Wine Industry & Blogger Interaction: What Crosses the Line?

At the recent North American Wine Blogger Conference (WBC) in Santa Rosa, California, one of the breakout sessions focused on “Wine Industry and Blogger Interaction.” Two topics getting the most discussion were about industry marketing and blogger ethics. Specifically the questions were: (1) “I sent out a hundred press releases, why didn’t anyone write about my wine,” and (2) “Is it ethical for a bloggers to accept free stuff (wine, gifts, tours) from the wine […]

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My Favorite Four-Letter Words: Free and Wine

Free you ask? Yes free, or for a very small cost. By using the proper marketing and public relations techniques, you can get what amounts to thousands of dollars of print space for a fraction of the cost of advertising. At the recent North American Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa, California, one of the breakout sessions focused on “Wine Industry and Blogger Interaction.” Two questions garnering the most discussion were, (1) “I sent out […]

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Post Election Hangover

I have been sleepwalking all day after staying up way too late watching the election results come in. It seems to be a quite common phenomenon everywhere I have been today. Some folks are grumpy tired, others a happily exhausted, but I find it very encouraging how interested and engaged our great nation, and the entire world, was. That alone is worth opening a good bottle of something, in my book, preferably something with lots […]

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Time for a brief musical interlude

The Ghost of Tom Joad Man walks along the railroad tracks He’s goin’ someplace, and there’s no turnin’ back The highway patrol chopper comin’ up over the ridge Man sleeps by a campfire under the bridge The shelter line stretchin’ around the corner Welcome to the New World Order Families sleepin’ in their cars out in the Southwest No job, no home, no peace, no rest No rest! The highway is alive tonight Nobody’s foolin’ […]

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Be a Home Superstar Chef (Part 2 – Shallots)

The first installment in this series discussed the importance of having a few high quality pans. Admittedly, despite being a necessity for the home chef, high quality pans are a big investment. Happily, the star of this article is much less expensive. Shallots look, taste, and smell like a cross between onions and garlic, but are neither. They are actually classified as different species from either one. Shallots grow in bunches of separate bulbs. The […]

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Villa Martina Cabernet Franc 2004

Cabernet Franc is one of the primary grapes of Bordeaux. While it usually takes a back seat when blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this wine lets it shine through. The color ranges from garnet in the middle to much lighter around the edges. On the nose it has mint, tobacco, raspberry, strawberry, white pepper and a bit of lavender. The flavors are much lighter than its big brother, Cabernet Sauvignon. The first tastes that […]

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October Surprise – Michel-Schlumberger Vineyard Walk

Our self-selected vineyard tour during the Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC) came with unexpected surprises. Originally, Joe chose a 4-mile tour — probably thinking that with all the promised wine and food, he’d need an extra workout during the conference. Since I’d signed up late, I simply selected the same walk. However, because very few registrants had specified a particular walk, the specifics changed to a “first-come, first served” basis. Looking over the walk descriptions, I […]

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