Taking my #wine kung fu to the next level: #WSET II & Napa Valley Wine Academy

October 10, 2015

406064_562298363799327_175257724_nI have been immersing myself in the study of #wine in a semi-systematic manner for much of the last 8 years.  Indeed, #Vinopanion‘s 8 year anniversary with @WineLog is approaching in the middle of this month. Yet I have slowly realized that something is lacking in my devotion to the knowledge of the vinous delights: focus, structure and external credibility. You’d think that a trained scientist would have recognized this long ago and I did notice these thoughts in the back of my mind a few years back.  But they were always battered back by “where’s the time?” and “I’m still receiving plenty of media travel & event invites,” along with “my wine consulting services continue to expand.” Then I reached last year and I started to recognize some clear patterns in my wine work. While I had plenty of media opportunities and my fellow wine colleagues were continuing to get work, I could see that the pace of my own trade offers beginning to slow down. It was then that I noticed that most of my colleagues began to sport letters after their names on their business cards: they were taking certified educational courses to formalize their wine training. I needed to set up my wine game. It was then that I contacted the good people at Napa Valley Wine Academy (FB, Tw): “help!”

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Underground Cellar: new #wine marketplace, win a #winecation!

April 16, 2014

As mentioned previously on these vinous epages, the Lady and I have happily ensconced ourselves back in the wine country of our roots.  Our move to #NapaMode has been just about as cool as anyone might ever dream…yes, living in one of the most beautiful places in the world, point zero for #wine & #foodie heaven definitely has its benefits, I won’t blathe.  One thing that we’ve come to learn in this fine place is that you can’t get anything DONE during the weekends, however!  Apparently, when one is surrounded by beautiful land to traverse by bike, foot, or DeLorean; wine to sip and food to savor, you just kinda want to do that every day that you’re not in the grind.  Huh…who’da thunk? 😉

That said…what if you were here on a vacation…that’s free…and filled with free food & wine activities? Why, a #winecation is just the antidote for getting your guilt-free glutton-on! The new wine marketplace Underground Cellar (FB, Tw) has you covered!

More details after the leap!

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Le Wine Buffs Take Manhattan

March 28, 2011

Le Wine Buff - Enjoy BordeauxEnjoy Bordeaux‘s Le Wine Buffs are back and we’re thirsty.

This time we’re taking on New York City and Manhattan is gonna stumble down in a vinous frenzy of affordable Bordeaux wine! We’re the wine sponsor for this year’s TechEnology wine event held by Enjoy Bordeaux partner Snooth and tech media publishing titan Ziff Davis. Held at the newly renovated General Assembly, the event will mix some of the icons of tech, publishing and the wine biz and look to do some serious vino mind melding.

I’m excited to be pouring and talking about these wines at the event because I think Bordeaux is coming into another renaissance of exposure for it’s thousands of high quality, affordable wines and their Chateaux, all across the greater appellation. Much of this belief was built during our visit to Bordeaux last summer. This event promises to be “a private, networking event recognizing the wine world’s most technologically forward people, business and practices”…and these are the peeps that need to know Bordeaux!

See you on the Right Coast vinopanions, and cheers!

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The Broke Wino Looks at Value Bordeaux

January 10, 2011

A new vinopanion of mine, Sam Klingberg, has been making waves in the vino writing webernets over the last year or so with his wine blog, The Broke Wino. Sam contacted me recently to gather my thoughts on affordable Bordeaux wine. As one of Le Wine Buff for Enjoy Bordeaux for the CIVB, I have been involved in a lot of great Bordeaux-centric wine activities over the last 1+ years, including a truly spectacular trip to Bordeaux this past summer.

The dichotomy between the high prices of First and Second Growth chateaux and the remaining thousands of much more affordable, yet still high quality wine producers and chateaux is a hot topic. With the declaration of “vintages of the century” at least 3 times this decade alone combined with the increasing Asian markets, the prices of the high end Bordeaux have skyrocketed. Happily however, quality has also taken a great leap forward, all across the board.

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VinTank Deals Wines from the Vines

December 23, 2010

Deals from the Vines - Facebook Group - VinTankCrazy-smart wine biz innovators VinTank (Twitter), have successfully launched a new route on the Direct To Consumer (DTC) superhighway with their Deals from the Vines Facebook Group (DFTV). A relatively new feature on Facebook, closed Groups are an elegant yet simply powerful new component of the social media behemoth. VinTank has seized upon this new feature to form their version of the popular flash sales site phenomena that has taken over the interwebs during this Great Recession. While many of these sites have proven to be quite the boon to the budget-conscious wine consumer, they are not always so profit-friendly to the wineries, chateaux, Bodegas and Quintas that have participated in the various sales. VinTank’s DFTV has already effectively smacked that paradigm with vigor, creating a sweet win-win for wino’s and wineries, alike.

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Clos LaChance, the PGA and the Frys.com Open

November 18, 2010

Clos LaChance at the PGA Tour Frys.com OpenSometimes wine can take to you places that are just plain cool. Well, cooler than the usual cool things that come with wine…or something. In any case, last month I had one of those experiences where my interest in wine took me to something new: my first PGA Tour tournament, complete with a winery on site. A golfer for the last few years, this understandably had me a bit fired up. Golf and wine!? Heck yeah! After graciously accepting a PGA Tour Media pass, the Lady, Steve and I headed into the Frys.com Open at Cordevalle and Clos LaChance for a day of sunshine, wine, incredible golf and new vinopanions, all along the cart path.

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WBC10 Lands in W2

June 27, 2010

2010 North American Wine Bloggers ConferenceWhile struggling to recover from Le Wine Buff in Bordeaux last week, I’m already here in Walla Walla, WA for the third annual 2010 North American Wine Bloggers’ Conference, whew! I’m going to be trying to blog a completely different this year, different from WBC08 and WBC09…I’m going to be continuously adding to this post throughout the entire, nutsovino weekend! …we’ll see how it all turns out. 😉 Let’s get diving into the fun, as I’m happily surrounded by my many, MANY talented vinopanions. Follow along yourself by tracking the #WBC10 hashtag on Twitter and keep track of our busy busy agenda here at the Marcus Whitman. Cheers!

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SF Vintners Market: Tasting AND Buying!

April 4, 2010

San Francisco Vintners MarketEvery once in awhile–wait, scratch that. Every few months it seems now, someone comes up with something exciting, new and innovating in the world of wine. In this particular case, that new and innovative wine thing is a brand, spanking new wine event format! The people that have been slinging the wine juggernaut known as Wine 2.0 (Twitter) for years are now behind the inaugural event known as the San Francisco Vintners Market. Just why is this event so amazing and different from the many wonderful wine events that are held at Fort Mason in SF each and every year? Well…just read a little further why don’t you??

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Be Goode, but Vote Dirty!

May 16, 2009

A Really Goode Job - Murphy-GoodeMaking perhaps, one of the biggest viral marketing coups in the nascent wine social mediasphere, Murphy-Goode Winery in Healdsburg has blown up the interwebs with its A Really Goode Job search and marketing campaign. The basics are these:

– Live on the property in northern Sonoma Valley in Healdsburg in a private home.

– Work by using all means of social media to promote Murphy-Goode and its wine and the whole of Sonoma County with the provided camera video camera, handheld device and/or smartphone. You’ll “need” to taste hundreds of wines for free and eat all over the Valley, as well…shucks.

– Get paid 10K/month for a 6 month contract.

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Help Your Favorite Wine Blogger!

May 14, 2009

Wine Bloggers' Conference Scholarship BadgeThe reach and influence of wine bloggers and wine social media mavens have exploded over the last couple of years, particularly in the last 12 months. Major wine critics have have noticed and responded, wineries and all three tiers of the wine business oligarchy have also taken notice and begun to capitalize on that influence (or are already playing catchup). The recent exhaustive and outstanding industry whitepaper by VinTank, Wine & Social Media is the first to encapsulate and quantify this influence and serves as a very important reference for these interactions between wine business, their consumers and the key social media mediators (human and software/websites) of these connections. It is a groundbreaking accomplishment and a signpost of the rapid, continuing maturity of the wine social media sphere.

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