The 2010 Americas Wine Bloggers Conference is nigh upon us (June 25-27 in Walla Walla, WA), and I’m getting excited to attend (despite the major pain in the ass it is going to be for me to even get to Walla Walla from Philly in the first place).
There’s a great deal to be excited about in this case – the sponsors and participating wineries will allow us wine bloggin’ types to get a deeper dive into the WA wine scene; the lovable madness of the live wine blogging “speed tasting” sessions is back (in an expanded format); friend of the Dude and Wine Enthusiast West Coast editor Steve Heimoff will be delivering the keynote; last, but most importantly, there’s the opportunity to meet with friends, old and new.
This year’s conference will be a bit more involved for me than in the past (in other words, I have to be sober on Friday) as I’ve been asked to sit (with Jeff Lefevere of Good Grape and RJ Hilgers of RJ’s Wine Blog) on the “About Wine Blogging” Breakout Session panel, specifically for the “Advanced Bloggers” session.
Which is kind of odd for me, because otherwise that was the session that I’d planned on attending.
I’m totally cool with this – and in fact I’d told the WBC organizers to feel free to consider me to help out or sit in on a panel (though I’d imagined then that it would have been the “Novice Bloggers” track or something similar) because I really wanted to try to give something back to WBC and to other bloggers this year, if I could.
I know that a lot of other wine bloggers read 1WineDude.com, and I’m stoked to go to Walla Walla to meet / catch-up with you, and if there was any chance that I could help make the experience cooler for you (outside of spending my hard-earned cash on you, of course) then I really wanted to be a part of that somehow. I also had a great time sitting on the Social Media / Monetization panel at the 2010 Professional Wine Writers Symposium, and so I thought I would potentially be bringing some legitimate and useful panel experience to the mix.
But now… the pressure’s on, and I’m hoping that YOU can help ME…
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OK, so there’s this Wine Blog Awards thing going on right now.
Maybe you’ve heard of it?
I’m honored that 1WineDude.com has been included as a finalist by the eleven secret judges – supposedly secret so that we couldn’t bribe them I guess, but then that’s illogical since by definition we wine bloggers don’t make enough to bribe them!
Joking aside (which admittedly is very, very tough for me), I am humbled and honored to have this blog included as a finalist in the category of Best Overall Wine Blog, especially given the talent, passion and quality behind the other folks nominated / finalized in that category. I work hard at the blog, and it’s nice to be noticed – it’s equally nice to see so many people I consider to be friends who are also finalists in the various categories – it’s like getting made in the mob or something (ok, not really).
Now, it’s up to YOU to determine who will win in each category. Voting ends on May 30.
I’d be thrilled if you “Vote Dude” but mostly I’d like to ask you simply to vote, period. This is your chance to help honor and encourage those wine blogs that you personally feel are making a difference in the world of wine.
Congrats and good luck to all of the finalists!
Vote at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7CLMSMG.
Here we go again!
TasteCamp East, the brainchild of New York Cork Report founder and fellow Steelers fan Lenn Thompson, is now in its second year and this weekend will be gathering together nearly 40 North American wine bloggers in New York’s Finger Lakes wine region for a few days of tasting, eating, and (probably) writing.
Last year’s inaugural TCE (held in Long Island) was by all accounts a success, especially in terms of exposing wine bloggers to the developing North American wine regions outside of California, Oregon and Washington.
The 2010 version has a promising list of wineries involved, and personally I’m excited to get back to the Lakes to see (and taste) how things are progressing there. I’m also working on a press junket that will take me back to the area in 2011, so I’m viewing TCE as an important milestone in covering and evaluating the Finger Lakes wine action.
Best of all will be hanging out with the great people that Lenn has assembled to participate, many of whom I consider friends and all of whom I respect as talented writers; for me that is, by far, the best thing about these gatherings, and I always come away from these events a bit awestruck at the collective talent, passion and brainpower that is being devoted to wine writing on the virtual pages of the blog-o-world.
It’s so easy for us to take that situation for granted, and events like TCE remind us just how lucky we are to be digging on wine in these changing (and exciting) times.
More to come, Lakeside…
Just a very quick tidbit today, to point you over to the house of the venerable king of wine blogging satirical musings, the HoseMaster of Wine (a.k.a. comedian and former sommelier Ron Washam) where last week 1WD was masterfully roasted in effigy. Consider me as charred as the inside of a heavily toasted American oak barrel, but equally honored to have been playfully lambasted by the master!
Oddly enough, I have a slight fear of puppets and clowns so I find his choice of graphic a bit haunting (see inset pic), though Ron couldn’t have known that at the time he posted it. Spooky…
Now, for those of you who might read the HMW piece on 1WD and not find yourself nearly peeing from intense laughter as I almost did: you need to understand that I consider Ron a very talented writer and I’ve long been an admirer of his scathing wit, and you should know that I don’t take myself so seriously that I couldn’t enjoy his bursting of my ego’s Champagne bubbles. I loved the article and I’m hoping that you will too.
In fact, I’m planning on sharing a bottle or two with Ron when I’m next in Napa – I just hope that I don’t give him too much more material for that laser-focused satirical pen of his (Ron, if you’re reading this, I have a long list of others who need bubble bursting, and I may toss the list in one direction when we meet and run away in the opposite direction, not unlike offering a sacrificial slab of chuck to a fierce guard dog as a distraction…).