Wine Market Council Announces Details of 2016 Consumer Research Conference in Napa

The Wine Market Council has announced details of 2016 Consumer Research Conferences, which is taking place on Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Yountville, California. The Wine Market Council is a non-profit association of grape growers, wine producers, importers, wholesalers, and other affiliated wine businesses and organizations.

This year’s conferences include the following presentations:

  • John Gillespie, president of Wine Market Council, will open the conferences with a presentation of the state of the wine market, the latest U.S. adult segmentation and beverage usage data. As well as presenting a report on new data from Wine Market Council’s most recent high frequency wine drinker study, including a comparison of at-home and on-premise wine dynamics and imported and domestic wine purchase habits.
  • Danny Brager, senior vice president of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice Area, will provide an updated wine, beer, and spirits industry overview. This will including the most recent trends inclusive of both retail and direct to consumer wine channels, as well as perspectives on the continued battle of occasion within the broader adult beverage industry.
  • Jennifer Pagano (direct of research for Wine Market Council) and Danelle Kosmal (vice president of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice Area) will together present the latest Wine Market Council and Nielsen data on women who drink wine – how different segments of female wine drinkers consume and shop for wine, where it fits into their lives, and what they think about wine that is marketed to them.
  • Wine Market Council’s first annual research grant recipient, Nicholas Johnston, a PhD candidate at Texas Tech University, will give a summary of his research on Millennial wine drinker preferences for alternative wine packaging.


Wine Market Council’s Consumer Research Conferences are free for Wine Market Council members (up to three company representatives can attend), and $125 for non-members.  The conference include a networking wine and hors d’oeuvres reception. This will be directly following the conference presentations.


Attendees can register at winemarketcouncil.com/conference.  Media passes are available. For media passes contact Teplin+Nuss at contact@teplinnuss.com. For more information on the conferences, contact Sherri Fidel at admin@winemarketcouncil.com or 707.738.8796.


Napa Valley, CA

Thursday, March 10, 2016 // 9:00am – 12:00pm

Lincoln Theater, Yountville (100 California Drive, Yountville, CA, 94559)


Wine Market Council is a non-profit association of grape growers, wine producers, importers, wholesalers, retailers, and other affiliated wine businesses and organizations.  The council’s mission is to grow, strengthen, and stabilize the wine market in the U.S. on behalf of all segments of the industry. Wine Market Council provides its members with consumer research that is proprietary to Wine Market Council members, who incorporate it into their strategic planning, marketing and sales execution.  Wine Market Council was established in 1994 as a non-profit (501c6) trade association working through all tiers of the U.S. wine industry to grow the wine market.  More information can be found at WineMarketCouncil.com and on Twitter @WineMktCouncil.


Cabernet Sauvignon,Chile,Imports,Malbec,Merlot,Wine

Wine of the Week ~ Super Bowl 50 Wines

Football fan or not, Super Bowl is a great excuse to party. And, since Super Bowl 50 is going to last for an entire day of celebrating, I’m moving away from just one wine for the wine of the week recommendation, into a couple of wines. If having wine rules with your crowd, I’ve got some big, bad, brawny ones for you. I’m not going with any white wines for this one. This isn’t the Knitting Party here, we’re talking Super Bowl. And, it’s not just ANY Super Bowl. This is Super Bowl 50.

Did you know that Super Bowl Sunday is the nation’s Number-1 at home party event of the year? It’s even bigger than New Year’s. It’s also the Number -2  food consumption day, second only to Thanksgiving. Super Bowl is a par-tay-day central.

Big Day ~ Bold Wines ~ Brave Flavors

No Wimps Allowed

Cook up a big bowl of Chili Con Carne, and have it with some Chilean wines, that’s my thinking.

  • Wine lovers need guts and glory for Super Bowl 50
  • Game Day (Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, 3.30 p.m. PST / 6.30 p.m. EST)

You won’t let anyone down with these two bold and daring wines.

The first one is going to be for the warm up, as family, friends and neighbors arrive. For this one, a regular 750 milliliter bottle will suffice.

2013 Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Malbec, by Concha y Toro

Gran Reserva Serie Riberas is a special selection of Gran Reserva wines, coming from vineyards located close to different river basins. This translates into unique, distinctive fresher wines.

This wine will be great to welcome your early birds. They arrive early and deserve this special wine.

Concha y Toro has a very special Winemaker, Marcio Ramírez ~ With a degree in Enology from the Universidad de Chile, Marcio joined Concha y Toro in 1997. From 1998 to 2000 he worked with Enrique Tirado at the Puente Alto winery as assistant winemaker for Don Melchor, and then moved to the Cachapoal winery in the Rapel Valley, where he is now head winemaker.

After everyone arrives, though, I’m going to recommend a larger bottle, called a magnum.

2014 Frontera Cabernet-Merlot

An approachable and non-pretentious party pour – the 1.5-liter 2014 Frontera Cabernet-Merlot, from Chile’s Central Valley, is not only super (bowl) delicious, but it’s also widely available. Not usually retailing for more than $12, this classic Chilean red blend delivers a reliably delicious bang for the buck.

And if you want to branch out, try it in a homemade Sangria.

Now, get out there and live large, people!




Mr. Bigglesworth is preparing for Super Bowl 50

Helping me with this blog story is my friend Jane Kettlewell of Creative Palate.  We share lots of stories back and forth, as we both get our jobs done. I’m on the west coast and she’s on the east… Talking about Super Bowl 50, Jane just shared her cat story with me. It sparked my blog alert…

Mr. Bigglesworth is famous for being a football loving feline. His intimates are permitted to call him Biggles or Biggs, and he has masses of character. Jane and her friends think of him as a dog in cat’s clothing. He’s Super friendly and playful. (Good for Super Bowl half time shenanigans.) He loves visitors and is fascinated with anyone at work. He follows cleaning ladies around the house, and has been known to watch all their contractors, too. He’s a curious busy body, not skittish like my own scaredy cat, and is getting ready for Super Bowl 50.

I decided to create a warm up show, featuring Mr. Bigglesworth. Since everyone is mad for Super Bowl 50, please meet one very cool cat… and his wine recommendations for Super Bowl 50. Mr. Bigglesworth is covering the whites, and tomorrow I’ll have two fabulous big and brawny red wines for Super Bowl 50, which I’ll be recommending. But, for today, let’s whet our palates with white wines…

The nice pic of Mr. Bigglesworth “with his bling and birthday cake on his second birthday,” according to Jane, shows him with a couple of really delicious white and an appetizer of pâté. Definitely for the she-she crowd. Let’s explore.

So, The Whites

2014 Trivento Amado Sur Chardonnay blend (Mendoza, Argentina, $15)

What a magical combination for a white wine blend: You think it, you taste it, and your dreams are realized. It’s 70 percent Chardonnay, 20 percent Pinot Grigio, 10 percent Viognier… (Burgundy, Italy, and the Rhone… Yeah, it’s that great of a trip.) Lemony, juicy pears, then the tropical fruit, which I associate with Viognier kicks in. Last evening I had Pork & Pearls at River Front Inn in Jenner… This wine would have rocked it… The dish had apricots and nectarine, with pearl quinoa in a fruit reduction sauce. It was soft and round, closing with complete satisfaction.  I’d buy this wine in a heartbeat.

Johannesburg Riesling is another great start for the pâté. Here’s Mr. Bigglesworth with a Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Kabinett. From their Website:

Composed of hand-harvested grapes from the single Schloss Johannisberg vineyard, this exceptional Riesling seduces with soft notes of white peach, stone fruit, citrus and passionfruit.  A singular Riesling with exceptional intensity, elegance and finesse.
REGION: Rheingau, Germany

APPELLATION: Rheingau – Single vineyard Schloss Johannisberg

VARIETY: 100% Riesling

And, here’s our coming attraction for tomorrow, with Mr. Bigglesworth.



Winesellers, Ltd. ~ Importer of the Year Award from Wine Enthusiast Magazine

It’s always great to see a company receive its just desserts. Winesellers, Ltd., a wine importer, has earned its recognition, and I’m happy to praise the company, as they’ve been very kind to me. As a California-based wine publicist, I have little opportunity to taste import wines. Fortunately, my wine blog has opened up the world of import wines for me.

The Chicago based importer Winesellers, Ltd. accepted the 2015 Wine Star Award for “Importer of the Year” in New York City at the Wine Enthusiast Magazine “Wine Star Awards” black-tie gala which took place at The New York Public Library. Each year since 2000, the editors of Wine Enthusiast honor the individuals and companies that have made outstanding achievements in the wine and beverage industry with the magazine’s annual award ceremony.

Winesellers, Ltd., founded in 1978 by Yale Sager, is now overseen day-to-day by his two sons, Adam Sager and Jordan Sager. All three were in attendance to accept the award.  The company imports and sells wines to all 50 U.S. states with a diverse portfolio of producers and brands from Argentina, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and other countries worldwide that can be found in premier retailers and restaurants throughout the U.S..

And, it’s a great part to Winesellers, Ltd.

This is a company on the move, and they’ve enriched my life. Their portfolio:

Winesellers, Ltd. portfolio includes the follwoing:

  • Argentina: Santa Julia, Zuccardi (Mendoza)
  • Australia: Hope Estate (Hunter Valley/Western Australia)
  • Austria: Biohof Pratsch (Niederosterreich)
  • Chile: Hacienda Araucano (Colchagua)
  • France: Besserat de Bellefon (Champagne), Charles Armand, EXEM Bordeaux, Mont Gravet, Le Charmel, Avive
  • Germany: Heinz Eifel, Dr. H. Thanisch-Muller Burggraef, Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler, Bollig Lehnert, Dr. Heyden, Fitz Ritter, Eifel-Pfeiffer
  • Italy: Tiamo Organic, Bellafina Sparkling, La Fiera, Gran Passione, Prodigo
  • New Zealand: Sea Pearl, Fault Line, Fire Road (Marlborough), Murdoch James (Martinborough)
  • Portugal: Quinta de la Rosa (Duoro)
  • Spain: Mas Fi Cava (Penedes), Resso (D.O. Catalunya), Pazo Torrado (D.O. Rias Baixas), Clos de Nit (D.O. Montsant)
  • Dominois de Castilla (D.O. Rueda, Toro & Ribera del Duero), Navardia (D.O.C Rioja)
  • Artisan Ciders: Manoir de Grandouet, Domaine de la Minotiere, Cidrerie Dausfrene (Normandy), Le Brun de Bretagne (Brittany), Bodegas Mayador (Asturias)
  • California: Tortoise Creek (Lodi/Clarksburg/Central Coast), Santa Barbara Winery, Lafond Winery & Vineyards (Santa Rita Hills), Vinum Cellars (Central Coast, Napa/Clarksburg)


Wine,Wine Blogger,Wine Business

February – the sweetheart month, and some of its women wine blogging sweethearts

February is the month (astrologically) of altruistic love… Aquarius rules. Valentine’s Day is the height of it all, and a heart is the totem. In this month of altruistic love, I’m going to be sharing a few profiles of female wine bloggers, whose passion is wine; and, sharing (via blogging) their own personal experiences, in one form or another, is their outlet.

“Wine Doesn’t Have To Be Rocket Science – It Can Easily Be Wine Folly” was my beginning, because it was also during the start of Aquarius’ time.  And so this continues the journey, a time to share some light onto the stage, where – this time – women are featured on the stage as the wizards behind the curtain, pulling great stings of education, in their pointy hats…

~~~~~ Starring in today’s chick flick ~~~~~

~~~ Everyone is currently publishing ~~~

Lorie Perrone, winingways.wordpress.com

I started blogging after being laid off from the highest position I had achieved in my advertising career. It was demoralizing. I wanted to feel productive. I had just made a change from having the occasional glass of wine to voraciously needing to read everything I could to learn more about wine. I was bitten. My friends were interested. Writing the blog made me feel better about myself. It lead to some paid writing gigs, WBC scholarship, social media consulting, and some amazing friendships.

Monique Soltani, wineoh.tv

Short version: With a nose for news and a thirst for storytelling….I created Wine Oh TV to share my love of wine, broadcast journalism, and storytelling with the world.

Pamela Heiligenthal, Enobytes

Why blog? For the love of wine!

Megan Kenney, Wannabe Wino

Why do I blog? For fun, because of the wonderful people I’ve connected with through the wine world (present company included), and because I love to have an excuse to taste lots of great wines.

Elizabeth Smith, Traveling Wine Chick

Brings together the best of wine, travel, and wine-inspired travel. My writing saw me through the loss of a 24-year teaching career and a 15-year relationship, all within one month of each other in 2012. Little did I know that my blog would become a pivotal stepping stone to my move to Napa in 2014 to start a second career in the wine business and my second chance at living my passion. I continue to write because I love sharing my wine and travel experiences.

Christine Havens, christine-havens.com

I started blogging after a spinal injury left me unable to continue in winemaking. I was searching for a way to stay connected to the industry that I love.

Krista Lamb-Davidso, kristalamb.com

Upkeep: Wine, Body & Soul at www.kristalamb.com – Through blogging I have found a wonderful community of like-minded people who want to learn and talk about wine as much as I do. What started out as an outlet for my writing has turned into a true labour of love over the years.

Melanie Bianco Ofenloc, www.dallaswinechick.com

I love you, Jo Diaz. Melanie Ofenloch, www.dallaswinechick.com. I blog to tell my personal story of my wine experience. From the land to the bottle to the winemaker to the people that make my story complete.

Amy C. Anderson Gros, MomsToolbox.com

Reading all of these explanations has been so much fun. I blog about wine (and my faith) at MomsToolbox.com. I’m also the founder of VineSleuth/ Wine4.Me.

I blog about wine because I enjoy drinking it and sharing those experiences with friends (live and virtual). Also, I’m not afraid to ask the ‘dumb’ questions and report back. Wine enhances meals, lives and relationships. I want more people to have those enhanced experiences, too.

Mary Cressle, Vindulge.com

I blog about wine, food, and travel at Vindulge.com. I started blogging in 2009 as I was studying for the Court of Master Sommelier certified exams, as a way to regurgitate what I was learning. It has since evolved in so many ways! I now use the site to share personal stories, travel and wine recommendations, food and wine pairing suggestions, and original recipes. Because of the success of some of the recipes we (my husband and I) were posting we ended up starting a catering company called Ember and Vine where we work with wineries (among other clients) to create cool wood-fired recipes to pair with their wines. It’s been quite an adventure!

Diane Letulle, wineloversjournal.net

I began my blog wineloversjournal eight years ago as a true journal of my experiences in the world of wine, now expanded to other libations as well. I still love telling the stories of the people, places, culture, and cuisine of the world I travel in and am continuing to discover. I consider my blog as my home base online; I do other writing and social media, but the blog is all me, where I only put the stories I feel most passionate about.

Erika Szymanski, The Wineoscope

The Wineoscope‘s raison d’etre: 1. To give people more boxes for seeing more wine and thus more joy in it. 2. Science communication without science adulation or science criticism alone. 3. To keep me reading the wine science lit, and make it accessible to other folk at the same time.

Elizabeth Gabay, elizabethgabay.com

I am fairly new to blogging – just over a year on elizabethgabay.com. I passed the MW in 1998 and then made the decision to put my young family first and made the drastic decision to leave London and go and live in a small village in the Provencal alps. During the past 15 years I have written articles, taught, kept going, but now that the kids are moving on I decided to return more full time to work in wine. So my blog has a two-fold reason. One to remind everyone that I am working and where my areas of specialty are, and one as an outlet for my interest in wine and history – which commercial magazines are generally not interested in.

Taylor Eason, TaylorEason.com

I started my website in 2008 to house years of regular print wine columns. After I moved to California to begin working in the wine biz, I continued blogging out of a passion, a will to educate about a confusing subject and to keep up with the trends. Or maybe it’s because I’m crazy. Not sure which.

Meg Houston Maker, Makerstable.com

I’m principally a creative nonfiction writer with a longstanding interest in nature, culture, and place, and how these manifest through food and wine. I started Maker’s Table to explore these beautiful topics and share my curiosity, culinary and literary, with readers.

L.M. Archer, binnotes.com

I write, therefore I am.
I write about wine because it’s the Red Thread(TM) that binds us all.
I write to help others understand wine as art, not just beverage.
I write about artisan wine maker and culinary heroes’ journeys as a way for others in find courage to face their own struggles.

Sarah May Grunwald, www.tastegeorgia.co/blog

but then I created a website for Georgia and now I focus on Georgian wine, food and travel over there. I am writing more in depth articles for other publications rather than my own blog because my blog is now more about traffic and getting clients.

Wine Julia, therealwinejulia.com

When word got out that I was selling my Oregon-centric wine shop and wine bar, I was approached by the South Willamette Wineries Association to write on their newly established website and blog. Although I had no prior writing experience whatsoever, I accepted their offer with enthusiasm – it allowed me to work from home so I could be with my two young boys while keeping me within an industry that had truly captivated me. Soon after, I was sought out by a local news source for their Editor of Food and Wine position, and I wrote a weekly column based on Eugene’s food and wine scene for three years. Being restricted to writing about my immediate area inspired me to create a website that would allow me to explore Oregon in its entirety. Just 5 months after my very first post on therealwinejulia.com, I was awarded the Best New Wine Blog of 2012 from the Wine Blog Awards during the Portland-based Wine Bloggers Conference – quite an honor. Just 5 years ago, I would not have imagined that I would someday be a writer, editor and publisher. Yet I continue to love what I do; therefore, I do what I love.

Carolyn Blakeslee, The Frugal Wine Snob

I’m The Frugal Wine Snob, dedicated to wines that taste like a million bucks but cost a whole lot less. I started blogging in 2012 because I fell in love with wine again and wanted to learn and share. I’ve been so busy doing other things that I haven’t updated my WordPress site in quite a while and haven’t really blogged much in the last year, although I share things on my Facebook page from time to time.

Gwendolyn Alley, Wine Predator

With a broken wrist, I had to prioritize and unfortunately, wine blogging didn’t make the cut. I posted once in December and finally yesterday so once in January. I’m looking forward to turning into blog posts all of the tasting notes that my friend Sue has been taking! Because as we all know, here’s more to a blog post than tasting notes…

Alissa Fehr Leenhe, SAHMmelier

Being a stay-at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare.

Inspired by a winery’s poetry contest, I entered the world of creative writing for the first time in years, the only time publicly. Encouraged by their feedback, invigorated by the experience, I continued writing. Although feeding my love of epicurean adventures seemed impossible at that time in my life, I could certainly write about them.

I found the purpose to carve out time for myself. I formed relationships online and in person. I lived vicariously in the words of others and in the glass.

When I began writing, I had two toddlers and hadn’t slept in years. Now I have two children in Elementary school and things are changing. You are as likely to find a piece about the new wines made an hour away in Texas or those from a third generation producer in Spain, clean-eating or splurge-worthy restaurants, my quest to define my new identity or the camping spot where I found peace just as I am.

In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle.

That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

Cindy Lowe Rynning, Grape-Experiences.com

Writing about wine is an extension of my love for education, teaching, people, and of course, wine. I write to share the stories behind the wines – the people who produce it, the growers, the owners of the winery, the importers, and others so that my readers can appreciate wine even more. If I can relate some of that information to my own experiences and touch wine newbies or seasoned wine lovers then that’s even better. Just like people, each wine presents a distinct personality. Wine is beautiful, wine is complicated, wine begs to be understood as something more than just a bottle with a pretty label on the shelf. And this is what I want to convey. http://www.grape-experiences.com/…/raimund-prum…/






Presidents of Prohibition

Presidents of Prohibition were many, not just the ones during the actual time of Prohibition. As with any major project, it takes an inordinate amount of time to change anything politically. I was inspired to write this blog post when I read the book Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt

Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt, The Compete History of Presidential Drinking, by Mark Will-Weber, is a well-researched and documented history book, the likes of which we’ve yet had revealed. Enlightening, frightening, and really captivating, this book will never be pried out of my stiffly clutched arms. It’s a favorite… because it so inspired me to learn more about that time and how it was viewed politically from inside of the White House.

Prohibition was enacted in 1920 and continued for 13 years, ending in 1933 under the terms of the Eighteenth Amendment. It was enacted during Woodrow Wilson’s second term (1913 to 1921), and ended during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s term in office (1933 to 1945). From Buchanan’s time in politics (the mid 180s) until Wilson’s term (over 50 years later), every president had to deal with Prohibition as a hot bed, until its Repeal in 1933.

“In [Prohibition] I think, they will entirely fail,” he wrote in an 1867 letter. “lager beer, especially among the Germans, and old rye will be too strong for them. Still, intemperance is a great curse to our people, but it swill never be put down by laws prohibition the sale of all intoxicating liquors…”

The Subject of intemperance must have been a curious one for Buchanan to ponder, since the “Sage of Wheatland” himself had such a knack for knocking back alcohol. [p. 121-122]


In 1919, the required number of legislatures of the States ratified The 18th Amendment to the Federal Constitution. This allowed for the creation of national Prohibition within one year of ratification. Many women, driven by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, were pivotal in bringing about national Prohibition in the US, believing it would protect their families from the effects of alcohol abuse. They wanted their husbands out of bars in the evenings, and back into the their homes, after a hard day’s work. Social life was very different during those times. Men, who were drunk, were known to go home only to abuse their wives, and women had had enough.  Interestingly, this set up organized crime in the United States, as an end result.

Prohibition began on January 16, 1920, when the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect. Federal Prohibition agents (police) were given the task of enforcing the law.

Presidents of Prohibition

Starting with the chit chat…

James Buchannan (pre-presidential, the discussion begin)

enacted during Woodrow Wilson’s second term (1913 to 1921)

ended during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s term in office (1933 to 1945).



Bubbly Wine,Italy,Wine,Wine of the Week

Wine of the Week ~ NV Valdo Prosecco

NV Valdo Prosecco, Demoninazione dorigine Controllata Brut

Bubbles, we’ve got bubbles, we’ve got lots and lots of bubbles. This wine was really enjoyed. I hadn’t ever heard of Valdo, but now I have. I’m really getting turned on to wines from around the world and I feel like Sir Francis Drake. It’s a great adventure to be discovering history.

I was very impressed with the wine. Produced by Valdo Spumanti, Valdobbiadene, Italy.  Just to write it is lesson in Italian. I love language; ergo, I’m all over it. This one’s average is $11.  It’s for everyday, bubbles, and who can’t enjoy bubbles everyday? [Disclaimer:  Holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries, excluded. We’ve all got a favorite or a stash!]

I know you’re going into the weekend, so bring on the fun one! Have light fare and a few bubbles, and get dancing. This would be a fun Saturday afternoon wine. It could be a snuggle in kinda wine…


Valdo, the market leader of the Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG presents the second guide of the series ‘A Taste of Italy’. After the success of “Milan and Surroundings” is the time of the book containing addresses, recipes and insight dedicated to the Veneto, homeland of Valdo …

DISCOVERING THE REGION Valdobbiadene of the VENETO, Italy region [from Italy Heaven]

“Thanks to Venice, its most fabulous jewel, the Veneto is one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations. But there’s a lot more to the region: art cities, mountains, wine and villas.

The Veneto region (pronounced with the stress on the first syllable) is located in the north-east of Italy, along the Adriatic Sea. It’s bordered by the regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trentino – Alto Adige, Emilia Romagna, Lombardy and a small stretch of Austria in the far north. Although most travelers head straight to Venice, the region also contains other popular tourist destinations, such as Verona, Padua, Vicenza, Lake Garda and the ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo…

“The regional capital is Venice (Venezia), and the region is divided into the provinces of Venezia, Padova, Verona, Vicenza, Belluno, Rovigo and Treviso. Around four and a half million inhabitants are spread between the cities, plains, lagoon, hills and mountains.”

WIKI: Valdobbiadene (Italian pronunciation: [valdobˈbjaːdene]) is a town in the province of Treviso, Veneto, Italy. Valdobbiadene is a wine growing area. Just below the Alpine areas of Veneto, it provides a climate for cool varieties of grape. This area is the home of Prosecco Conegliano Valdobbiadene, a dry sparkling white wine. Prosecco brands that derive from this area include Altaneve.

Province: Province of Treviso ~ Here’s a fun one.

  • Do you love bike racing? Greater
  • Do you love opera? Yes, Greater.
  • Do you love culture, bubbles, and winners? The Greatest.




Wine Doesn’t Have To Be Rocket Science – It Can Easily Be Wine Folly

While making wine does involve the two sciences of viticulture and enology, for those of us wanting to learn about it, is doesn’t have to so complicated that it loses its luster. I do have 60 college units dedicated to understanding it, so I could work with wine clients and not be a dolt on their behalf. But, for the average consumer, the pace is slower. Becoming a Master Sommelier or Master of Wine is not for the average consumer.

And so, learning about wine can be a very slow and enjoyable process.

In education, there’s no such thing as dumbing it down. It’s called reducing it to the lowest common denominator… Baby steps, so one doesn’t fall backwards, while climbing up the ladder. Years of teaching, which involved anatomy and physiology of the head, face, and neck taught this to me. I had a state board examiner watching my students, as I went from one school to the next to teach in three separate locations… so my students were easy to track. They tested as the highest in the state. RESULT: The state board examiner hired me, when he started his own school, as its director. This was by the time I was only 23 years old. I still shake my head. It seemed to be natural at the time. Now I look back and think, “my gawd…”

The other side of baby steps is called “learning in giant leaps.” An educator walks into a class room and spews sternocleidomastoidius muscle of the neck, the 12 cranial nerves, whether they’re sensory, motor, or mixed, and “You all go home and figure out how they’re related.” Those were not the students who easily passed a state board examination, so they could practice their craft.

My point should be clear here.

Wine education, for the average consumer, follows the former example of how people are learning about wine, on their own time. There’s a great Wine 101 program offered to wine lovers through The Rubin Family of Wines “Wine 101” program. Directed by proprietor Ron Rubin, in seven E-mails wine consumers are walked through a process of from vine to wine. It’s at a good pace, for those who want to learn more… Like, “what’s malolactic fermentation?” for example.

For others who don’t care about a scheduled pace, a great Website for casual learning is Wine Folly. From their site:

Wine Folly is the best place to learn about wine. Browse our visual wine compendium or our playful weekly articles. Start your wine education today.

Their info graphics are great, and they’ve published a book – which is a massive undertaking, in and of itself. This page takes readers to a wonderful beginner’s program of learning some basics.


This is a dedicated crew who came together to help others enjoy wine:

  • Madeline Puckette is the content producer and host of  their videos.
  • Justin Hammack is the film/photo, developer, and marketer.
  • ‘The Shadow’ Mysterious Grammartologist: In a word, I do what ever I can if its in there best int-rest to re-manipulate the grammatical structuring of the sentences to facilitate you’re understanding of the articles.
  • Chad Wasser, Advisor / Super Pal: I like abstract strategy mechanics, amateur woodworking, recreational nonviolent conflict, invisible forces, and double short americanos. I live in Seattle, where I touch really fragile things with kid gloves for a living.
  • Hilarie Rumball Larson, wine educator.
  • Dr. Edward Miller, physician and Certified Sommelier.
  • Rina Bussell, Sommelier

Get the book, if you want this type of education to follow you around from one place to the next, one sound bite at a time. I believe a “New York Times” best seller tells you all you need to know about it’s authenticity, right? The info-graphics are great for visual learners. The flow is perfect as you perfect wine in your mind’s eye. Congratulations, Wine Follies… You’re far from lunacy, as the word “folly” would suggest.

[Images have been borrowed from the Wine Folly Website.]




Wine Business Monthly ~ And they said magazines were going to die

Since my early days in wine, which started in March of 1993, I’ve watched Wine Business Monthly (WBM) morph. For those of you who aren’t in the wine trade, it’s our professional bible…

When it first arrived, is was akin to a newspaper (same kind of paper) and it was free. Seemingly, their advertising took care of it in the process; and for me, editor Cyril Penn was always there. He was kind; and he helped me with a few steps in my career, even. He still does – taking my calls,w hen I have some kind of an epiphany. I gave him my Road Warrior Survival Guide story in the early 2000s, which – to my surprise – he printed. I just thought it was really funny and he’d enjoy the read. It was a hit, because it was satire; and there wasn’t enough of that going around at the time. Every wine pro who read it could relate. I had labeled the most common behaviors that I – and everyone else – had been watching from behind the tables, during wine festivals around the country.

Here’s an example


I can’t tell you how much fun I had literally belly laughing while reading your “Road Warrior Survival Guide.” Oh boy…If I had a penny for every time I’ve wanted to smack a “pusher-upper,” I wouldn’t have to work anymore. Really…your article just made me roar!

Thanks for making my day here at the office (before I hit the road again!) so much brighter.

Then, the paper magazine became subscription based. I liked the direction, because Cyril had always supported me, and turn about fair play is what’s important, right, if you have your head secured to your shoulders. I was immediately in.

Next came a binding with a matte paper cover and matte pages. Quite an improvement, with me quietly marveling at each new advancement for WBM.  When my October 2015 issue arrived, I noticed a semi gloss cover and semi gloss pages. Impressive, I thought, but was also in the thick of things, so I didn’t have time to react and write about it; although I wanted to. I also couldn’t help but think about all the predictions of doom and gloom about paper not being relevant anymore.

I would say that it has still more to do with the importance of the content, versus everyone wanting to read everything on line. Content in this magazine and relevance to us all is what’s keeping this magazine in the hands of its readers. Honestly, I’m going to go down with my physical library… Being raised by books from a very special aunt, I love books. My iPad and or smart phone? Not for reading, thanks a lot. It ruins my internal Feng Shui. Give me a book or magazine any day…

Thanks, Cyril Penn, for always being there. And, thanks to president and publisher Eric Jorgensen, as well as Tamara Leon, associate publisher. You’re very special survivors of our modern age…


Dry Creek Valley,Petite Sirah,PS I Love You,Wine,Wine Astrology

This Full Moon in Capricorn Celebrates Prominence – Dan Gustafson is in the House

The Capricorn personality is geared towards that of leadership and achievement, they always want to climb the corporate ladder and be the best they can be. Capricorns have excellent sense of time and manage it very well, they are excellent organizers. Capricorns are very creative, not spontaneously creative but it is incorporated into their time management skills and their ideas for executing a plan. Capricorns make good, wise investments because they look at the long term and what will be the most beneficial down the road. (From: zodiac-signs-astrology.com)

Yesterday was the full moon in Capricorn, with the effects of the full moon continuing for the next couple of days. Life at this time centers around being responsible (this is why it’s traditionally tax time), being patient, ambitious and resourceful, and it’s about loyalty.

So… whom have I met that fills this hat?

Thinking… Aha!

It has to be Dan Gustafson… When thinking about it, Dan just popped into my head. A Capricorn’s totem is the mountain goat, which climbs – step by careful step – to the top of the mountain. Dan has done just that, both metaphorically and literally, which is why he’s such a logical choice. Dan’s the new president of PS I Love You for 2016, so I know him through this early connection. He’s been on our advisory board, and has also served as vice president. Dan has also volunteered his beautiful, mountainside location in Dry Creek Valley for our volunteers’ annual picnic. He’s solidly there accepting responsibly, as well as being resourceful and magnanimous as a community leader. He is what Capricorn represents…

Dad Gustafson has two worlds

He has a residence in the Minneapolis, where he works as a successful real estate developer and has a background in landscape architecture. He also lives in Healdsburg, California as the owner of D.H. Gustafson Family Vineyards & Winery. Seemingly two separate worlds, it’s only latitude and longitude that separates his same core values.

[This image is borrowed from Dan Gustafson’s Website.]

In the spring of 2002, Dan was driving with his family between Healdsburg and the California coast. When he came upon the crest of a hill, Dan saw the glory in this picture… What he discovered in the mountains above Lake Sonoma was paradise. He pulled his car to the side of the road and looked over a fence. The location captured his imagination and he knew that this would be a perfect place to grow grapes.  He went on to purchase the 87 acres of hillside property high up in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley.

Dan’s first profession as a landscape architect has not only put him in touch with the land, but it’s also given him an understanding of how to nurture not only plant life, but also community life.


He has entrusted the winemaking to Emmett Reed, where both Dan and Emmett discuss viticulture. Dan has given Emmett the tools to make superb wines, from his Dry Creek iron oxide, red soil… Viticulturist Hector Bedolla once told me, “The red soils of Dry Creek Valley are as good as gold…” This mountain fruit is the basis for wines that easily skip the light fandango on our palates… they’ve got character, finesse, and bold flavors, when need be. The wines are as artisan as they get and simply excellent.

Visiting Dan’s downtown tasting room in Healdsburg, or driving up that mountainside to absorb breathtaking vistas… What’s not to love?