What would you think of a “virtual” wine fair? At first glance, it may seem a bit ridiculous. How do you taste wine if it’s virtual? But that’s not the goal of this particular wine fair. It’s a strictly professionals only affair. The aim of the 3D Wine Fair is to get wine professionals together, without the hassle and expense of travelling to some far flung destination, and do some serious business. How does it work you might ask. It’s a very straightforward proposition. The website is 3D and uses the latest interactive communication tools from web cams, to audio conferences to chat, it’s all there. Each virtual stand has a plenitude of information about the producer and his/her wines via videos, technical sheets, borchures, etc. The exhibitors post a schedule when they are available so that prospective clients know when to contact them. The Fair is from the 14th to 18th of March, today is the last day but you can still check it out here. As part of the wine fair, the organizers have been running a wine talk show with many notable winemakers who have embraced social media, including Randall Graham of Bonny Doon, Oscar Quevedo of Quevedo Port and Jeff Stai (El Jefe) of Twisted Oak, as well as social media mavens as guests. I was invited to join in on the chat regarding social media and wine blogging. You can hear what myself and David Honig, founder and publisher of Palate Press , an online wine magazine, have to say about interacting with social media from a winebloggers perspective. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Whining about wineblogging:What’s the Point?

I got a comment recently that I found quite amusing. Seems another wineblogger was taking me to task for attending an event sponsored by a wine company, enjoying it and writing a fun post about it. What I think he’s missing is that wineblogging has evolved. It’s about more than a wine review,  it’s about the enjoyment of wine, sharing my own personal opinion of the wine, the experiences and the stories surrounding it. Wine is still perceived as very intimidating by most people. I hope to help people connect with a wine and putting a story and/or a face behind the wine makes it that much less scary and that much more enjoyable . It’s also about being involved with other bloggers and the blogging community, it’s  about a conversation between like-minded people and being part of a community. My blog is about  my experiences with wine, what I think of it and the lifestyle that goes with it. It’s normal and indeed industry practice for journalists to attend industry sponsored events. And write about them.  Why should things be different for bloggers? Sure this is controlled, but I choose the events that I go to, choosing those that specifically  interest me and that will be interesting for people to read. Let’s face it, if I started writing rubbish, well then noone would read my blog. And that has not been the case. I love what I am doing, so much so that I left my job in the wine industry to become a poorly paid freelance wine blogger so that I could immerse myself fully in this new career. And why not? My finances (well most peoples finances) wouldn’t normally allow me to attend as many events or trips as I do but as everyone in the wine (food, hospitality, etc)  business knows, that’s why there are such things as press trips and events sponsored by wineries, samples, etc., to bring the world of wine to my readers who are most likely cash rich but time poor. The...

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The Wine Gang challenge

How do you buy smarter and drink better wines? That’s the question that was posed to us winebloggers by The Wine Gang and Robert McIntosh from Wine Conversation. It’s all  part of an effort to showcase winebloggers to wine lovers at the upcoming Wine Gang Christmas Fair  at Vinopolis on Nov.7th. 5 lucky bloggers are being invited to join The Wine Gang that day. Here’s my 2 cents on how to buy smarter and drink better…. When I was 20 I came to London for the first time. I was here for the summer, had a student visa to work before my last year of university and I lived in a 2 bedroom flat in Maida Vale with 7 other people. It was a bit of a tight squeeze but it was fun! Most of my memories consist of drunken nights in the pub followed by late nite bull sessions kicking back Mateus and £2.99 Bardelino, Chianti and Valpolicello from the local Indian shop. That was my introduction to wine and for years afterwards, I looked back fondly on that summer and didn’t give much thought to the wine other then that I liked it. Fast forward to Washington, D.C. 2002, made redundant by 9/11, looking for something to keep me going til I could get back on my feet. Ended up working in fine dining and that is when I was re-introduced to wine but not only re-introduced, I was educated. Up until that time, I had only vague notions of food and wine matching. I knew people did it for a living but I had never actually experienced it. Part of my training as a server was a weekly food and wine matching session with the restaurant sommelier. Wow! All of a sudden the fog surrounding the mysteries of wine was lifted. It all started to make sense to me. How a creamy chardonnay would complement that lobster or alternatively how the acidity of a dessert wine could cleanse my palate, readying me for the next bite....

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