Posts Filed Under wine bloggers conference
It feels strange being able to settle at home and pop open a Flying Dog brewski only a few short hours after the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference, the last three installments having taken place on the Left Coast and thus requiring a not-insubstantial amount of travel to attend for us Right Coasters.
This year’s shindig was held much closer to my neck of the woods, in Charlottesville, VA, where most of the conference days hit well over 100F outside, for which I employed a strategy of frequent shirt changes and liberal application of underarm deodorant (we might need a poll of those sitting near me at any of the sessions to determine how successful I was at beating the heat). More to come on my encounters (good, bad, and thoroughly ugly) with Virginian wines in the next few days.
No doubt that this will be among several dozen blog posts on the global interwebs today talking about the results of the 2011 Wine Blog Awards, though I suspect far fewer will be discussing how the awards were judged. I can talk a little bit about that, since I was a judge for this year’s competition…
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This week marks the kick-off of the 4th annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference, held (for the first time in its history) on the Right Coast (Charlottesville, VA, to be exact). And I’m excited to be attending for the fourth time.
I’m excited to see old friends. I’m excited by the fact that this year’s conference is on the East Coast. I’m excited to be moderating one of the breakout session panels. I’m excited to see who takes away the 2011 Wine Blog Awards (even though I’m a finalist for Best Overall Wine Blog, my money in that category is on Tom Wark – like Japan in the recent Women’s World Cup, he’s the sentimental fave, after all). I’m excited to see the keynote speakers and get a chance to talk to them again in person, because I can tell you from personal experience that they’re as gracious, talented and delightful a duo of wine communicators as ever walked the planet. I’m excited that every year I personally know a smaller and smaller percentage of the conference attendees. I’m excited about the whole f*cking thing.
Ok, I’m not that excited about the drive down I-95, actually. But other than that, I’m looking forward to all of it. Even the wine speed-dating stuff, if just to see which producers pull it off successfully, and which ones stumble and do the on-line equivalent of a vinous face-plant (dear wine producer participants: sorry in advance for the schadenfreude). If you’re attending, then I’m excited to meet you – even if you’re that PR guy who keeps emailing me about when I’ll try your clients’ wines (your answer, by the way: I don’t know). I’m excited to see people walking around in colonial reenactment garb… and teasing them with offers to sip whatever wine I have in my glass at the time (okay, I wouldn’t stoop that low… I think…).
I’m excited because I’m a geek, I’m in love with wine the way that I’m in love with music and almost as much as I love my daughter – and I’m about to go hang out with a supportive community of like-minded geeks for the better part of three days, in a beautiful part of the country, in an area where an historic-and-now-budding wine industry is trying to secure its footing in the national wine market.
I’m not sure it gets much better than that. Actually, I’m quite sure it doesn’t get better than that. Unless vintage port will also be poured… by lingerie models in swimwear…
But what I’m most excited about?
My past forays with VA wine have had mixed results, and there have been no shortage of people offering me but-onlys and what-ifs about those experiences. So, I’m most excited to see if those people are right – I’m most excited to see if the VA wine industry brings its A-game to this conference.
More to come from Virginia, where the proof will be in the anti-Federalist pudding…
Those of you planning on attending the upcoming 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville, VA will have your choice of interesting break-out session panels during the afternoon of July 22nd. I’ll be moderating one of them, titled Millennials and Wine.
Millennials are Democratic (by a slight majority), thoroughly on-line and plugged daily into social networking tools, and (by a huge majority) sleep with their cellphones (really?) . They are young enough that they might not get the reference mentioned in the title of today’s post. They are fast becoming the wine consumers of the modern era, drinking a lot of the stuff (even in the shower… not sure I get that one entirely), especially if it has bubbles.
And there are nearly 25 million more of them than there are Gen Xers.
With a potential market that big, if you’re even thinking about wine writing, wine blogging, wine sales, wine marketing, or wine making, you’d better start to understand what makes Millennials tick when it comes to wine.
And you’d better do it quickly…
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The judges hath spoken, and the list of finalists are IN for the 2011 Wine Blog Awards!
I’ll skip the preamble about the awards and their background, since you can read all about that at the WBA website, and last time I checked all of you could read. The important thing is that the 2011 WBAs are now in their public voting period (sounds serious, doesn’t it? like the stages of a parasitic infection or something…), which will run through this Monday (June 27), with winners being announced on July 23, 2011 at the North American Wine Bloggers Conference.
Which means that YOU can rawk the vote and help decide who is “WINNING” (wine-ing?) in the blog-o-world! Get yer wine bloggin’ vote on at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CNTK5P8.
1WineDude.com is included this year as a finalist in the Best Overall Wine Blog category. It happens to be up against some (very) stiff competition, which I suppose is the highest form of compliment that could be paid to a lil’ ol’ blog like mine: PR maven and wine shipping good-fighter Tom Wark’s Fermentation, my wine blogging consigliere & Forbes.com writer Jeff Lefevere’s Good Grape, CellarTracker.com über-reviewer Richard Jennings’ RJ on Wine, and the personal blog of Wine Enthusiast’s Steve Heimoff. Great sites all, though the lineup certainly screams “single-contributor white guy club” this year.
Now this is supposed to be the part where I tell you how humbling it is to be named a finalist. And it is genuinely humbling. But I’m not gonna tell you that I don’t enjoy winning as much as the next guy/gal/hermaphrodite, because I do, and I have a (playfully) competitive streak, so saying that I wouldn’t be thrilled to win the award again would be disingenuous. BUT…
As corny as it sounds I am honestly quite jazzed just at being named a finalist, because while I’ve been told by others that the nomination felt like a “given,” I can assure you that there’s been far more change “under the covers” at 1WD than one might guess from a quick naked-eye glance across these virtual pages, and it certainly never felt like a “given” to me…
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