Thursday, September 25, 2014

Desert Hops: Beer & Food

As The Desert Hops International Beer Festival in Las Vegas approaches this Saturday, I thought I’d kick off the weekend and write about one of my favorite beer and food pairings. (Ignoring for awhile that there are so many beer styles that pair well with many types of food.)

FAVORITE BEERS
I’ve been a hophead since my homebrewing days in the 80s and 90s. For years my favorites beer style has always been any type of Pale Ale or India Pale Ale. And then I discovered Imperial IPAs, the Big Kahuna of IPA! Average Alcohol By Volume ranges from 7.0% to 14.0% and the higher the IBUs the better!

A short list of my favorite beers:

  • Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA - An IPA with tastes that include hops, citrus and grassy (6.0% ABV / 60 IBU)
  • Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA - An Imperial IPA with tastes that include brandied fruitcake, raisin, and citrus. (9.0% ABV / 90 IBU)
  • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Not an IPA, but a great, widely available, basic, hoppy pale ale with piney and grapefruit aromas. (5.6% ABV / 38 IBU)
  • Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA - I’m guessing ‘Extra’ is like ‘Imperial’ only more new world sounding. Massive hop aromas of citrus, pine, and tropical fruit.  (7.2% ABV / 65 IBU)  
  • Stone Brewing Company India Pale Ale - A hoppy, citrusy IPA with grapefruit zest. (6.9% ABV / 77 IBU)
  • Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale - An American Strong Ale style beer with flavors of orange, citrus hops, and caramel. (7.2% ABV/ ‘Classified’ IBU)
Of course there are many other great IPAs or Imperial IPAs, like Russian River Brewing Company’s magical Pliny the Elder (8.0% ABV), but they aren’t on my radar for reasons of availability and/or price.
NEW BEER
New Belgium has always made great beer and I’ve been a long-time fan of their Fat Tire Amber Ale (when I’m not drinking IPA), although I was never a big fan of their Ranger India Pale Ale (6.5% ABV / 70 IBU).

Recently I noticed Rampant* Imperial IPA (8.5% ABV / 85 IBU) at the grocery store and picked up a six pack. 
The first glass surprised me with a wonderful nose, taste, and hoppiness that I thought could only be found in a homebrewer’s fresh batch of homebrew. For a bottled beer it really has an 'on tap' freshness! Although BeerAdvocate only gave it an 85 rating I would say it should have at least a 90 rating.
*Synonyms for Rampant: uncontrolled, unrestrained, unchecked, unbridled, widespread.

The descriptive terms from New Belgium:  The hops include Mosaic, Calypso, Centennial and the malt bill is Pale and Black.
YUM!
SENSORY
Visual - Golden with solid white foam and a slight hop sheen.
Aroma - Prominent lemon citrus and floral hop aroma and flavor including some nice dry-hopped fresh grass and spicy pine notes.
Flavor - Hint of sweetness in the background from malt, the rest is a story of ambitious but not overwhelming bitterness.
Mouthfeel - Warmth from alcohol is present but not conspicuous. Nice dry finish from carbonation and glass full of bitter hops.
Body - Medium-Light



FOOD PAIRING
Without knowing about the Brewers Association’s ‘Craft Beer and Food Pairing Chart’ I decided to have a Flank Steak with this tasty Imperial IPA. The chart recommends Imperial IPA be paired with smoked beef brisket, grilled lamb, or chicken-fried steak. Did they include the word ‘steak’ in their description? Close enough for me! And ‘smoked’ too?  I used apple wood smoking chips on my grill.

Guess what? Rampant Imperial IPA went very well with grilled/smoked Flank Steak, my famous Garlicky Spinach (click here for the garlicky spinach recipe) and La Brea Bakery’s Whole Grain Bread toasted on the grill. After a pretty warm day we enjoyed dinner on our patio and the beer hit the spot! I’d give it a 9/10 rating.  Maybe a Pliny the Elder would make it a 10 :-)

If this post has made you want to taste a wide variety of beers from around the world, you may want to go to The Desert Hops International Beer Festival in Las Vegas this Saturday. The people at the Cosmopolitan are pouring 150 beers from over 25 countries and serving multi-cultural food offerings from their restaurant partners—all in a lively social environment overlooking The Las Vegas Strip. Check it out and discover what beers you’ll enjoy with various occasions. It's the best bet on the Strip!



Cheers!



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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Stomp Out Breast Cancer


“Stomp Out Breast Cancer” Wine Tasting
and Grape Stomping Competition 
The 10th anniversary celebration is Sunday, October 5, 2014 from 11:30am - 4:00pm at Oak Creek Golf Course, 1 Golf Course Drive, Irvine, CA 92618. 
Each ticket includes wine and beer tasting, appetizers and a BBQ lunch. Go for the fun grape stomping competition, live music, live and silent auctions, and car show.
All proceeds will support community education programs to ensure that breast cancer is detected at its earliest possible stage. Tickets are $125 through October 4th or $150 at the door.
Tanja Cebula and Dr. John West
The Be Aware Foundation was formed in 2004 by breast cancer survivor Tanja Cebula and Dr. John West to educate women about the risks of breast cancer, the life saving benefits of early an detection education program, and breast exam reminders. Visit www.beawarefoundation.org or call 714-915-3101 for more info.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Taco María

Prix Fixe at the OC Mix
Taco María is located inside the OC Mix @ SoCo Collection in Costa Mesa.
3313 Hyland Avenue, Ste C21, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626  (714) 538-8444  info@tacomaria.com
Dinner is available from Tuesday through Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. We ate dinner there last Friday night.
Awards:
Jonathan Golds 101 Best Restaurants 2014 - Los Angeles Times
Best Mexican Restaurant 2013 - OC Weekly
Best New Restaurants 2013 - OC Register

As good as the French Laundry Award 2014 - Taste N Trip

The Prix Fixe dinner was incredible! This was on par with dining at the French Laundry, only a shorter drive for us to get there. It was definitely the best dinner and wine pairing we have ever had in Southern California. 
There are two choices of prixe fixe dinners and you can order both choices to share as a couple.  Instead of one four course dinner, you can share the two different dinners and have half of eight different courses and eight different wines between two people. 
You might not expect it, but the amount of food and wine is more than enough!
GAZPACHO VERDE
Cucumber-melon-avocado, fennel, hyssop, blackberry paired with August Kessler, 2012 Riesling Kabinett, Pfalz, Germany.

TACO de CALAMARES
Monterey squid, squid ink torilla, peanuts, purslane paired with Domaine Pichot, 2010 Chenin Blanc, Loire Valley, France.

CAMPECHANA
Geoduck clam (pronounced "gooey duck”), abalone, Mayan octopus, avocado, tomato paired with Zocker, 2012 Gruner Veltliner, Edna Valley, California.

CARNE APACHE
Beef heart tartare, serrano, lime, crisp rice, egg, yolk paired with Kaiken, 2012 Torrontes, Salta, Argentina.

FRIOLES de la OLLA (top) & PESCADO al PASTOR (bottom)
The frioles consisted of green & shelling beans, grilled cabbage, cueritos, meyer lemon paired with Leyda, 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Leyda Valley, Chile.
The pescado included pink grouper, achitoe, citrus, braised lettuce, green tomato paired with Paco and Lola, 2012 Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain.
SOPA de TORTILLA
Guinea fowl, lavender, onion, apple, cotija, bone broth paired with Bodegas Juan Gil 'Honoro Vera' 2013 Garnacha, Calatayud, Spain.

CACHETE
Pork cheek, blue grits, white peach, bacon, shisito peppers paired with Yangarra Estate, 2011 Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia.

Four courses were $52.

The wine pairings were an additional $26.
Both were well worth it!
 
All of the courses were excellent! My special favorites were:
  • TACO de CALAMARES
  • CAMPECHANA
    FRIOLES de la OLLA
  • PESCADO al PASTOR
  • SOPA de TORTILLA
  • CACHETE
And the wines I enjoyed the most were:
  • Paco and Lola, 2012 Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain
  • Bodegas Juan Gil 'Honoro Vera' 2013 Garnacha, Calatayud, Spain  
  • Yangarra Estate, 2011 Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia

If you ever find yourself looking for a place to eat dinner in Costa Mesa (Tues-Sat), this it the place!

Cheers!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

TnT Worldwide Audience

Cheers to Taste N Trip Blog Readers!

According to recent Google Blogger Stats the Taste N Trip Blog audience has viewed the pages on this blog 36,774 times.
It's great that readers in the U.S. have found this blog and have read about "Notes and pictures from tasting trips around California--Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, Ventura County Wine Trail and more."  I'm also surprised at how many people from a variety of other countries have visited here too.  Most of these countries produce world class wines as well (or at least consume them), so I'm curious about their interest in California wines.  

I took a quick online tour of the wines produced by these countries and now I would like to do a worldwide tasting trip! I've been to some wineries in France and Canada, but I only drank beer while I was in Germany. I noticed there's a Wine Fest at the Kiev Expo Plaza Exhibition Center in Kiev, Ukraine from November 5th - 7th, that could be fun.

I used images of the following wine bottles to create my graph above:

Germany
Balthasar Ress, Hattenheimer Schützenhaus, Rheingau Riesling, Kabinett

Russia

Lefkadia, 2010 Tanaida, Dry Red (Cabernet Sauvignon 45%, Merlot 25%, 15% Grenache, 12% Malbec, 3% Black Tsimlyansky) 
Although Rkatsiteli is a popular grape variety from Russia, I couldn’t find much about it online in the Russian Federation.  The only country I could find with information about it was The Republic of Georgia.

France

Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages, 100% Gamay
Beaujolais Nouveau Day will be here soon - November 20th. It is celebrated in France and around the world on the third Thursday of November when young Beaujolais wine is released for sale.
 

Canada
Red Rooster Winery Riesling, Okanagan Valley, Canada

Ukraine  

Официальный сайт Ассоциации Сомелье Украины. Prince Trubetskoy Winery, 2008 Pearl of the Steppes, 100% Aligoté

United Kingdom

English Wine or British Wine?
English (or Welsh Wine) is made from grapes grown in England (or Wales) and produced in UK wineries.  British Wine is the product of imported grapes or grape concentrate that is made into wine in Britain. 
Glyndwr Vineyard 2013 Red (Rondo, Regent and Triomphe d’Alsace) is from Wales.

China
Kweichow Moutai (Maotai) Grain Wine, 53% Alc/Vol. 

I had a friend bring me a bottle of this back from China around 1984 and it had quite a kick with a very unique grain flavor.

Turkey
Pamukkale 2011 Diamond red (Shiraz, Merlot, and Turkish varieties of Kalecik Karası and Boğazkere).

Latvia
Latvijas Balzams Rigas Sampanietis - Sparkling Wine Rose, Latvia


If you are reading this blog and you're from Germany, Russia, France, Canada, Ukraine, United Kingdom, China, Turkey or Latvia, what wine would you have selected to represent your country? I realize there are many different wine regions and brands in every country, so there may not be an easy answer to this question.  Or, have you tasted any of the wines I listed? Were they any good?  Send me a message ...
Cheers!

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Kaiken Wines

Kaiken Premium Wines at Primitivo Bistro
Earlier this week I had lunch with Aurelio Montes, Jr. of Montes and Kaiken Premium Wines at Primitivo Wine Bistro.  The media event was a great way to learn about and taste wines from Argentina.
So what about the name "Kaiken?" I encountered the brand name earlier this year at the Simply Wine Festival where the 2011 Kaiken Ultra Malbec won an "Exceptional Value Wine" award.  I wondered if Kaiken was a family name, a geographic name, or what? I guess it turns out that it's an or what ... it comes from "Caiquenes," the wild Patagonian geese that are the only birds that can make the journey across the Andes Mountains from Chile to Argentina.  

Aurelio Montes, Sr. (founding partner of Viña Montes in Chile) followed a similar direction in crossing the Andes when he came from Chile to Mendoza, Argentina in 2001. In Mendoza he found the people, terroir, viticulture and enology to produce Argentinean wines that would combine the great conditions of the Mendoza region with the talents of people from Argentina and Chile. 

The Kaiken Mendoza vineyards are in a region of foothills and high plains on the eastern side of the Andes. About 800 miles to the north of Mendoza is the town of Cafayate, in the Salta province, where their white Torrontés grapes are grown. 

Some other interesting aspects I learned about making wine in Argentina are:
  • Argentina is the largest producer of wine in South America and the fifth largest producer of wine in the world. 
  • The region around Greater Mendoza is the largest wine producing area in Latin America. 
  • A very small change in elevation affects the grapes dramatically.
  • Severe weather with golfball-sized-hail can destroy a vineyard, so they put up sturdy nets to protect the grapevines during growing season.
  • Kaiken only uses concrete tanks to maintain low temperatures during hot summers and to let the wine breathe during fermentation.
The Kaiken reception on the Primitivo patio started with tasty appetizers and a splash of Kaiken Brut. The sparkling wine is made from 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay using the traditional method.  I was initially skeptical of a sparkling brut from Argentina, but I found it to be very drinkable and would have had another glass if I wasn't there to taste wines.
I enjoyed meeting importers and other wine writers during the tasting. And I was surprised to be sitting next to Jonathan Cristaldi of The Tasting Panel Magazine; I’d just heard him talk about various wine certifications at the Wine Bloggers Conference last month. He looked like he knew what he was doing as he sipped and scribbled pages of notes; probably using the WSET Level 3 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine. 
Aurelio Montes, Jr., winemaker/owner of Bodega Kaiken since 2011, gave a great overview of growing and making wine in Argentina (with nice video graphics).  We tasted flights of wine as he talked about the viticulture of each wine.
Almost looks like a party at my place.
The first tasting flight included these wines:
  • Kaiken 2012 Terroir Series Torrontés
  • Kaiken 2011 Reserva Cabernet
  • Kaiken 2011 Reserva Malbec
Kaiken 2012 Terroir Series Torrontés,  Cafayate Valley, Salta Region
I'd never experienced a wine quite like this one before. Researching the Torrontés grape I found it is a white grape that produces fresh, aromatic wines with moderate acidity, smooth texture and mouthfeel, plus peach and apricot aromas on the nose. The tasting notes from Kaiken add aromas of Muscat, fresh flowers and tropical fruits. I registered the floral nose, but the flavor characteristics were unusual to me and not my preferred style.  
This was Kaiken's first harvest from 80-year-old vines grown at an average of 6000 feet high. These older vines have a smaller yield with better fruit. The retail price is $15.

Kaiken 2011 Reserva Cabernet, Mendoza and Uco ValleyKaiken describes this wine as being made with 70% of the grapes from 50+ year old vines  in the Mendoza vineyards of Perdriel, Lunlunta and Agrelo and 30% from vineyards in the Uco Valley. The nose has intense aromas reminiscent of ripe plums and strawberries, accompanied by soft vanilla notes. It's soft and fresh in the mouth with a pleasant finish, when the fruit aromas of the wine make a comeback. The varietal mix is 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Malbec. I thought it was excellent and the retail price is only $12!

Kaiken 2011 Reserva Malbec
A combination of 70% of the grapes from 40+ year old vines in the Agrelo and Vistalba vineyards and 30% from vineyards in the Uco Valley. The nose has mature red fruits and some spiciness, accompanied by vanilla aromas.  The mouth has a nice acidity with velvety, round and elegant tannins. The varietal blend is 96% Malbec and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon. I found this wine to be a very rich with a black fruit flavor and a slight essence of leather. Very good and the retail price is only $12!
The second tasting flight included these red wines:
  • Kaiken 2012 Terroir Series Malbec
  • Kaiken 2011 Ultra Cabernet 
  • Kaiken 2011 Ultra Malbec
Kaiken 2012 Terroir Series Malbec
Described as having a nose of blueberries, blackberries and floral aromas, this wine is backed by the structure and freshness of Petit Verdot, ending with a mineral finish provided by Bonarda (aka Douce noir, a red French wine grape variety). The unique combination of Bonarda and Petit Verdot contribute a freshness and structure to the Malbec characteristics. I thought it tasted very good. The retail price is $22.

Kaiken 2011 Ultra Cabernet  
According to Kaiken's technical data this wine is 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec. It has hints of mature red berries, tobacco and spices accompanied by vanilla notes. On the mouth it is a dense, mouth filling wine showing plum, redcurrant and mocha flavors, good structure with ripe, round and soft tannins. 
Well, I found it to be very tannic, but I suppose it can mellow out over time. The Kaiken food pairing notes made sense to me. I'm sure this Cabernet pairs well with red meats and spicy sauces, becaue it went very well with the spicy pizza appetizer that was served. Just what I like--a rich red wine that pairs well with spicy food! This wine is well worth the $23 retail price.
 
Kaiken 2011 Ultra Malbec
Kaiken's notes describe this wine as having a nose that's flowery with mineral notes, plus spicy touches. On the mouth it has a flavor of sweet plum, mocha and black cherry plus tannins that are both soft and present. Well balanced with a very long and polished finish, where fruits like blueberry and boysenberry are evident.  I definitely got big a black cherry flavor characteristic. Yummy! Now I know why the 2011 Ultra Malbec won an "Exceptional Value Wine" award--at the low price of $14-$19 it's a winner!
 This guy is really into his wine!
Kaiken 2007 Mai
Kaiken explains that “Mai” means “First” in the language of the indigenous Pehuenches, which is why it was selected for the name of their first icon wine. Mai is a combination of Malbec grapes from the from 80-year-old vines in Agrelo, Vistalba, and Vista Flores regions of Mendoza. The wine has ripe fruit and spicy aromas, and a silky, sensuous palate with smooth, ripe tannins. It is produced in limited quantities of about 500 cases per year.

I found it to be an excellent red wine and the 18 months in new French oak barrels, plus 5 1/2 years in the bottle, produced a very mellow wine. A very nice pairing of Mai with steak and pommes frites was a wonderful way to finish the wine tasting.  
I'm sure a bottle of 2007 Mai is worth the $80 retail price with 91 point ratings from both Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator, although my budget may have a little trouble with the $80 price.  I suppose I could rationalize buying a few bottles if I save about $200 (or more, depending on the prices you're comparing) by buying just one case of 2011 Reserva Cabernet and one case of 2011 Ultra Malbec. Wine Searcher lists Kaiken 2007 Mai at a few Southern California locations:
  • Vino Paraiso, Murrieta $69.95
  • Wine House, Los Angeles $79.99
Aurelio Montes, Jr. with a bottle of 2007 Mai
The Kaiken wines were great, very inexpensive overall, and now I know that good wines from Argentina include Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Malbec. I think I'm going to be buying a lot more red wine from Argentina, and maybe even taste Torrontés another time.

Cheers!
What's your favorite wine from Argentina?
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Friday, August 1, 2014

A Taste Of Camarillo 2014

A Taste Of Camarillo 2014
@ Adolpho Camarillo Ranch

Wine Auction Gala - Saturday, July 26th
The Meadowlark Service League put on another amazing auction gala and a fantastic wine & food festival in Camarillo this year. The gala at the Camarillo Ranch Red Barn started with a Champagne Reception, wine and appetizers, a silent auction, and live country/folk music by Horseplay. A live auction with auctioneers Tom & Sandy of 805 fame (the radio show, not the beer) followed after a gourmet dinner that featured Magnavino Cellars 2012 Butterfly Chardonnay and 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mike & Chris Brown - Cantara Cellars & Barbara & Robert Wagner - Magnavino Cellars

Wine & Food Festival - Sunday, July 27th
The Meadowlark Service League’s 27th Annual charitable Wine and Food Festival is said to be the longest running wine and food festival in Ventura County. In addition to the wines from vineyards throughout California and gourmet foods, there was live entertainment by “Britain’s Finest” Beatles tribute band, a silent auction, and boutiques.
The theme was “The British are Coming!” with the Beatles tribute band, the Queen look-alike, Cooper Minis and streets renamed Abbey Road and Penny Lane. It’s nice to have a new theme, but I think the basics—wine, beer and food—remained the same, and that’s a good thing! 
I saw the VIP Lark Lounge from the Beak & Barrel Beer Pub, which was more fun anyway, and I watched a few minutes of a demo by Chef Amy Tyrell in the Strawberry Fields Cooking Pavilion.
Magnavino Cellars - The Official 2014 Wine Sponsor
Out of the many fine wines available at the festival, I managed to taste at these 26 wineries:
  • Artiste Winery
  • August Ridge Vineyards
  • B&E Vineyard
  • Calcareous Vineyard
  • Cantara Cellars
  • Cass Winery
  • Golden Star Vineyards & Winery
  • Hidden Oak Winery
  • Indigene Cellars
  • J&J Cellars
  • Kiamie Wine Cellars
  • Laraneta Winery
  • Magnavino Cellars
  • Nobelle Wines
  • Old Creek Ranch Winery
  • Rancho Ventavo Cellars
  • Rideau Vineyard
  • Sextant Wines
  • Strey Cellars
  • Summerland Winery
  • Sundowner Wines
  • Sunland Vintage Winery
  • Sunstone Winery
  • Toucan Wines
  • Via Vega Vineyard & Winery
  • Vinemark Cellars
And no surprise, they were all very good! 

The gourmet food offerings were outstanding as well.
Cafe Zack's Filet Mignon paired with Magnavino Cellars' Tuscan Romance.
To view all of the pictures and video of the wine, beer, food and music click here for the Gala and click here for the Festival.

Note: If you go to the Festival link on a smart phone you will likely see "The content owner has not made this video available on mobile. Add to playlist to watch it later on a PC." Apparently, Britain's Finest sound exactly like the Beatles. ;-) Sorry, but it is worth playing on a Mac or PC...




Were you at the Gala or Festival? Let me know what you thought of it ...

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Cheers! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wine Bloggers Conference 2014

Wine Bloggers Conference 2014
What can I say about the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference held in Buellton a few weeks ago? 
The purpose of the conference seemed to have been two-fold: 1) tips about wine blogging and 2) an opportunity to blog about wines. At this time of the year the wine events that I blog about are in full swing, so I didn’t have a burning desire to add to my backlog of blog posts. My main objective was to learn more about blogging in general and wine blogging in particular. It was also a good opportunity to network with wine bloggers and wine professionals, tweet a bunch, and of course… drink wine!
I attended some interesting sessions on blogging (the keynote speech), wine certifications, the bu$iness of blogging, photography & videography for wine bloggers, print wine writers, and how the pros taste wine. I listened to how successful bloggers sell ads on their blog sites, get sponsorships, experiment with their site styles, don’t review wines in detail if they aren’t certified, limit the amount of photos on their blog to just 6, reduce the amount of text and increase the amount of graphics/photos, leverage their character rather than their credentials, proactively market their blogs, and hang out with successful people. Well, at least I was hanging out with some of the successful people in the wine industry… and drinking wine.
Does the world need another wine review site?
Hell no, the world doesn’t need me to review wines. If anyone wants a competent wine review they can read the Wine Spectator, The Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast, or one of the many other credible publications! That’s why my blogging about tasting trips around California doesn’t focus on detailed wine reviews. I blog about the event instead: the wine, the food, the people, the venue, the music, and even the beer! I’d rather be out there getting the whole experience instead of describing each wine in terms of Sight, Aroma, Taste, Balance and Finish. Besides doing that for 50 - 60 wines isn’t feasible in 4 hours unless you’re a SuperSomm.

So maybe this thing isn’t a WINE BLOG! (And it certainly isn’t profitable.)
  • I have no certifications from the Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS), the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), or the Society of Wine Educators (SWE) as a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW). So there aren’t many detailed wine reviews. (I'd better leverage my character here since I'm short on these credentials.)
  • Just 6 pictures per blog? I typically shoot 300 - 500 pictures and some video at events. So even after I edit down to 40 - 60 good pictures there are still way too many for a typical blog.
  • Profitable? I have used Google Ads AdSense in the past, but despite over 34,000 pageviews the revenue is a big zero. Sponsorships are interesting, but I like to keep things independent when writing about wine and food events.
  • I should probably use more graphics, like the print wine writers recommended...

This conference made me wonder, so WHO is my audience?
I rarely get comments, only the odd promotion, so I don’t have many clues about who is actually viewing/reading my blog. Maybe it’s just other bloggers? Wineries? Or, it could just be regular people who like wine. Whoever they are most of them seem to be in the United States.
(See handy graphic above.)

I guess I'll just have to think about all of these points some more and fine tune my blog in the second half of this year. I think I'll still keep this a photo-centric blog though. It would be great to get some feedback, come up with an event better format, and monetize my posts while entertaining you. 
 
Cheers!
Are you one of those people who read my blog? Please let me know who you are and what you'd like to see more or less of...
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