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Portlandia: The Blogger's Edition

Earlier this month, 370 or so my wine blogging buddies, industry reps, intrigued consumers, and blogging neophytes converged on Portland, Oregon for the 5th Annual Wine Bloggers Conference.  A gathering of people that cross a wide swath of wine, food, travel and pretty much anything you can think of, the WBC is an opportunity for us to discuss current topics of note, and get together to share.
This year, the 5th installment, was the largest yet.  It’s somewhat daunting, going from the intimate gathering of the close knit blogging crew of 100, to the large scale, multiple tracked event it is today.  Even so, it’s a vast array of information, and something I look forward to every year.
Being in Portland, so close to several of the best wine making regions in Oregon, I felt it my duty to bring you the WBC12 Portlandia Edition!  Here is my top 10 list from this year’s conference:
  1. There is some damn fine coffee in Portland.  Specifically, Stumptown.  But as I was told by my PDX local friend Jeffrey Weissler said “there is a new kid on the block!”.  He promptly gave me a welcome gift of another local roaster, which I cannot wait to break in to.
  2. Doughnuts are an anytime food, no matter what cookie monster says!  mmm VooDoo maple bacon bars make me happy!
  3. Portland has some of the best beer around.  Everyone needs a palate cleanser right?
  4. Never ever ever put Shriners, Quixicotals, travelling families and wine bloggers on the same floor of a hotel.  Ever.  Did I mention that this is a bad idea?
  5. Food carts make bloggers happy, much like bacon.  If you didn’t get a chance to check out the food cart scene, make sure you go back!
  6. The 2007 Pinot Noirs from Willamette are going strong and are quite possibly the vintage of a lifetime.  Widely panned by critics upon release, they are now changing their tune.  Mostly gone, nab some if you can find it!
  7. There is some awesome Pinot Gris, Reisling, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay in Oregon as well.
  8. Oregon wineries really like us!  They really really like us!  While they might not get social media, as many wineries are still trying to get their feet wet, the vast majority of wineries participating in the conference went above and beyond to make bloggers feel welcome before, during and after the event.  This included private tours and parties, as well as invitations to visit the wineries on your own at another time.
  9. I was not looking at your chest, I was just trying to figure out your twitter name!  since most of us know each other by our twitter handles and not our real names, having these prominently displayed is helpful.
  10. The WBC is about reconnecting with old friends, learning about what the latest trends in wine blogging and writing are, and having a lot of great wine.
  11. OK one more – while the WBC Scholarship is a lot of hard work (and I mean I’m going to kill you/quit/give up kind of hard work), it’s worth it every year.  The amazing recipients were such a welcome addition to the conversations that occurred at WBC!

That is the short and sweet of it but there is more, much more to come in the coming days.

Up next:  How Bloggers Influence the Wine World.  A lively discussion ensued with a room full of writers, winery reps, PR professionals and others.  We might not always agree, but we all have the same general philosophy.

14 Comments

  1. Angelo says:

    Cool post. I am glad you liked Oregon. It is awesome, right!

    1. winebratsf says:

      3rd time in PDX, and like it better each time! It was awesome indeed. I could have done without the heat wave but I had a blast! :-)

      1. tacdeb says:

        What? You mean it doesn't always rain in Portland??!! Shhhh, don't tell…we try to keep that under wraps!

        1. winebratsf says:

          Shocking i know! Clearly it rained before and after we were there. Because yes. It ALWAYS rains. heh

  2. tacdeb says:

    Glad it was a good adventure and you are so right…bacon maple bars rule. But try the jalapeno jelly donuts for an interesting twist! Oh yeah, and go 2007!

    1. winebratsf says:

      Yeah I couldn't do the jalepeno but I did have a Portland Cream and an Apple fritter! Drool.
      Go 07! might need one of those tonight. Or rose. Or bubbles.

  3. I like to mix my vices so I picked up some Rogue VooDoo Donuts Maple Bacon Ale while there.

    1. winebratsf says:

      HA! I haven't tried the ale Lorie, it scared me too much! However we have a Rouge Ale House here so maybe I'll venture down there.

  4. Mark Buckley says:

    Well put Thea. Not enough time to checkout all the treats in Oregon. Impressed with Tempranillo, GSM and Pinot Gris quality. Look forward to your follow-up post.

    Mark

    1. winebratsf says:

      Agreed! Not enough time at all. I agree, the Southern Oregon reds are lovely!

  5. Cindy Molchany says:

    Great wrap up! What are Quixicotals? Were those the guys dressed up as Romans?

    1. winebratsf says:

      LOL Quixicotals are the other odd group – like the Freemasons. They don't wear Fez's but they had weird Mexican headresses on. Or Romans. ;-)

  6. [...] Anti-Conference, a previously renegade event where some rowdy bloggers brought wine to share (usually by the pool) has been co-opted into a Night of Many Bottles – [...]

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