In the Press 2005

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LA Times

Oh, maybe just a taste - By Valli Herman

December 07, 2005 ~ "Tastings are a powerful promotional tool for hotels, restaurants and other businesses. (Many are listed on" (and RSS) - By Mike Duffy

November 17, 2005 ~ If you own a winery, one way to get (free!) publicity for your events is via I've even used it to raise awareness of a fund-raising event that my spouse is organizing for our daughter's school.

I also believe that RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is A Good Thing, as Ms. Stewart would say, and I'm pleased to tell you that the latest iteration of provides an RSS feed (i.e. automatic updates - all you need is an RSS reader like Bloglines) for each city and region that they cover. You can even add their list of events to your Web site, as a service to your visitors.

Anyway, if you hold events at your winery, you could do worse that posting them on to gain additional visibility (or take advantage of their ticket selling ability). Joe Bob says "Check it out!"

(By the way, I have no affiliation with, other than having used it to post my own event, and being a recipient of their e-mail notifications for Sonoma County.)

Dr. Vino's wine blog, wine action near you - By Tyler Colman aka Dr Vino

October 07, 2005 ~ It's Friday and you might be wondering what sort of wine events are available near you tonight. is an excellent resource for checking out what's happening near you be it at a wine shop, bar, shop or other locale.

Started five years ago by the affable Eric V. Orange, the site has listed over 50,000 wine events. And a new site redesign last month has added more content and made the navigation easier and better looking (though it is still dense text). In fact, there are so many events listed, a search tool sorting by neighborhood or by wine theme may soon be necessary.

It's also a useful way to find out what's going on in other cities. Whether you're jetting off to Tulsa (yes there actually are two events in Tulsa) or Cape Town (23 events) you can use the site to scope out the wine scene before touching down. Or if you want to feel proud of your local wine scene or cofirm your suspicion that it needs a vino infusion, you can also see where your city stands in the global rankings. Right now, New York City is leading the charts with 146 events, Los Angeles second with 106, and Chicago third with 77 events.

The best part might just be that it is free--for both consumers and event organizers. I recently had an event in Chicago and one in New York and many attendees had come through the localwineevnts listings. A free, action-packed database? Now that's some technology we can all raise our glasses to!

Wine Lovers Page

Favorite Wine Links: What's happening? Check - By Robin Garr

October 07, 2005 ~ There's a simple, pragmatic reason why I don't include a comprehensive calendar of wine events among the features on There's no point. One of our longtime friends and fellow Internet wine-information publishers, Eric Orange, fills this niche so well with his impressive that it makes more sense to refer readers in his direction if they want to list - or learn about - wine-related events anywhere around the world. has just unveiled a major renovation and update that adds a number of new sections to its worldwide calendar of events. New features include information about Wine and Food Educators, Ongoing Events in specific cities, event Ticket Discounts, and a new weekly wine quiz presented by the author and wine educator Kevin Zraly, available only in "The Juice," the free weekly newsletter from

Here's a link to the site. I highly recommend bookmarking

For more information and to subscribe to "The Juice," click:

Local Wine Events - Revamped - By Stacy Slinkard

October 07, 2005 ~ The Local Wine Events website has been pointing wine lovers to wine events in their local communities for the last five years. However, the site has undergone some significant changes making it even easier to navigate and find wine events both locally and internationally. It's like your personal wine calendar and more!

Monterey County Weekly


July 28, 2005 ~ ANTHONY DIAS BLUE, a big shot writer in the food and wine game, recently gave props on WCBS Newsradio in New York and KFWB Newsradio in LA to a great Web site, If you’ve never checked it out, do so. It lists hundreds of events around the world (including the Monterey Beer Festival).

Anthony Dias Blue

Tastings galore - By Anthony Dias Blue

July 11, 2005 ~ Aren't you tired of co-workers saying to you "Dude, I went to this, like, amazing wine tasting last night with killer Merlot 'n stuff - you really missed it." Kinda makes you feel left out of the loop, doesn't it? Well, get with the program and check out on the Internet. I just did a quick check today, and there were 77 events listed for New York City alone. If you're traveling around the country or internationally, will let you know what's happening winewise when you get there ... Chicago, for example, boasts 81 events on the site. Localwineevents celebrates its fifth anniversary this summer. They've posted over 500,000 wine events, and last month alone they got 7.5 million hits. This is a very cool website, so, like, check it out, dude.

Wine & food festivals: A season for sips and nibbles - By By Kathleen Donnelly- Special to MSN

April 02, 2005 ~ It's as predictable as daylight-saving time. Come spring in most good-sized towns, someone will order up the commemorative wineglasses, erect a small village of white tents and recruit local chefs to pair their offerings with wines, local and otherwise. Grab your wallet and get your designated driver, it's wine and food festival season in America.

On any weekend from spring through fall you're likely to have your pick of festivals, many of them donating their proceeds to a good cause. They range from simple, buy-a-ticket-get-a-taste affairs to extravaganzas featuring prestigious wine auctions and black-tie dinners. Often they feature educational seminars, cooking demonstrations, art fairs and local wines and culinary specialties. Tickets to the events range in price from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars.

But in one respect the festivals tend to follow a basic pattern, says Eric V. Orange, founder and developer of, a Web site that regularly lists hundreds of wine-related happenings in the United States and abroad. Recruit distributors and winemakers to provide their products and chefs to prepare their signature dishes. Then set up the tables and get out of the way.

Wine country and beyond

Putting together a weekend of sips and nibbles sounds easy enough in places like the Napa and Sonoma valleys, the Pinot Noir belt in Oregon, even the Finger Lakes district of New York. But the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival? The Sioux Falls Big Grape Wine Tasting Event? The Midwest WineFest, nestled among the wheat fields of Kansas?

"You don't associate Kansas and wine," admits Michelle Mason, director of the Midwest WineFest, which celebrates its 10th anniversary April 21-23 in Wichita. "Dorothy and Oz maybe, but not Kansas and wine."

Nevertheless, Mason insists, Kansas is home to many sophisticated wine connoisseurs, and to many more aficionados who appreciate the chance to try some of the hundreds of wines poured at the festival. Mason, who is director of corporate marketing for one of the festival's major sponsors, Standard Beverage Corporation, also directs three other annual wine festivals in Kansas. At the Midwest fest, pourers serve wines from around the world, including a few from their home state.

"They actually do grow grapes and produce wines in Kansas, and honestly, in my opinion, they're like Texas wines," says Orange, whose long wine resume includes time spent in both Wichita and Houston. "You get locals who adamantly defend them and maybe develop a taste for them. But to the outsider, well ..." his voice trails off. In the wine business as in life, some things are better left unsaid.

And yet, in some towns there's something to be said for keeping the festivities distinctively local.

Local flavors

At the Vintage Harvest Festival in Canon City, Colo., for example, vendors roast peppers, chefs prepare a Mexican feast, mariachi bands stroll the festival grounds and locals show up with grapes grown in their own gardens for a "community crush."

They deliver their grapes to Matt Cookson, the winemaker who helped start Holy Cross Abbey Winery in 2002 on the grounds of a landmark Benedictine abbey in Canon City. The wine that results from the crush, called Wild Canon Harvest, sells out quickly, says Sally Cookson, the winery's general manager and Matt's wife. A possible reason? Everyone who brings grapes to the community crush gets his or her name on the Wild Cañon Harvest label. Last year, says Sally Cookson, the list reached about 45 names.

"It's definitely a real community effort," she says. But not only locals show up for the Vintage Harvest Festival. Sally Cookson estimates some 10,000 people will drop by Canon City during festival weekend, which this year is Sept. 24-25.

Luckily, she points out, the abbey grounds include lots of parking. But not every event can always handle this kind of community crush.

"I do think there's an upward trend in events," says Orange. "But the question is, when do folks get burned out on standing in line for a splash of wine and a nibble of food?"

Orange's advice? "One of the things I've learned is if you have a two- or three-day event somewhere the wineries have to travel to, it's not a good idea to go on Sunday afternoon." Winery representatives, he says, sometimes are eager to get home and you may miss some pours.

And if you're going to a festival that you expect will be crowded, he says, "Go early. And I wouldn't go hungry. If you are hungry, go for the food as fast as you can."

Festival sampler

Here is a taste of festivals across the United States. For more listings, see

Aspen, Colo.: The Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen, June 10-12.

Austin, Texas: Saveur Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival, April 7-10.

Chicago: Chicago Wine and Food Festival, Oct. 21-23.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Bank of America Wine and Culinary Celebration, April 15.

Telluride, Colo.: Telluride Wine Festival, June 23-26.

Kirtland, Ohio: Vintage Ohio, Aug. 5-6.

Los Olivos, Calif.: Santa Barbara County Vintners' Festival, April 7-10.

Philadelphia: Philadelphia Wine Festival, May 2-4.

Portland, Ore.: Portland Wine & Arts Festival, July 22-24.

Seattle: Taste Washington, April 8-10.

St. Helena, Calif.: Auction Napa Valley, June 2-5.

Watkins Glen, N.Y.: Finger Lakes Wine Festival, July 15-17.

Kathleen Donnelly is a writer based in Seattle.