EWBC ’08 Bloggers Invitational-the wines

More from the EWBC ’08, this time it’s the Winebloggers Invitational and, to see me interviewed, check out the following link from VinusTV (click here) who were on hand to interview all us bloggers. It was great fun to see what the other bloggers brought for us to try. There were wines from as far away as Canada (a rather intriguing attempt at producing cabernet sauvignon in that northern climate). The Spanish wine giant, Codorniu was one of the main sponsors of the conference and brought plenty of Cava as well as their new range of still table red and white wines for the first nights’ event. I’ve tried them all before in London (see July 08 post) but that didn’t stop me from trying them all again to see if they were just as good as I remembered them. They were! I’m partial to sweeties and Thomas Lippert from winzerblog based in Germany (which is unfortunately for me, written in German) brought not only dry rieslings but also an icewine, which he produces. I spoke to him later about his icewine and he told me that they are only produced in exceptional vintages and that they usually have to pick on Christmas or New Year’s Eve – such is the hardships of an icewine producer. His wine however, is definitely worth the effort. He brought along a 2001 icewine which was unctuous and sweet, like candy while at the same time with enough acidity to keep it well balanced. I love icewine and this one only reinforced my opinion. Another sweetie was the Bodega Tintoralba Dulce, a red dessert wine. I was a bit surprised when I poured it as I thought it was going to be a white wine but any doubts were dispelled once I tried it. It was a delicious, red nectar, not cloying but nicely well balanced with plenty of boysenberry and raspberry in the mix. The wine is produced from over-ripened Garnacha Tintorera, a spanish variety which produces...

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EWBC ’08 and the Chapel Down ’07 English Rosé

Rioja vineyard On the plane back to England from the EWBC I was exhausted!! But what a weekend! I met loads of really great people, drank plenty of fabulous (and interesting) wines, visited some fantastic wineries, met the winemakers, had my eyes open to the possibilities out there regarding the web via the both the roundtable discussions and informal ones and generally had a blast. There was so much going on, I barely had time to catch my breath. But who’d want to stop with all the excitement surrounding us? The conference was extremely well organized and planned. It was such an exhilarating and febrile atmosphere to be a part of that I can’t wait to attend the next one and I’m already planning on attending the USA conference in October. (Gabriella getting an appreciative smack from Ricard!) I have to give a HUGE thanks to the organizers, Ryan and Gabriella Opaz of Catavino and Robert Mcintosh of The Wine Conversation. And, a big shout out to Robert for his ability to get all us bloggers moving on time and in the right direction. I think I overheard him comparing us bloggers to herding cats but cats are much easier to direct! The first night was the winebloggers invitational,whereby we each had to bring a wine that represented our area of interest or expertise. I had chosen an english rosé (made from the germanic variety, dornfelder) from the Chapel Down winery based in Kent, southeast England. What a reaction! That rosé definitely raised a few eyebrows and looks of disbelief. People had heard of English wines but those Continentals were rather dubious as to the quality of the wine. I found out later that not many had ever actually had the opportunity to try English wine before the conference. Luckily, it passed with flying colours! I had tried it before I left so I knew that it wasn’t bad but everyone else was surprised at the quality. I got quite a few positive comments...

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Notes from the European Winebloggers Conference 08

The following are some of my notes from the European Winebloggers Conference 2008 (EWBC) in Rioja. Flying over the Bay of Biscay this morning, looking down onto the green craggy hills of the sun-drenched Spanish coast was a bit of a surprise. Over the years, I’ve visited Spain many times but always the southern coast of Spain or Madrid, both of which are more reminiscent of semi-arid deserts with their scrub covered brown rolling hills and plains rather then the lush carpet of green I was currently flying over. I had to remind myself why I was on that plane. I was here for the European Winebloggers Conference 2008 (EWBC) taking place in Rioja that weekend. I hoped that it was going to be a fun and informative weekend and seeing as copious amounts of Riojan wine were going to be available, I knew that it would at least be an opportunity to sharpen my Rioja tasting skills. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but the organizers, Ryan and Gabriella Opaz from the Catavino blog and Robert McIntosh of The WineConversation blog, have a full schedule planned for us and plenty of Riojan wine on hand for us to sample. Not to mention the winebloggers invitational, where we all get to bring our own wines to share. I’m full of anticipation while I wait at the Bilbao Airport for my ride to Logrono in Rioja. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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European Wine Bloggers Conference

As you can tell by the little badge to the right there, I’m a member of OpenWineConsortium. I love logging onto this site to see what’s going on in the wine world, what’s new and what people are talking about. I’d say that there are a fair amount of wine bloggers out there and the good folks of OWC have decided to put on not one, but two conferences for us wine bloggers. The American Wine Bloggers Conference and (just so we don’t feel left out over here on this side of the pond) The European Wine Bloggers Conference. The idea was hatched sometime last year by bloggers Ryan Opaz from Catavino and Robert MacIntosh of The Wine Conversation both of whom deal with Spanish wines. Hmmm…I wonder if that’s why the first European conference is in Logroño, Spain? Well, any excuse to visit Rioja is fine by me. Looking at the schedule of events, it looks like a great opportunity to discuss the issues that affect us as bloggers, from blogging standards to monetization. Not to mention a flurry of wine tastings and on the last day, a round of visits to the local bodegas.  I’m really hoping I can make it but if not, I’m sure we’ll be hearing plenty about it on OWC. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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