers Conference Agenda and Format: Under Review, Invites Input

This summer from August 12-16, 2015  the 8th Wine Bloggers Conference will be held at the Radisson Hotel in the town of Corning in the The Finger Lakes region of New York. The Finger Lakes Wine Country hosts over 100 wineries which grow 90% of New York’s wine around the four main lakes: Cayuga, Seneca, Keuka and Canandaigua.  Corning, New York, home to the Corning Glass Company,was named “Best Fun Small Town in America” in 2013 by Rand McNally.I’ve attended seven of the conferences so far, thanks to convenient locations and two scholarships (to 2010’s WBC in Walla Walla and in 2013 to Penticton); I missed the one in Virgina due to the expense of travel. Instead that year I visited wine regions in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California on an extensive road trip. But I am planning on getting to the Finger Lakes, a region that I’ve heard a lot about over the years, and been favorably impressed with their wines, especially their Riesling, which I’ve had the opportunity to taste in several virtual events.
Recently Allan Wright, organizer of the annual Wine Bloggers Conference, wrote alums to say that they are considering “making substantial changes to the agenda and format of the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference.”
He asked if we’d take a survey to let them know about which of these suggestions they should implement. I never heard what they thought about the community’s response to the previous survey. I did however find results on their website in a recent blog post.Below are the questions,  excerpts of my responses followed some of the results with comments, plus excerpts from their new survey about content which closed on Friday (check in case it is still open!). The tentative WBC15 agenda is posted here.

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Print Writers Accuse Bloggers of #WordCrimes at #WBC14

Wherein I somehow manage to weave together wine blogging, wine bloggers, and print wine journalists with Weird Al Yankovic, Mark Twain, Fenimore Cooper, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Christopher Walken…

“I may be mistaken, but it does seem to me that “Deerslayer” is not a work of art in any sense; it does seem to me that it is destitute of every detail that goes to the making of a work of art; in truth, it seems to me that “Deerslayer” is just simply a literary delirium tremens.

“A work of art? It has no invention; it has no order, system, sequence, or result; it has no lifelikeness, no thrill, no stir, no seeming of reality; its characters are confusedly drawn, and by their acts and words they prove that they are not the sort of people the author claims that they are; its humor is pathetic; its pathos is funny; its conversations are — oh! indescribable; its love-scenes odious; its English a crime against the language.

“Counting these out, what is left is Art. I think we must all admit that.” Mark Twain commenting on Fenimore Cooper’s literary novel, The Deerslayer.

WBC14-Participation-BadgeThere’s a bit of a controversy brewing over a couple of the panels and sessions at WBC.

And yes, print wine writers on more than one occasion accused online wine writers of various “#wordcrimes” to cite Weird Al.

One panel in particular, the one with three white male print panelists and moderated by Taylor Eason, has drawn a rant from Mary Cressler that has produced livid comments where she has posted it on Facebook as well as on her blog post. Continue reading