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’m in love with my wife and 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… (note to my wife: the items preceding ellipses in this sentence are, in fact, included for humorous purposes only).
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…