Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
The Northern Rhone is my favorite wine region in France, I have been enjoying tasting through its regions prior to my upcoming trip there.
This is the land of cool climate Syrah, of which Côte-Rôtie is the most well known.
The first night quic
kly sampling this was pleasant, but didn’t have that ‘ooh’ factor I want in a $60 Côte-Rôtie. Fortunately the second night, it improved.
I can’t agree with the comments on CellarTracker from a year ago of too much oak or new world style. But its a year later it could have integrated some. If anything the wine was a bit simple
prior to some air. And at 12.5% alc not over done or over ripe.
Its still young (obviously) and improves with aeration, and will do so bottle aging.
It was also more aromatic night two. Also
interesting as I changed to a larger Riedel stem, more oak was prevalent on the nose.
- To The Eye: Dark purple color, unfiltered.
- On The Nose: (Varied greatly by stemware bowl size – tried 3 different size Riedels.) Violets, White pepper, smoked meat.
- On The Palate: Black fruits, olive notes, meaty notes; a finish of mocha, with some structure, and a good finish.
Imported by Kermit Lynch. Not a value buy at $60, but a fair price for Cote Rotie. I’d cellar if purchased.
Sonoma County’s finest hour is at hand, at the <a href=”http://www.sonomawinecountryweekend.com/events_showcase.asp” target=”_blank”>Taste of Sonoma </a>event, the showcase of the <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/winecountryweekend
” target=”_blank”>Sonoma Wine Country Weekend</a> experience. For those of you who waited to buy tickets, it sold out again this week, the earliest ever. (I did warn you!) A few tickets to the <a href=”http://www.sonomawinecountryweekend.com/events_starlight.asp” target=”_blank”>Sonoma Starlight Supper Club</a> are still available. That’s <strong>tonight </strong>fyi! Simple Hedonisms will be there to partake of this new event.
<h2>Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Sommelier Stars from across the US</h2>
The Taste of Sonoma offers more than
just the amazing AVA based wine & food pairings and tastings. Seminars, food demonstrations, and other educational experiences abound. These are lead by a team of rock star Sommelier’s who have traveled to share their expertise with attendees.
Sommeliers from Northern California, as well as cities as far as 3,000 miles away, will serve as resident all-star wine guides at several events taking place throughout Sonoma County this coming weekend at the 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, co-produced by the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Foundation and Sonoma County Vintners.<a href=”http://simplehedonisms.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/329108_10150445507679554_1562591989_o.jpg”><img class=”alignright size-medium wp-image-7877″ title=”SWCW12″ src=”http://simplehedonisms.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/329108_10150445507679554_1562591989_o-300×200.jpg” alt=”" width=”300″ height=”200″ /></a>
The rising wine experts, known as the “Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Sommelier Stars,” are sponsored by Rodney Strong Vineyards and Southern Wine & Spirits. The somms will be immersed in Sonoma to gain an even deeper understanding of the region and the wines. They will also lead seminars and tours at Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch in Healdsburg on Saturday, September 1 as well as provide custom wine service to auction guests at the 20th annual Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood on Sunday, September 2.
The 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Sommelier Stars are:
<li>Charlie Berg – BOURBON STEAK, Washington DC</li>
<li>Nichole Dishman – Viognier Restaurant, San Mateo, CA</li>
<li>Sian Ferguson-Nagan – Root Down & Linger, Denver, CO</li>
<li>Michael Garcia – Southern Wine & Spirits, San Francisco, CA</li>
<li>Bjorn Kock – Salt House, San Francisco, CA</li>
<li>Mariya Kovacheva – Café Boulud, Palm Beach, FL</li>
<li>Dana Manison – Southern Wine & Spirits, San Francisco, CA</li>
<li>Christopher McFadden – Hy’s Steakhouse, Vancouver, BC</li>
<li>Jennifer Perlstein – Americano Restaurant at the Hotel Vitale, San Francisco, CA</li>
<li>Bert Rangle – River’s End, Jenner-by-the-Sea, CA</li>
<li>Stefen Soltysiak – Rodney Strong Wine Estates, Healdsburg, CA</li>
<li>Deirdre Summers – Scala’s Bistro, San Francisco, CA</li>
<li>Ryan Williams – Ana Mandara, San Francisco, CA</li>
Proceeds from Sonoma Wine Country Weekend benefit local communities and charities serving students, children, farm workers and people in need. To date, more than $11 million has been raised jointly by the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation and Sonoma County Vintners. The 2012 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is set for Labor Day Weekend, August 31 – September 2, 2012.
For those who cannot attend the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction, yet would still like to participate in the charitable effort, an online auction of additional lots, including many of Sonoma County’s finest large format wine bottles and exclusive experiences, is open for bidding through September 7, 2012 at <a href=”http://www.biddingforgood.com/sonomawinecountryweekend” target=”_blank”>http://www.biddingforgood.com/sonomawinecountryweekend</a>.
<h2><strong>Follow Live On Twitter</strong></h2>
Those of you who can’t attend, can follow the fun live via Twitter. If my Verizon Mifi does the job, I’ll be
broadcasting recommendations and photos over Twitter via hashtag <a href=”https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23swcw12″ target=”_blank”>#SWCW12</a>
Cheers to Sonoma and her many wonderful people, experiences, and treasures!
<a href=”http://simplehedonisms.com/archives/7839″ rel=”prev”>Sonoma County’s Finest Wine Weekend Gets Even Better: New Starlight Dinner Kickoff</a>
One of the beauties of the ever expanding wine industry (new wineries continue to open despite the downturn) is the never ending source of wineries, new releases, winemakers, wine venues, and events to explore.
Frankly it’s downright daunting…I can’t get to all of the 180+ wineries in a 30 mile radius of where I live, let alone get deep into Napa, an hour away, all of Sonoma Valley 45 minutes away, and remote areas I love including Paso Robles, 3.5 hours away, Willamette Valley…and so many more. (Not too mention my full time VP of Sales/Marketing job, the social media assistance I offer, and my runaway garagiste project.
Simple Hedonisms, due to time constraints, has yet to fully evolve into what I want to write; which is the stories of artisans producers, and consumer wine education. It does to some extent achieve it’s goal of “connecting enthusiastic consumers to passionate artisans” via event coverage, and wine reviews, but it is still my desire to go much deeper. By adding more writers, and AVA (wine region) specialists, I hope to be able to capture more individual focus on AVA’s, and free me up to broader focus, as well as add more local insider views and expertise.
Are we trying to become Palate Press…not even close, completely different intents and focus. Simple Hedonisms is a non-monetized blog (we attempt to cover costs is all, not that anything is wrong with monetizaton!) designed to assist the wine industry and associated local businesses.
Two New Writers
A few months ago we announced the addition of Katherine Parker, a resident of Sonoma Valley. Today I am pleased to announce the addition of new writers Deborah Kravitz (who’s guest articles have been a big hit) and Tracy Logan-Immordino.
Deborah brings a great perspective of both avid consumer and now some hospitality experience. She is my personal go to person for California Pinot, and tips on Mendocino County. Tracy is a long time employee of the Wine Road, representing the AVA’s of the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys. You can read more about them in the new Writer’s Bio tab.
- People with decent writing skills and a passion for wine, and the industry.
- Living in or close to, a key area or AVA: Napa, Mendocino, Paso Robles, Monterrey/Carmel, Santa Cruz, Willamette, Walla Walla, etc. and the desire to make that a focus.
- Ability to write two (minimum) – four short articles a month on local events, wineries, related topics. People generally write best about what excites them, so I to embrace each writer’s personal focus and passion.
What Do I Get out of This, Why Not just Start, (or Continue) my Own Blog
- If you think starting a blog presence and getting a following is easy in today’s crowded world, guess again. It takes substantial persistence to get momentum underway, and then maintain it. Not to mention design, creation, maintenance and regular content. The Simple Hedonisms brand is already well established, with a good following, and one that can be easily expanded.
- Training and assistance on using WordPress.
- Readership and traffic grows steadily each month; as of Sept 2010 averaging around 3,000 unique readers and 200,000 hits. It’s not Vinography, but for 12 months that’s respectable, and the wider focus will grow readers.
- If you publish your own blog, with some discussion, content is open to re-use.
- After a successful trial period, you will be provided with business cards, and occasional wine samples and event tickets. This is not the main incentive for coming on board, but an additional perk.
- This format is open, with possibilities for future evolution, growth and ideas.
- You will be part of a collaborative team and benefit from idea sharing, knowledge growth, and exposure.
- We aren’t sample or ticket whores, are fully against bloggers that are, and any discovery of aggressive solicitation, or behaviors will result in parting ways.
- We aren’t argumentative (when writing), engage in ‘blogger wars’, or drama. Our focus is consumers and the wine industry.
If you, or someone you know would be interested, contact me and we can discuss live. We will start with several new writers, then possibly phase a few more in. A sample of writing is request, if available.
What do Readers Think?
Ultimately this is for you. Additional writers means more regular articles, broader coverage, and view points. Would 4-5 short pieces a week be too much? Do you like, or dislike covering more AVA’s?
If you subscribe to wine blogs, invariably you are starting to see the stream of posts about the 2010 Wine Blog Awards.
It’s hard to believe only 6 months ago I launched Simple Hedonisms. Its been incredibly rewarding to watch traffic grow. March traffic doubled with 2000 readers and 180,000 hits. That’s peanuts compared to guys like Vinography and Fermentation, but the difference in Simple Hedonisms is that the audience is highly localized, by design, First to Sonoma, then the Bay Area, and California. Eventually I will focus on growing National Readership, but that can’t really occur until I have the proper time to dedicate, and am not traveling 4 days a week working 12+ hour days. Besides, the main goal of Simple Hedonisms was to “connect passionate consumers to dedicated Artisans” and that’s much easier to do initially on a smaller scale.
For those of you not local, it isn’t just the blog, its the involvement and participation in the local wine industry that I unfortunately rarely write about, that I spend a lot of rewarding time doing. Whether it’s organizing the monthly Facebook Wine Meetups for 60+ people, helping a winery or an association promote an event, or just helping spread the word and help people make connections. I have been blessed to meet and work with many amazing people and organizations, and more importantly, be able to call them friend.
That’s a typical William verbose way of saying its a pure Labor of Love. And to that extent, almost all wine blogs are, since most generate little/no income. (Mine runs in the red.) I’d ask that Blog readers take the time to nominate, and then vote for, blogs that you read. Would I be honored if it was Simple Hedonisms? Of course. But I am not about to embark on the heavy self promoting campaigns that will follow, as its not my style, and your readership is my true reward. I do look forward to attending this years Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla and meeting many of my fellow bloggers in person.
The Categories for Nomination are below with a link; each has a description of the award in more detail:
Thanks for reading, nominating, and voting. Cheers!
Up until now I have been using my personal Facebook site for Simple Hedonisms. I will still of course maintain that and do some wine updates there, but I recognized there may be people who want to follow and interact with the blog and not me per se. Also technically now that the blog is gaining momentum and do advertising and writing for events like Wine Road Barrel Tasting, The Pinot Noir Summit, The Hospice du Rhone, and more, technically its (becoming) a small business, and should have a Fan site. (I am going to keep just one Twitter account however.)
This blog is intended for, and will remain mostly written to consumers; however as I do more and more work and consulting on Social Media and Marketing, I will publish an occasional piece on that as well, given Simple Hedonisms readers are winery’s in addition to consumers.
Lots of great new articles, events, contests, and promotions to come, as Simple Hedonisms continues its goal to connect consumers to passionate Artisans.
Drum Roll Please
I am pleased to finally release my new blog: Simple Hedonisms. (Yes I know ‘Hedonism’ doesn’t normally have a plural tense, I made it that way. Creative blogger license.) It has been a labor of love, gnashing of teeth, staring at php code, and a re-start. Not quite like birthing, but I feel relieved!
Why the Blog? For Whom?
You can gain some insight to the blog’s intent and about me on the ‘About Simple Hedonisms’ page. But who is the blog for? It is my hope to assist both the passionate consumer in their consumption and education of wine and food, as well as the artisan establishments that labor to create these hedonisms for our pleasure and bring enjoyment into our lives. The wine and food industry is full of small artisans and families who barely have time to produce their wares, raise a family and run their business, sometimes neglecting the important part of consumer awareness, through lack of time, experience, or both. I am blessed to live in an area surrounded by such people, and it is my desire to help connect the passionate consumer with the artisan. I have been an avid consumer for many years, and now have gone even deeper.
Giving Back to the Artisans, and to Sonoma County
I fell in love with the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County when I worked for a Petaluma startup back in 2000, and have since been a frequent visitor. I decided earlier this year to follow my heart’s desire and move here, where I now reside in the Windsor area, close to Healdsburg. As the Wine Road web site says, this is “Heaven Condensed.” As someone who has lived all over the US, 2 foreign countries, and 3 other parts of the Bay area, I can say I have finally found home. I think I knew it years ago, and finally changed my priorities. I could wax poetic for hours on the amazing people that live in Sonoma County (and may in a post later.) Warm, friendly, caring people who love life, appreciate the gifts we are blessed with here, and work, live, and play hard to enjoy our blessings. These are people with warm hearts, good souls, and a passion for life.
Networking for Myself, and Now for Others
I moved here knowing almost no one, and in the last five months have quadrupled my Facebook Friends, and more importantly, met face to face so many amazing people; from growers, farmers, wine makers, chefs, store keeps, sales and marketing consultants… every walk of life.
It’s been rewarding to not only meet these people and learn from them, but now recently, actually be able to help others network and make connections, particularly the small wineries. (I recently helped several increase Facebook fans by 20-50% in just a few days.) Many people know me for my avid passion for events here. They follow, and thank me for the visibility and awareness I help bring to the community through social media.
To Give is To Recieve
It has been a real pleasure to be embraced so openly by so many, and now to be able to give back. I hope over the next months and years to grow as a contributor to this community and industry, and help others experience the magic that exists here, if only for a weekend. I look forward to our futures together.
There are four articles to start, with many planned for upcoming weeks. I hope you enjoy them, and look forward to your feedback.
If you like the blog, I would be honored if you’d subscribe, and tell friends.
Built Bit by Byte
<Written on launch day, but moved to bottom>
While the marketeer in me would like to spend endless more hours on the design of this blog, the sales exec in me know’s its time to get this baby launched, especially since my sabbatical may be ending soon, and the return of road warrior executive lifestyle is imminent. (More in a future post.)
The expedient route would have been to launch the blog in a hosted environment, where you pick a name and run. However, it was important to me to have maximum control over the media, tools, and development as the blog evolves over time. This meant jumping into unfamiliar waters and figuring out how to buy and build my own website, learn the suite of tools in WordPress.org to host it, figure out php code, customize all the widgets (SO many hours on the big calendar!) and more. That not being daunting enough, I decided I didn’t like any of the design templates out there (even one I paid for) and purchased software to design my own.
Would I say the design, color scheme, logo etc. is done? Nowhere near, but it’s a start, and over time I will engage outside design assistance. (Many thanks to all in the focus groups who provided feedback this last month.)
Also a special thank you to editors/coaches Karen Newton, Deborah Kravitz, and Rebel Red.