Thanks to the WBC scholarship fund, I’m off to Virginia for the 2011 WBC

Jul 08, 11 Thanks to the WBC scholarship fund, I’m off to Virginia for the 2011 WBC

Posted by in N. America

In 2008 I stumbled onto this obscure conference  about wineblogging while surfing the net and decided to check it out. Back then, I had been blogging for a few months and even though I wasn’t doing it professionally, the whole blogging thing intrigued me.  I thought, “What the hell, it’s in Rioja, costs 50 euros to register and if anything, I’ll get to drink lots of Spanish wine.” I went to the EWBC’08 and had a blast! The first one was  small affair, only about 40 of us but what great, enthusiastic people I met and everyone so passionate about wine. I left Rioja on fire. While I was there, I heard about the first American Winebloggers conference which was going to be held a few months later in Napa. I briefly considered going but looking at my finances, realised it was just a pipe dream. That is until I got back to London where a nice big fat tax rebate cheque was waiting for me. You can guess where the majority of that rebate went. I went to CA (my post here) and never looked back, at least from a wine blogging perspective. I’ve been to all the EWBC’s since then but hadn’t returned to the States, the issue of money always being in the background, especially as a professional freelance wineblogger, money is shall we say, not very forthcoming, rather like pulling teeth with a pair of tweezers. So when I heard about the WBC scholarship, which is an independently administered entity founded and run by bloggers themselves, I decided to give it a shot. And I’m certainly glad I did as I was awarded a full scholarship which enabled me to fly to Virginia and participate in this year’s conference. Thanks to the many generous sponsors (full list below) not only me but 13 other worthy bloggers are being given a helping hand to meet up, learn and interact with each other. The scholarship is now in it’s 3rd year and...

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EWBC, Social Media at the London Wine Fair09 -video

Last year (2008) saw the launch of the Winebloggers Conferences. The European one (EWBC)  was in Rioja, Spain and the North American (WBC) one in Sonoma, CA. The goal of the bloggers conferences is to enable  all of us in the virtual world to get together and exchange ideas in the real world. I mean, even if we’re all computer geeks, we still like to get out now and then. This year at the London International Wine Fair, Catavino.com and Adegga.com have gotten together and put up an information stand about the conferences. I had a brief chat with Gabriella and Ryan (and special guests) to find out what they hope to achieve at the LIWF. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Twitter mosaic

Wow! I just find this twittering fascinating. I joined Twitter back in October when I attended the WBC in Sonoma because it seemed everyone out in CA was using it but once I got back to London, I kind of forgot about it because it seemed nobody was using it. Well, that seems to have changed. Andrew from Surf4Wine turned me on to the Twitter Mosaic, still haven’t figured out how to get it to show up in this post but I’m working on it. And there are plenty of other apps, TweetDeck, TwitterFall, Twitterific (for your Iphone), Twitter Feed, TwitterGram, even Twanslate. The list goes on. Follow me on Twitter, Thewinesleuth,a t least that works! Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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6 things you might not know about The Winesleuth…

My good friend Oscar from Quevedo Port wine, located in the Douro Valley, Portugal recently sent me an internet meme  that he had received from Ryan and Gabriella over at Catavino, to share 6 things about myself that my readers might not now about me. I’d have to say I’ve been there, done that, but some of the more lesser known things about me – well, here they are… Bartles & Jaymes all the way, baby….My first experience with wine was Bartles & Jaymes winecoolers. Yeah, sneaking out to a house party and chugging back peach wine coolers was the epitome of cool when I was 15, back in high school. I think that I must have loved them because I certainly kicked back quite a few (and puked them right back up, many a summer night). I mean, what teenage palate doesn’t adore sugary, fruity, alcoholic drinks masquerading as Kool-Aid? What I would do now if I was faced with one of them – laugh in it’s face, maybe? I was a Thai soap opera star (sorta)….Back when I was a backpacker, I was a recurring extra on a Thai soap opera. I kind of fell into the gig. One day, Matt, an Englishman we had met in Bangkok, suggested to us that if we wanted to make a bit of extra dosh, besides teaching English, to go down and register with a local production company. Well, before you know it, we were getting calls once a week to be Nurse No. 1 and Nurse No. 2. We only did it for the few months we were in Bangkok but by the end, our students were beginning to recognize us from last night’s episode! Teaching in Mao’s old primary school……….I was offered the chance to teach in Mao Tse Dong’s old primary school when I was in Chengdu, China. Chengdu is where Mao spent his formative years. While I was travelling around China I met some great people and in Chengdu, I met- thru friends, the head teacher of...

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English Sparkling -Balfour Extra Brut Rose

When I went to the European Winebloggers Conference in Rioja, I brought along an English rosè wine as my contribution to the event. I couldn’t have gotten more laughs if I’d brought along a comedian. The hoots and gibes I got. BUT once they got over their surprise, it garnered positive reviews. So with that in mind, I took along an English Sparkling Rosè with me to the US Winebloggers conference. I couldn’t have gotten a more different reception. As soon as I popped open the first cork, they were all over it. It seemed everyone had heard of English sparkling and were dying to try it out. No hoots of derisions or disbelief from my American compatriots. Everyone loved it. Michael Wangbickler of Cavemanwines commented on how well made it was and an enjoyable tipple. The fact that it was a hot, sunny afternoon by the pool probably helped nudge people along to a cool, refreshing sparkler. I had taken along the ’05 Balfour English Sparkling Brut Rosè. An award winning sparkler from the Hush Heath Estate in Kent. Made from the classic champagne blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. According to Hush Heath, Balfour is the only UK vineyard dedicated to producing sparkling rosè.  Richard Balfour Lynn, the owner has stated his aim is to set out with “the vision of creating a uniquely memorable experience. Balfour is light, entertaining and fun, and more importantly, it knocks the socks off many French Champagnes.” Based on comments in California, it fulfilled all the above req’s. Light, lively, plenty of red fruits on the nose, strawberry, cherry, rapsberry, and the palate- fruity, crisp and dry. A lovely thirst quencher. Megan from wannabewino.com came back for more and Oenophilus was another fan looking for seconds. Unfortunately, the last bottle was a bit too cold and turned into a slushy in the fridge but enough people got a taste from the first two. A big success at the US Winebloggers Conference, English sparkling is definitely winning fans...

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