July 2012 Archives
|A super thing happened to me today. One that makes all the late nights of writing and absentminded brainstorming for topics all worthwhile! Wilma's Wine World has been nominated as a finalist for the 2012 Wine Blog Awards in the Best Industry/Business Wine Blog category. I'm grinning from ear to ear! The competition has steadily grown and so has the sheer number of wine blogs published today. The fact that Wilma would even qualify is a tremendous honor and something I'm very proud of for both myself and my staff.
Now comes the important part, public voting, which ends Thursday, July 26, 2012. Please cast your ballot! Each category winner will be chosen based on 50% of the input coming from the judges and 50% coming from the public vote. Congratulations to all the finalists, and may the best blog win!
Click on this link to cast your vote: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WBA12. I promise it will only take 10-15 seconds of your time. In addition to Best Industry/Business Wine Blog, you can also vote for Best Blog Post of the Year, Best Original Photography or Video on a Wine Blog, Best Wine Reviews on a Wine Blog, Best Single Subject Wine Blog, Best Winery Blog, Best Writing On a Wine Blog, Best New Wine Blog, and Best Overall Wine Blog.
Thank You! Gracias! Merci! Danke! Grazie! Obrigado!
One of the unpleasant things about making wines that go so well with oysters is that every now and again I have to pretend to like the slimy little bi-valves. I have done quite well over the years, managing to avoid ingesting these creatures of the sea, thanks to a host of polite excuses which range from "shellfish doesn't agree with me." To, "I'm sorry but I'm on medication that interferes with digestion of oysters."
You guessed it: the truth is I don't like oysters. In fact, I detest them and manage to avoid eating them at all costs, despite producing what is generally regarded as some of the world's "Best Oyster" wines.
I have managed to keep my secret for quite some time. But just recently, my hidden truth was put to the test, all in the name of selling wine. And, remarkably...I survived. Plus, it was fun!
One of my favorite distributors, Pine State Beverage of Maine, set up an Oyster and Blancs tasting at a waterfront restaurant in Boothbay Harbor called Mine Oyster. It had been a year since I had been in the market and I was looking forward to catching up with the reps who sell our wines. Until I heard it involved oysters.
Oh my, what to do. Here I was, in the middle of my vacation, squeezing in some time for business. I'd be willing to do just about anything to help sell our wines, but oysters...really??
As I entered the restaurant, I could tell I was in trouble. Intoxicating smells of saltwater and shellfish greeted me. Boisterous fisherman sat at the bar. And a table full of eager wine sales reps surrounded me with high fives and hugs all around. Then, the defining moment came. I was handed the menu and asked to order the selection of oysters that we would taste with my wines. Ugh. No amount of wincing or squirming could get me out of this one! I steeled myself for the moment and started ordering recklessly. Glidden Points.... Pemiquids... Oysters Rockefeller... Oysters Parmesan...Oysters this and oysters that.
I had no idea what I was doing, but I needed to save face. These folks were depending on me!
Slowly we slurped and sipped our way through the assortment. Round the table we went, each person commenting on which was their favorite wine for the oyster of choice...was it Dry Chenin Blanc, the Fume Blanc or our Sauvignon Blanc? Unanimously the Chenin Blanc was the group's favorite. It was uncanny really, as this is the same wine what won the 2012 Pacific Coast Oyster Competition as one of the "Top 10 Wines" to go with oysters. And, after a few gasps and quick gulps I slowly began to comprehend.
I could taste the sea. I could sense the ocean. My mind started to wander...the crispness of the wine danced across my palate running head on into the briney salinity of the oyster...ahhh, the "bliss factor." Yes, I could finally understand what all the fuss was about.
While oysters may never become my seafood of choice, I am now one of the enlightened ones, thanks to the great state of Maine and the wonderful folks of Pine State Beverage.
Thanks guys and see 'ya next year!
As the end of my vacation draws near, I am reflecting on what a wonderful trip it has been. Over the past couple of weeks I have spent my time seeing family, relaxing, reading, eating and - you guessed it - sailing. It has been such a welcome break from the daily chaos of simultaneously running a business and a family, and a much-needed one at that! Of course, my brain hasn't completely turned away from the winery. There is just so much going on right now with our new consumer tasting experiences, bottling in full swing before harvest starts, and the anniversary of the date that we received our use permit 40 years ago coming up. With all of these exciting things going on, it has been a tad difficult to keep my mind completely focused on relaxing.
However, when our 2009 Heritage Zinfandel was named one of the "Best Burger Wines" out of a 30-bottle taste test, I immediately snapped back into vacation mode. Why? Because one of the best parts of a summer vacation is eating outside and enjoying a great barbequed meal with family and friends. I love burgers, but I have to confess that my favorite BBQ dinner with our Heritage Zinfandel is my dad's famous 'Zinful Flank Steak'. With only a few days left in my vacation, I am going to make sure this recipe hits the grill before I hit the road!
Steak marinade: Combine ingredients and marinate flank steak overnight. It is important to first pierce the steak all over with a fork so that the marinade can better penetrate and tenderize the meat.
Zinfandel sauce: Combine ingredients in non-reactive saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer to reduce by one-half. Remove from heat and cool. Remove steak from marinade. Add reserved marinade to sauce mixture and puree in the food processor. Grill, broil or pan fry steak over high heat; cook to medium rare. Cut thin slices across the grain. Serve with heated sauce.
This is a blog about what it's really like to be in the wine industry...so sit back, take a sip and enjoy!
A Lifetime in Wine
Top 10 Traits of the Successful Family Winery
The Dreaded Family Meeting
Board Meeting Jitters
Is the Future of the Winery in Danger?
The Case of the Overweight Bottle
Wine and Dementia
Wanted: Talented (Normal) Individual for Family Owned Winery
A Sea of Wine
The Heroes of Our Industry