Live Wine Blogging

Almost two weeks ago (already?) I attended the Wine Bloggers Conference as most of you know by now. (Hopefully this post will be far less volatile than previous post on the Conference—which I never thought would get much traction, but apparently it did.)


Blurry shot of Bandit Pinot Grigio. I did not have time to focus.

At both Conferences that I have attended, the “Live Wine Blogging” event has intrigued me. Basically, the premise is very similar to speed dating (although I have never done speed dating since, frankly, I did not think my fragile ego could handle it): You sit with several other bloggers and every five minutes, another wine comes to your table. Sometimes it is poured by the wine maker, but most often it is someone else from the winery (usually one of the marketing types), but in that five minutes, they give all 8-10 people a splash, then a brief spiel about the wine, and then they try to answer any questions that may surface (if they can actually hear you—it gets quite loud).

As tasters, we are supposed to be “live” blogging (I am not entirely sure what that means—am I “dead” or “un-live” blogging now?) by either tweeting or putting a post up on our blog instantly.


He told me his name, but I forgot. It was something like Alejandro Johnson, really.

All in all, it is a pretty high pressured atmosphere,. The problem is that I am not all that great under pressure: I still have the “record” for the lowest career basketball free throw percentage at my high school (I keep checking hoping to see it broken), and I almost passed out when both of my sons were born (I get queasy opening a bottle of ketchup).

On top of that, I normally take a bit of time composing my tasting notes as I tend to like to use complete sentences and, well, make sense. I also tend to take a lot more time tasting the wine before I compose a note—I usually do not write one at home until the last glass of the bottle, after a bit of time with the wine. At my recent trip to the Cargasacchi/Loring tasting room, it took me over two hours to go through about seven wines.

I did enjoy the Live Blogging event, but I really needed a drink after it was done.

Other bloggers (including Wilfred Wong) trying to get their photo on.

Other bloggers (including Wilfred Wong) trying to get their photo on.

One last thing: I started to peter out near the end as you will see in my notes (I tried to rally for the last one, but I only have nine tasting notes for the ten wines). I am not sure if this was due to the pressure or the heat—it was really hot in the room.

In the spirit of “Live Blogging” (whatever it means), here are my pretty much unadulterated notes from the event (I only edited them slightly for spelling, unclear abbreviations, and idiotic statements).

What are your thoughts on tasting notes? Are they helpful? Do you gloss right over them? Only look for grammatical errors?

Any thoughts on the 100 point scale?

Bandit Wines Pinot Grigio: Recyclable package. $9/1 liter. Very light color. Melon and honeysuckle. Big and rich. I was ready to hate it because, well, I usually do not like Grigio, and this is inexpensive, and well, Grigio. But I actually like it. Good QPR. 85-87.


$20? Buy it!

Laetitia Blanc de Noir: Bubbles! $20. Great acidity. SIP certified. A bit of brioche and a great finish. $20? That’s stupid. Buy some. 88-90.

2012 Consilience Viognier: 75% Viognier, 10% Grenache Blanc. Nice Viognier: floral nose with apricot. Round and soft fruit, but good acid as well. This is quite good. 87-89.

2013 Rios de Chile Sauvignon Blanc: Retail $9. A bit too tart, but a good price and a good appetizer wine. 5000 Cases. 85-87.


Lisa Mattson of Jordan.

2012 Jordan Chardonnay: $30 Russian River Chard sourced from 8 vineyards in Russian River Valley. 5 months of French oak, both new and used. Very balanced style. Not overly fruity and certainly restrained oak. Jordan is a leader in Chard and this is why. 90-92.

2013 Buttonwood Zingy Sauvignon Blanc: $20 Santa Ynez Valley. More Sauv Blanc? Ugh. This is actually good, though. More of a Sancerre style in that it does not try to smack you upside the head with tartness. Very Good.

2013 Aridus Malvasia Bianca: $28 Magnificent nose 100% Malvasia Bianca. Very interesting wine, unlike pretty much any wine you’ve had.

2013 Danza del Sol Vermentino: $28. At this point I have lost so much bodily fluid that I am drinking just in the hope of staying hydrated.

2013 Grassini Sauvignon Blanc: $28. Another SB that I can live with. A bit too flinty perhaps and at $30? A bit steep, but it is cold and it feels great on my forehead. 86-88.

There's bottle #10! It was so hot in there, I had another use for it....

There’s bottle #10! It was so hot in there, I had another use for it….