Posts Tagged ‘Michel-Schlumberger’

This Friday – Sonoma Facebook Wine Meetup & Mixer at Michel-Schlumberger Winery

It’s that Wild and Crazy time again this Friday: the monthly Sonoma Facebook Wine Meetup; 530-730 p.m.

What is this all about, and why should you attend? I’ll pretend you have been buried in work, and not heard about this popular event, that started last December. I quickly realized two things when I made the permanent move to Sonoma last June; wine industry people, and to a great extent local consumers, networked heavily on Facebook. I also quickly learned how many locals may have been ‘friends’ for years, and never met.

It dawned on me that ‘social networking’ needed to be less behind the PC and more face to face, and thus this event was born. The concept is simple; it’s a chance to meet other people in Sonoma; wine industry, consumers, or just people passionate about this amazing county. You don’t have to be on Facebook, or Twitter, or even email (it sure helps though) but we have had great success connecting via Facebook, so that remains the prominent theme.

This month we are pleased to team up with Michel-Schlumberger in Dry Creek Valley, for an enhanced version of our monthly event – by piggybacking on to their Friday Summer Music series.

Check In Details

There is a special check-in desk for the event; where you receive your raffle ticket, name tag, food ticket. Check-in is $10 for music and food, and wine is available by the glass and bottle at special prices, in the Salon. There will also be a special case sale event.
The winery is open to the public as well, so the Meetup congregation and networking/talking area will be setup under the old Oak Tree, so we don’t disturb (or scare!) normal patrons. The band itself has a large following and expects 50+ people, so please use the Meetup checkin, and networking area. We expect 75-100 attendees of our own event.

Event Details

Join us for Music by T’Soul, Food by Hamburger Ranch, Wine by Michel-Schlumberger and good times had by all at 5:30, July 16.  Price is $10 and  covers food (2 pulled pork sliders per person and cole slaw – veggie option as well), place and music.  Wines are available by the glass or bottle to consume. Additional food tickets can be purchased for $5.

Sonoma’s social media celeb Hardy Wallace, is also expected to show up after work, assuming he isn’t kidnapped by Vikings.
Rick Bakas, another prominent social media industry leader, will also be there signing his book, 75 Savory Tips for Social Media Success.

As always wineries etc can bring physical items for the raffle. Donors get to present their wine, or raffle item.
The door prize raffle drawings is at 715 pm, so try to be there by then!

Your Hosts:

William Allen – Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog and Sonoma F.B. Meetup
Jim Morris – Michel-Schlumberger

The link on Facebook to RSVP is here. (RVSP if can, or here in comments if not on Facebook.)

Hope to see you Friday – cheers!

LocaPour/LocoPour – The View from the “Other” side of the Table (guest article)

This week, I am pleased to post the debut article by Deborah Kravitz, my wine-o friend, and the blog’s part time editor. (If you have noticed a decline in my writing style, Deb’s been off it for a bit working on a special project, and not cleaning up my midnight writings. ) She comes to my rescue at a week where I have been in the office 15 hours a day and not been able to write. Let’s encourage her to write more!


I moved to Healdsburg, in beautiful Sonoma County, CA, about a year ago.  Since my arrival, I had been longing to get my feet wet in the wine industry.  This past weekend I finally got my chance.

Of course, I was hoping to start out slow.  You know what I’m talking about — one of those quiet, sleepy winter weekends, when there wouldn’t be too much traffic?  That would have been ideal.  But, no.  My “debut”, as it were, occurred during the wonderful occasion of The Wine Road’s Winter Wineland event. In case you missed the last 4 Simple Hedonisms articles on Winter Wineland, it is a fabulous 2-day event in Northern Sonoma County where about 150 participating wineries (in the Russian River, Dry Creek, and Alexander Valleys), offer tastings, entertainment and food.  So, instead of dipping a toe in the water, I got thrown into the deep-end, head first!

It all started with an innocuous Facebook chat message from a friend at Michel-Schlumberger Wine Estate who needed a favor. He was looking for someone to “pour” during Winter Wineland, and inquired if I was interested in helping out at the winery.  I said “sure, why not.” Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

Soon after volunteering, I learned that Michel-Schlumberger was adopting a Winter Olympic them for the weekend, and that I would have to come in character.  Oh, brother.  Before long, it was determined that I would be a figure skater.  [I wanted to be Katerina Witt, but somehow  ended up as Nancy Kerrigan.]  The ice-skating theme carried over to my pouring partner, Tracey, and in no time flat, we became known as “Babes of Glory” (apologies to Blades of Glory, Will Ferrell and John Heder).

On Sunday, January 16 I arrived at the winery at 10:00 am and got my marching orders:  I was to pour in the “cellar” (as opposed to the posh tasting salon), for the massive “Cellar Stash Sale.”  Our mission was to sell various wines — by the case – for the unbelievable price of $5 dollars per bottle.   There were initially 8 wines on offer, under 3 different labels, including:  a 1992 (!) Merlot, a 2005 Merlot, a 2006 Cabernet, a 2007 Syrah, a 2002 Pinot Noir (as far as I can tell, Michel-Schlumberger is the only producer of a Dry Creek Valley Pinot Noir), a Chardonnay, a Sauvignon Blanc, and a white blend of Chard, Semillon and Viognier.  We had just enough time to get down the basics on each wine — and give them a taste — when the bell rang (literally:  the winery is housed in a beautiful Mission-style building, complete with a bell tower) and the crowds flooded in!

There was a steady stream of visitors throughout the 5-hour event, and I would say a couple of hundred people stopped by the cellar to sample the wines on sale.  We sold out of the popular Pinot in minutes, and during the remainder of the day managed to sell out of every one of the cases of red wine on offer.  That felt worthy of a Gold medal!

The guests were an interesting mix of locals, Californians from further afield, and visitors from places like Washingon State, Nevada, and even Philadelphia, PA. Many were already familiar with the winery, but it was particularly interesting to introduce new folks to some of the things that are special about Michel-Schlumberger.  People were most impressed to learn that the Estate is organic, and that it uses many biodynamic farming practices.  I got a few questions I couldn’t answer (like how long a particular wine was “on oak”), but the most common question I got all day, was “which is your favorite wine?” (I’d have to say that of the selections we were pouring on Sunday, the Syrah was my fave, although the Cab was a close 2d, and the Nez D’Or white table blend was a real contender).  Everyone was incredibly polite – and extremely patient with the occasional pile-ups at the tasting tables.  And, most importantly, they all seemed to be having a great time.

As for me, well, I managed not to spill any wine, or break any glasses, and actually had a terrific time.  In addition to talking about the wines, I chatted with folks about where they were from, and how they were enjoying the event.  There was such a great energy in the cellar with everyone sharing their thoughts on favorite Sonoma County wines, wineries, and restaurants, and the regular Michel-Schlumberger guys in the cellar with us were a blast to hang out (er, work) with.

Because I love living here so much, I was delighted to be able to share it so enthusiastically with so many others.  To be honest, I was TOTALLY tickled to be asked for my opinion as if I were a real live local.  Come to think of it, working this event actually made me feel like a local for the very first time.  And it feels good.

As a woman “On the Loose (or at least at loose ends) in Wine Country,” you can follow me on twitter at, or contact me via email at

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