How many wines can you taste, describe and put into the social media stratosphere in, say fifty minutes?
If you had been attending the 7th Annual Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Barbara County, CA a few weeks ago, you would have to say ten, because that's exactly what we did!
The theory is this: bring together over 300 wine bloggers from around the world and seat them at large round banquet tables in the ballroom of the Santa Ynez Marriott.
Every 5 minutes, have a winemaker or winery representative come to the table to pour wine samples and talk about the wines and the winery. The bloggers taste and assess, then Tweet, blog or Facebook their comments about the wine (plus any other interesting tidbits they can squeeze in) and the process is repeated.
The action reached a fever pitch after about the second wine as everyone asked questions, swirled, and sipped while tapping away on smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Day one was for Whites and Rosés. Sadly my table didn't see any pink wines but we reviewed an interesting array of whites.
Here, with typos corrected, is a recap:
1) Bianchi Pinot Grigio 2012.
Smooth but palate fresh. Dried grasses mingle with citrus ripe melon and somewhat cozy finish coming in at 13.7pc alc. Go Paso.
3) Bandit 2012 Pinot Grigio
Tetra Pack time. CA grapes-Napa Sonoma and Central Coast.
Enviro friendly is great and at 8 bucks retail cud work for picnic. Light refreshing and crisp.
4) Laetitia Brut Cuvee NV
Sparkle time. Chard Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc from Arroyo Grande. Cool green apple and soft peachy fizzle. Sustainable vineyards and great cool climate make good sparkling. Fun and frothy.
5) 2012 Consilience Viognier
All local Santa Barbara AVA fruit vinified to make food friendly vino. Neutral French oak - 14 months gives soft vanilla spice, cinnamon toast to go with ripe plump apricot. Voluptuous as Viognier shud be but nice acidity keeps to that food friendly vibe and goal.
6) Rios de Chile 2013 Sauvignon Blanc
Minimal intervention to keep varietal character. AM fog and proximity to the sea show in crisp clean granny smith apple and citrus peel notes. Grantic and sandy clay soils. Great food-seafod-salad wine.
Try it- I will.
7) Jordan 2012 Russian River Chardonnay
40pc new French oak for 4 months keeps this approachable and food compatible. Really racy acidity enhances nuanced fruit. Super summer fare companion and might make your ABC friends change their minds.
8) Buttonwood Zingy Sauvignon Blanc 2013.
All estate fruit - all stainless and cool ferment. Hence the name Zingy perhaps? Laid back aromas of green melon and crisp apples. Bring on the fried chicken and potato salad!
9) Aridus Malvasia Bianca 2013
Arizona's challenging climate and high elevations are no threat to Aridus Winery of Cochise County. Grapes from New Mexico. Neutral oak for few months but still highly aromatic. If you love Moscato you will flip for Malvasia - fruit salad in a glass with clean finish.
10) 2013 Danza del Sol Vermentino Temecula Valley.
I have to like this or they will kick me out of my house right? Lime and tangerine on big nose. All stainless shows peachy palate. Come to Temecula and grab a glass on the patio.
So, there you have it. Ten wine reviews in 50 minutes. It was noisy, challenging and a lot of fun. So much fun that we repeated the exercise the next day with reds! Stay tuned for part 2, coming soon.
NOTE: All wines tasted at this event were provided by the sponsoring wineries. Please see my page ' Submissions, Reviews, Invitations & Disclaimers'.
Wine lover, educator and writer.