What I learned at the 2012 Wine Blogger Conference

I just got back from Portland, OR, where Mr. WannabeWino and attended the 5th annual Wine Blogger Conference. I’ve been to 4 out of 5 and I’ve learned (maybe?) something at each conference. Some of those lessons continue to repeat themselves (sadly…) and others are new. Here, I present to you a brief overview of what I learned at the 2012 WBC. Overall, Oregon rocked for wine. I wish I could have stayed longer and tasted more. However, I brought home/ordered to be shipped around 4 cases of wine, so I will enjoy the wine treasures for months to come. Without further ado, my top ten “lessons” from WBC 12.

Mr. Wannabe Wino and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary at the Jordan Vineyards Magnum party.

1.) I still look like my picture, but clearly not as much as I used to since I only got that comment a half dozen times this year.

2.) I love Pinot from Oregon. But I still needed a beer or something to cleanse my palate at the end of the day.

(Image courtesy of The Barley Blog)

3.) I feel like a grandmother of wine blogging even though I’ve only been at it just shy of 6 years. I think the oldest wine blog is only 8 years old though, so the grandfathers aren’t much older.








4.) With that said, this is my 4th WBC, and I still have zero interest in monetization.  That horse is dead. Can we please, please, please bury it?

(Image courtesy of Mutineer Magazine)

5.) You should be yourself at all times, unless yourself involves writing wine reviews, then you should be someone else because wine reviews are boring. (Sarcasm font enabled here in case you couldn’t tell.)






6.) The folks of Carlton, OR have an awesome little town on their hands on and they really banded together to put it all on for the bloggers. I was seriously impressed. (More on this later.)

7.) King Estate KICKED serious ass for the main night dinner.

8.) I need more girl friends where I live. I am so, so missing Thea, Mary, Melanie, Liza, Debbie, etc.  I just can’t explain the value of like minded women who will swig out of a bottle, rap to Vanilla Ice, and make wee jokes with you. It’s pretty priceless.

9.) I can taste and fairly evaluate about 40 wines in a day. Max.

10.) I still hate the Wine Blog Awards.

2009 Cornerstone Oregon Pinot Noir

Final round of speed dating brings us the 2009 Cornerstone Oregon Pinot Noir. This is a wine I’m very very familiar with. In fact, I drank it earlier today, on Thursday night, and last week I think.  It has a beautiful spicy nose with chocolate, roses, violets, red cherries, black raspberries, and white pepper. In the mouth it’s all about black cherry, black raspberry, spice, acidity, and tannins on the finish.

I always serve this with salmon, but it would also be wonderful with the bacon roasted chicken I make.

2010 ArcherySummit Premier Cuvee Pinot Noir

Round 9 finds the 2010 ArcherySummit Premier Cuvee Pinot Noir. I had a little experience with Archery Summit earlier this year through a Taste Live event and really enjoyed them. This particular Pinot retails for $48 and has national distribution to all 50 states. On the nose I’m finding spice, chocolate, black cherry, pepper. In the mouth I’m getting lots more spice and black cherry, black raspberry, and great acidity.

I’d like this one on it’s own on a chilly fall night.

2010 J. Christopher Willamette Pinot Noir

Up next, for round 8 of speed dating/tasting is the 2010 J. Christopher Willamette Pinot Noir. The price point on this wine is They just joined twitter today! Welcome! The price point is $30. On the nose I’m getting black raspberry, cherry, spice, and lots of chocolatey notes. In the mouth I’m finding layers of red and black fruit, spice, good structure, a mineral streak, and great acidity.
More salmon please.

2008 Maryhill Zinfandel

Round 7 of speed dating and we find the 2008 Maryhill Zinfandel from WA state on our table. I’m very familiar with Maryhill and absolutely love their Cab Francs. The Zin retails $17ish and you can find it in 28 states. On the nose spice, vanilla bean, pepper, blackberry, and chocolate. In the mouth I get more spice, lots of fruit, and great acidity.

Serve with your next Thanksgiving dinner.

2010 Chatte D’Avignon Seven of Hearts GSM

Round 6 of speed dating tasting brings us the 2010 Chatte D’Avignon Seven of Hearts GSM. The wine has a 252 case production and comes to us from WA state. You can buy it for $25 at the winery and in OR. On the nose I”m getting spice, cedar cigar box, black fruit, perfume, yum. In the mouth I’m finding spice, cherries, black fruit, and great acidity. I love a good Grenache Syrah Mourvedre.

Drink with beef tenderloin.

2008 Gina Gallo Napa Cabernet Sauvignon

Back to my roots in CA with the 2008 Gina Gallo Napa Cabernet Sauvignon  with round 5 of the speed dating tasting. This retails for $40, a very reasonable price point for a Napa Valley Cab. It also has 7% Petite Verdot blended in. Small production at only 110 cases. On the nose I’m getting vanilla bean, bright black fruits with plums, cherries, and blackberries. In the mouth I’m finding it to be very juicy with nice blackberry and earth and good tannins on the finish, suggesting it could age for quite some time.

Bring me some Stilton and a cigar.

2009 Johan Nils Reserve Pinot Noir

Round 4 of speed dating tasting brings us another OR Pinot Noir, woo hoo, the 2009 Johan Nils Reserve Pinot Noir!  This wine retails for $45 and can be found mostly in Portland and at the winery, with some distribution in FL, WI, WA, MN, and a few others.  Sniffing the wine I am getting spice and pepper notes with black raspberry and cherry. Nice structure on the palate with bright red fruit, good acidity and a smooth, lingering finish.

Drink with some steelhead trout and enjoy.

2009 Seufert Vine Idly Pinot Noir

Third to our table for speed tasting is the 2009 Seufert Vine Idly Pinot Noir. At only 250 cases produced this makes up about 1/8 of the total winery production and it retails for $30. On the nose I am getting eucalyptus, mint, green pepper, and funk-y earth. Bring on the funk! In the mouth it is dark and stormy, with more earth, funk, herbs, and pepper notes.

Give me a fire and some smoky cheeses with this wine.

2009 Alexana Signature Dunde Hills Pinot Noir

Speed wine dating round two brings our table the 2009 Alexana Signature Dunde Hills Pinot Noir. The Signature is made with their best select 9 barrels and is available only via the tasting room or dtc sales. On the nose, smokey meat with dusty chocolate, violets, and cherries. In the mouth bright red fruit, berries, cherries, and lovely acidity with some herbal earthy notes.

Keeping with my OR wines = seafood theme, this would be amazing with cedar planked salmon. Can someone bring me some now?