Monastrell from Murcia and Valencia with Lamb-Beef Burgers and El Taberno #WorldWineTravel

EL TABERNO: a veritable tower of vegetables! a great vegetarian pairing for Monastrell!

What wine is known as “the dog strangler”? What was the fourth most widely planted red wine grape variety with 106,380 acres in Spain five years ago? Why, Monastrell aka Mourvèdre in France and Mataro in Australia! Sadly these plantings are DOWN 150k acres from 10 years ago as vineyards get replanted with popular international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. 

However, in eastern Spain, particularly around Murcia and Valencia, Monastrell continues to be one of the primary red wine grape varieties in the DOPs of Jumilla, Yecla, Valencia, Almansa, and Alicante. 

Continue reading

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

Wine Media Virtual Summit: Home tasting with Marche’s Velenosi Vini

Usually a highlight of the Wine Media Conference is tasting wine at various educational sessions, while visiting wineries, during wine pairing meals, and of course, at the ever popular and often ridiculed speed tastings. Over the years, I enjoyed all of this and more, including getting to know and spending time with my wine writing colleagues.

I missed going in 2019 as I was in France competing in the World Wine Tasting Championship, and in 2018 I had a paid poetry performance, so I was really looking forward to going to Eugene for the 2020 edition.

But this year, due to COVID, my colleagues and I could only chat along the sidelines of the sessions, instead of between sessions, and the tasting opportunities were limited to what was in our own cellars– and, if we were lucky, and already signed up for the now postponed 2020 conference, we had the opportunity to join one of four at home tastings. 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! 

Continue reading