Looking Back and Looking Ahead: WBC ’09

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When Joe first said he wanted to start a blog about wine and food, I’ll have to admit I was a little skeptical. Sure, he is a great cook, and was studying with the International Sommelier Guild. But I remember saying to him, “What makes you think anyone cares to read what you have to say about food and wine?”

And Joe said something about how Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” success started by his writing a book. And I countered with, “But you’re not Anthony Bourdain.”

Murphys Community Park reflected in Joe's sunglasses

Murphys Community Park reflected in Joe's sunglasses

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, that’s the difference between me and Joe. I look into a void and see nothing. Joe looks into the void and see what could be there. I’m pragmatic, he’s idealistic. He’s willing to think “big” for himself, where I usually think “big” for others. If we were skydivers I’d be worrying about checking and double checking and triple checking the parachute, and Joe would be enjoying the exhilaration of the jump.

And fortunately, Joe ignored me, and posted his first blog entry on December 28th, 2007.

I did get excited when I found out about the first ever Wine Blogger Conference last October in Santa Rosa. Partly, because I wasn’t too keen on letting my husband take a trip to Wine Country without me; and partly because I liked the social aspect of a conference; I decided to go as well. But since I wanted to actually be one of the bloggers and not just “one of the spouses” I felt a post was necessary. Originally my job was going to be mainly “the photographer,” but since my background was in writing, I decided an entire post was in order.

Nearly 400 posts and over 1,200 comments from the first entry, Joe and I are headed again to Santa Rosa for Wine Blogger Conference ’09. Since the first conference we’ve accumulated nearly 4000 followers between us on twitter, over 500 friends on other social networks like Facebook and Open Wine Consortium and Joe has over 3,100 contacts on Must Love Wine. In the past two years, we’ve accumulated, consumed and/or tasted over 1,000 different wines from France, Germany, Argentina, South Africa, Greece, Turkey, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Washington, Oregon, New York, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, Texas and several appellations in California. And if you add rice and plumb wine; China, Japan and Korea. Does that make us wine experts? Not really, but it means we most certainly have embraced the world of wine.

The Anti (UN) Conference

Anti (UN) Conference participants

Last year’s WBC found us participating in the events, but not the “anti UN conference*” activities. The anti UN conference included the non-official, non-planned but definitely more ad hoc social activities. Says Winebratsf aka Thea Dwelle, she of Luscious Lushes, “The anti conference was totally not part of the WBC, just a fun aside for those of us who were hanging out and had some wine to share with old and new friends.” We have threatened promised to bring a bottle of the worst most unique “Cowboy” Texas wine we can find for this year’s anti-conference. Although Thea strictly forbade it! And it’s a good bet we’ll see some of those wine bloggers pictured (Sharayray, CoreyDTT, winebratsf, eljefetwisted, WineQT, WineQ & drxeno – thanks to Thea for sending a link to WineQT’s photo.)

This year, prior to heading to The Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, we’re heading to Murphys, California in Calaveras County for some pre-WBC fun with El Jefe at Twisted Oak Winery. We visited Murphys in March, prior to Sonoma Barrel Tasting, and El Jefe treated us to some fine Twisted Oak wines, fermenting in the barrel. This time we’re hooking up with some Wine Blogger friends including Dhonig2, the aforementioned winebratsf, Sonadora and whoever else shows up.

Then it is on to Santa Rosa for more wine, more “monetizing” tips and certainly some fine tasting experiences that only Joel Vincent, and the good folks at Zephyr Adventures can provide. We’re looking forward to it. And you can bet it will provide at least one or two blog posts!

Cheers!

WineWonkette, square ~Amy Corron Power,
aka WineWonkette

*See Comments Below: Anti-Conference vs. UN-Conference

About Amy Corron Power

A licensed attorney, Amy is a wine-lover, foodie, photographer, political junkie and award-winning author who writes about Wine, Food, Beer & Spirits. As Managing Editor & Tasting Director for Another Wine Blog, she travels all over the world's wine regions to share her experiences with her readers and nearly 10,000 twitter fans. She holds certifications from International Sommelier Guild, regularly attends Houston Sommelier Association events and is currently studying for her California Wine Appellation Specialist certification through the San Francisco Wine School.
  • http://wannabewino.com/ Sonadora

    Eeek, I leave in less than 12 days. Man do I have a lot to do between now and then, including announcing the next WBW!

    See you soon!!

  • http://www.1winedude.com/ 1WineDude

    looking forward to tasting that Cowboy wine at the anti-conf. poolside very soon!

  • http://www.joelvincent.com Joel V

    Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

    By the way, “anti-conference” isn't a good term. The whole conference is for the community. If “un-Conference” things crop up thats cool. Its part of the community culture in my mind.

    I'm not super pumped if some business does it to promote their product without working with us (that's lame) but if a bunch of people bring some local stuff to share with old and new friends, I couldn't think of a better reason to have a WBC in the first place! Its part of what makes WBC great!

    • http://www.anotherwineblog.com WineWonkette

      I'd asked about the name “Anti-Conference” vs. “Un-Conference.” I thought I remembered it as the “un-Conference” but was corrected in that the “un-Conference” was the “official” post planned activities activity.

      • http://www.joelvincent.com Joel V

        “Un-conference” – we attempted to structure it last year but the session, while fun, lost the “Un” element as soon as we scheduled it. Its just an oxymoron that didn't work – a scheduled “Un-conference” session.

        The REAL “Un-conference” was happening by the pool and another “Un-conference” was Doug Cook (@ablegrape) sharing part of his REMARKABLE wine collection with us late one evening.

  • Mitch Dee

    One day I hope to be one in the ranks with the rest of you, off to start a blog!

  • Mitch Dee

    One day I hope to be one in the ranks with the rest of you, off to start a blog!

  • Mitch Dee

    One day I hope to be one in the ranks with the rest of you, off to start a blog!