Since you can only read article’s from Media Post if you are a member (sign up for free here, I promise you will not be disappointed) I want to copy and paste an article I read about the trend of trading-down with wine and beer. (more…)
Just a day after reading about a friend’s lack of acknowledgment at Napa sparkling wine maker Domain Chandon, I was asked by a friend of mine to visit the Korbel tasting room to pick up some Zinfandel (yes, Korbel does make some wine).
I tweeted about my experience, briefly saying that
When I asked the older tasting room attendant if she ever gets any wine bloggers in the tasting room, I was greeted with not only a blank stare, but she almost looked insulted like I was speaking to her in a different language that she was supposed to figure out. She asked me what a blogger was and when I told her it was a person who wrote about wine online, she still continued her blank stare and simply said no.
Okay fine, this tasting room person was clearly a different generation and my experience was mediocre enough to not give it a second thought afterward. Expect I live in a world that is centered around the internet and my mind was on the Domain Chandon experience that I just missed out on. Interesting enough — several hours after tweeting about my experience, and even drinking a bottle of their zin at home (saying it was pretty good) I read an article in the Press Democrat about how Korbel is suing Comcast to make Comcast identify “internet customers” who criticized the wine company on Craigslist.
Without turning this post into a debate over freedom of speech or even talking about what was said about Korbel on the postings (read about that in the article), I will say that I think Korbel is going about this all wrong.
This incident happened a year ago and I remember reading it in the Press Democrat, not really thinking too much about it. Untrue (or possibly true) and unflattering things are said about brands online and offline everyday. While I do agree that those who said the slanderous allegations should not be allowed to remain anonymous… It is how a brand handles the negative PR that matters. I think if Korbel simply dismissed the allegations as false than I wouldn’t be here talking about them or my experience in the tasting room (they were playing the Bodyguard soundtrack from the early 90′s). Instead their reaction to the allegations was to sue Comcast to get the names of the people who created the postings, just so they can sue them for slander. This is not a good PR move, it makes them look guilty and it brings on more negative attention.
This got me thinking about Korbel and if they even have an online strategy…. It isn’t like I hear that much about Korbel within the wine-blogging community and in my daily marketing promotions emails. Their website, though saying brand new, is already out of date and to have their flash version open in another screen is not only unnecessary, it is annoying.
It is interesting that their site has a forum that currently isn’t working. Their Perfect Proposal Promotion link is currently not working as well.
Altogether, my perceived image of them is that they are out of date, and Korbel people, if you are reading this (which I hope you are because it means you at least have done something right online aka Google Alerts) these are not allegations, just one person’s experience at your beautiful, yet boring tasting room. I am a fan, especially of your blanc de noir sparkling wine. And, hey, if you need some online publicity help, call me… It is what I do.
It is a lovely Saturday morning in Alexander Valley. The weather is a surprising 75 degrees in January, it may be global warming but at this time in my life I am loving the Northern California heat. The perfect opportunity to eat breakfast and drink some wine on my back patio.
Since I spent a whole post talking about my morning habits, this post is my official Wine Blogging Wednesday (or Saturday) post*.
I bought the Morningstar Veggie Bacon Strips and the other ingredients for my Vegan “Bacon”, Potato, and Green Onion Frittata with the full intent to create this meal and drink it with my 2005 Bella Vineyard Zinfandel.
Great tagline: “Bring home the bacon — Leave the Guilt Behind.”
Once I got home and opened my tofu bacon strips, I was even more hesitant to make this whole meal and be disappointed in the texture and the taste of the tofu bacon. Seriously, look at it… I t looks like a fruit rollup and smells like a chemical version of paprika.
Tofu bacon has always been the “Everest” of tofu by-products for me… Something I have no real desire to try, but I feel like it is something I should — just to say I tried it. After my tofurkey attempt last Thanksgiving, I am hoping that the tofu bacon could restore my faith in tofu products that attempt to taste and look like meat.
Anyways, this post isn’t just about the tofu bacon or my thoughts on bacon in general.
Yes, bacon still stalks me online. No, I still have no desire to eat it.
But it is about the wine pairing (it is called Wine Blogging Wednesday, not Shana’s thoughts on breakfast).
What I ended up pairing with my zinfandel is the tofu bacon, frozen hashbrowns and a side of wheat toast. The cherry and raspberry flavors, along with the hint of cinnamon of the zin actually did pair very well with the tofu bacon’s attempt to taste like the real thing. The bacon had a smoky paprika taste that in theory wasn’t too bad.
Of course, once again – It was the texture that got to me. The “bacon” was a limp and rubbery, a failed attempt to come anything close to the crispy greasy piece of pork that everyone is so obsessed with.
So after getting through two pieces of the tofu bacon, I decided that this product wasn’t for me and finished the glass of wine with my hashbrowns and toast.
The Bella Zin is a great “food” wine, especially savory items like hashbrowns or possibly real bacon. It compliments the food without overshadowing it. It is also great on its own. Which, after I ate my breakfast, I drank while watching the birds in my backyard play in the one small puddle left over from the last rain (sometime in December).
Another attempt at a tofu product that is supposed to taste like meat ending in an epic fail. I feel like am letting my fellow Vegetarian’s down with my blogs about disliking tofu…. But seriously, I love tofu… I just think it needs to stick to the basics and not to try be something it is not.
I am still on your side Monsieur Tofu!!
*Another thing of focus for me in 2009 is my procrastination habits. Two weeks to do write this post and I wait until the day after the deadline too post it. Ooops.
Recently I spent a day wine tasting throughout Dry Creek Valley. True, I do this all the time, so it is not blog worthy. The difference is that this time I went with my two roommates and a friend of theirs from Chicago (for this blog post I shall call him Ed, because I like that name, and because it is his actual name).
Did I mention that all three of my wine tasting buddies are of the male species? Yes, a day of wine tasting with three guys. Oh, and Ed doesn’t even like wine.
“Truett-Hurst Winery is Dry Creek Valley’s newest Biodynamic winery. Our commitment to earth-friendly stewardship is paramount and echoes throughout everything we do, from the scenic stretch of bucolic Dry Creek on which we reside, through the vineyards and tasting room.”
They just opened up a few months back and they are completely remodeling the place to be a sustainable farm slash awesome place to drink some wine and listen to music. I look forward to seeing the barn open up, bringing my niece and nephew to visit the sheep and have a few picnic’s on their lawn next summer.
*Bob was a gracious host. We drank great pinots and zins while Bob and the guys talked about music. It was definitely a great first experience into the wine realm for Ed. He even bought the 2006 Red Rooster Zinfandel.
(pic of one of my roommates)
Next we went to visit Ross at Bella Winery. Two years living in Healdsburg and I have yet to visit this beautiful venue. It is probably because I tend to get stuck drinking wine with Amy at PappaPertrio Perry.
The entire wine cave at Bella was still decked out with Christmas trees that brought an instant smile to my face. The smell was exactly what I think of when I think of Christmas, and the great part was that it was combined with the smell of the oak wine barrels.
Here we tried 3 different zins and a syrah that I even liked. We attempted to show Ed the proper wine glass etiquette by explaining that the correct way to hold a wine glass is by the stem which does not interfere with the temperature of the wine. It was amusing to see such a big guy attempt to hold the glass by the stem, it just looked so unnatural for him. I left with a bottle of the 2005 Bella Vineyard Zinfandel.
During my brief period working at the lovely Kokomo Winery (yes, another one of our stops) Becky and I would be on the lookout for a group of guys wine tasting together. It was a rare occurrence for a group only consisting of guys to go out and taste wine together. When it happened, we loved it though. They definitely got a good amount of attention from us.
Though, since my adventure some of my questions that are been running through my head are:
- Is a group of guys wine tasting not “macho” enough?
- Are they like Ed holding the glass by the stem – Unnatural?
Is it just me that thinks this?
Just wanted to show off my Christmas tree this year. Ever since I have been living on my own I have lived in apartments either alone or with roommates that hate Christmas. This year I finally have a large enough place to get a tree that is taller than me. :)
I also decided to add a few twisted friends from my favorite winery that I have yet to actually visit: Twisted Oak down in Calveras County, CA
As I sit here and think about where I want to go with my post(s) about this past weekend at the Wine Bloggers Conference, I keep going back to some of the images that I took over the last three days (yes, when I remembered to bring my camera) and reminiscing on how great it was to meet wine peeps I have only talked to on twitter or facebook.
A couple favorites:
Soon after everyone else gets home and sobers up, I am sure there will be many more. Click on this one from Brittney from WineQ (aka Wine QT) so see the power of Twitter. As of 11/5 this image has over 340 unique views!
Altogether, a great networking and educational conference (i.e., A SUCCESS).
Lia Huber, Clos du Bois’ blogger for swirlingnotions.com just posted a blog asking the question, does having the experience just for the sake of a blog post make the experience satisfying enough to blog about, or is it that the experience was so satisfying that it creates a good blog post?
The back of my head is in a constant state of circulating ideas for my current, potential and dream clients; it doesn’t matter where I am: at the store, at a friend’s house, watching a movie, driving, walking down the streets of San Francisco… My friends have all rolled their eyes each time I pull out my camera to take a picture of a billboard, graffiti, in-store signage, a front of store display, a cool new high tech product, almost anything that I think should be forwarded onto my co-workers, blogged about or remembered for later.
Granted, there is nothing I enjoy more than great friends, the perfect wine and laughing until my eyes tear up, but it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice the experience for what you do for a living.
When I was younger I used to be the one at the parties taking the pictures. When I would get them developed I noticed that I was never in them, I was watching other people having fun. I finally realized that there is a balance of actually living and capturing the moment to share with others.
I don’t really think that I answered her question, nor do I even believe it is a question that can be answered, because it all comes down to enjoying life the way you want to without having it pass you by.
I wouldn’t want to be in any other profession, and yes, I do tend to obsess about work, but the best ideas come from real life experiences, being in the pictures, and maybe some time spent lounging on a hammock.
Spring in Sonoma County is welcomed in mid-February by the bright blossoms of mustard flowers that line the vineyard rows. By April the flowers have all been mowed down to make room for the grapes to be re-born. This is my favorite time of year to drive through Dry Creek Valley, enjoy in the views and visit some friends who work at wineries (preferably before Barrel Tasting Weekend, which is a great weekend to visit, but the amazingness is out shined by the large amount of people out on the road). Some of the best wineries to visit are Papapietro Perry and Peterson Winery, both a mile north of the general store (on the right side of the road).
This image is the first blog post of my new Flickr set called “Stuff I Love.” Every week, I am trying to add a new picture to the set. Mostly for my own personal enjoyment, but hey, if you enjoy it too, all the better.
According to a recent Washington Post article, Federal regulators have proposed requiring the alcoholic-beverage industry to put nutrition and alcohol-content labels on their containers. Consumers currently have almost no standardized information on calories, ingredients, or alcohol in a serving of beer, wine or liquor. Some producers, including brewers of light beer, list some of the information to help capture sales.
There is concern that the content rules may give one sector an advantage over the other.
- Beermakers are the biggest opponent of this comparison because, unlike a 12-ounce beer, there is no standard measure for how much liquor, and thus how much alcohol, goes into a drink.
- Vintners are concerned about the cost of the proposal, which would require lab testing of different wines.
The labeling requirement would not take effect until three years after a final rule.