Archive for November, 2009

Take the Intimidation Factor Out of Wine… go to Woodinville WA!

November 24, 2009 2 comments

Most of us can remember a time in our life that we interested in getting “into” something new but felt overwhelmed, intimidated and even foolish about how to go about it. After reading Wine for Dummies when I was about 23 (a book I highly recommend by the way), I set off on a Napa CA adventure to put my new skills to the test. Four small wineries into my day, I felt defeated, embarrassed and overwhelmed by my lack of knowledge and tasting know-how. I vowed to never drink wine in public again. Well, some fears are worth getting over.

My experience has enabled me to empathize with new wine enthusiasts who feel that tasting can be daunting. If you haven’t the time to read on, I will summarize in short for you now. Some of the best and most relaxed tasting room experiences I have had were in Woodinville WA. I have traveled the whole world in the name of wine, and this includes upcoming national wine regions in states such as New York and Virginia. I’m telling you, there is no more relaxed place, and less intimidation factor than the tasting rooms right here in our own back yard. From the dogs that always seem to be running around Des Voigne Cellars, and Edmonds Winery’s totally chill sit-sown tasting room, to Alexandria Nicole’s staff that laugh as often as they pour and Northwest Totem Cellars tasting room that is located in their family kitchen. Seriously folks- relax and have some fun with this. Throw on your favorite sweatshirt, pack a car full of bottled waters and snacks and head to Woodinville for the day.

Now lets discuss the fact that wine is an overwhelming and unapproachable entity for many. From tasting room etiquette awkwardness, to being terrified about being asked ‘what do you smell on the bouquet’, wine has been unnecessarily marketed as something people like you and I just “wouldn’t understand”. Who stereotypically knows and deserves wine? The wealthy, the cultured, the well dressed BMW driving, Gucchi wearing, PhD educated, world traveled aficionado types? Get this notion out of your head. It partially exists because of marketing efforts that attempt to sell us more than just wine. They are selling us a lifestyle that in my opinion, actually serves to put wine at arms length for many of us. I do not mean to be brash and simplistic, but wine is a beverage. Now… that is not to say that it is not also an art-form to be respected, discussed, and explored, but it is first and foremost just a drink, and you should not be afraid or intimidated by it. I am at a level with my wine interests that admittedly finds me discussing such topics as: the subtle nuances of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, what to pair with a crowned rack of lamb, and what piece of stemware would allow for a given wine to shine, but I also choose to have fun with wine and continue to keep that priority in check.

While I urge you to relax about wine, I do also encourage you to gain an even better appreciation of it by learning as you go. Tasting rooms, such as those in Woodinville, are not places designed for you to get drunk. Think of them as a friendly and approachable way to get you closer to understanding wine. Speak with staff and wine makers, take your time, discuss the wine with those standing by, and always remember how very much work, heart, soul and love goes into the making of the wine you sip.

Enjoy Seattle!!

Please come share your Woodinville Wine experiences with me on Twitter @SeattleWineGal, or find me bumming around Woodinville this Thursday with the guys from Small Lot Co-op!


Establishing My Niche in Seattle’s Social Media World… With Wine Passion!

November 22, 2009 4 comments

I have decided to delve into the creation of a social media presence by doing what I do best… talking about wine! I came to Seattle in 2004 to get a MA in Anthropology. Always having had an interest in wine, I decided to hook up with a local Bellingham wine shop to stock shelves for an extra few hours a week for pocket change. One thing led to another, and before long I was teaching and co-teaching wine classes, administering major weekend theme tasting events, organizing wine classes and dinners, leading tours to Woodinville etc. I had become completely immersed in the WA wine culture. Realizing that the part time job wouldn’t cut it once I got my degree, I moved on to a corporate gig. Long story short… during this time I became fascinated by this ‘lil thing called Social Media (see my blog video “What the F is Social Media” for more info). Even though I have great experience developing my skills as @FertilAid Amy, one of the top infertility presences in Social Media, I had not created my own presence. Well it’s time folks. Good-bye FertilAid Amy, hello @SeattleWineGal. I can’t think of anything more fun than blogging and tweeting about Seattle area wineries. 1. I love wine. 2. I know a lot about WA State wine. 3. I know a lot about local wineries and the wine makers themselves. 4. Area wineries largely lack a Social Media existence; I would like to help them out. 5. I will be establishing myself in the world of Social Media in a way that brings me sheer and utter joy. OK, I have a lot to work to do now… keep checking in!

Pinning Down the Guru’s for the Social Media Scoop…

November 19, 2009 Leave a comment

“Social Media is the Next Gold Rush. Get in NOW, and Stake Your Claim because there’s a tidal wave of people who want in, and they are right behind you”. These words of advice were spoken by David Johanson last night over a club sandwich and beer at the Silver Reef Casino. Let me explain what occurred to get David and I, who had only bumped into each other via the occasional RT on Twitter over the last few months, in the same room at the same time.

The meeting with David was one of many that I have had recently with Social Media Peeps (on behalf of all of us in social media, I am declaring this our official title). Inspired by a book that my Master Mind group was reading by Keith Ferrazzi, I decided to reach out to people who appeared to be the best in the industry, and simply ask them to meet for lunch (on my dime) in exchange for tips, advice and resources. I admit that I felt fear asking these guys for help, but much to my delight… every single person I proposed a meet-up with gave me a big fat Y-E-S. The one’s I have not met with yet are either out of town, or scheduling something with me currently. From resume advice and “must-know” industry tips, to conversations about “fake it till you make it”, and passive income ideas while you’re trying to get rich from Social Media, these meetings have been an excellent way to get my foot in the door and find a little direction for my upcoming job search in Seattle. Thanks so much to David, Derek Johnson, Scott Pierce, Dan Sears, John Andrews, Peter Boctor, Gary Pickering, and Eric Pratum for all the advice, referrals, tips, and willingness to share your genius noggins with me. Hmm… notice anything odd about that list? We need more ladies in the house! Connect me with Social Media Chicks, that would be sweet. Don’t know many? Don’t worry, this ‘lil chicka will take Social Media by storm… just watch gents!

Either way, a huge THANK YOU to all of you, you rock! I just want to have a big warm and fuzzy TweetUp where I buy you beer and one of those fancy chocolate fountain thingies.

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Wine Shop Waives Tasting Fee in Exchange for Social Media Shout-Outs!

November 16, 2009 4 comments

164d3409d3ecd2edb2aa6f19c71c32d9Having had a discussion about the place of social media in wine marketing just the night before, I was delighted to see that the very first of many Woodinville WA wineries I visited on Saturday (Matthews Estate) promised customers a free wine tasting in exchange for a mention on Twitter or Facebook. The benefits of giving freebie tastes all day in exchange for these shout outs outweigh the cons so exponentially that I was shocked later that day while at another winery by the playful comment “they are sell outs” when I was overheard talking about Matthew Cellars clever social media efforts. “Sell outs?” Is it “selling out” to: extend customer relations and direct (often real-time) winery access to potential and existing clients? What about an increase of word of mouth advertising, brand recognition, Search Engine Optimization, and the daily facilitation of online product/winery discussion? Not to mention the fact that everyone who tasted ‘for free’ that day in exchange for the shout-out will never forget that unique experience, will most likely tell people about it in the future, and may very likely become loyal to Matthews as a result. “Sell outs” I think not. Matthews Estate has done a very smart thing for their winery. I assume the “sell-outs” comment stems from fear of an increase in technology and it’s potential to overshadow old-school and more traditional wine marketing efforts. Wine is a very traditional and romantic beverage. Having been in the wine industry for years, I know that wine makers are selling more than wine. In wine marketing, the idea is to also sell the experience. Perhaps for the same reason wine makers are reluctant to adopt the screw top (which is actually one of the best ways to preserve wine), social media and internet marketing can be seen as taking the traditional romantic allure out of wine.  Now I can understand how the idea of flipping the switch on the gas fire place, unscrewing a bottle of fine wine and pulling your lap top close to Tweet about your day lacks Old World charm, but there is no question that Social Media is a very real way for wineries to increase their bottom line sales, SEO, and extend customer relations. I commend you Matthews, and I for one, have had a unique experience and will hereby be a loyal customer. It also helps that your wine completely rocks!!

For more information about Social Media, what is is and how it can benefit your company, check out “What the F**K is Social Media“.

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Introducing Barbara Evans, Seattle’s Newest Wine Blogger…

November 13, 2009 1 comment

Hi, I’m Barbara! I also go by ‘B’ Barb and Barby. In a nutshell; I’m a New York State raised certified pilot, ultra marathon running, world traveled wine and cheese loving, astronomy enthusiast, success principals adhering to social media nut [sucking air back into lungs before moving on].

I like roller derby, and used to be a roller queen myself. 3 major injuries, 20 pairs of ripped fish net stockings and a Masters Degree later- like a child with a new shiny toy, you can find me safe and sound behind my computer screen nerding out over the newest platform applications, ‘hot off the presses’ ROI measurement tool, or engaged in my newest boredom game called “who’s the sexiest Social Media guru on Linked’In”? Was that a run on sentence? If so, I recommend skimming over the part about me being a technical writer/editor in my profile.

I am fully aware of the irony of a self-proclaimed social media nut whose first personal blog post occurred today [popping cork off of the Champagne to celebrate, streamers falling from ceiling, very pathetically blowing a party favor horn while all alone]. It’s really quite simple. I can’t figure out how Word Press works. No really, c’mon now… the reason is that I’ve been so busy posting on other blogs! Having ‘become’ FertilAid Amy (I see a lot of product pushing going on in the name of my darling FertilAid Amy lately. Please note that I am no longer her administrator- my last Tweet/FB post was Nov 4th) over the past 5 months for, I ate, slept, and Tweeted as the worlds finest Sultry Avatar Fertility Educator. Is there an official award ceremony for that title? Well, there should be. While the avatar looked very creepily like myself (yeah, I said she was sultry), she never spoke of social media itself, or wine, aviation and ripped fish nets for that matter. So here I am, no longer FertilAid Amy, and finally able to blog for myself… Barbara, B, Barb, Barby, Seattle Wine Gal, whoever I am these days.

Ok, thanks for taking the time to check me out. Bear with me as my blog undergoes construction. If you haven’t already, please come hook up with me on Facebook or LinkedIn. I am always looking to meet other Social Media nerds to exchange information, resources, and experiences, or the occasional carpool to talks, seminars or conferences.

Peace out,


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