Thursday, July 1, 2010

Live Blogging: Wine Tasting Goes Speed Dating and Leaves Conference-goers in a State of Twitterpation

The concept of speed dating has never appealed to me and I find it a bit confounding, to be honest. I mean, let's get real. How in the world are you supposed to know whether you want to ger to know someone further after just a few minutes of rambling, sweaty palm-inducing conversation? As I and some of my bloggers discovered, the same logic applies to wine when it is hastily and perhaps clumsily revealed.
One hour...12 wineries...five minutes to plead their case...In what amounted to the most dizzying 60 minutes I've experienced since I last watched LOST, winery reps (this happened twice, one hour for whites and one for reds) talked terroir, tannins and time spent in barrel. 
Here I was, floating in a sea of wine with my fellow bloggers, our spit buckets filled to the brim, Tweeting away until I thought we'd all require thumb transplants. Here's a sample from my feed as I furiously documented the process:

@emerituswines Ponzi Pinot not fruit forward enough for me but nice nose

@nectarwine oh i agree...awesome stuff i wanna bath in it

@TrioVintners red blend is tasty but I want more body!

@nectarwine I liked it, but it didn't have the fullness on the tongue that I expected from the nose..

@vinophile Molly Dooker Velvet Glove..incense..where are Tommy James and the Shondells when I need them?
There were certainly some standouts. I enjoyed the 'punch me in the face' high acidity moxy of a rose from Pithy Little Wine Company, the Old World fruit of L'Ecole No. 1's Chenin Blanc and a well balanced Sauv Blanc from Cornerstone Cellars. 
Much to my chagrin, which quickly turned to humor, there was also boxed wine...apparently, the folks at Pepperwood Grove (Don Sebastiani is the label's negociant) were out to show us that their Big Green Box Chardonnay shouldn't just be reserved for NCIS marathons and bad Lifetime movies starring Jaclyn Smith.
Actually, it should. The wine with no corkscrew to call its own wasn't as balanced as I would have hoped; the tropical flavors had potential to rise above the bad TV cliche, but ultimately struggled to be tasted.

Not the case for John Concannon, fourth generation winemaker at Concannon Vineyards, celebrating its 127th harvest this year. His spiel was colorful and passionate, his wine smooth and well balanced:

One of my last Tweets pretty much summed up the madness:

#WBC10 Speed dating..urr..I mean, live blogging with wines...I think the Don Sebastiani guy may ask me out :)

Urr...not if he reads this post, Vino Chick!

On Monday, I'll show you how I celebrated Independance Day with some red, white and blue vino and my family at the Jersey Shore.

For more of my wine adventures, follow me on Twitter @VinoChick75.

Special thanks to Robert Whitley at:

Happy to report that Vino Chick is making news:


  1. Hi Nicky,

    How did I miss you at the Wine Bloggers Conference? You were on my list of people I wanted to meet in person. All the volunteer video diary and documentary work kept us very busy.

    The video diaries we recorded are now live if you want to check them out at Our video blog is located at If you have any suggestions on content, I’d greatly appreciate the advice.

    (Robert Whitley told me he'd sponsored an attendee, and I'm glad to hear you were the one. Wine Review Online is a fantastic resource.)

    Hope to see you in Charlottesville next summer (if not before).

    Lisa Mattson
    The Journey of Jordan: a wine and food video blog

  2. Hi Lisa-
    Sorry we missed each other! But not totally..I did enjoy some Jordan Cab in between sessions on Saturday

    Robert Whitley is a great guy, huh? I enjoyed the conference so much!! I am sure you were swamped with the video diaries, and I regret not taping one. I look forward to checking out your video blog and am flattered you would ask for feedback.

    I'll be up your way sometime during harvest and would love to meet you. Take care and thank you for reaching out to me, Lisa.


  3. Lisa-
    I love your vlog!!! Terrific production values and awesome content!!! We need to chat more about this stuff...I'll be up your way sometime in September/October..