It looks like my fears of VINO 2010’s “Blogging on Wine and Social Networking: New Tools in reaching Consumers of Italian Wine ” panel discussion possibly deteriorating into a blogger-bashing session can probably be put to rest.
In an attempt to expand the reach of the event beyond the walls of the Waldorf Astoria, VINO 2010 appointed James Rodewald, former Drinks Editor of Gourmet magazine, as its official blogger representative. James will be tweeting live from the event as well as covering the event on the official blog (which contains a blogroll of the bloggers who are attending VINO 2010) – all steps in the right direction.
What really convinced me, though, are the panelists for the session on Blogging, which include friends of mine who I know for a fact understand the power of blogging in the wine world – namely, Alder Yarrow of Vinography.com and Steve Raye from Brand Action Team.
And what sold me lock, stock, and wine barrel was this: for the panel on social media and blogging, the details will be covered live via the web and James will be taking questions for the panel via twitter:
“On Thursday, February 4th at 10AM – the "VIRTUAL VINO, MILLENNIALS, AND SOCIAL MEDIA DECANTED" panel discussion moderated by Anthony Dias Blue with Alder Yarrow (vinography.com), Dave Cook (Twitter), Steve Raye (Brand Action Team), and Ronn Wiegand. James will be monitoring the Twitter feed and posing questions Tweeted in from throughout the country. The seminar will focus on social media and wine bloggers as the future of consumer wine education, and potentially the wine trade. You and your readers can tune in to the panel discussion at www.italianmade.com/vino2010.”
Now, if the on-line wine community excels at anything, it’s keeping people honest. So I expect a pretty balanced and honest discussion about wine blogging and social media for that panel.
Whew… ok, I feel better now…
A funny thing happened on my way to the 2010 Pro Wine Writers Symposium.
I did some research, and found what I was looking for, just not where I expected to find it.
Since my Symposium fellowship was underwritten by Franciscan, I’m planning on a visit to the winery when I’m in Napa next month. So I was digging around on the ‘global interwebs’ to get my bearings on all things Franciscan before the visit. Reasons being that I wanted to get a solid starting point of Franciscan knowledge from which to branch out when I ask them questions and generally get all, you know, in-depth on them (you know how I am); also I’m a total geek and that kind of stuff is fun for me.
Not that I am without some knowledge of Franciscan – I’ve tasted some of their flagship wines, and their website is chock full of background on their Napa legacy (and with a past that featured Agustin Huneeus and one of the first real “Meritage” wines, your bragging rights around having a ‘legacy’ are pretty safe) and their take-it-to-perfectionist-extremes focus on blending.
As for what’s happening now (and I mean, right this second) at Franciscan… not so much. I didn’t find anything at their website to connect me to the current happenings of the people there.
I did find some of that information, though – just not at Franciscan.com, and not without a bit of digging…
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Last week, I had the pleasure of receiving an e-mail from Jim Gordon, all-around nice & talented guy, editor of the wine industry stalwart publication Wines & Vines, and Director of the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, containing the following tidbit:
“Congratulations! The winners of fellowships for the 2010 Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley have been selected, and you are among them. I wanted you to know as soon as possible that, yes, you are a winner and that you should proceed accordingly with your travel plans for the Feb. 16-19, 2010 event… The writing samples you sent were judged blind by a panel of accomplished and objective wine writers, and earned you this honor as one of the most talented writers attending the sixth annual Symposium for Professional Wine Writers…”
Holy. Crap. [Editor’s note: the previous statement refers to my reaction upon reading the e-mail; the words “holy” and “crap” do NOT appear in any form / context in the text of Mr. Gordon’s note. ]
It’s funny – I don’t feel like a professional wine writer…
I can only assume that “judged blind” means that the judges were actually blindfolded when they reviewed the fellowship candidates’ writing samples, otherwise I’m at a loss to explain the extreme lack of sound judgment surprising and unexpected choice displayed by awarding me a fellowship.
Not that I’m complaining. For one, the speakers on tap for the Symposium read like a wine writing All Star Team line up. And you’d do a lot worse than to stay at the posh Meadowood for four days. But the coup de grace (which, by the way, is one of the more violent foreign language expressions to be adopted into common English language usage) is that Alder Yarrow (who is also participating in the Symposium) recently raved about past Symposium events, and I respect Alder’s opinion – even though he once stole my girl (just kidding, Alder – who loves ya, baby?)…
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