Thursday, December 31, 2009

Musings on 2009 and Happy New Year!

2009 was, for me, a year inspired by social media and so… here I am blogging with the rest of the world. So many people are blogging, tweeting, facebooking, but there are some people who really inspired me this year I want to share them with you.

Topping my list would have to be Hardy Wallace of
Dirty South Wine
@dirtysouthwine and @goodetobefirst on Twitter. If you are in any way involved with the online wine scene, surely you know him as the winner of the monumental Murphy-Goode contest for a social media guru. I had the privilege to meet Hardy in the good ol ATL before all the hullabaloo began. We tasted some wines at the fantastic Dynamic Dish @dynamicdish restaurant. I had been reading his wine blog for some time and really appreciated his whimsical, even hilarious, style and approach to wine. “Wine is meant to be crunk!” is on the banner of his blog. Hardy is an inspiration to me, not so much for winning the MG contest---that was never in doubt in my mind---but for his fantastic, warm personality, great sense of humor (also wildly evident in his blog) and his love for wines that really say something to him. Hardy’s unbelievably inspired, fun approach to wine writing and his enthusiasm for sharing that with everyone else are contagious!

And who can resist that smile?!

If you haven’t already clicked over to check him out, here is one of my favorite
posts... really, read it! Hardy RAWKS!

Next, THE social media guru himself, Mr. Rick Bakas

@rickbakas and @stsupery on Twitter, his blog, and now, social media manager for St. Supery, inspires me for his professional, impeccable, ubiquitous (in a great way) social media presence. He is the model social media pro in my book, balancing the professional and the personal while maintaining both his own and St. Supery’s social media presence. Everything he posts contains something of value. If you don’t already follow him, you are missing out on the best role model EVAR on how to really knock your social media presence out of the park. Watch what this man does, follow suite and you can’t help but succeed.

When I think of all the online wine companies that emerged this year, one stands out above the crowd---

Bursting onto the scene with their initial
white paper on social media in the wine industry earlier this year, they have cranked out successful project after successful project for clients like Cruvee, Vin65 and just announced today: Brixiom Systems @brixiomsystems on Twitter a CRM system specifically tailored for the wine trade. I’m keeping my eye on Vintank in 2010. So should you.

I'd be remiss if I left Chris Brogan off my list.
He is the author of
has a great, informative website and newsletter. Everything you ever want and need to know about how to use social media for yourself and your business.

There are an amazing number of people I’ve genuinely enjoyed connecting with on Twitter, but a handful of special folks come to mind---people I particularly would love to share glass and a good meal with one day: the flock
@megmaker of Maker's Table blog, @forlornhopewine maker of mindblowing CA wines , @remycharest wine case and food case blogs @randallgrahm needs no intro but is winemaker at Bonny Doon & author of Been Doon So Long. Also inspiring to me are @theunknownchef (great rants!) @winebratsf (seems like a barrel of monkeys & we could get into trouble together!) @alicefeiring (LOVE her book and blog) & @zacharycohen (prolific AND interesting posts, great food blog Farm to Table) and also some new REAL LIFE friends I’ve made thanks to social media: @sisarina Branding/PR/all around fantastic woman @pulpologist awesome travel writer @suzielin wine PR @wineharlots awesome blog @robynwebb fabulous cookbook author/nutritionist/do-gooder.

Now, being a woman who loves wine, I cannot CANNOT leave out my favorite wines of 2009. As for a lot of people, I turned to what I would consider great deals for the money. For me these were mind-altering AND good values: Christian Chaussard’s Patapon – totally wild with aromas and flavors of ink, spice and pine trees. Thierry Puzelat’s Le Telquel (and really anything else he makes)---I liked it so much I was inspired to ridiculous poetry. Renardat-Fache Bugey Cerdon, anything Arianna Occhipinti makes, including e.v. olive oil (the benchmark to which I hold all others and as yet unrivaled for me,) something (and I can’t believe I didn’t snap a photo or write it down but it was late and NOT the first glass of the evening as is often the case here) I shared with many out of a 3L at The Ten Bells (hands down THE COOLEST wine bar I’ve ever visited Jorge rules!) and a total surprise for me as I generally prefer a dry Riesling: Weingut Spater-Veit Riesling Piesporter Goldtropfchen Auslese 2005 probably the lovliest thing I tasted all year---Delicate body, slightly sweet, very highly perfumed, just beautiful.

As I look forward to 2010, I’ll be looking back to my inspirations from 2009 and gleaning the best of what I can learn from all of them and put it to, hopefully, good use and forging ahead to share the best of what I find in wine, food and life.

I can’t wait to see what lies ahead---new location for me, new friends, new restaurants, new vintages on all my favorite wines, and my favorite of all---the happy accidents, new discoveries. Happy 2010 everyone! May you have a prosperous and truly joyful new year!

Wine Opheila
– a woman who loves wine

Monday, December 28, 2009

WARNING! I'll be talking about wine!

This blog (obviously still under construction) will be dedicated to MY views on wines and is not connected with any company or winery. It is connected only to my thoughts and my palate. I'll be sure to follow the rules and let you know when I'm given samples. I'll even tell you when I buy it, where I got it, and how much I pay. I'll let you know if I love it with whatever food I'm trying alongside. If I hate it, I probably won't say anything at all and let it die the silent death of anonymity.