Dec 132013
 
Regional Wines: Michael Wangbickler

Photo Credit: American Wine Society

Last month, I was graced with the opportunity of presenting a couple of seminars at the American Wine Society National Conference in Sandusky, Ohio. One of those presentations covered the subject of regional wine.

As I’ve previously stated on this blog, I’m the president of the Board of Directors for Drink Local Wine. It’s a group of folks who believe that wines from ANYWHERE in North America are worth a look and consideration when purchasing and drinking wine. So, my session focused on why we should give a fair shake to regional wineries and highlighted wines from six different producers, from six different states. This included regional wine from Texas, Virginia, Maryland, Colorado, New York, and Ohio. Oh yeah, and did I mention that we tasted each of them blind, so no one knew what they were actually tasting until I told them?

The reaction to the wines was very good. Most of them were quite impressive, and I had several attendees approach me later, letting me know how much they enjoyed the session and the wines. My ultimate goal was to open some eyes, and change some perceptions. I feel like more than a few of the people in the session walked away with a new-found appreciation for regional wine from places other than California, Oregon, and Washington. We’re changing perceptions, one wine enthusiast at a time.

Here is a copy of the slides from my session. Feel free to share them.

Mar 142013
 
DLW Conference

Photo Credit: Christian Schiller

The morning program is set for the fifth annual conference in Baltimore, Maryland on April 13, 2013.

The conference will open for registration at 8:00 am with light refreshments and a continental breakfast. The following sessions will begin at 9:00 am.

Session 1

9:00 am – 9:45 am

Creating Maryland’s Wine Identity

The history of Maryland wine from the 1940s to the present, which grapes grow well here and where, and what styles of wine are prospering.

Moderator: Richard Leahy, author, Beyond Jefferson’s Vines.

Panelists: Marguerite Thomas, author, Touring East Coast Wine Country; Robert Deford, owner, Boordy Vineyards; Dr. Joe Fiola, Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Maryland.

 

Session 2

10:00 am – 10:45 am

Drinking Local

Does locavore mean locapour? Do Marylanders appreciate their home-grown wine, and if not, how to get the message out.

Moderator: Dave McIntyre, Washington Post wine columnist, Drink Local Wine co-founder.

Panelists: Jerry Pellegrino, chef, Waterfront Kitchen; Jade Ostner, Director of Events, Maryland Wineries Association; Al Spoler, co-host, Cellar Notes/Radio Kitchen, WYPR Radio.

 

Session 3

11:00 – 11:45 am

Maryland’s New Guard

Who is setting the quality standard for Maryland wine today? What new grapes, trends or wine regions will we be following in the years to come?

Moderator: Kevin Atticks, executive director, Maryland Wineries Association.

Panelists: Ed Boyce, founder, Black Ankle Vineyards; Tom Shelton, owner and winemaker, Bordeleau Vineyards & Winery; Dave Collins, co-owner, Big Cork Vineyards.

An elegant lunch using fresh, local Maryland ingredients paired with select Maryland wines will follow the morning sessions.

Registration for the full conference is $125 and includes a continental breakfast; entry to all sessions; lunch with paired tasting of Maryland wine; and the Grand Tasting of Maryland Wines and Twitter Taste-off. Tickets are also available for the Grand Tasting only for $40.

To attend the conference, you may visit http://www.marylandwine.org/dlwc13 to register and find out more information.

Mar 052013
 

Drink Maryland WineI’ve been involved in Drink Local Wine since it’s inception several years ago, and am now President of the Board of Directors.

Drink Local Wine is an organization founded on the principal that there are great wines to be found everywhere, not just in the best known regions. A non-profit organization, the DLW mission is to promote the wines of these lesser known regions throughout the United States and Canada.  The brainchild of Washington Post writer Dave McIntyre and Jeff Siegel, who writes the Wine Curmudgeon blog, the organization holds two major events each year — a conference spotlighting regional wine and Regional Wine Week.

DLW will hold its fifth annual conference in about six weeks in Baltimore, focusing on Maryland wine. The state’s industry is one of the fastest growing in the country, and its 61 wineries are almost 50 percent more than in 2010.

The state’s four growing regions allow it to produce a variety of wines, including the classic European varietals but also some that are distinctly New World in style. The Maryland Winery Association is the conference’s primary sponsor.

Panels of speakers will discuss the winemaking region’s history, challenges, trends and more in three (possibly four) morning seminars. Then an elegant lunch with local ingredients will be paired with select Maryland wines.

In the afternoon, we taste through the state’s portfolio of wines and report our findings to the world via the unique feature of DLW conferences, the Grand Tasting and Twitter Taste-Off. Over 20 of Maryland’s most award-winning wineries will be participating in the fifth annual Twitter Taste-off at The Warehouse at Camden Yards. It’s a chance to sip, tweet, and tell the world about Maryland wine. Participants will taste a wide variety of Maryland’s most desired wines, and report their experiences to the world.

Tickets are on sale for the conference; you may register by visiting the DLW page on the Maryland Wine Association website.

The conference will take place on April 13th at the Tremont Suites Hotel in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. You can find more information here.

 

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