Archive for March, 2009

img00255-20090331-0904Last fall, I attended the New York Web 2.0 Expo.  You can tell from my blog and twitter stream then (September 2008) that that conference was wholly inspirational for me.  On multiple fronts, from the keynote speakers (we enjoyed Gary Vaynerchuk, Arianna Huffington and Ben Huh from ICanHasCheeseburger) to a fantastic series of workshops and sessions …and then there was the networking, and Wine 2.0 tasting, the tweeting, the blogging…you get the idea…value and inspiration.

So yes, from this side of the event, I can identify the value,  inspiration, excitement and content that has changed the way I do business, marketing, blogging and sales.  Now on the early side of a new conference and a full cup of coffee…it isn’t so easy to see the inspiration…all I got is anticipation.  And I’m wondering, though trusting, that the inspiration, excitement, etc. will come.  But that takes time.  And you could also probably say you get out what you put in to it.  Sifting through the details of the first session, Web Monitoring, requires…more coffee, and some critical thinking, focus and application of strategy.  In a snapshot cliche from the 80’s, “No Pain, No Gain.”


I’m looking forward to all of it.  More coffee first, then content and connection, then cocktails.  This is where ideas gestate, then are able to take on a life of their own.  And you never know where you’ll find inspiration; but I can promise that Web 2.0 is definitely among the most fertile ground in this space.


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Food & Wine Porn

chocoheartI’ve been learning a lot lately about what I do (always learning more with wine), where I’m going, and the work-life balance along the way.  Something else I learned about myself:  I’m into Food & Wine Porn…my wino, foodie, bacon loving friends will know exactly what I’m talking about.  The rest of you can guess…or perhaps smirk at my noob status in this strange new world.  For example, now I can get a visceral, mouth-watering reaction not just from smelling divine foods as they are prepared, I can also have these reactions when people just talk about it…and even show me pictures.


Precious complaints aside re: terrible service or hospitality in the Valley, I’ll never stop and will likely increase my love for food, wine and the pleasure of enjoying those in the company of great friends and family.  With that said, it seems like the perfect opportunity to share my latest Food & Wine porn site with you…and some of her selections…oh man.  Just check these out and tell me you don’t want some!


Juggling that work-life balance and living in the world of food and wine reminds me to savor…the flavors, the moments, the company.  All she needs now is the bacon.  Thanks PinkPeppercorn.

Photos courtesy of Gail aka ThePinkPeppercork…on flickr.

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Good Bubbles

I have some serious praise for Mr. Tom Tiburzi, the Domaine Chandon sparkling winemaker.  He went above and beyond the call of duty.  Indeed he responded to my unhappy post about an unpleasant experience some friends and I had at Domaine Chandon last month.  He certainly didn’t have to do that… but there was something about hiscommunication, a connection, or something that was not coated with an obligatory-fixing-a-problem-ness, that changed me and my experience at Domaine Chandon, therefore, was changed.  Maybe he was just doing his job (it sure didn’t feel like that);  but when anyone can do their job extremely well, (he’s been at Domaine Chandon 20 years) and still have enough passion, knowledge and care for sharing and inspiring the people around him, that is above and beyond the call of duty and truly praise worthy.  Any opportunity you find to attend a winemaker dinner, a talk or tour with this man will be memorable, and prescious time well spent.


I could tell you about the excitement he has about the chemistry and psychology of taste; or the joy he takes in challenging people’s concept of romance.  I could recount his fascinating stories about studying winemaking with other world reknown winemakers before he achieved his current position, or his bent for experimental, progressive, and better wine making practices.  And I could tell you about his big picture prespective within the company where he works (Domaine Chandon is owned by Louis-Vuitton Moet Hennessey) and the projects and collaborations he gets to work on (DKNY, an anniversary blend, the White House, green sparkling wine for St. Patricks Day)…or you could create your own opportunity to enjoy one of the most hospitable, dynamic, passionate and approachable winemakers in the Napa Valley.

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I struggled with who to write about ever since I signed up for this pledge.  Knowing how noteworthy and valuable this series would be, I had to get it right.  Thanks to my addiction to political news and Rachel Maddow, I found Adria Richards.  She is now known for exposing lax or non-existent security on Norm Coleman’s website (R: Minnesota senate candidate) leaving over 50,000 donor credit cards vulnerable to fraud and theft.  Ms. Richards is an independent woman in technology, young, with vision and a political bent…for this post, she is perfect!  Check out more about Adria on her site: But You’re a Girl.Com (I love that site name.)

Quoting directly from her About Me page: “Women often get the short end of the stick when it comes to technology. People’s perceptions of what she’s capable of and interested in affect her opportunities and earnings. I know I’m not the only female in technology who is sick of pink laptops and rhinestone cell phones. I’m going to blog about things I enjoy in the technology world and gripe about the frustrating things in a constructive way.”


I could not be more proud to be a working woman in this time and place right now.  People like Adria Richards with her focus, determination, courage and brilliance inspire me to do more, be more, reach for more.  I love that she has a running list of goals on her web site.  And she’s crossing them off one by one.  Her sharp and gentle savvy are a breath of fresh air.  It is my honor to share with you this Woman in Technology: Ms. Adria Richards.

Photo & Video courtesy of Ms. Adria Richards website.


* http://findingada.com
* http://www.pledgebank.com/AdaLovelaceDay
* http://twitter.com/FindingAda
* http://groups.yahoo.com/group/findingada
* http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=47550446005

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I’m enjoying my way through this book:  Vintage Humor for Wine Lovers by Malcom Kushner.  I’ll offer a review soon, but until I’m done, I’d like to offer you an excerpt I just love.  Have a great wine this weekend.

If Famous Authors & Comedians Wrote About Wine

Dr. Seuss on Champagne

I do not like it


I do not like that pagne of cham

It sends bubbles up my nose

And makes me vomit on my toes

I do not like that


Would you like it here or there?

I would not like it here or there

I would not like it anywhere

Would you like it in a flute?

I would not like it in a flute

And even Horton wouldn’t give a hoot

Would you like it if it’s old?

Could you like it if it’s cold?

I would not like it if it’s old

I could not like it if it’s cold

I would not like it here or there

I would not like it anywhere

I do not like that pagne of Cham

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One great thing about the Wine Blog Awards is that, while many worthy blogs don’t win (for a great rant, check out Another Wine Blog‘s thoughts on these awards), there are some finalists and winners that gain exposure and I hope, garner more readership.  Or check out my list to the right here.  I say bravo to any tool that increases wine blogger readership.  Twitter is another place helping increase blogger readership (exposure) as does Mutineer Magazine.

Look how fun and sexy wine can be!  Wine blogs are too.sexywine

So what’s my point?  I’m digging for the tools that grow wine blogger readership.  That is, of course assuming that we’re talking about great blogs worth reading that are: educational, funny, relevant, well written, fascinating new perspectives, etc….you get the idea.  And why is that?  More people reading great blogs (free, BTW) about wine = more people curious, interested and excited about wine = more people talking about wine = more people enjoying wine.  If more people are enjoying wine then they are also enjoying each other…connecting.  Therefore:

  • Wineries should promote wine blogs.
  • Wine retailers should promote wine blogs.
  • Restaurants should promote wine blogs.
  • Post links to your favorite blogs on facebook…and update your list every 90 days.

And then…Drink More Wine.

Or, As our friends at Bin 36 like to say: “Drink Wine. Live Well. Have Fun.”

Any questions?


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fbI have been on facebook for a while…maybe a year or two.  Several friends dragged me after I had already spent time assembling a MySpace page…also a year or two ago.  At first it seemed like a great place to semi-connect with friends and family through photos & messages.  Fast forward to today.  In addition to the hundreds of friends I have on my personal facebook page, I (co) manage a Fan page for Hahn Family Wines, Cycles Gladiator and Santa Lucia Highlands Wine Artisans.  I am fascinated to watch as people become fans, contribute photos, discussions, questions, and as the content fills out on these pages.

Did you know there is a Fan page for facebook?  It is packed with great information, it is easy to sort through and essential if you are an administrator for any fan or group pages.  We’re all still collaborating and working together (within the wine company and among fellow wineries) to figure out how best to use the facebook group and fan pages.  What kind of content is interesting to the fans?  What keeps them coming back to the fan pages?  And why?  How will these virtual gathering places bring value, content and wine interest that wine lovers want, need and keep current in their lives?  And the bniggest question:  Will they buy wine as a result?


This is the first post in a series on facebook in the wine industry.  I have been to the facebook offices and met with my new friend Andrew who built News Feed for facebook (thanks Cortney Erin).  Andrew and I are working on a conversation for the Wine 2.0 event on April 2 to answer questions and walk wine industry guests through the “how to’s” and “why for” on facebook for wine lovers.  We know Gary V and facebook’s Dave Morin are hanging out …and further, facebook and Wine Library are in a partnership.  LOVE THAT!  Once again, anything that brings wine to a wider audience I am in favor of, indeed!  And leave it to Gary to convert the unconverted.  He has successfully uncorked facebook…there are no limits.

facebookwineSo the whole point of this post is to set up musings about facebook for businesses, groups and the wine industry…asking why?  What do you have to say about how you use facebook?  Do you participate in groups?  What for?  Community?  Information?  Facebook is doing an awesome job of staying ahead of the curve…redesigning the home page, adjusting status updates, offering feeds from blogs, twitter, flickr, and so on.  And what about facebook connect?  What will that mean for facebook interface, blog commenting, posting, etc?  We’ll find out much more about facebook connect when we sit down with Andrew on April 2 in San Francisco.


I see a lot of potential here, both for users and for wineries on facebook.  Yet, a lot of the functionality, value and interest will be (like most successful Web 2.0 sites) user generated.  So is the wine community interested and engaged enough to participate on facebook when it comes to groups and fan pages?  That means both the industry, providing the fan pages and intital content AND the consumers, adding interest and content as they become more engaged.  Is there enough content and need or desire to bring people back to the Fan/Group pages again and again?  The great thing about wine is that it engenders social activity, conversation and participation.  Our industry is uniquely positioned to partner beautifully within social media, to  inform, educate and  connect…all in conversation about wine.  There are already dozens of wine groups and fan pages.  Check these out and let us know what you think.  And share additional wine group or fan pages in the comments section here as well.  There’s a lot we can learn from each other as we sort through this new meduim.  I find more to learn and additional ways to connect through social media, so I am thrilled the wine industry has found its way here.  Because as we have heard before: “Better relationships drive better business, period.” (Amber Naslund)


Photos courtesy of facebook and my Blackberry Storm and ICanHasCheeseburger.


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