It's been three months since I started as the Bella Online Wine Guy. I thought it might be a good idea to do a short review of the Bella Online Wine Web, where it was when I started and where we are going. The Wine Site was on autopilot from May 19th, 2007 until my first article on January 11th.
I like to drink wine and write reviews about the wine. The hardest part of being the Bella Wine Guy is that I do not know my audience. Do the majority of the women who read the wine site drink wines that are over $50 or under $50? Do they own a Viking, Vinotemp VT-182B or Jenn-Air wine cooler or do they have a modest wine cellar like I have in my spare bedroom?
To get a better idea of my audience, I will be conducting a readership survey. Look for it in a future article.
I try to write about what I know. And if I don't know a subject, I will interview wine industry professionals to get the answers.
As you know from my article last week, not all of my articles are serious about an aspect of wine. My sense of humor is a little different. Can you tell? Last week was one of "those" weeks. We have all had them. When I was younger, I seemed to have more of them and now that I am older and wiser, like Marian the Librarian in "The Music Man", I seem to have fewer of the weeks I described. So I will try to break up the site with an article or two that is out in left field every two or three months to break it up some.
The wines I write about are wines that I buy personally or ones that are given to me by distributors to review. I try to keep a pulse of what the wine site readers are interested in by keeping up with the questions being asked in the Wine Site Forums.
Later this month or next, I will be interviewing Cara Morrision, the assistant winemaker for Sonoma-Cutrer. I will be asking Cara what it is like being a winemaker and other interesting questions. In the mid nineties when Cara graduated from college, about 25% of the students at University of California Davis' winemaking program were women. Today almost half of the students are women. It will be an interesting and lively interview that you will want to listen to or even call in to participate. If you have a question for Cara you can submit the questions as follows:
To submit a question for one of our calls, that you would like answered, send the question to me in the Submit a Comment - Suggestion - Request to this Editor section at the bottom of my bio page About the Bella Online Wine Editor. I will compile a list of questions to ask.
Another interview? Ann Noble is the developer of the Wine Aroma Wheel. This wheel was a recommendation to me from Dennis Martin who said I should look into getting one so I could develop my wine palate. I Googled the phrase, Wine Aroma Wheel, and found Ann's website. I contacted her to arrange a telephone interview. We are going to try to get together in June for an online call.
I have mentioned a couple of times that you should try to develop a relationship with a wine retailer. That's not the guy at the grocery store who also stocks the dairy case and works part time in produce. I'm talking about a person knowledgeable about wines and can make definite recommendations about value wines. My wine retailer is a woman named Erin Collins. I am amazed that Erin's palate and mine are so closely matched. We are not exactly alike, but close. When she tells me what she likes, I generally will take her recommendation and see if I like it too. I will be interviewing Erin on a call to talk about value wines, what she looks for, why I am paying $1 more per bottle that I did last year, what it is like to own and run a wine shop and other questions.
I will be interviewing Dawn King, recently a new mother of twins, about being a wine rep with Charles Krug. Dawn lives across the street from me, so I am looking forward to that interview to get her thoughts about being a new mother and her future career as a wine rep.
Coming up, I will be reviewing the following wines that I have had recently but have not written about yet:
2005 Sanctuary Pinot Noir, 2004 Mariah Zinfandel, 2005 Madam Merlot, 2006 Toad Hollow, 2006 Little Black Dress - Chardonnay California, 2007 Little Black Dress - Pinot Grigio
Until next time, let me know what is on your mind, and how you are doing, O.K.?
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Jim Fortune - Bella Online Wine Guy