a food/wine/marketing blog that is funny by accident, sarcastic on purpose.

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loving lomob.

My latest iphone app let’s me make my iphone images look amazing. I cannot even remember what my pictures looked like before I downloaded lo-mob.

moved to shanaray.com.

Hey everyone, my blog has finally received a true makeover (courtesy of Philip Wyers at Advertainment Media) and while I still may use a WordPress template, it is no longer hosted on WordPress.

I also am in the middle of changing the name… So goodbye, shana; out on VHS yet and hello ?????

So please visit ShanaRay.com to read more about my adventures in Wine, Food and Marketing!

Thanks.

*shana.

first step for sunchips, giant leap for the industry.

You can only get Media Post articles if you subscribe to them, so I took an excerpt from SunChips Rolling Out Compostable Package written by Karl Greenberg that I read this morning about SunChips takes a huge step in the greening of product packaging.

sunchips-bSnack brand SunChips, a division of PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay, likes its packaging to be ubiquitous on shelves — but on sidewalks, bushes, in trees or the random gutter? Not so much. The company is rolling out compostable, organic-based packaging bit by bit this year, with a fully compostable bag due out on Earth Day in 2010.

The marketing effort includes a 45-second ad showing a time lapse of the 100% biodegradable bag decomposing over 14 weeks. It will run once on “American Idol” on Tuesday — the day before Earth Day — followed by a home-page takeover on various social/video Web sites.  Print ads running in People will include samples of the new biodegradable material.  SunChips has also begun a national point-of-purchase effort in grocery stores this week with pamphlets containing swatches of the material — made of polylactic acid (trade name Ingeo) with instructions on how to compost it.

The campaign will be extended after Earth Day through a participation initiative via a partnership with National Geographic.  A digital campaign — centering on the video — will direct people to GreenEffect.com, where they can submit an account of steps they or their community groups are taking toward a sustainable lifestyle.

Out of all of the Earth Day promotions that I have been reading about, this one stands out the most for me.  SunChips seems to be taking this a step further than just talking the talk…. They are actually inventing a material that will revolutionize the way product packaging is made and putting the idea of composting out there.  Gone are the days that hippies and farmers are the only ones who compost their scrapes of food and now businesses like Whole Foods are setting up Composting Facilities around the United States.  I look forward to seeing this trend continue further than Whole Foods and my backyard (the picture below is a before shot of our garden).

garden

melon shooters & eye shadow in green valley.

This past Sunday, I hopped into my semi-gas friendly Honda Civic with three of my girls and trekked through the Sebastopol Farmer’s Market to make my way through West County.  Our mission was to Celebrate Earth Day in Green Valley.  Yes, the official Earth Day is this Wednesday, but who does a wine tasting event on a Wed other than me?

This year the theme was “Low Key, Low Impact” and five different Russian River Valley Wineries (aka pinot-yumminess) opened their tasting rooms to the public and held free earth-friendly exhibits, food pairings and tastings.

The first stop was at Iron Horse Vineyards where we were greeted by 80 degree heat, delicious sparkling wines, my favorite wine radio host and Sonoma County wine queen – Ziggy the Wine Gal and the owner of the winery, the “earth mother goodness” herself – Joy Sterling.  My favorite part of the Iron Horse event was the art exhibit which focused on re-cycled art, made from re-claimed, re-purposed, re-imagined materials.  I will have to say part of my reasoning for this was because it was in the bottling room and the only way to get away from the heat!lukka

Lukka Feldman of Barn Diva was in charge of the salt (and popcorn) tasting which including a chunk of salt that Joy brought back from the Himalayan Mountains.  The winery’s head chef Ruben Gomez served a spring vegetable soup with bread from Wild Flour Bread in Freestone.  The chocolate from TCHO chocolate paired perfectly with the Iron Horse Chardonnay.  According to Joy, “The Citrus chocolate is from Madagascar and has a distinct lively citrusy zing that crazy as it sounds is delicious with Chardonnay.”

After our amazing experience over at Iron Horse, we made our way past the redwoods and Russian River Valley vineyards to Harford Family Winery, where I wasn’t able to have the same interaction with the owner and winemakers (though I would love to in the future).

This didn’t stop my friends and me to gush over the pairing of their Four Hearts Vineyard Chardonnay along with some Melon Shooters.  At first I was a bit hesitant to try because I think of either sparkling wine or a Sauvignon Blanc is best paired with any sort of fruit, but this pairing was perfection.  I even advise the people at Harford to have that pairing as part of an everyday tasting experience, maybe even let people know the recipe on their site.

matt

Dutton-Goldfield and Balletto Vineyards was our last stop because we wanted take their 2:30 tour of the Laguna de Santa Rosa, Sonoma County’s watershed, wildlife preserve that can be found in their backyard.  Of course getting four girls to get anywhere on time hardly ever works, so we were about 10 minutes late.  Not that I minded because we got to spend more time drinking their Pinot Noir.  While Balletto’s Pinot is a great every day wine, Dutton-Goldfield’s had a range of Pinots that any wine drinker would love.  My personal favorite, as well as the tasting room staff’s recommendation was the 2006 McDougall Vineyard Pinot Noir.

Okay, maybe the only “green” part of my experience was the melon shooters and my green eye shadow, but it is nice to see a West County event that was a perfect balance of really good wine and food along with education without it being forced down your throat.

ttl @ estate.

Last night was the Twitter Taste Live Rhone event, put on by the Hospice du Rhône, the World’s Largest International Celebration of Rhône Variety Wines and Sondra at Estate, an amazing new Italian restaurant in Sonoma, Ca.

Toting itself as the largest #ttl event that has taken place, the party at ESTATE brought in a huge crowd.  Twitters, both old school and new to Sonoma to try Rhone varietals and eat, mac and cheese.  If you take a look at the list below you will see many newbies that don’t even have a picture uploaded.  Either way, it is great seeing new people join Twitter (especially if they didn’t join because of the whole annoying Oprah and Ashton Kucher craze), drinking wine… and socializing.

ttl-022

Let me know if I missed anyone!

sharayray  – me!

figgirl

HdR2009

winebratsf aka vinquire

JugShop

VERGEwine

sonadora

randyhall

RandallGrahm

DrncPno

mwangbickler

sonomawineguy

LisaAdamsWalter

dmhoro

lorenza

brixchick_liza

mykhael

DaedalusHowell

shewinesocial

vintuba

winedog

wineevangelist

marcygordonttl-009

winotone

TyffaniP

queenkv

shane_syrah

Bourassawines

randaltbennett

sommowens

hellosonoma

ulyzp

Audelssa

TraceyLaPierre

Gratuitous iPhone, mac and cheese and wine shot .

note from tom (myspace).

Hey all,

Today marks the launch of MySpace Local which is a great place to check out local businesses in your neighborhood. You can rate, review, and share your favorite neighborhood venues with friends. We’re launching with two categories today (Restaurants and Bars & Nightlife), but will be adding many more soon. MySpace Local covers every major city in the U.S. Check out cool places near you.

I already wrote some reviews of my favorite places in Los Angeles — go here to read them if you want to see how it works. I’m looking forward to seeing your favorite places. Thanks to Outback Steakhouse for helping MySpace to make this happen.

-Tom

__________________________________________________________

I just logged onto MySpace for the first time in a few days to check on a comment and the first thing I saw was the above letter from Tom the “creator” of MySpace.  Since the drop in visitors to MySpace they have been trying to win people back through many different new features (most that are carbon copies of Facebook features), but will this local rating system for restaurants and bars be the thing that sets this social network apart and possibly win visitors (or brands) back?  Doubtful….  I tried it out by searching for “beer” in Santa Rosa, CA and only two bars (one that is actually closed) came up in the search.  I guess I will have to try it out again in a few weeks to see if anything has changed.

*shana.

myspave

ben and jerry’s using facebook connect.

This new Facebook format has brought on a abundance of brands jumping into this social network to create Brand Pages… This has it’s positive and negative impacts.  The negative being that there are possibility too many choices of brands out there for Facebook users to become “fans” of.  The positive part of this is that the brands that put forth the extra effort will stand out.

Case in point: Ben and Jerry’s

This is a brand that I already have a deep connection with.  Phish food has been a part of some of my favorite college memories, eating a whole pint of it in the parking lot of Safeway or Vons with a friend when the occasional case of the munchies hit.

They have been one of the brands with the largest fan base since as far back as I started paying attention (almost a year and a half) and now you are able to participate with Ben and Jerry’s and Facebook on their own website.  With Facebook Connect you can post your favorite flavors on your Facebook Profile, letting all your friends know which flavors are your favorite.

fb-connectbenandjerrys

Why do this?  Well, it is all about your personal relationship with the brand.   The most memorable brands are the ones that people feel a personal connection with.   I will argue til I am blue in the face that Phish Food is the best flavor, and even though I do not have a personal preference of which winery truly has the best Pinot Noir, I have been known to get into arguments over which varietal of wine is the best and will go to any winery that makes a Pinot.

Which brands do you feel you have a “personal” connection with?

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