16 Mar 2010
The online Washington Wine Tasting Event of the year is on March 25. This leaves only a little time to secure your Washington Merlot and prepare your activity for the evening. The beauty of a Twitter Tasting is that you can participate however you feel comfortable. With nearly 80 Washington State wineries participating and hopefully 1000 tweeters, there will be plenty of opportunity to join the conversation. Think of it as a giant cocktail party. You may not be a part of every conversation happening in the room, but the opportunity to network, connect with other wine lovers, and learn about Washington State wine and the great wineries is awesome! You can even participate from the comfort of your living room…in your boxers (just close the blinds).
Below are two videos that showcase ways to maximize your participation in a taste and tweet event.
- If you’re near a participating winery – stop by their tasting room for a bottle of their Merlot. Join them for the event on March 25, starting at 5PM.
- OR…Get a group of friends together and host a tweet-up. You can do this from home or at a local bar or restaurant (just make sure they have Washington Merlot).
- OR…Shop local! Support your local wine shops and buy a Washington Merlot to drink from the comfort of your own home.
- Follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #WAMerlot (video shows instructions).
- Tweet what you’re drinking, join in the conversations, share your tasting notes.
- After the event you can search the hashtag #WAMerlot to follow new wine lovers and connect with the wineries
- HAVE FUN!
*If you’re not on Twitter, follow along at http://search.twitter.com – enter #WAMerlot in the search box to follow along.
WINERY PARTICIPATION TIPS
- Sign up at http://wamerlot.eventbrite.com so we can properly promote you before and after the event
- Promote your tasting room gathering using your email list, Facebook fan page, and on Twitter (use the #WAMerlot hashtag so we can re-tweet you)
- Offer a special on your Merlot through the event
- During the event, encourage people in your tasting room to tweet using the #WAMerlot hashtag. Even better, have them mention you too!
- Some wineries are projecting a twitter stream on a wall for a visual Twitter interaction too
- Hopefully you’ll be busy, but if you have the opportunity tweet fun facts about your winery, Merlot, and Washington State
- Interact and have conversations with people tweeting
- After the event, search the #WAMerlot hashtag to follow new wine lovers and connect with people who mentioned you and were drinking your wine.
- HAVE FUN!
This event would not be the success it is without the inspiration and participation of the following people on Twitter @RickBakas, @WAWineReport @SeattleWineGal @WineBeerWA, @Shona425, @yakimavalley @wineeyak, @wbcorbust, @nwwineandre, @catie, @lunabeanmedia
12 Mar 2010
Historic building. Check. Central location. Check. Fantastic outdoor space. Check. Rich heritage. Check. Respected winemaker who is dedicated to quality product. CHECK! Caterina Winery has risen from the brink of extinction poised to reclaim its place as a premier Spokane winery.
Caterina’s roots date back to 1993 with winemaker Mike Scott (formerly of Lone Canary). As a pioneer of the Spokane wine scene, Caterina is proudly located in the historic Broadview Dairy Building at 905 N Washington. As time progressed it seemed that Caterina lost its way with a split personality of winery, bar, and music venue. In 2009, the winery was in danger of closing its doors forever.
Enter, Don Towshend. Don is the winemaker and owner of Spokane’s Townshend Cellars. Widely respected for quality wine-making, Townshend “cut his teeth” on wine at Caterina Winery. Picking up winemaking skills from Mike Scott, Preston Winery and others, Don’s connection to Caterina is strong. In March 2009, the ownership of Caterina approached Don with an offer to buy their assets. Hating to see Spokane lose such a treasure and seeing the potential for Caterina, Don stepped in to take over ownership.
While Townshend and Caterina are made in the same facility, Don is committed to crafting the wines in differing styles. Caterina’s line up is made in a very main stream, new world style with less time in oak and a very fruit forward approachable style. “Everything in the line-up is less than $20 and very approachable,” says Don. Current production is at 2500 cases with plans to expand as customers return to the quality.
While talking with Don and tasting room manager, eyes light up when discussing the building space and location. While renovations and changes will continue, visitors will notice a huge change in space layout. “We opened up the space. It was broken up and felt tight.” The renovations have created a space that is conducive to corporate events, parties, weddings, etc. Don and Steve are excited to participate in Spokane’s First Friday Art Walk events and look forward to utilizing the indoor and outdoor space for events and live music.
As a Spokane wine lover, I just want to say a personal “thank you” to Don and team for his commitment and passion to Spokane and Spokane wine. I look forward to seeing the resurrection and re-birth of Caterina!
GRAND OPENING WEEKEND (March 11-14) Noon – 6pm
Tasting Room Hours:
Wed – Sun Noon – 6pm
905 N. Washington
09 Mar 2010
Spokane is home to 16 quality wineries, including one of Washington’s original 20. From Barrister’s 90+ point Cab Franc, Latah Creek’s innovative cold fermentation, Robert Karl’s top picks (by Paul Gregutt), and Arbor Crest’s historic mansion and amazing grounds, Spokane is becoming a destination for wine.
Spokane is also known as an amazingly generous host city. Spokane is home to the largest 3 on 3 basketball tournament (Hoopfest), and one of the largest timed road races with Bloomsday (over 50,000 runners). Spokane recently hosted the 2010 USA Figure Skating Championships and will host round one of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. GO ZAGS!
As 300 wine bloggers converge on Walla Walla, Washington, Spokane offered to bring three wine writers / bloggers to our amazing city. The Spokane Visitors Bureau reached out to me with a great idea of hosting and touring bloggers that are attending WBC10. With Spokane being less than 2 hours from Walla Walla, this is the perfect opportunity to expose the great wine I experience with some of the best wine writers.
In mid-February the invitation went out for wine bloggers to come experience Spokane Wine with a hosted tour, hotel stay, and arranged transportation to Walla Walla. Response was great. Respondent’s names and information were forwarded to the Spokane CVB. After review, they chose three candidates to host.
I look forward to showing these great wine people why Spokane is the next great wine scene in Washington. Congratulations to…
@BricksofWine – Eric Hwang
@AlaWine – Ken W
@RickBakas – Rick Bakas
02 Mar 2010
Do you want a chance win a mixed ½ case of great Washington Wine?
Merlot is making a comeback. After getting pushed around by Miles from Sideways, Merlot is taking a stand and regaining its rightful place of respect. Washington makes some damn fine Merlot and you should be drinking it! Since you’re probably on your way to Walla Walla for WBC10, consider this an opportunity to do some pre-awareness reconnaissance investigation. In the name of science and brotherhood of man, you’ll want to participate! Plus, did I mention the free wine?
March is Washington Wine month. What better way to celebrate the Rocky Mountains, skiing, beautiful pristine lakes, the birthplace of Starbucks, The Mariners, the home of Microsoft, Father’s Day, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Apolo Ohno, Jimi Hendrix and Grunge than to drink Washington Wine. Plus, there’s free wine!
Here is how it works:
- Register for #WAMerlot http://wamerlot.eventbrite.com/
- Find yourself some #WAMerlot (Wine Library & Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman have some great deals)
- Blog (see the details below)
- Promote and Tweet #WAMerlot: Join us on March 25 and tweet as the world celebrates Washington Merlot
Sounds simple enough.
We’d love your support. One of my favorite aspects of Social Media has been the collaboration and support that the community offers. So, if you’re in, just make sure your blog talks about Washington Wine (in general), mentions #WAMerlot (with the link to the event page), and talks about what you’re looking forward to about coming to the Wine Bloggers Conference in June. You’re invited to help us celebrate Washington! One blogger will be chosen to receive a mixed 1/2 case of Washington Wine as a thank you from the great state of Washington. Thanks for helping us spread the word. I look forward to reading and tweeting your posts.
*To emphasize, this is a thank you for your help in promoting Washington.
If you and your readers need help getting their hands on Washington Merlot, point them to these great supporters of #WAMerlot:
#WAMerlot is sponsored by these great Washington Wine Lovers on Twitter
@SeattleWineGal @WAWineReport @WineBeerWA @Catie @WBCorBUST @Shona425 @WineeYak @YakimaValley @NWwineandRE @lunabeanmedia
and www.drinknectar.com @nectarwine
01 Mar 2010
February, 2010 has come to a close. March brings spring which leads to BBQ’s, running outdoors and most importantly, trips to God’s country – Walla Walla, Lake Chelan and Woodinville. The short month of February saw nearly 1000 tweets, 27 posts and 21 wine reviews.
DrinkNectar is proud of the following in February:
- Participating in a local Social Media forum
- Top Ten listings at Post Rank for Wine Blogs
- Mention in Wine Enthusiast Online as most engaging wine blog
Below are some of my favorite tweets from February. With the closing of the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver – these are the gold medal winners of tweeters!
Wines of the Month
Best Value Under $15
While I didn’t formally review this wine, I did have an impromptu visit with JJ Williams (aka 1EyeWineGuy) during a recent trip to Costco. A bottle of Lemberger was in my future.
- The Stuff: 100% Estate Lemberger from Red Mountain AVA Kiona Vineyards
- The Swirl: A dark strawberry color that was about 50% translucent. Muted jewel tones
- The Sniff: Bright strawberry and cherry with moderate earthiness and minerality
- The Sip: A sweet wash of cherry, vanilla and some cola flavors. The wine is sweet and soft with more substance on the back end with some spice and tannin
- The Score: At just $11 this is easily a 4 (out of 5). An incredible value for a wine that provides a variety of flavor
*Runner-up 2008 Chateau St. Michelle Riesling $6 – Reviewed Here
2004 Croze Cabernet Sauvignon – Reviewed Here
- The Stuff:100% Napa Valley Cabernet, 42 months in oak, 13%ABV, 637 cases made
- The Swirl: Nice dark rust colored plum with a little translucence (almost see to the bottom of the glass)
- The Sniff: I never wanted to stop smelling this wine. Floral perfume kissed me first, then gentle bright blueberry and strawberry aromas held hands and skipped through my nose. They were followed up by some mellow vanilla notes. This is the kind of wine scent you wish for in every bottle of Cabernet!
- The Sip: Definitely does not disappoint – The fruit is soft and supple like a long slow French kiss. The passion builds as some spicy pepper jumps in. The finish is super balanced and longs with enough tannin to keep the wine strong with food.
- The Score: At $35 this is a 5 (out of 5) wine for me. I love the complete package and would definitely buy this bottle again.
*Runner-up 2007 Arbor Crest Cabernet Franc
Random Favorite Highlights from February
The Post that Made Me Spit Wine Out of My Nose – Wine Bloggers Bite the Big One: This post from @DirtySouthWine (aka Hardy Wallace, aka NPAHardy) was in response to recent allegations that wine blobbers are a bunch of uninfluential, wine whores railing against traditional media and seeking free wine. This amazing post will have you laughing from poop to chainsaws.
Best Wine Event: #CaliCabs on February 11 brought over 50 California Wineries and hundreds of tweeters together with one common purpose. Promoting California Cabernet! The event was spearheaded by @RickBakas in the traditional grass roots method. If you liked #CaliCabs you’ll love #SauvBlanc on March 4.
Best wine quote: “A wine so delicious my tongue wanted to make love to my tonsils.” – From @goodgrape from a February 11 post.
Best Social Media Post: This is such a difficult category because so much good stuff comes out each month. I went with a presentation by @lunabeanmedia to a group of Walla Walla wine makers! Social Media for Wineries
Best Blog Feature: Sean Sullivan from @WaWineReport contributes a weekly labor of love for Washington wine enthusiasts. Only one stop is needed to stay “in the know” for everything pertaining to Washington Wine. Washington Wine Round-Up
DrinkNectar Most Viewed Post: Wine Ripped off and Ticked Off (60+ comments) – A look at the horrible wine practices of restaurants and their 400% mark-up, uninspired wine lists and crappy wine glasses.