Are Washington Wines Coming of Age?

“The perfect climate for wine.” This is the claim of the Washington State Wine Commission. Just because you say it, does that mean it’s true? Is this statement akin to the little engine puffing, “I think I can, I think I can?” Hot on the heels of being adorned with Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator, Winemaker of the Year by Wine & Spirits, hosting the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference, Washington is finding itself in an identity crisis. While many in the press are raving about wine quality, varietal diversity, and value, it still seems that the general public […]

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Squeezing the Juice out of Progress

Part rant, part plea, part observation, this is the story of a region on the verge of growth. Some live in fear of the invasion of the white man like Marcus Whitman and the Cayuse Indians. Others are clinging to ideals that strangle progress and still others are embracing the potential of the region with open arms. Spokane, just 3 hours north of Walla Walla and 2 hours from the heart of Columbia Valley is poised to become a wine tasting destination. Currently with 17 wineries to serve the population base of 500,000 in Spokane County (and another 150,000 in North […]

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Sour Grapes or Curious Choices At The Wine Bloggers Conference?

  While a small contingent is crying sour grapes over the 2010 Wine Blogger’s Conference I see more of a collection of curious choices rather than barrel of bad bloggers. Like most things in life, you can’t please all the people all the time nor would you want to try. The conference is in the books and hundreds of posts are streaming in about the adventures of wine writers. Here is what I do know: The 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference was extremely well organized. I was very impressed with the attention to detail and seamless operation of the logistics. Walla […]

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The Blend of Barista and Sommelier: Starbucks Enters the Wine Biz

On June 25, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that it will use a testing ground store dubbed “Olive Way” to experiment with several new concepts. With rampant growth halted, Starbucks is looking for ways to draw customers back to the store. One of the new concepts is to introduce wine and beer as part of its product offering. Is this a good idea? Will doing so completely change the culture of the store, or is it a brilliant move to capitalize on the distribution network to extend sales into the evening hours? I think it’s a great idea! In fact, […]

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Next Phase of Wine eCommerce Comes to Facebook

  The other night I had a dream. It must have been set about 10-12 years in the future. Facebook was still around. HR5034 had failed and wineries were still able to ship directly to consumers. Everywhere I looked wineries were engaging with customers through social tools, conversations were happening and brand loyalty was increasing with each new interaction and conversation. As I surfed the bliss of this new future world from the portable holographic display pad, I stumbled across an amazing feature. I was talking with a winery on Facebook and noticed a mention of new releases. I loved […]

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