Friday, August 31, 2012

WBC12 Random Thoughts & Tastes

I guess it's time I came out of my stupor and faced a bitter truth. The reality is that there's no chance, whatsoever, of my writing about the 2012 Wine Blogger's Conference in the immediate future if I wait until I've actually caught up on the blog and added all the wines we've enjoyed recently to The List. I'm still posting wines from June and here we are at the end of August. I mean it's already been two weeks since Portland and I'm not exactly closing in on being caught up.

So, here's the scoop. Rather than write about WBC12 in depth, I'll start things off with a recap of random thoughts and highlights. And, then, I'll hope to expand about all the events down the road.

1) There's a lot more to Oregon wine than Pinot Noir. I'd arrived in Portland not knowing much about Oregon wines. The fifty wineries pouring at the Oregon Wine Board's Welcome Reception quickly proved that Pinot may be king but you don't need to be Miles (the curmudgeonly pinotphile from Sideways) to find something you'll enjoy. Care for a little Syrah or Riesling?

2) I think I found out why so few Oregon wines make it across the border into British Columbia. In general, the wineries just don't make enough. Most of the producers I spoke to make fewer than 10,000 cases. Guess I'll have to visit Oregon more regularly than every other decade.

3) The Night of Many Bottles - where participants each brought a bottle to the show for tasting at will - really should have been called The Night of Too Many Bottles. Such choice. Such quality. The only sad part, for me, was to see countless bottles, many full, still remaining at the evening's end. I surely hope those bottles found willing homes instead of a pour down the kitchen sink.

4) Speaking of variety - there were almost as many different approaches to wine blogging as there were bloggers. From specific regions to limited topics like organics & sustainability; from comparing the sexiness of wines to men to working almost exclusively with video, it's clear that I need to find more time to check out what all my fellow bloggers are up to.

5) Do the Argentines know how to throw a party or what? The tapas and wines served up refuelled and intensified my desire to return to Buenos Aires and Mendoza big time.

6) I loved all the "It's Willamette. Dammit." t-shirts that were prominent, but I think my fave slogan had to be "More people have read this t-shirt than our blog." I chuckled when noting that the wearer was kind enough to turn "your" into "our" by taping over the "y."

7) It's going to take quite a feat to top the experience that was our group's dinner in the Rex Hill vineyard - especially when that 9-litre Salmanazar bottle of 1992 Rex Hill Pinot Noir was poured to the willing. Yup, that's right, 9 litres - or a full case of regular 750ml wines - of damned fine wine.

8) I've never seen so many adults doing exactly what they'd never allow their kids do at home - tweeting before, after and during every course of an extravagant dinner.

9) I knew this already, but I certainly rediscovered that there are big personalities to spare in the world of wine - our two keynote speakers, Randall Grahm (Bonny Doon Vineyard) and Rex Pickett (author of Sideways and Vertical), just added emphasis to the point.

10) My taste buds were a'poppin' while sipping the Franciacorta wines being served on opening day. The bubbles were consistently delicious. All those Proseccos in our household may need to look out; there's a new Italian in town. I definitely need to see what Franciacortas are available in local bottle shops.

11) It's going to be hard for anyone at future Wine Blogging Conferences to top the "Breakfast of Champions" served up by des Vins du Languedoc. I've had some interesting starts to the morning in years past, but I'm not sure they rank with Voodoo Doughnuts and a Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois - a sweet vin doux naturel that actually worked with the chocolate icing and vanilla cream. I may never need to go back to bacon and eggs (especially after trying one of Voodoo's Maple Bacon doughnuts later on).

And, finally, 12) as a first timer to a Wine Bloggers Conference, I definitely concluded that there are blogging options galore that I'd never considered. I don't know that I have the ingenuity, desire or time to try and take my little task at hand to another level, but I certainly had my eyes opened to the vast possibilities.

Now to catch up with my odyssey so that I can fulfill those good intentions to flesh out conference activities - after all there are some bottles from the conference to add to The List. Hopefully, I'll have it done before it's time for WBC13 in Penticton and our own Okanagan Valley.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your recap on WBC 2012! Recommend all your favorite wines on