1 August, 2016
Get Psyched for WBC16 with Livestreams and Lodi Chardonnay!Comments : 2 Posted in : Beer, Wine, Sake, White Wine, Wine Bloggers Conference 2016 on by : The Gourmez
Hello friends! If you are not interested in the wine side of the Gourmez, then this post is not for you. But if you are, and especially if you’re headed to Lodi for the annual Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC) next week, WBC16, read on!
This will be my third WBC. So far, it’s been a great place to make new friends, network with folks in the industry, and just plain learn a lot from peers and professional wine writers about how to aim for excellence in writing and blogging style. Of course, there’s also the winery tours and wine!
For citizen bloggers like myself, meaning I’m not affiliated with the wine industry, WBC continues to be a great deal at $95 for three days of sampling and learning about the host wine region, being fed healthy lunches and fantastic dinners, going on at least one excursion to a winery, and tons and tons of after parties thrown by the sponsors and the guests.
This year, I’ll also be on one of the panels, and I’m participating in a livestream tonight to preview it! Jenn of Wine Antics is hosting a series of livestreams about the upcoming WBC16, and tonight’s topic is Saturday, 8/13’s, schedule. You can join in at Huzza at 6 pm PST by clicking right here.
Our panel topic at WBC16 is Wine Samples, and it’ll be held at 9:15 am — Bring me coffee! From the description:
“Learn from both wineries and bloggers the intricate (but sometimes clumsy) dance that involves wineries sending samples to wine bloggers. How to get involved and how to do it right, from both sides’ perspective.”
I am thrilled to be sharing the stage with Marisa Indelicato of Fox Run Vineyards, Frank Morgan of Drink What You Like, Ivy Hover of Left Coast Cellars, and Chris O’Gorman of Rodney Strong Vineyards. It’s a topic with many layers to it, and I’m interested to see where the discussion leads us — I suspect clear communication from both sides will be a strong theme.
This year’s WBC is in Lodi, which is an hour and a half from where I live yet a wine-saturated region that I’ve only visited once before for a preview of the now fully functional Oak Farm Vineyards. As far as I’m concerned, Lodi is brand-new to me and I’m excited to find out how the area, which provides 20% of the state’s wine grapes, a huge share, is challenging the perception of itself as the red-headed stepchild of California’s destination wine regions.
To get in the mood for the WBC, my wine clique, by which I mean a group of fellow wine bloggers who check in with each other monthly and trade blogging tips, all brought different bottles of Lodi chardonnay to July’s monthly call. They shouted down my zinfandel suggestion — apparently, I’m the only one not weary of bold zinfandels at the moment. Don’t worry, zins, with Rick Astley as my witness, I will never, ever give you up.
As always, we were most intrigued by how our wines differed from our expectations for a Lodi chardonnay. Even the partially oaked bottles like mine didn’t have that strong creamy and buttery presence that frequent wine drinkers can tire of, which was a nice plus. A sprinkling of cinnamon could be found in my 2014 Michael David and blogger Krista Lamb’s 2013 Gen 5. Our glasses both held a lot of citrus, primarily pineapple for the Michael David. Grassiness or reediness came out strongly with second pours from the appealing minerality of the wines. Alleigh of A Glass after Work found that her kosher wine, the Tribe from Covenant Wines, didn’t share any flavors in common with the Michael David or Gen 5, but she thought it delicious, especially with goat cheese.
— Alleigh (@Alleigh) July 13, 2016
Anne of Odd Ball Grape sipped a chardonnay made by her husband, Mike, from Lodi grapes and she selfishly didn’t tell us much about how it tasted. 😉 Our other two members, Alison of Bon Vivant DC, and Lisa of Wine with Lisa, rounded out our lively discussion of whether Lodi wines have changed over the years, a topic we’re sure to revisit at WBC16 next week! We will miss you, Krista and Anne! But I’m pumped, after tasting a chard that raced right past my expectations, to see what else Lodi has for us.
What will this year’s WBC16 bring? I can’t tell you for sure, though I’m bringing lots of skirts to help deal with the Central Valley’s heat! I’ll be starting out on the Livermore pre-conference excursion next Wednesday, and from then on out, it’ll be a jam-packed four days of learning as much as I can fit into my brain about Lodi’s wines in between socializing with a great group of writers and remembering to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Come say hi if you see me! I’ll be the one carrying around a second glass just for spitting, my method for tasting as many wines as possible while maintaining a clear head! I’ll need it to make the most of this Lodi wine adventure.