Go East Young Man: WA Wine Report Visits Spokane

“It’s definitely a ‘come to Spokane’ for me. The visit exceeded my expectations,” says Sean Sullivan of Washington Wine Report. “The people here are passionate about wine, a lot of interesting stories, a lot of interesting (wine) going on here.” For months I’ve been trying to coax some west side writers to Spokane to experience the quality that I get to experience every day. In June, I was honored to be a part of a trip that included Joe Roberts (1WineDude), Ben Simons (Vinotology) and Eric Hwang (BricksofWine). For the last two weekends, I’ve had the privilege of drinking wine […]

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Restaurant Wine Lists Are Put on Notice

Restaurant wine practices are a sour subject. Earlier in the year CNN.com ran a story on the top five “rip-offs” and restaurant wine prices came in on the list. Often with a 400% above wholesale markup, restaurants are passing off bad wine at high prices and often in inferior stemware with a less than knowledgeable staff. As I type this I can hear restaurant owners around the US complaining about high overhead, stemware breakage, and loss, there is obviously a more balanced way to sell wine. It’s time to call out the good restaurant wine lists and put the bad […]

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From the Grape to the Glass: Pt 2 Science of Grapes

There is a geeky side to grape farming. A little bit of science is blended with hard work to create each artistic glass we drink. As we follow the 2010 Barrister Winery Sagemoor Cabernet Sauvignon from the grape to the glass, we dive into the science inside the grape. In part one of the series (From the Grape to the Glass Pt1 Progress Reports) Greg Lipsker, co-owner and winemaker of Barrister winery, visits the vineyard for a status check on the 2010 fruit. The grapes are undergoing veraison (a process where the green fruit turns purple) and vineyard manager, Derek […]

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Cascade Valley Courts the Blogger Audience

How would you spread the word about a growing wine region? Newspaper ads, key magazine spots, buy up space in trade publications, attend key events, word of mouth; these are all options often considered. Cascade Valley Wine Association looked to wine bloggers for exposure. As a region that already receives 3 MILLION visitors per year and is known for recreation, fruit festivals, and relaxation, Cascade Valley is making a name for itself in the world of wine. How do you spread the word? As I returned from the three day excursion to CVWC with 11 other wine blogger/writers, I turned […]

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A Visit To WineStyles in North Spokane

Be careful, surfing at entrepreneur.com can lead to some wild adventures. For Mike and Deedee McMahon, it’s just the adventure they were looking for. The McMahon’s own and operate several coffee shops in the Spokane area. With the operations of these shops firmly under control, Mike and Deedee were intrigued by the Wine Styles franchise and were eager to dive into something that involved their other passion, wine. As I’m fond of saying, “Wine and coffee equal liquid love.” Wine Styles is an exciting franchise that brings an old world retail wine experience to communities. The franchise costs are relatively […]

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