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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Kickstarting Block122.com

January 27, 2013

I have some very exciting news to share with my happy and wine-loving Vinopanions!  While I hinted at this news earlier this year, I can now announce the official Kickstarter campaign for the fantastic new wine store and web destination, Block122 (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog).  Founded by four BOULEVARD restaurant employees, Block122 will showcase the finest, small production producers of wine from the left coast, much of which lies along the meridian 122° west of the Prime Meridian.  These boutique wineries are those that many times, only produce wines for 1-2 small stores or restaurants, have no distribution, and can’t even provide an online web store. It is these vinous finds that Block122 will revel in sharing with you on their website with stories, videos, and a retail store; all inclusive, with all snobbery excluded.

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ZAP is BACK!

January 11, 2013

Or rather, *I’m* back at ZAP this year!  But what is ZAP you say; what is this electric onomatopoeia?  Why, it is the annual ritual to celebrate the grape of Zinfandel; as performed by the masters of Zin, the Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (Twitter, Facebook).

The ZAP organization puts on a week-long festival of Zin every year and this year’s ZAP 2013 Festival runs from January 31 until the ZAP Grand Tasting 2013 on February 2, in San Francisco. Four major events are slated for this year’s run, but many smaller events are happening across the city and the bay, in the weeks leading up to the main events.

It is for you lucky readers that I have procured a special discount for tickets to the Grand Tasting, an event that I’m excited to attend again, after a couple years away.   More info after the break!

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2013: It’s So Good to Be Here

January 1, 2013

Welcome, Year 2013 of the Gregorian Calendar!  I am normally not one to set New Year’s Resolutions…if you want to accomplish something, just DO IT!  Don’t wait until the arbitrary date set by a Pope to change your life.  On the other hand, I happen to have a number of things in flux at the moment and today just happens to be the best day to start doing them, following some weeks of drinking wine contemplation.

First off, and perhaps most importantly for all of you Vinopanions, look for a much higher frequency of postings, including many shorter ones.  While I have been rather prolific at reviewing the many wines that I taste and receive as samples, I have not been so good lately at doing actual Vinopanion posts.  This will change and as such, the Vinopanion Facebook page will also be a lot more active.

Find out more, after the jump!

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Bordeaux Starts Wine Riot in SF

August 2, 2012

Following the great success of the Wine Riot (#WineRiot) events in Boston, Washington D.C., & Chicago, Second Glass (Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo) is bringing their riotous event to the great cities of San Francisco & Los Angeles.  I will be front and center at both with our newest Le Wine Buff, Sam Klingberg (Twitter, Facebook), by my side as we sling the tastiest of affordable Bordeaux (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog) to the vinous masses.  The Bordeaux crew have already hit up the first three Wine Riot events this year, with my boy Sam getting his kicks in before me, repping his home ChiTown. So what exactly is a Wine Riot and how does one partake in this wine drinking tasting event?  Leave it to the crazy peeps at Second Glass to provide a riotous guide for the multitude of activities in which each vinopanion can partake.

More deets after the break!

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San Francisco Vintners Market 5 Comes Alive! (Big Discount!)

March 24, 2012

I attend a large number wine events. That might even be an understatement, to which my fine readers can attest! Thus, I feel that it’s saying something to describe an upcoming wine event as one of my favorite series of wine events, ever. The San Francisco Vintners Market (Twitter, Facebook, WineLog) wine tastings are those exact events: totally fun, onsite wine purchasing available, and of course, fantastic wines to taste in unlimited amounts. And lucky readers, for round 5 (DING) of the #SFVM, I now have a fat discount so you cats can partake!

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Jet Bag Defeats AA at WBC11

August 3, 2011

I do a lot of traveling for wine. Just the last 6 months has seen me pop up in New York twice and Charlottesville once. Strangely enough, this means that I tend to accumulate a fair amount of wine during my travels (I know, cue the weeping and lamentations). This does tend to present a Conundrum, however. When one needs to fly these days, it tends to be very difficult to hide 750 mL of glass-encased liquid.

OK, but that’s fine, right? I’ll just check my baggage with the bottle of red stashed inside…surrounded by all of my favorite clothes because I just went to NYC for the first time. Hmm…not a recipe for success, especially as I watched the suplex being applied to my suitcase out on the tarmac. Cue: the Jet Bag.

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Le Wine Buffs Survive Manhattan (and so does the city)

April 1, 2011

TechEnology - Snooth, Ziff Davis & Enjoy BordeauxSo as it turns out, New York is a pretty damn cool place! My first time in NYC was filled with as much sightseeing, vino networking, shopping, eating and drinking as one could possibly fit into 3.5 days. I was in the city for the first time on another adventure as Le Wine Buff for the Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB)’s Enjoy Bordeaux campaign, on a fully paid business trip. While the point of the trip was to attend the Snooth & Ziff Davis TechEnology event and talk about the full awesomeness of affordable Bordeaux wine alongside my LWB colleagues, I was determined to experience as much NYC as I could handle…and I succeeded.

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Guest Post: 4 Must-Have Wine Accessories

August 16, 2010

Wine Accessories

I’m debuting a new series of guest articles on Vinopanion today, starting with this fine wine accessory intro article by Zsa Zsa Bacaling of Grotto Cellars. These free guest posts will provide a bit of a fresh voice every now and then for you devoted readers who, like my family, get tired of hearing me blather on and on about my vino obsession. This first article by Zsa Zsa delivers some great advice for the newbie wine fanatic, something that I have somewhat neglected over the ~3 years of my Vinopanion writings. Cheers!

Let the right accessories add to your wine appreciation experience

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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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