Sunday, August 16, 2009

Summer's Second Safety Meeting features Salmon and BlackCloud Pinot Noir


This Friday is the second Safety Meeting of the Summer.

We've got a big fish from Nootka Sound and plenty of Black Cloud Pinot to go with it.

If you're anywhere in the neighbourhood around 4:30 and after, drop by for a drop with local wine folk and wine fans at this strictly casual event.


  • a side dish if you plan to eat

  • an interesting bottle if you'd like to share

  • a chair

It's at 1450 McMillan in Penticton.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Woodstock for Wine Bloggers

Wine Bloggers Conference II

Santa Rosa, California

July 24-25-26, 2009

Years from now, everybody is going to say they were there even if they weren't. Just like Woodstock in 1969, the actual attendance is somewhat smaller than the legend suggests.

I knew the Wine Bloggers Conference was going to be a wine-filled, wine-centric and wine saturated affair. I just didn't know how much it would be.

I always need a little time for things to sink in. The more information, the more time I need to establish what exactly it was that I experienced. I wasn't ready to blog about this because there was a tremendous amount of data.

Most of those who attended the Sonoma County-based affair were citizen bloggers. Around 275 dedicated believers who more-or-less regularly blog about their passion. What they got for their admission was a full-on, slightly over-the-top assault on their wine-loving senses.

Due to the size of the group, not everyone got the same experience, the itineraries were split up to better present the Napa and Sonoma wineries. At a couple of venues the group reassembled en masse. At the Culinary Institute of America, (photo)for instance, and later at Quintessa for the Grand Tasting. It was a marvel of mini-bus logistics with only a few hiccups.

Our headquarter for the conference was the restored Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa. I recommend the hotel for a wine country base of operations. It would be a good place to park the kids (with supervision, of course) while you and your partner or posse head out to wine country.
The conference itself was packed with activity and detail. From registration on, every moment seemed to be choreographed to jam as much tasting and talking in as possible. Like a small herd animal, I went along with the flow. I could have opted out at any time and taken some 'me' time but I was there to see what was on offer. So I was all in.
I had brought some Black Cloud Pinot Noir and a selection of Township 7 wines I'd made in the hope that I could stage a little impromptu tasting event. Can you say crash the agenda? I could have given it a shot at a poolside table around 10 pm Friday or Saturday but by then most of the conferencers were at one of the sponsored 'after-hours' activities or asleep, exhausted by the day's rigorous pace. I ended up handing out full bottles to interested parties and that seemed to be appreciated.
There are many details I've left out. But over the coming weeks I'll use this space to explore some of the wine country concepts and images we were presented with and how this ultimately effects the consumer.
By the way, the third annual Wine Bloggers Conference is scheduled for June of 2010 in Walla Walla, Washington, Registration is open now.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Alberta Orders BC Wineries To Stop Shipping Wine

Nothing shows how bizarre and antiquated our interprovincial trade relations are in this country than the letter I have reproduced here.
Every winery in BC got one of these. Basically the Alberta government is saying, don't try and evade paying us our share of the taxes. Stop shipping wine into Alberta because the dollars we're owed for every drop of alcohol is being evaded.
Never mind that BC is already getting 100% of their tax on the sale. Alberta wants their share too! Consider for a moment the tiny amount of lost revenue this is.
A ridiculous display of governmental malfeasance.
Legally, no, but morally and de facto - yes.
I believe clicking on the letter makes it bigger to read.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Marriage, WIne and Social Media

The wine will flow and the vows will be said on the 18th of August. Karen and her man are getting married in Napa County, California. Trouble is: they want to get married in the vines but they don't have a location yet.

In a test of social media, Karen is hoping one of the winery/vineyard operations (or still some other) we visited during the Wine Bloggers Conference last week will step up and fill the bill. This isn't some elaborate set-up with hundreds of guests and music and food. It's just Karen, the groom, a photog and the vow-sayer. As I write this, the word is going out among the Twitterverse, the blogosphere and the interwebs. The experiment has begun.

She's got a few essentials to cover but really, it is simplicity in itself.

The bonus is: the winning wine operation will get international coverage. Lots of eyes read Karen's Winebard blog and you know she will relate (dare I say 'gush') all the details.

It's a win-win for all.

So if you run a Napa vino scene or know somebody who does, let them know about the Winebard's quest. When they get hitched, the winery gets pitched. It's that simple.

Karen's K.I.S.S list:

  1. Rose bushes at the end of the rows of vines

  2. Picturesque location for Wedding photos

  3. Can accommodate four people for about one hour on Aug 18th

  4. Preferably in the Napa Valley

A big bonus for the couple would be if you could hold a vid camera for 10 minutes.

Spread the word!