What I learned at the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference
1. Cider and Wine Bloggers….?…Maybe
By every measure hard cider is much more similar to wine than it is to beer. So, will America’s cutting edge wine writers, the bloggers, embrace cider? Maybe. My attempt to introduce many of them to the drink by showing off ciders from Eve’s Cidery seemed moderately successful in getting them interested. The reaction to these great ciders ranged from “WOW” to “Eh”.
2. Upstate NY and the Finger Lakes Region is Tempting
Shocked. I was shocked at the beauty of this region of upstate NY. Of course, I was there at its most beautiful and did not witness the winters. Still, this rural and dynamic region spill over with beauty and authenticity. Kathy and I are thinking of moving away from Napa and looking primarily at Oregon. But wow….this NY region is tempting. And the wines….? Beautiful.
3. Meg Maker May Be the Most Impressive Writer Dabbling in Wine Blogging
Meg Maker women is smart, poised, driven and talented. I knew about the talented part before the Conference but hadn’t witnessed the poised, smart and driven part. And she was all over the conference as a panelist, moderator, speaker, and Award-Winner. Look for many more great things from Ms. Meg Maker.
4. A.W. Tillinghast is Mean
Prior to the Conference I stopped to see my good friends Matt and Nancy Siegel, proprietors of The Siegel Wine Cave. Matt took me to play a round of golf at his club, a course designed by the great golf course designer A.W. Tillinghast in the 1920s. The greens at the Binghamton Country Club were just plain mean….sloping forward, for example, when they looked to obviously slope backward; appearing to be flat when in fact the balls roll off the right side of the green. Mean, Tillie…just mean.
5. America’s Best Wine Editors Should Send “Scouts” to the Conference
The Wine Bloggers Conference is attended by people with an array of talent. Some in attendance are barely writers. Some are tremendously curious minds who are smart and driven. The editors at the major wine publications and wine sites should be sending “scout” to this conference to discover the next, great, up and coming wine writer. They will find them.
6. Diversity of Experience is More Important Than Diversity of Gender or Race
While I don’t know how diverse the wine blogging community is from a gender or race perspective, what became clear to me at the Wine Bloggers Conference is that if good writing on wine and if useful insights about wine is one of the primary reasons for reading about wine, then the blogging community best serves its readers by encompassing a diversity of life experiences, not gender and race.
7. Eight Hours of Sleep Is Really Kind of Great
Having not slept for 8 hours in over a year, I took the opportunity of the Conference to do just that one day. My goodness. That’s a nice thing. You actually wake up refreshed, thinking better and more energized—all of which is a prerequisite for taking advantage of a conference that is practically non-stop.