Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth Be With You! Watch “Wine Wars”!

Today, May 4, is Star Wars Day!

Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker

Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

May the Fourth Be With You today as you enjoy your Saturday–and get a laugh out of this series of Star Wars Parodies, “Wine Wars ” from the AUS wine satire blog Red to Brown  They’re the ones who produced these Parker Hitler parodies.

Above is “Episode 1: A Vinous Hope” where in “a short time in the future, in a galaxy not that far away, two diametrically opposed wine making factions face off in a battle that will decide the future of wine consumption in the galaxy.” Of course, the rebels are from the Natural and Biodynamic WIne collective…

In Episode 2: , “C3-PO and R2-D2 have hooked up with promising young wine blogger, Luke Skywalker. Together they have trekked out to a remote vineyard to meet legendary, yet mystical Vigneron, Obi-Wan Kenobi .” Continue reading

“Replant the Cabernet!” Funny new Hitler Parker wine parody

Get ready to laugh at this wine satire!

Remember the 2011 Hitler parodies by Red To Brown Wine Reviews where Hitler responds to Robert Parker passing the reins?  

Or Hitler responds to Parker’s  Napa Cab Report?

Well, here’s a new one from the same folks from AUS, published just in time for April Fools: “Downfall of a Cult Californian Winery . . . Bob Returns.”

Who knew Hitler cared what Alice Feiring thinks?

Enjoy!

PS They have a series of Star Wars parodies too which I watched and I’m tempted to post!

Wine Country Gangnam Style at Sonoma’s Jordan Winery

Once a week, Jordan Winery posts a new video on their youtube channel. Yesterday, award winning Jordan blogger and PR person extradinaire Lisa Matttson and her team at Jordan went “Gangnam Style” and posted this parody of PSY’s K-POP youtube megahit that has had the most views of any video ever. While the Jordan video may not hit the million mark, it went from 250 yesterday to nearly 1000 views today and is sure to bring a laugh to wine drinkers familiar with the images in the original.

There are a number of parody videos out there; some like Jordan’s, parody the images but others also change the lyrics like “Annoying Orange’s Nya Nya Style” which is a favorite of my son or my personal favorite, NASA Style which combines intelligent lyrics with an amazing location–the Johnson Space Center!

Cheers!

PS Time for bubbles! Tomorrow 12/16 is the Ventura Wine Company’s Champagne tasting and Weds 12/19 is Thirsty Girl’s tasting of bubbly from Chateau Ste Michelle!

How We Roll in “Wine Country”: New Video Gets Your Swirl On

 

Don’t try to drink wine while you watch this–you might find yourself missing the spit bucket!

Featuring the Bay Area’s Moe Green, Cameron Washington, and Jairo “Rojah” Vargas of Bayonics, lyrics include lines like these:

“Just one thing missing from this blessed day
a motherf—ing magnum of cuvee chardonnay”

  • “You brag about Mohammed, Buddha and Jesus to worship
    but Thomas Keller’s our god so back the f— up”
  • “Just because we like vino
    Don’t make us shallow
    Ask my n—-s
    Ernest and Julio Gallo.”

“It’s a 100 degrees
but I still wear my beanie.”

Thanks for the shout out to my home vineyards in the 805, yo! (More at the 3 mark).

Like their Facebook page.  Visit: http://www.russianhillprojects.com/

PS There are a few offensive words on this video.
So don’t watch it if you don’t want to hear “that kind” of language. Word. Out.

 

2012 Wine Bloggers Conference in PDX: Wine Predator to Ignite!

It’s almost that time again–time for the annual Wine Bloggers Conference!

This year we’re meeting in Portland –close to the Willamette Valley home of Oregon’s justly famous pinot noir and pinot gris! I barely scratched the surface with my trip there last July– highlighted by my visit on my last night to Coleman Vineyard south and west of McMinnville (Gotta love Coleman’s Facebook about page which says: Think globally. Eat locally. Dress casually.) More on Coleman soon!

I’ve made the pilgrimage to the Wine Bloggers Conference a regular part of my wine, writing, and blogging education: I attended the inaugural conference in 2008 as well as 2009 in Sonoma, followed by 2010 in Walla Walla. I also attended the 2009 Wine Bloggers Conference in Lisbon as a guest of Enoforum Wine.

I keep going back to the Wine Blogger Conferences because I learn so much about writing and wine–two of my favorite activities combined into one!! It’s amazing to try so many wines from so many regions in such a short time. And over the years I’ve made some wonderful friends as well as connections in the business.

This year in Portland, over 350 consumer and industry wine bloggers will gather on Thursday August 16 for a welcome by Oregon Wine Board. Highlights include speed tastings, a keynotes by Bonny Doon’s Randall Grahm and Sideways novelist Rex Pickett, plus many sessions on topics related to wine and writing including IgniteWine! where I will be presenting on “Sex, Wine and the Semi-Colon.” I’m currently debating whether I should include real-life examples of typos or mechanical errors that I come across in wine blogs–but I know that will open mine up to criticism and I am sure there are a few mistakes around here too! What do you think? Is it a good idea or not?

For an example of a great IgniteWine presentation, check out the video above!

In the meantime, please subscribe (in the upper right hand corner) so you don’t miss a single drop!

Experience “Life on the Douro” on the West Coast this week–and taste the wine too!

Documentary film maker Zev Robinson will screen his new film Life on the Douro on the West Coast this week starting with LA tonight Tues. Nov. 15 and then San Francisco on Th. Nov. 17. The film will be followed by a tasting of some very fine Port and Douro wines from Graham’s, Dow’s, Niepoort, Crasto, Taylor Fladgate, Quevedo, Mourao, and possibly Sandeman, Ferreira and Portal. In addition to seeing a beautiful and engaging film with a fascinating story, this is an amazing opportunity to taste wines that are rare and difficult to find in the US.

“Directing this film has been one of the great experiences of my life,” says director Zev Robinson, “the Douro is one of the wonders of the world that should be seen at least once in a lifetime, and Portugal is a country that deserves to be much better known.”

Doors open at 6 PM, the film will start at 6:30, presented by director Zev Robinson, followed by a Q&A, and a wine tasting presented by Oscar Quevedo, marketing director for the Quevedo winery http://quevedoportwine.com/,  and Roy Hersh of http://www.fortheloveofport.com, one of the world’s leading experts of Port and Douro wines, one of the world’s leading experts of Port and Douro wines and organizer of  tours of the region.

IN LOS ANGELES:
Chaplin Theater and Raleigh Cafe,
Raleigh Studios
5300 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90038
Tickets are $32.00 and can be purchased here -
http://lifeonthedouroinla.eventbrite.com/

IN SAN FRANCSICO:
Delancey Street San Francisco
Screening Room and Private Club
600 Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94107
Tickets are $32.00 and can be purchased here -
http://lifeonthedouroinsanfrancisco.eventbrite.com/

Life on the Douro can also be viewed Saturday, November 19, at Paso Robles Film Festival (exact time TBA) -
http://www.pasoroblesfilmfestival.com/

I had been looking forward to attending this film in Los Angeles and seeing Zev and Oscar again but I took over teaching a college class that meets on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and can’t cancel class. I’ll have to miss Saturday in Paso Robles because it is the 50th Birthday celebration and concert of my lifelong friend Jeff Kaiser. I’m so disappointed I’ll be missing out on the film and the tasting!

Hitler Responds to Parker Passing Reins

I wasn’t surprised that hot on the heels of this Hitler parody video, one would come out that featured Hitler as a cult winery owner responding to the news that Robert Parker would no longer be reviewing California wines in the Wine Advocate (Parker announced this in February 2011; the new reviewer is Antonio Galloni according to this article by Alder Yarrow.)

According to Yarrow’s experience,

Galloni’s palate seems to favor less intense ripeness than Parker’s, and seems to be more favorably (than Parker) disposed to wines that lean more towards the idiosyncratic. The question arises, then, whether or not we will see a shift in the scoring of California wines now that they are Under New Management at the Wine Advocate. In the most extreme case, we could be looking at a shakeup of the longstanding hierarchy of California cult bottlings.

Like all of these Hitler parody videos, insiders will get more of the jokes. But they’re still funny even if you know only some of the references.

And what have I been up to since Burning Man other than watching Hitler parody videos?

Sampling wines with oysters! In late August, The Jolly Oyster opened shop at the Ventura State Beach to sell oysters and clams from the farm in Baja and since I love oysters,  I’ve tried at least a dozen wines and I’ve probably eaten an average of a half dozen oysters a day this month.

Tonight I meet up again with local food writer Lisa McKinnon to try more wines with oysters at the Jolly Oyster at the Ventura State Beach. I’m bringing an Ojai Vineyard chardonnay and she’s got “Smitten” from Four Brix which just opened their facility in Ventura last weekend. I’ll report back soon!

Hitler responds to Parker’s Napa Cab Report

Rick Bakas posted this on facebook tonight and because I get a kick out of these Hitler parodies, I checked it out and thought it worth sharing here–partly because I am still recovering from Burning Man and not posting here like I should! (Go to Art Predator for Burning Man reports so far–I do plan to post about wine at Burning Man when I can!)

Aug 30, 2011

“Because someone had to do it. I created this video 18 months ago when “Hitler reacts to” videos were all the rage and Robert Parker’s 2007 California Cabernet vintage report was the talk of Napa Valley. I decided not to publish the video. Now that Parker has appointed Antonio Galloni to replace him as The Wine Advocate’s critic on California wines, I decided to go ahead and post this video in honor of #cabernetday. Cheers!”

Earth Day Every Day: which wine to choose? Five Tips for “green” wine purchases

I’ve been eco-minded since I was small. My first memories are of the sand between my toes, the smell of damp earth under the house, and the joy of being one with a tree or a rock when climbing it. I’m a Girl Scout First Class, I backpacked from Mexico to Canada, and I have a BA from UC Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies plus graduate classes in conservation biology. I’ve hooted for spotted owls, surveyed for goshawks, hacked peregrine falcons, and preserved burrowing owl habitat.

These days, I spend as much time as possible in the outdoors, camping, traveling, and enjoying fine food and wine! Here we are in Zion recently on top of Angel’s Landing–then enjoying a meal with a bottle of Barolo at the campground.

I’m still an environmental activist,  speaking out about environmental issues at City Council and leading monthly bicycle rides around town. You can read more about bicycle issues over at my Bikergo Gal blog.

So, yes I have some serious “green” cred: I’ve been celebrating Earth Day since before it was invented. Caring about how wine is made and how “green” wine is came “naturally” to me–I also grew up running around my grandfather’s cellar!

Like many, I assumed that wine is “natural.” As I’ve learned more about wine over the past few years, I’ve been appalled at how manipulated wine is  and disgusted by some of the green washing that goes on in the wine industry.

So I do my best to navigate my way to purchase wines that are more green on the sustainability spectrum and produced as naturally as possible. And here on this blog, I try my best to call attention to “green” wines and “green” wine practices to support them.

This afternoon, my friend David Rodriguez is visiting from Puerto Rico–we met in Santa Rosa CA at the first Wine Bloggers Conference in 2008. He’s a world traveling wine blogger with a particular interest in wines that are made in traditional, “natural” ways that are sustainable and gentle to the earth. I look forward to learning from him about some of his recent finds –and tasting some of these wines also since many of them he is storing in my grandfather’s cellar!

Here are five choices you can make to green your wine–whether you prefer red or white! Happy Earth Day! Continue reading

Wine Predator: A Blog Worth Celebrating, says Jo Diaz with photos from Portugal!

When Jo Diaz of Juicy Tales aka Wine Blog Org told me I was runner-up for her contest to win a trip to Portugal with her as the guest of Enoforum Wines, I felt great. Then when winner Sonadora aka Wanna Be Wino had to cancel at the last minute, within days, before I could even catch my breath from jumping around with excitement, I was on a plane to Portugal.

Although we had each attended the North American Wine Bloggers Conferences in Santa Rosa, Jo and I didn’t know each other. But once in Portugal, we came to know each other well. As we explored the castles and countryside, the wineries and the vineyards, she kept catching me and taking photographs of me in the craziest spots taking photographs or the view. She warned me that she was going to do a slide show blog post “Where’s Gwendolyn?” taken after the “Where’s Waldo?” books.

I didn’t know that she was going to feature my blog in her “Wine Blogs Worth Celebrating” and use that opportunity to present a video of her photos of me in Portugal!

Here’s what Jo said:

Gwendolyn Alley, of Wine Predator and Art Predator, was my traveling companion to the European Wine Bloggers Conference and to visit Enoforum Wines in Portugal last fall. We shared nine days of our lives together… strangers in a strange land (only as it relates to the United States). She’s continued to reflect on our experiences. And, I don’t know anyone else who throws his or her entire body into taking photographs the way Gwendolyn does. She’s always writing about her passions of art and wine, and has a unique skill that I always enjoy.

Wow, huh! And I’m in great company: Jo’s list included

Joe (and Amy!) Power from Houston who I met on the WBC or Bust bus last month; they’re great generous people who write Another Wine Blog

Tom Wark of Fermentation who does wine PR

Sonadora (who was supposed to go to Portugal in my stead and instead went in January 2010) of WannabeWino

Wine Journalist Steve Heimoff (who I “debate” in this video from the previous post!)

my pal Ken Payton who writes one of my favorite wine blogs,  Reign of Terroir

Alawine… which produces lists  Top 100 Wine Blogs (one of these days!)

Paul Gregutt, Northwest wine writer

Robert Whitley ~ Wine writer, publisher, and wine competition organizer  Wine Review Online

Laura Ness of My Vine Space, a wine writer from the Santa Cruz Mountains

Stark Silver Creek which covers all things West Coast, including food and wine

See Jo’s original post for all of her comments about why she chose these blogs!!

Watch Wine Predator In WBC Documentary Teaser!

At the Wine Blogger’s Conference last month in Walla Walla, Catavino (aka Ryan and Gabriella Opaz) invited me to sit for an interview with documentary film maker and photographer Zev Robinson. He’s doing a film on the Wine Bloggers Conferences with a focus on European WBC organizers Gabriella and Ryan Opaz and Catavino. They wanted me to discuss my experiences at the three North American Wine Bloggers Conferences as well as the European one.

So although I  knew I might miss some of the final tasting of the conference, the one that paired 10 tidbits with various wines, we took that time for an interview where I spoke honestly and passionately. I compared the conferences I’d attended and discussed the wine blogging community in general. Some of what I had to say I knew when I said it might be controversial. I come to wine writing from a career in academia and journalism, and that shapes my perceptions and experiences.  I come to wine blogging from being active in online poetry writing communities which obsessively debates similar topics: how to guide people to find the “real” deal, the wine writers or poets who really know something about the topic.

Watch the video to get my opinion on that controversial topic! This is just a teaser! He plans to do more shooting at the European Wine Bloggers Conference in Vienna in October where he’ll get some video with the always outspoken and provocative Ken Payton of the blog Reign of Terroir.

Anybody got a spare plane ticket to Europe by the way? I’d really like to go to Vienna to this year’s Wine Bloggers Conference there!

WBC-or-Bust: Wine Predator Throws Hat Into Ring for Trip to WA Wine Country!

I’m signed up.

Signed up to what?

Compete in the WBC-or-BUST contest.

The what?

The WBC-or-Bust Contest!

Yeah, right!

No –Write! Write about Washington wines! Live it up! Be driven around to various top-notch wineries from Seattle to Walla Walla! Be wined AND dined! Stay in a way cool B&B along the way!

See the badge there on the sidebar? That means I’m official!

Well, can I go?

Only if you sign up and follow these “Rules & Guidelines”!

TO ENTER If you don’t already have one, create a free WineCHATr.com blogger account. Choose a “WBC-or-BUST” badge/banner from your WineCHATr.com account manager. Add the badge source code to your blog website, so that it is visible from any page.

Warning: This is a pain in the neck. But if I can do it, you can do it. They have a few badges to choose from. I like this one the best.

TO QUALIFY Once the WBC-or-BUST badge has been properly added to your blog website, simply blog about Washington wine throughout the span of the contest. No less than one Washington wine post must be published to remain eligible.

I don’t think this one will count, do you?

TO WIN 12 winning bloggers will be named at the conclusion of the campaign. Four (4) winners will be selected at random out of all qualifying participants. Two (2) winners will be chosen for posting the most Washington wine related blog entries (minimum of 150 words required for each post). Six (6) additional winners will be chosen for the best category based posting:

  • Top 2 Best Washington winery posts
  • Top 2 Best Washington wine or tasting note posts
  • Best Washington growing region post
  • Best Washington vineyard post

The huh? The final four winners will be selected at random out of all qualifying participants? Random? Can you see me scratching my head? Maybe 2 random and 2 because the writing overall was good or the person showed lots of potential or had proven her worth by blogging like a mad dog at other conferences?

Oh and FYI This post has 700 words if we count the title, well over the required number of 150 words per post. Since I tend to write posts of 750-1000 words, do you think I should break them into parts in order to be more competitive? Or add lots of extra words to my sentences?

A few more words in the fine print:

* Your blog has to have been started before the end of October 2009 (no problem there–I started this blog August 2008 and started psoting regularly October 2008; my main blog, Art Predator, I started November 2007).
* Washington bloggers/residents can’t compete (I’m definitely a Californian!)
* You have to have a ticket to WBC 10 (and those are selling out fast! I’m applying for a scholarship, but if that doesn’t come through, Reno is saving me a spot.)
* You have to make a 1 minute video and post it to you-tube and leave a link in your blog Just kidding! But here’s mine anyway! Just insert Washington Wine whenever I say M-G. I’m an equal opportunity blogger (within reason!)

Below are more details about this amazing opportunity. Check it out and you’ll see why I want to be on that bus or bust!

ROAD TO WALLA WALLA: June 23rd – 25th

DAY 1: Seattle & Woodinville Wine Country
WBC-or-BUST Preview - Day 1 Experience some of the best Washington has to offer from one of the premier food & wine destinations in the Northwest. {view itinerary}

DAY 2: Yakima Valley & Walla Walla
WBC-or-BUST Preview - Day 1 Travel across the Cascade Mountain Range to visit Washington’s premier growing regions and taste through a selection of premium wines. {view itinerary}

DAY 3: Start of the Wine Bloggers Conference
Arrive to Walla Walla in style just in time for the WBC with a deeper understanding of Washington and its thriving wine industry.

So here goes! Until this contest ends at the end of April, there will definitely be a Washington Wine slant to this blog. It’s gonna be a blast! And maybe I’ll get to blast off in June to my next wine adventure–in Washington!

Now to find my notes from the WA wines I tasted at WBC…they’re here somewhere!