September 22, 2015

Final Finger Lakes Recap

Day 2 at the Wine Bloggers Conference was also a whirlwind. Check out my post HERE for a rundown of Day 1. I am happy that I did allow myself some time to walk around and explore the town of Corning (see more HERE). I can’t reiterate what a charming and welcoming town it was. In my opinion, Corning was the PERFECT backdrop and host to #WBC15. Here are my most important takeaways from Day 2.

The first session I attended was “Digital Marketing for Wine Bloggers”, which was presented by Gary Nealon (co-founder of Wine Trail Adventures). This session had the most information packed into it. So much so that the presentation could easily have been 4 hours long and gone in depth into each point. One of the first nuggets he shared is that advertising is the least effective way to monetize a site. I have heard variances of this in my online research regarding blogs. Those who have blogs who are able to turn a good income with ads will disagree, but I feel that those people are fewer and far between. I have a full-time job and squeeze my WSET studying and my blogging on the side. I don’t feel that I have the time and energy to expend on trying to monetize my site (at the moment). My focus is to study and learn about wine, develop my writing skills, and craft my wine voice. In regards to social media, Gary shared that bloggers should focus on Periscope and Instagram. Facebook and Twitter still hold their place, but Instagram is the big boy in the room, and Periscope is growing by leaps and bounds.

One of my favorite sessions was the Panel of the 2015 Wine Blog Winners. It was such a diverse group of people. You would think that if we’re talking about wine blogs, that the blogs would be similar OR that the people who wrote them would be similar. That was NOT the case. Probably the only thing they have in common is that they write a wine blog. Here is a quick nugget about each of the award-winning panelists.

**Chris Kassel of The Intoxicology Report shared something basic: have fun and let it flow. His viewership is mostly people who don’t know a lot about wine. In fact, the tagline on his website is “The Contra-Connoisseurs Guide to Wine, Beer, Spirits, & Other Things the World Got Right.”

**Jason, affectionately known as “Stub” pens Cork Envy. Cork Envy is a video blog whose viewers are mostly non-educated wine people.

**Meg Houston Maker is a writer at Maker’s Table. She started the blog to chronicle her food and wine journeys. According to Meg, her job is to bring the joy of this beautiful farmer product (wine). Wine, Meg said, is the jewel of the meal.  Well put.

**Will Fernandez is responsible for Vintage 2014. This is a crowdfunded project that follows a Santa Barbara vine from budbreak to bottling. The blog is a time capsule of that vintage, and he has now turned it into a documentary. What I found interesting, is that the documentary is broken down into 3 parts, and there are wines that are meant to be served between each part at the screenings.  In essence, this is an interactive wine film screening. Brilliant.

**Becca Yeamans is the Academic Wino. Becca writes about wine science (which might sound a little daunting to some), yet her site garners 7K-9K unique page views/month. Kudos to her….those are some great numbers.

The last WBC15 session I attended was the Live Rose/Red Wine Blogging. You might recall my post earlier about the Live White Wing Blogging. These are a ton of fun. We are all sat at round tables in groups, and the winemakers each spend 5 minutes at a table pouring and talking about the wine. Within that 5 minutes, we also have to taste the wine and post our tweets. Then the winemakers move to the next table, and the process continues. All in all, you taste 10 wines in 60 minutes. Below are my posts for that session. Enjoy!

Brianne Cohen ‏@SOMMspirations Aug 15

JR Dill Winery 2013 Cab Sauv green bell pepper on the nose. Lotsa tannins and black fruit. Re-visit in 5-8 yrs. #WBC15

@ssvny Saperavi grape. OG Georgia grape. Purple color and dirt/forest floor on the nose. Black fruit and inky. Viscous in my mouth. #WBC15

@foxrunvineyards dark berry on the nose (currant/blackberry). Lovin Lemberger here in #flx. #blackgrape #helloacid #WBC15

@VentosaVyds 2011 Cab Franc. "A reliable grape in this area. Be friends with the vines"#acid #tannins

@DamianiWine '12 cab franc a taste is worth 1000 words.pepper,cedar,blkberry on the http://nose. Love this.Elegant & integrated.#WBC15

@LamoreauxWine only unoaked cab franc.Fresh, light,the earth shows through.

@joshlikeswine described it as charming.I agree #WBC15

@Hazlitt1852 red blend.warm baking spices on the nose. Chocolate and jamminess on the palate. #WBC15 #tannins

@IdolRidge sparkling rose make from Noiret, a new hybrid. Bright strawberry. Forced carbonation. Interesting stuff here up in #flx! #WBC15

@SwedishHillWine '12 cab franc/Lemberger herbaceous nose. Unassuming yet straightforward. #wbc15

@AmericanaWine BacoNoir-French Amer hybrid unoaked. Smells like #flxwine and red fruit. An inviting red. #gateway #WBC15

The second I tasted that last wine, I grabbed my suitcase (which I had stashed in the corner of the ballroom) and wheeled right into a taxi to the airport. It was an incredible 2 days and taught me SO much. The Wine Bloggers Conference helped me get clarity on why I am doing a wine blog and allowed me to meet people who I admire and respect. Overall I left with a sense of gratitude that I am in a position where I am healthy, have a good career, and am doing something I LOVE...just because. Pursuing my wine studies and writing this blog is a privilege, and I am glad to have the opportunity.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you are looking to Drink Better and Up Your Wine Game, check out my latest virtual wine tasting offerings, including both public and private wine tasting events. For virtual events, my tastings feature a small-format wine tasting set sent to each attendee for a shared tasting experience. What can you expect from a Virtual Vino event? Fun, approachable, interactive, and unpretentious wine education as we share smiles and wine!
Brianne Cohen is a certified sommelier based out of Los Angeles, California.
She has been producing events and weddings for over 10 years in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and also offers her services as a wine educator, writer, and consultant to inspire people of all ages.

Brianne completed the entire curriculum with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust and traveled to London in order to receive her Diploma certificate, which is one of the most coveted and difficult wine certifications. Most recently Brianne judged at the International Wine & Spirits Competition and the International Wine Challenge in London.
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As a wine blogger, I frequently accept samples for review on the blog and on my social media channels. Please contact me at to discuss sending samples for review. I promise to always be honorable with the samples. I will evaluate all wines in good tasting settings and with no distractions. 

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