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Two Wine Soaked Days in Walla Walla

Walla Walla Valley is a must visit for wine lovers! I’m not the only one who thinks so. It has been named America’s Best Wine Region in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards two years in a row. If you’re wondering where to eat and drink in Walla Walla and want the perspective of a wine industry insider, just use this personal itinerary from my trip last June as a guide. These wineries and restaurants are not to be missed during two days in Walla Walla.

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Belle and Bottle Wine Awards Gives Women a Platform

There’s an exciting new wine awards program launching! Founded by Laura Huston, the Belle and Bottle Wine Awards program is to take place for the first time in 2022. Not only does the program highlight top wines. It intends to give women a platform to share their expertise and elevate one another.

Laura Huston of Belle & Bottle

Since I started my own business providing social media and marketing services to the wine industry, one of the joys is that I never know what kind of project will come my way. When Laura asked me to join the advisory panel for the awards program, I couldn’t refuse. After all, when I hosted virtual tastings in 2020 Laura backed me 100% and provided wine through her Belle and Bottle online shop. (By the way, the Food and Wine Magazine named Belle and Bottle Wine Club one of the best wine clubs in America!) It also probably doesn’t hurt that this isn’t my first involvement with a wine awards program. Continue reading “Belle and Bottle Wine Awards Gives Women a Platform”

Why Wineries Need to Provide (S)elf Care On Social Media

A human in an Elf on the Shelf costume is one of the best things I’ve seen on a winery’s Instagram account. While some brands out there try to educate or inspire, the social media posts I’m talking about offer pure entertainment with a focus on (s)elf care. And damn, they’re (mostly) funny – real laugh out loud belly shaking funny!

(S)elf Care. Posted with permission from Alexandria Nicole Cellars.

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Classic Glassware Gifts for Wine Geeks

The search to find just the right gift for a wine lover can be daunting. As someone who works in the wine industry, I offer  this round up of some classic glassware for wine geeks that I recommend in the hope to make it easier. In fact, these glasses are part of my personal arsenal.

In case you missed it, allow plenty of time for shipments to arrive this year. Inundated carriers and supply chains with challenges are ongoing themes. At the time of publication items were in stock. Just click on the images to order and get more details.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. When these links are directly used to purchase an item I may receive a small commission and do cartwheels at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Classic Glassware

Riedel Veritas Tasting Glasses

A set of proper stemware is a wine geek’s dream come true! This line of leaded crystal glass has an elegant presence partly attributed to the thin stems that give them an ultra-luxe feel, yet is dishwasher safe. Honest – I haven’t hand washed a wine glass in years.

Riedel Champagne Flutes

We use Champagne glasses at VinoSocial HQ every week because we’re firm believers that a special occasion isn’t required to pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly! In fact, we’ve been known to indulge in nachos and sparkling wine.
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How Writing Plays a Role in Wine Competitions

Guest author Dana Van Nest shares a behind the scenes look into the Great Northwest Wine competitions.

“Intriguing nose of cherries jubilee, sweet herbs, and chocolate-covered blueberries,” I noted about the 2017 Siren’s Reserve Beijo Red Wine from Siren Song Wines. “Juicy red berries and plum greet you in this smooth and very drinkable blend, and later give way to chocolate and hints of tobacco.”

The Columbia Gorge Hotel where the Great Northwest Invitational takes place

At the Great Northwest Wine Invitational, held this past October at the Columbia Gorge Hotel, I tasted 67 Gold medal-winning wines and wrote tasting notes for each in less than two days. Eric Degerman, journalist and owner of Great Northwest Wine, had invited me to return for a second time as a Chief Judge for this competition (I also served as a Chief Judge at the Cascadia International Wine Competition last May).

With approximately 800 wines entered in this invitation-only competition, we start early with the panels of wine judges receiving their first flights at 8:30 am. The panel is comprised of a number of the region’s most respected wine buyers and merchants. They are a knowledgeable and generous crowd with whom I seriously enjoy getting to work, eat, and drink with for two days. After the panels have chosen the Golds for each flight, the Chief Judges (typically two or three of us) get to work.

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