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Our Journey Together Begins…

Greetings Good Grape readers, this is Tim Elliott of Winecast with the first of my weekly posts here.  Jeff, the proprietor and chief bottle washer of this blog, has asked me to write posts here in place of the personal blog feed I donated to the Menu for Hope campaign. More than $60,000 was raised for the UN Food Programme and Jeff was the lucky winner of my donation.

Let me start by giving you a bit of background about me and my wine blog and podcast. Like many wine geeks, my introduction to the fruit of the vine was through jug wines. While in college in Northern California, I developed a taste for wine so I’d pick up one of those 3 liter jugs of Gallo Hearty Burgundy every couple of weeks for around $8 (this was back in the early 1980’s). As I got more into wine, partially via trips through Napa Valley, I wanted to discover new tastes so I picked up bottles from Wente Brothers, Mirassou, Jekel and Sebastiani. I soon developed a preference for Zinfandel and discovered the wines of Ridge Vineyard (particularly their Sonoma Geyserville bottling) and the Lytton Springs Winery (today, Ridge Lytton Springs). My house Zin was from Sebastiani that I bought for $2.50 a bottle.

Once I graduated college and made my way into the working world, I started to drink more expensive wines but mostly stayed with wines from my native state of California. The closest I came to a “transcendent wine moment” came when I noticed a 1974 Heitz “Martha’s Vineyard” Cabernet by the glass at a restaurant in 1986. At about $20 for a 3 oz. pour it wasn’t cheap, but it did put me firmly on the path to wine geekdom.

In September of 2004, I discovered podcasting—audio programs made by individuals and syndicated via the internet—and Winecast was born soon thereafter. Since us podcasters use blog software to deliver our shows, within a few short weeks I also became a wine blogger. Over the past 2+ years, I have produced almost 80 podcasts and reviewed hundreds of wines.

Enough about me; let’s get to what I will be writing about… Jeff and I have agreed that my posts here on Good Grape will fall within 3 categories:

Web 2.0 and Wine - One of my passions is the internet and Web 2.0 has slowly made it’s way into the wine world. As this evolved last year I began to blog about it at Winecast. Some of those ideas will make their way into my posts here, as well.

The Wines of Italy - Both Jeff and I love Italian wines but don’t know too much about the subject. That’s going to change over the next year as I go deep into the country’s wines and history of viticulture. Although I will cover well known regions like Tuscany and Piedmont, I will try to spend most of my time on less popular areas of the country looking for values and memorable wines to sample.

Wine Marketing - I have been doing marketing consulting with wineries for the past year and will blog about this subject here. My preference is for internet marketing and integrating social media into the wine context, but I’ll also spend time on some of the more traditional methods, too. You can expect somewhat of a revival of the Cluetrain Manifesto inspired posts Jeff blogged about last year.

So that’s the plan; my posts will go up on Sunday evenings starting next week. I’m excited to get this train out of the station… join us for the journey!


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