Category Archives: Society of Wine Educators Conference

Monday Musings: Society of Wine Educators Conference in Portland in August


I am so looking forward to this summer’s Society of Wine Educators conference. Founded in 1977, SWE’s Annual Conference is for educators, students, and enthusiasts to convene and learn more about the world of wine and spirits. In 2017, SWE will host this event in Portland, Oregon. I’ve never been to Portland and this is my chance. The 41st Annual Conference will be held Thursday, August 10th through Saturday, August 12th. Featuring over 65 sessions with topics, I will be speaking on wines from Lombardy, hence the picture of Sant’Ambrogio in Milan.

I was lucky enough to meet with many producers from the various consortium at Vinitaly. I think I will have a great and interesting line-up of wines for people to taste. This will be my eighth or ninth conference and has become part of my summer patterns. I look forward to visiting a few wineries and getting to know the city as well.

Baptistery Bergamo Alta

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Filed under Lombardy, Memorable Events, oregon, Society of Wine Educators Conference, Wine Education

Wine Wednesday: Hanzell Vineyards Chardonnay 2010

Laguna Seca

California has been on my mind since a recent trip there in late September. While there I tasted a number of interesting Chardonnays but I must say my new favorite, I came late to the party, is the Hanzell Vineyards Chardonnay that I tasted at the Frederick Wildman tasting last month. This winery from Sonoma was first on my radar while working at Maslow 6 wine shop in 2010. The owners seemed partial to this wine and I never knew why. Now I do.

It had beautiful aromas and flavors that you would expect of Chardonnay, apples and pears, creamy, buttery notes but it also had minerality and the toasty, nutty, yeasty flavors that I so enjoy. I found the use of oak to be quite balanced as well. It was long and harmonious in the mouth with a beautiful finish. I was also very happy to meet one of the most courtly fellows in the wine industry that day, Tony Didio.

Speaking of California, while out there at Laguna Seca, I had the chance to catch up with David Glancy of the San Francisco Wine School.

I know David from the Society of Wine Educators conferences. David, a Master Sommelier (MS) has launched an online wine school which awards a California Wine Appellation Specialist certificate. I am considering enrolling next year but first I must finish my French Wine Scholar program. Having taken numerous classes with David through the years, I am sure his online class with be both informative and fun. I highly recommend it.

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Filed under California, Society of Wine Educators Conference, Sommeliers, USA Wineries, Wine Educators, Wine of the Week, Wine Schools, wine wednesday, wines

Day 1: Society of Wine Educators Conference In Orlando, Florida

I’m in Orlando, Florida for my first leg of the marathon that is the Society of Wine Educators conference (SWE). I am a big fan of the SWE, their classes, approach and staff alike.

This is my fifth conference and at the gym this morning I already noted some familiar faces. I’m looking forward to all of the seminars and events that make up the conference. I always come away from the conference renewed and refreshed with new ideas about the industry and more knowledge about various parts of the wine world.

Today I am doing a Master Class on Burgundy which should be very enlightening and enjoyable. Usually the conference has a few “field trips” or winery visits that are part of the curriculum. Orlando isn’t known for its viticulture so they are offering this wonderful Master Class instead.

For the record, Orlando does have a brewery which is apparently quite popular and which gives classes on tasting and understanding beer.

I haven’t been to Orlando since I was in my freshman year of college so this is also a trip down memory lane.

I look forward to taking some great classes, meeting new people in the industry and saying hello to old friends. July was a very slow month on my blog and I hope to make August a more interesting one for readers.

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Filed under Burgundy, events, France, Memorable Events, Society of Wine Educators Conference, Travel

New World Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon From Jordan – Sonoma County

Everyone seems to be talking about California wines these days and as I prepare for the upcoming Society of Wine Conference meeting later this July, I am looking through my notes from previous seminars and have noticed how many classes I have taken on California wines as part of my conference experience.

Jordan Label

Last year I took great seminars on wines from Sonoma with Honore Comfort, one on the Extreme North & South of California’s Central Coast as well as one with David Glancy on California wines in general.

For the Sonoma County session we tasted through a number of wines but Jordan was not part of the line-up. I had the pleasure of trying their Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 from the Alexander Valley at the Snooth People’s Voice Wine Awards Grand Tasting in March of this year.

I found that wine to be exquisite, great fruit, minerality, tertiary aromas of cedar and spice, with soft and silky tannins. It was long and layered with depth and finesse, just the way I want a wine to be. While only one of the 15 wine growing regions in Sonoma County, the Alexander Valley has always provided me with wines that I enjoy. I look forward to getting to know some of the other regions as well.

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Filed under California, New World Wines, Society of Wine Educators Conference, USA Wineries