Tips for Celebrating International Tempranillo Day

Wine holidays are a thing, and the second Thursday of November is International Tempranillo Day. If you’re not experienced with Tempranillo, don’t worry. Read on to learn more about the celebration, the wine, and mouthwatering food pairing suggestions.

Tempranillo Day Explained

The first annual International Tempranillo Day was organized in 2011 by the Tempranillo Advocates Producers and Amigos Society (TAPAS) to celebrate the Tempranillo grape. It’s an opportunity for wine lovers to open a bottle of Tempranillo and share the experience online via social media with the hashtag #TempranilloDay or #Tempranillo.

About Tempranillo

Tempranillo, Spain’s top variety, is a full bodied red wine that often has a tobacco like flavor. What I love about Tempranillo is that a great bottle can be procured without breaking the bank. Or, for a bigger spend, a truly stellar wine can be had.

The Tempranillo based wines of Rioja have different tiers providing clues as to how long the wine has been aged. “Crianza” level wine has been aged for at least two years, at least one of which was in oak. A “reserva” has been aged at least three years, with at least one of those in barrel. “Gran reserva” means the wine was aged at least five years, with a minimum of two years in oak.

Recommended Tempranillos

Vivanco Crianza Tempranillo
The smoky nose of this Tempranillo hints at its 16 months of age in French and American oak barrels. This is a wine that offers a taste of red berries, as well as depth and a long finish.

LAN Rioja Reserva
This wine made my list of Top 10 Wines of the 2018 Wine Bloggers Conference.

Force Majeure Estate Tempranillo
There is not a lot of Tempranillo grown in Washington State. Not to mention, the care that goes into the vines and wine by artisan winery, Force Majeure, is staggering. Consequently, this limited production wine carries a higher price tag and may be harder to find. It’s worth it, though. What strikes me most about this wine is that the fruit shines through unmasked by oak. It’s absolutely lovely.

Pairing Tempranillo with Food

Salad for Tempranillo
Super Grains Tabbouleh Salad

Believe it or not, tabbouleh salad makes a fantastic pairing for Tempranillo.

Entertaining doesn’t get much easier than a cheese and charcuterie platter. The mantra, “what grows together goes together” rings true. So, to complement Tempranillo from Spain look for Manchego, a Spanish cheese made with sheep’s milk. Majon, a cow’s milk cheese originating in Majorca is another winning pairing. Include some chorizo, and perhaps some Marcona almonds and you’re all set!

Food for Tempranillo

In keeping with the Spanish theme, try a Paella Recipe from The Spanish Table.

A great option for vegetarians is the Zucchini Chickpea Tagine recipe from Herbivoracious.

A dish like Arroz con Pollo makes it easy to feed a group. Here’s a recipe from the humorous David Lebovitz, whose site is a treasure trove of recipes and stories.

For a hearty meal Joanne Weir offers a recipe for Spanish Lamb Stew.

Now, choose how you’d like to celebrate. Then, go purchase some Tempranillo or pull a bottle (or more) from the cellar. To maximize the fun, invite friends over for some delectable food and wine. Be sure to photograph it all, and share your experience on social media using the hashtag #TempranilloDay. Tag me, too, so I can see what you come up with!

Let’s Talk About Wine Label Redesign

This week on Instagram I asked a question about a label redesign:

“Tell me true – do you ever purchase a wine based on its label? Which of these two labels do you prefer? Just look at this – a brand refresh can make a big difference. It can also be a risk. It’s expensive, takes time, and people won’t see that familiar label they’re used to reaching for. Does it even matter? I have my opinion, but I’d like to know yours!”

wine label redesign
The label on the left is the new design.

If you’d like to contribute to the conversation, comment on the thread. Or keep reading here to see the comments posted as of 8/12/18.

Haha! The age old question lol…i am not, i am a minimalist when it comes to label purchasing but ultimately i am a vintage purchaser
VinoSocial: when you choose a vintage are you doing it based on the vintage ratings in the wine publications or looking at cool vintage vs. warm vintage?
Depends, sometimes i do the publication check, but i do normally gage by cool vs warm and what im pairing or just how my mood is lol…lots of variables

I’d be attracted to the new black label over the barn for sure if I was buying by label.

If I don’t know the wine the label can have some influence on which one I try first. If I love the wine, the label doesn’t matter

Yes you’d be surprised the influence a label has on sales – I like the black label

The black label looks more exclusive with its gold lettering. The other one seems more like an everyday wine.

Ooh that’s a tough one. I’ve absolutely purchased fun and/or beautiful labels. For some reason I gravitate toward the classic barn as opposed to the sleek black (even though it looks great).

Interesting you ask this. Thursday our company is hosting a conference ALL about wine packaging, design and marketing and we’ll have guest speakers who’ll talk about the best practices in rebranding assessing risk vs reward

Dark labels are such a risk if you’re selling in retail establishments. They just get lost in the crowd.

It has been ages since buying based on label. Now not so. The black label looks classy and high end and the other more small town/ country life.

The left one looks more expensive, the right one looks more family-owned??

I’m a sucker for nostalgia and landscape paintings. In other words, I will miss that barn on the label. 🙁 The redesign was tastefully done, though.

I never let the “packaging of a wine” sway me in either direction. Reading the labels may be of value when you don’t know the wine. But I can tell you from my retail days so many people purchase wine because how the label looks!

Black label with gold.. looks more professional and well thought out.

I prefer the one with the red barn. I’m a sucker for barns.

I didn’t know they were redoing their label – I’ll miss the barn! 🙁 The new one looks more modern and expensive, but not very unique.

Honestly it all has to do with their brand image. Yes the one on the left is modern and beautiful but is that the “image” they want to project?

Love the Walla Walla wines!

I always do 😂 I’m not as wine savvy as some!

Being in the industry for 2 decades certainly has an impact on purchasing habits. I tend to buy based upon research and prior knowledge but once in a blue moon the label strikes me 😉

Of course! The barn

Many people buy based on labels. I like them back but the black one is more luxurious looking

I know this wine (love it) and the barn helps me find it on the shelf.. I might have overlooked it had I not known of the makeover, so thank you for the share… it’s a “top shelf” and I’m short

I prefer the barn label

I’m a sucker for labels – nothing better than dressed in black👌husband liked left…said it looks classier. We are not familiar with winery so we’re the “outsider” impression

There are so many different takes on this label redesign, which makes it all the more interesting. Many thanks to this fantastic community of wine lovers on Instagram! I’m so grateful that my posts get this kind of conversation started. #LetsTalkAboutWine

Your Hashtag Guide to Washington Wine Month

Are you ready to celebrate the great wine of Washington State, the 2nd largest producer of premium wine in the United States? Your mission, should you accept it, is to find a Washington wine and share it on social media during the month of August. If you’re thinking you already celebrated Washington Wine Month in March, read on for a brief explanation. When you’re ready to join the discussion on social media, see below for relevant hashtags and tags to use across various platforms.

Wait, Wasn’t March Washington Wine Month?

I know, I know, it’s confusing because we toot our horns about Washington wines all throughout March, too! That celebration is more closely tied to the big annual event, Taste Washington, which is a multi-day extravaganza taking place over the last weekend of March. There are parties featuring some of the most prestigious brands in the state, fantastic seminars, and all kinds of food and wine moments leading up to the big Grand Tasting.

Here we are in August, though, and the annual Auction of Washington Wines takes place August 16-18. In case you haven’t heard of it, let’s get up to speed. In short, it’s a non-profit destination wine event with a 31 year history. In fact, according to Wine Spectator, it’s among the Top 5 U.S. Charity Auctions. While that event helps elevate awareness of the quality wines of Washington State, we take the opportunity to keep shining the light on our wine region all month long. In fact, a new campaign is rolling out declaring Washington the new epicenter of wine.

Get Noticed on Social Media

Here’s the 4-1-1 on the main hashtags to use and accounts to tag when posting about Washington Wine Month on social media.

This is the standard hashtag to use whenever posting about a wine from Washington State.

Use this hashtag on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and your post will appear on the Washington Wine Commission site.

Not quite as frequently used, but as my friends say, it doesn’t suck. I use this on Instagram rather than other platforms.

This hashtag is being used in the latest Washington State Wine campaign.

If you’re posting about wine from the Walla Walla wine region, the 2018 Wine Bloggers Conference, or want to connect with other Walla Walla enthusiasts, this is your hashtag.

The official Instagram and Twitter account of the Washington State Wine Commission representing every licensed winery & grape grower in Washington State.

Tag me on Twitter! I’d love to see, comment on, and retweet what you’re posting about Washington wine. Or find me on Instagram as @NancyCroisier.

Now, go pick out some Washington wine and join the #WaWineMonth party!

What Happened to NancyFeasts?


If you’ve been following me on social media prior to the launch of VinoSocial you likely recall me as “NancyFeasts” on Twitter and Instagram. In some ways, I hope people will continue to remember that name. After all, there are many fond memories attached to that identity. Especially all the times I showed up at events to find “Feasts” as the surname not only on my name badge, but on the hubby’s as well!

In the Beginning

At the time when I joined Twitter in 2009, I felt that I should stay anonymous. Yes, I thought I could remain anonymous on social media! As soon as you finish laughing, read on for the backstory.

My profession prior to the wine industry was in human resources. I was good at it too, introducing an award winning wellness program that was groundbreaking at the time, serving as President of the local HR association, and speaking at conferences. When the economy went into a tailspin in 2008, however, my role as champion of employees changed entirely. The company I worked for began a major reduction in force. That’s management speak for telling nice people that they no longer had jobs. If you’ve ever had to do that, you likely understand what a devastating toll that takes on the human soul. Although my position wasn’t part of the cuts, I chose to leave that company behind.

Twitter Is What’s Wrong with the World

Shortly afterward, ads for the Northwest Wine Academy kept getting my attention. With a licensed winery on site, this school based in South Seattle College was promoting courses in winemaking, wine sales and marketing, and wine and food pairing. A call to inquire resulted in an invitation to sit in on a class one night. Food was passed, wine was poured, and the next day I enrolled in the school.

A classmate invited me to a Tweetup called #TasteLive. Oh no, I thought. Twitter is what’s wrong with the world today! Kids will never learn to write in proper sentences! (Oh geez, how old do I sound?) Even though at the time I thought Twitter was not for me, sharing my comments about the tasting experience on social media during the live tasting was mandatory. I needed to open a Twitter account to participate. Still unsure as to whether I’d return to a career in human resources it seemed wise not to publicly share my obsession with wine on social media. An anonymous handle was created as the solution.

In coming up with an appropriate alias to use on Twitter, I asked myself, “What do I like to do when I’m drinking wine?” The answer, of course was gather around the table with friends and share a feast. So NancyFeasts became my cover. Even though I eventually figured out there is no such thing as anonymity on social media (duh!), the name stuck as I took joy in celebrating those who shared my love of food with the hashtag #feaston.

Living the Dream

Fast forward nearly a decade later. I never did return to HR. I’ve completed two programs offered at Northwest Wine Academy, earned credentials as a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), and transitioned to a career in the wine industry. I no longer believe that Twitter is what’s wrong with the world. In fact, through Twitter many friendships and connections have been forged that may not have happened without the social media platform.

Seeing wineries miss out on the opportunity to connect with customers via social media has become a major frustration. Posting about a great wine and not hearing back from the winery – well, it sucks. It makes the people who buy the wine think the winery doesn’t care about them. After all, social media is FREE. It’s part of how I enjoy connecting with a brand. So I’ve started my own company with the goal of getting wineries active on social media and joining the conversation. Although wine and food will always be inseparable to me, NancyFeasts will now be NancyCroisier, founder of VinoSocial. The dream is for VinoSocial to connect wineries and consumers. So, find me on Twitter and Instagram and #LetsTalkAboutWine.

Presenting VinoSocial Social Media for Wine Brands

As of May 2018, VinoSocial LLC is open for business. Founded by Nancy Croisier, a seasoned professional in the wine industry, the company’s mission is to connect wine brands and consumers by getting wineries active on social media.

Several social media packages, as well as custom options, are available for wineries either by the month or for a special event. Monthly packages enable wineries to have their social media executed by VinoSocial, saving them valuable time. Special event packages help spread the word about wine events. From intimate barrel tastings to large consumer tasting events, and even preparing for the Wine Bloggers Conference, VinoSocial can help.

Why social media? It is one of the best and most cost effective ways for wine brands to connect with wine consumers.

Having worked in the wine industry for nearly a decade, Nancy understands the time constraints faced by owners of wineries and small businesses. She’s also seen her social media strategies effectively drive traffic to winery web sites, multiply loyal followings, and increase tasting room guests resulting in sales growth. Through VinoSocial wineries can tap into Nancy’s expertise and have their social media taken care of without hiring full time staff.

Based in Seattle within minutes of over 170 tasting rooms, VinoSocial plans to play a key role in the active online presence of Washington State wineries. However, services will also be available to wineries and wine regions nationally and internationally. Press trips, sample reviews, and freelance writing projects will also be on offer.

Highly acclaimed Washington winery Côte Bonneville is among initial clients. Sheila Jirka, owner of boutique Woodinville winery Davenport Cellars says, “I recognize the critical importance of social media and am thrilled to have Nancy in charge of our social media program! Nancy has organically tripled our reach and increased loyal follower growth on our social media channels.”

Nancy Croisier holds the prestigious Certified Specialist in Wine (CSW) credentials from the Society of Wine Educators as well as training in wine marketing and sales from the Northwest Wine Academy, and has nearly a decade of experience in the wine industry.

Check the VinoSocial Services page for more information. Wineries, wine brands, and wine regions interested in working with VinoSocial may contact Nancy via email: Nancy@VinoSocial.Wine .