The Traveling Vineyard http://www.travelingvineyard.com huib@travelingvineyard.com Fri, 22 Aug 2014 19:09:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Our new website is all about YOU. http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2014/07/your-traveling-vineyard/ http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2014/07/your-traveling-vineyard/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 23:21:01 +0000 http://new.travelingvineyard.com/?p=7231 Welcome to the new TravelingVineyard.com! If there were a Best Dressed List for websites, Traveling Vineyard would be on it. We’ve graduated from our previous look to a bolder, more cultured design, made complete with an updated set of features that puts the emphasis on what’s most important to us: our Wine Guides and the […]

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Welcome to the new TravelingVineyard.com!

If there were a Best Dressed List for websites, Traveling Vineyard would be on it. We’ve graduated from our previous look to a bolder, more cultured design, made complete with an updated set of features that puts the emphasis on what’s most important to us: our Wine Guides and the people we serve.

The new Traveling Vineyard website is easier to use and – we think, anyway – more visually appealing. Most importantly, it’s been reconfigured so that new and returning Wine Guides, Hosts, and wine enthusiasts find exactly what they’re looking for, faster.

Don’t worry – you’ll still find all the resources and valuable information you trust on the Traveling Vineyard site. From the wine list that gives you a full flavor and origin profile of each of our wines to the fun pairings calculator that gives you tasty recipes for foods to accompany each bottle, it’s all there.

Everything you need to make your wine tasting event a rousing success is still just a click away. All we’ve done is put it in party clothes and make it easier to find. Even our logo got a new look!

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 4.13.21 PM

One new feature on the Traveling Vineyard site that we’re thrilled to share is the “Meet Our Wine Guides” page.

Here you can meet other wine enthusiasts who have taken their relationship with the grape to the next level and are now enjoying the fruits of their labor. Read stories about Traveling Vineyard providing people with the means to change their lives, fulfilling personal goals and pushing through the nerve-wracking first steps of entrepreneurship.

Traveling Vineyard Wine Guides

Our Wine Guides and team members have each taken a journey as unique as their varying lives and families and backgrounds, but they all enjoy the opportunity and freedom to build a career on their own terms, making good friends (and good money, too) along the way. The best place to start is the story of Traveling Vineyard itself, written by our very own founder, Rick Libby.

Haven’t yet taken the plunge?

Maybe this is the first time you’ve ever heard of Traveling Vineyard or maybe you’ve visited the site a few times but haven’t done much more than look around. With the unveiling of our new website, we’d love to challenge you to do something new, too.

You see, with Traveling Vineyard, it’s all about you. We want your life to change for the better, with you at the helm, and we’ll support you through every decision and step. As any of our Wine Guides will tell you, being a part of the Traveling Vineyard family and marketing its wines isn’t your typical home-based gig.

You’re in charge of your own wine-marketing destiny. Whether you’re a full-time parent or executive looking for something just for yourself, a wine enthusiast hoping to expand your knowledge, or just someone who wants to be your own boss, Traveling Vineyard is here for you. Our community is full of people who love to learn and teach, and you’ll feel the camaraderie from day one. It’s a tight-knit group but we always have room for more. We can’t wait to welcome you in.

Ready to take the next step?

The new Traveling Vineyard site unveiling has us excited for what’s next, and we hope you feel the same way. If you’re ready to ramp up your sales and build your own Traveling Vineyard team, or if you were just waiting for the right time to sign up and start working from home, get in touch! The entire Traveling Vineyard family is eager to help you succeed – and enjoy some delicious wine while you’re at it.

Don’t forget: whichever social media sites you enjoy, we’re there, too. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Instagram, or check out our boards on Pinterest. We’ll see you there!

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Find Your Zin: Celebrating Perfect Wine Moments http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2014/05/find-your-zin/ http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2014/05/find-your-zin/#comments Wed, 21 May 2014 11:00:31 +0000 http://www.travelingvineyard.com/?p=4973 Enjoying the moments With the recent release of our Small Hours Lodi Zinfandel, we at the Traveling Vineyard are celebrating our favorite wines – Zinfandel and the rest. There are any number of ways to honor and enjoy a favorite wine. Different settings, different pairings, different moments. Personally, we find the last one to be […]

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#findyourzin instagram photos

Enjoying the moments

With the recent release of our Small Hours Lodi Zinfandel, we at the Traveling Vineyard are celebrating our favorite wines – Zinfandel and the rest.

There are any number of ways to honor and enjoy a favorite wine. Different settings, different pairings, different moments.

Personally, we find the last one to be the most fitting tribute: basking in the sunset of a lazy summer day, sinking into a comfortable chair after a particularly long and difficult day, or simply sipping quietly in celebration of another everyday-day.

We refer to these moments of peace as Finding Your Zin.

A picture is worth a thousand words

The perfect moment with a glass of wine is a combination of the senses: tastes, smells, sights. Which is why stories of Finding Your Zin are best conveyed with both pictures and words.

That’s why we’re starting the #FindYourZin campaign on Instagram. Use your photos and just a few words to share with us your perfect wine moments.

Post your photos of your favorite wine, your favorite pairings, your favorite glass, your favorite moment.

Let us show you how it’s done

We, the members of the headquarters team, have gathered a few of our best glass-of-wine moments to share with you, just to get you started. 


 

Wine and brownies

I was making dinner while the brownies (the naughty ones) were in the oven and I decided, I want wine … I opened my first bottle of Oja, poured a glass, and fell in love. Eating fudge with a juicy red wine: heaven.

- Bridget Ernest, Support

 

 

 

 

 


 

Boating and Fissata Blonde

As a tired mama of a 10-month-old little girl, pontooning on my boat with my family in Vermont for a much needed vacation was the ultimate relaxation – add a cold glass of Fissata Blonde and it was perfection!

- Katie Gentile, Compliance Manager

 

 


 

OJa and noodles

When I first started with Traveling Vineyard, I was a beer girl through and through. I knew next to nothing about wine; I left that to my mother. Now she and I really enjoy a glass of wine together. We’re both foodies, too, so we love to cook and then pair the perfect wine with it. Recently, she’s been really into Whiskers so we’ve been making a lot of steak on the grill!

 

 

 

 

Wine and the perfect viewI have a friend whose condo has an unreal view. Last summer every Friday we would get together and have a glass of wine after work, before we decided to do whatever we did that night. It was a perfect way to unwind after the work week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Champagne and sunshine

The epitome of relaxation – feet up, sun out, champagne in hand.

- Kate Franklin, Support 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Wine and Cheese NightsRandom Relaxing Cheese Plate Nights: About once a month, my wife and I will forget about cooking dinner and instead we’ll make a super quick cheese plate. We’ll hit up the local cheese shop: something hard, something soft, and something funky. We’ll raid the cupboards for the rest. If we have apples, we’ll slice them up. Raisins and dark chocolate? Sure, throw them on the plate. Then we grab whatever good sipping wine we have on hand.  Next and most importantly, we change into pajamas. Enjoying good wine and cheese in your old ratty Metallica shirt while dissecting a Full House rerun with your wife? Nothing is more relaxing than that. If we decide to go crazy maybe even a Cribbage game will ensue. (I swear I’m not 85 years old.)

- Tim Wrightington, Director of Operations

 


 

Small Hours, grilling and preparing for the sunset

Warm afternoon. Spring has arrived after a hard day’s work, getting the grill ready and preparing for the sunset. My Zin waits for me!

- Rick Libby, Chief Grape Stomper and Head Cheerleader

 

 

 

 

 

 


Find your Zin

Now that you’ve got the idea, it’s your turn. Get over to Instagram and tell us your wine stories. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #FindYourZin so the whole community can see your perfect moments. (That part is super important.)

Don’t know how to use Instagram? No problem. Here’s how it works:

1. Go to instagram.com and create an account. Feel free to upload a profile pic and fill in a little bio. But only if you want to.

2. Download the Instragram app on your smartphone, tablet, or other wi-fi enabled device that can take pictures.

3. Log in to the app and you’ll be able to start taking pictures and experimenting with filters right away.

4. Go crazy. Let out your inner Ansel Adams.

To participate in Finding Your Zin:

1. Take a photo and fix it up the way you want: crop it, filter it, make it pretty.

2. Before you publish it, make sure to include #FindYourZin in the photo’s description so we can locate your pictures easily. (Did we mention that this is important?)

3. Publish it and, if you want, let us know via Facebook or another social network that you’ve posted a photo for us on Instagram.

And that’s it. It is just that simple.

But wait there’s more

Because we love it when you show off, we thought we’d throw a little bonus out there. Our favorite photos from the #FindYourZin collection will be featured on an upcoming Find Your Zin Pinterest board.

So? What are you waiting for? Go find your Zin.

 

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Introducing Small Hours, a Corked Tie-in Lodi Zinfandel http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2014/04/corked-small-hours-zinfandel/ http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2014/04/corked-small-hours-zinfandel/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 22:27:07 +0000 http://www.travelingvineyard.com/?p=4935 A new arrival Traveling Vineyard is pleased to introduce an addition to our collection of exclusive wines: Small Hours, an elegant, balanced, Bordelais-style Lodi Zinfandel. A more serious Zinfandel than our previous offering, Small Hours is notable for its herbaceous-yet-juicy palate, its wild brambly notes, and its 14.2% alcohol. The last descriptor earned the wine […]

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A new arrival

Traveling Vineyard is pleased to introduce an addition to our collection of exclusive wines: Small Hours, an elegant, balanced, Bordelais-style Lodi Zinfandel.

A more serious Zinfandel than our previous offering, Small Hours is notable for its herbaceous-yet-juicy palate, its wild brambly notes, and its 14.2% alcohol.

The last descriptor earned the wine its name.

What’s in a name?

Small Hours was born when Traveling Vineyard’s wine director, Francis Sanders, decided it was time to improve upon the previous, popular Zin-Fan-Del, with an offering on the same model but a little gutsier, a little more true to the varietal.

The result was a serious wine, Zinfandel being one of the most alcoholic California reds, perfect for contemplating some of life’s more mournful truths in the witching hours.

The name, Small Hours, is in tribute to those characteristics, a reference to Frank Sinatra’s classic album, “In the Wee Small Hours,” a musical catharsis released shortly after his infamous breakup with Ava Gardner.

The label itself is an homage to the classic cover art from that album, with mirrored colors, fonts, tone, and lights. Even the wardrobe and attitude reflect Frankie’s tilted fedora and almost-forgotten cigarette.

Frank Sinatra-In the Wee Small Hours

Sanders and his co-creator, artist Dave Griffin, ensured the authenticity, even going so far as to consult with legendary Capitol Record’s executive art director from the era, Jim Silke.

The result, as you can see, is striking.

Small Hours 2012 Lodi Zinfandel

Setting the scene

Small Hours is also notable as the first Traveling Vineyard wine to be featured in Corked the comic, a wine-based comic strip, brainchild of Sanders and Griffin.

Corked the comic follows the misadventures of the denizens of the fictional Isinglas Cellars. The Small Hours label in particular features winemaker Punt Tomas, whose long-standing love of the tasting room manager, Chenin Meunier, has once again proven unrequited.

Having been unceremoniously turned down (again), Punt has found his way into a quiet corner, to treat his sorrows with the most potent wine at hand.

The tie-in strip makes his plight even more clear, showcasing his chronic inability to get any date. He is rejected not only by his ladylove but also by two other well-known ladies of the wine world, Roxie Word of Buellton, Santa Barbara County, and Jenn Zeek of Geyeserville in Sonoma.

Corked - a wine based comic strip

In the funny pages

After the creation of the strip, Sanders and Griffin merged their roles in wine production and design, branching into tie-in wines: creating the wines, designing the labels, and presenting them at events.

The labels win the awards, the strip opens doors to less traditional wine-selling venues, and together, Corked the comic’s creators are popular guests at comic book conventions and shops, classic film festivals, illustration art museums and galleries, and vintage music venues (Small Hours is their second music tie-in label).

In fact, they just debuted Small Hours with the Society of Illustrators at the 2014 MoCCA Fest at the Museum of Cartoon & Comic Art in New York City.

Wine, jazz, and you

Traveling Vineyard is excited about the new wine and its inclusion in the august company of the other Corked the comic wines, looking forward to its upcoming appearance at the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival.

Small Hours is also available to Traveling Vineyard’s consultants and hosts. We’d like to know what you think. Have you tried it? What did you have it with? Does it live up to the name?

 

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A Pairings Pinning Party to be Proud of http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2014/03/proud-pairings-pinning-party/ http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2014/03/proud-pairings-pinning-party/#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:02:56 +0000 http://www.travelingvineyard.com/?p=4865 Last Wednesday: A Recap Last week, Traveling Vineyard hosted a Food & Wine Pairings Pinning Party. Our Consultants gathered on Pinterest at a designated time and pinned their favorite food and wine pairings to a specially created Pinterest Board. We saw some amazing participation and Traveling Vineyard’s Food & Wine Pairings Pinning Party Board now […]

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We had a Pinning Party

Last Wednesday: A Recap

Last week, Traveling Vineyard hosted a Food & Wine Pairings Pinning Party. Our Consultants gathered on Pinterest at a designated time and pinned their favorite food and wine pairings to a specially created Pinterest Board.

We saw some amazing participation and Traveling Vineyard’s Food & Wine Pairings Pinning Party Board now stands as a monument to our Consultants’ creativity and a source of inspiration for those in need of a good food/wine matchup.

For those who missed part (or all) of the event, well, we missed you. But it doesn’t have to be total loss for you. Because we’re going to tell you how it went.

Hour 1: And so it begins …

We started the pinning party at 7pm CT with a very punctual crowd: 60 participants, 499 followers. (Have we mentioned how awesome our Consultants are?)

And we already had 37 pins from our early-bird participants, starting with this one:

samoas-popcorn-with-zeffer-hills

Actually, popcorn and Girl Scout Cookies were a surprisingly popular treat throughout the evening:

popcorn-and-wine tagalongs wind and popcorn recommendations

All the signs were ripe for a great party.

From the very beginning, we had wonderful attendance. (Our special thanks go out to our most prolific pinners, including Melissa Rustan, Elizabeth Allen, Lois Dailey, Penny Fitzgerald, Pamela Frank-Hall, Linda Otto, Cathy Pender, and Christina Seamons).

We had people cracking jokes:

red wine and chicken nuggets a meal without wine is called breakfast my favorite wine pairing

And we had people – like Kristen Hunkele, Kirby Maragulia, and Michelle Beathard among others– making conversation and exchanging valuable wisdom:

 sweet-and-spicy-pickled-grapes

Hour 2: A virtual pairings potluck

By the mid-way point, the party was really picking up. We had 249 pins from more than 50 active contributors, with even more people keeping an eye on all the delicious food coming in the door.

And as is the nature of a potluck, people showed up with dishes of every kind, complete with suggestions for their favorite Traveling Vineyard accompaniment.

We had appetizers and nibbles galore:

proscuitto-and-melon bacon-wrapped-dates sweet-potato-fries-and-Rayado

Some people even brought full meals:

 thai-coconut-curry-soup sushi-and-screaming-goat Barbecued-beef-brisket

And of course, there was plenty of dessert:

 pumpkin-cheesecake-trifles champagne-soaked-strawberries candied-bacon

(And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what people did with chocolate).

Shooing the last stragglers out the door, kicking off our shoes, and curling up in the comfy chairs with smiles on our faces

By the time the evening was done, the number of pins had climbed to 354. (That’s 2.64 pins a minute, in case you were wondering.)

85 people had exchanged ideas and recipes, tips and suggestions for the best wine pairings, compliments on their favorite dishes. No one went home empty handed.

And you know the best part about this party? It’s still going on.

People have continued to add new pins to the board, making it a perpetual fountain of fresh ideas.

Don’t believe us? Check it out for yourself. See what treasures you find.

And hey, don’t be shy, let us know: what was your favorite part about the Food & Wine Pairings Pinning Party? What was your favorite pairing? Any suggestions for next time?

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It’s a Party! A Pairings Party! http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2014/03/pairings-pinning-party-invitation/ http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2014/03/pairings-pinning-party-invitation/#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2014 04:54:38 +0000 http://www.travelingvineyard.com/?p=4810 You are cordially invited To: All Traveling Vineyard Consultants When: March 19th, 7-9pm CT (5-7pm PT, 8-10pm ET) Where: A computer near you What to bring: Your amazing food & wine pairing abilities No travel necessary In celebration of your incredible skills and knowledge and our favorite wines, we’re throwing a party that you can […]

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we're having a pinning party

You are cordially invited

To: All Traveling Vineyard Consultants
When: March 19th, 7-9pm CT (5-7pm PT, 8-10pm ET)
Where: A computer near you
What to bring: Your amazing food & wine pairing abilities

No travel necessary

In celebration of your incredible skills and knowledge and our favorite wines, we’re throwing a party that you can get to from wherever you happen to be.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Pinterest.

(Pinterest, in case you didn’t know, is the best online forum for the sharing of visual treats, ranging from high fashion to Grumpy Cat memes to … wait for it … recipes).

On March 19th, you will have the opportunity to share, see, and comment on the best Food & Wine Pairings the Traveling Vineyard community can find – all in real time.

It’s a pinning party: great people with similar interests pinning their favorite stuff all at the same time.

How it works

It’s actually pretty simple – you just need to think about food and wine pairings that you love. You can do research ahead of time if you’re the do-ahead kind of person. Or you can just show up to the party and start looking across the Internet or on Pinterest itself for lovely food and wine pairings. The pairings can be ones that you’ve tried or new ones you have yet to try.

If you want some inspiration, check out our Sommology section

wine and food pairings


It’s a great opportunity not only to showcase your knowledge (and maybe steal some tempting recipes), but also to interact with other Traveling Vineyard Consultants from all over the place.

The logistics

Participating is easy. Send an RSVP to christine@travelingvineyard.com, letting us know you’ll be attending and giving us the email address and username associated with your Pinterest account.

If you don’t have a Pinterest account, it’s pretty easy to sign up:

 1. Go to Pinterest.

Go to Pinterest to get started

2. Using your Facebook, Google, or email account, sign up.

Using your Facebook, Google, or email account, sign up

3. Follow Traveling Vineyard on Pinterest.

4. You can stop there and send us the email address or username OR

5. You can start exploring. Pinterest is a pretty fun place.

Exploring Pinterest

6. When we’ve got your RSVP, we’ll add you to the board.

7. You’ll get a confirmation request so that you can be a part of this pretty great collaborative board. Accept our board request and you are on your way!

8. On the appointed day, log in, start looking for food and wine pairings to share, and use the pinning party hashtag (#TTVWinePairings) to make your contribution easy to find.

9. Enjoy!

And hey! In case you like a little competition, our favorite and most popular pin will end up on the cover of the board, prominently featured for all to see. Stay tuned for other surprises as we get closer to the event!

RSVP soon

So let us know that you’re coming to our pinning party and we’ll get you set up. We are absolutely here to answer any questions you may have and we’re very excited to see what pairings you come up with.

See you on March 19th!

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Those Crazy Wine Regulations: Massachusetts http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2013/12/wine-regulations-massachusetts/ http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2013/12/wine-regulations-massachusetts/#comments Wed, 04 Dec 2013 20:30:57 +0000 http://www.travelingvineyard.com/?p=4762 40 States allow the direct shipment of wine to consumers, why is the otherwise progressive and innovative bay state one of the last holdouts? It’s time for the Bay State to get with it! As the owner of a California winery living in Massachusetts I’m incredulous that I can’t receive the finished product (or even […]

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40 States allow the direct shipment of wine to consumers, why is the otherwise progressive and innovative bay state one of the last holdouts?
It’s time for the Bay State to get with it!

Welcome to Massachusetts

Welcome to Massachusetts

As the owner of a California winery living in Massachusetts I’m incredulous that I can’t receive the finished product (or even tank samples) of my own wine directly from our winery facility in California.

I know that this sounds like a selfish argument – but this issue affects every wine loving consumer in Massachusetts. It’s long past time for the Massachusetts State Legislature to get with it, pass HB 294 and finally change the antiquated, inefficient and unfriendly laws that prohibit the direct shipment of wine to Massachusetts consumers.

This bill (HB 294) like others before it in Massachusetts just can’t seem to make it past the legislative body, or worse, make it out of committee for a floor vote. This year a hearing was held by the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure on November 12, 2013. This committee has the responsibility to review all of the testimony (both written and verbal) and either decide to amend the bill or push it through for a floor vote. The big question is…WILL this get to the floor for a vote, and if so, WHEN will this happen? Similar bills to this in previous years have met a slow death due to a legislative committee disease called “languishing”.

Massachusetts is the second largest of nine states that currently prohibit winery-to-consumer wine shipments. The other states include: Utah, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, South Dakota, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Massachusetts is the second largest of nine states that currently prohibit winery-to-consumer wine shipments. The other states include: Utah, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, South Dakota, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

To provide some background on this topic. A Massachusetts law barring winery-to-consumer shipments from wineries producing more than 30,000 gallons per year and who retain Massachusetts wholesalers was ruled unconstitutional by District Court Judge Rya Zobel, and then affirmed by the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in January 2010. The legislature was expected to conform to the ruling by passing a bill similar to the model bill. In 2011, House Bill 1029 was introduced to conform to Judge Zobel’s ruling, but it “languished” (remember the legislative disease I referenced earlier?) in committee throughout 2012. House Bill 294 was introduced January 18, 2013.

I attended the hearing on HB 294 and actually testified (you can see the WBZ story here). This isn’t the most emotional topic facing the State this year so it’s hard to get thousands of consumers to drive to Boston, pay for parking and then spend the day waiting to testify (you had to wait for about 20 other bills to be heard before this one came up). However, there was a fair turnout for the proponents of the bill including a number of consumers! There was one person opposing and he was the lobbyist for a special interest group – The Massachusetts Package Store Association. (I wonder why they are against?) Surprisingly, they must not be too concerned about the impact of the direct shipment of wine – when I visited their web site for updates on recent news or legislation affecting their constituents this topic isn’t even there http://www.masspack.org/

The standard “red herring” arguments were offered by Masspak’s Executive Director Frank Anzalotti during his testimony “against” HB 294 — underage access, package store job loss and out of state wineries as potential tax scofflaws. These red herrings have been raised in many states and have been proven to be nothing more than misleading, unfounded and groundless. These standard red herring arguments were recently put to rest by a state mandated study to review newly enacted direct shipping legislation in Maryland by the Maryland state comptroller Peter Franchot. The study turned out to be overwhelmingly positive for consumers and the government (even to the surprise of the anti-direct wine shipping special interest lobbyists).

According to Franchot’s report, Maryland issued 629 direct wine-shipping permits, with 49,350 gallons of wine shipped directly to consumers during fiscal year 2012, compared with nearly 14.66 million gallons sold through Maryland wholesalers during that same period. Direct sales accounted for just 0.3 percent of the volume of wine sold in Maryland last year. Maryland collected $125,800 for the $200 permits, and $567,524 in tax revenue on those 49,000 gallons of wine sold through direct shipping.

Franchot also wrote that direct shipping created “a measurable positive impact for product availability and consumer choice.” As for direct-shipping opponents’ assertion that minors would gain easy access to alcohol by purchasing it online, “there have been no incidents of access to underage persons reported to the Office of the Comptroller,” Franchot wrote. “Additionally, there have been no significant complaints specific to the law or its implementation from the industry, permit holders or consumers in the 17 months since the law took effect.”

The Franchot report showed that direct shipping sales accounted for less than 1% of statewide wine sales; hardly enough to have any impact on package store jobs. In my opinion, IF direct shipping wine sales had a significant impact on statewide wine sales and DID have an impact on package store jobs – we would need to ask the question why is this industry protected and others are not? If job protection is the standard, then the state should bar every form of internet sales including books, records, hardware, and we should return to city ticket offices to purchase our airline tickets. A recent Boston Globe editorial on the subject called on Beacon Hill to “get moving” and to stop putting the interests of liquor stores ahead of consumers. The Globe editorial went on to say that it’s not the Legislatures job to shield package stores from all possible competition; it’s to set up fair rules for direct shipping – then get out of the way. The Boston Herald calls for the removal of “the insane restrictions on direct shipment of wine to consumers in Massachusetts” and we couldn’t agree with the states largest newspapers more. It’s time to get HB 294 out of committee and heard in the legislature.

The package store owners association would have you believe that thousands of underage Bay State teens are going to immediately go on line, wait two weeks for the delivery of fine wine, pay the burdensome shipping charges (wine is heavy – it costs about $30 to ship a case) and bypass the “adult only” signature required by the legislation and costs direct shippers of wine $5.00 per box. What the package store owners don’t tell you is that they are delivering state wide today – if underage access is the issue – shouldn’t they be worried about the same consequences?

Direct shipping should pass in Massachusetts this year or in the first quarter of 2014. If it doesn’t – there’s something really mysterious going on in the bowels of the Massachusetts state house and it’s called “stonewalling” Let’s “get with it” Massachusetts and free the grapes in 2013.


Free The GrapesIf you are interested in freeing the grapes in Massachusetts visit this page to contact your state legislator Free the Grapes Organization

awcclogoAnother valuable consumer site for wine shipping interests is the American Wine Consumer Coalition

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History of California Cabernet Sauvignon http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2013/11/history-of-california-cabernet/ http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2013/11/history-of-california-cabernet/#comments Fri, 01 Nov 2013 16:06:31 +0000 http://www.travelingvineyard.com/?p=4687 Cabernet grapes as we know them today date back some four centuries to the first cross-breeding of Franc and Sauvignon grapes in southern France. When the winemaking industry came to California and realized the great potential of the dry, warm climate, the history of California Cabernet Sauvignon took off. California’s temperate climate helps the Cabernet […]

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Cabernet grapes as we know them today date back some four centuries to the
first cross-breeding of Franc and Sauvignon grapes in southern France. When
the winemaking industry came to California and realized the great
potential of the dry, warm climate, the history of California Cabernet
Sauvignon took off. California’s temperate climate helps the Cabernet
grapes grow, though the versatile vines can thrive in many places that more
sensitive grapes cannot, making it one of the most productive wines in the
history of the state. How did it grow to such successful measures in
California?

Spanish Settlement

Long before the American colonists ever dreamed of throwing tea into the
Boston Harbor, California proved to be an attractive region for viniculture
of many varieties. The first grapes planted in the soil by Spanish
colonists and missionaries grew in the late 1600s, prior to the invention
of Cabernet Sauvignon itself. As the Cabernet grapes grew in popularity
across Europe, they spread into European colonies over the decades. The
first vineyard in California to ever maintain consistent productivity came
under the control of Franciscan priests located near San Diego. Father
Junipero Serra, remembered as the father of California wines, planted only
a smattering of Cabernet, since these grapes needed to be imported from
across the world at great cost. Most of the productivity of early Spanish
vines came from a hybrid grape resembling today’s Palomino grapes, and was
known as Mission Wine.

First American Involvement

When American settlers began to cross the continent (or take the longer
ships across South America) to get to California, they too realized the
great potential of the region for viniculture. A Frenchman named Jean Louis
Vignes, who hailed from the eponymous wine-making region of Bordeaux,
looked to establish a consistent plot in today’s Los Angeles. California
remained a backwater, however, until the gold rush of 1948, when settlers
crossed the Rocky Mountains and the demand for wine skyrocketed. Since
California was only minimally affected by the Civil War, the state enjoyed
great prosperity over the next half century, with wine production
increasing in turn. One of the pioneers of California Cabernets, Agoston
Haraszthy, helped to create new breeds by bringing vine cuttings from
Europe. By the turn of the century, California produced some ten million
cases of wine, some in redwood barrels when other timber supplies ran low.

European Wine Blight

One of the darker periods of wine history occurred in the late 1800s, when
European wine production bottomed out as a result of an aphid species that
wiped out French, German, and Spanish vineyards. The history of California
Cabernet Sauvignon became part of the history of international wine in the
1860s, because European wine producers had no choice but to import foreign
Cabernet vines and grapes that proved more resistant to the aphids. As a
result, almost all the native European Cabernet grapes died out, and much
of the European Cabernet we drink today originates from American vineyards.
Prohibition

In 1919, the federal government announced the criminalization of wine along
with beer and spirits. Overnight, wine production ceased due to the laws
against the creation, sale, or shipping of any types of alcohol. The price
of Cabernet grapes and wine shot up as supply bottomed out while demand
remained high: a ton of grapes that cost ten dollars in 1919 cost eighty
dollars in 1921 and a staggering four hundred dollars by 1924. Despite the
efforts of the government to keep drinking down, Cabernet continued to
flow, and eight years after Prohibition began, wine consumption in the USA
had doubled. Despite the booming sales, Cabernet at the time had extremely
low quality — much like the “bathtub gin” that bootleggers ran — since
winemakers could name their own prices. Prohibition ended in 1933, and,
ironically, wine consumption fell in the US to about half of its level
during alcohol’s criminalization. The damage had been done, however: out of
the 700 California wineries that produced Cabernet Sauvignon in 1919, only
about half survived Prohibition.

The Judgment of Paris

In 1976, British wine merchant and aficionado Steven Spurrier organized a
wine competition that would seek to crown the best producers of each
vintage between France and the United States. The belief that French wines
would reign supreme, espoused by Spurrier himself, was shattered when
California cabernets swept the blind taste-tests judgments; one French
judge even demanded her ballot back after the reveal. In the aftermath,
international demand for California wines spiked. Thirty years later, a
“Judgment of Paris” anniversary taste-test, with Spurrier again organizing
the event, re-affirmed the California dominance over their French
counterparts.

The Prominence Of Cabernet Sauvignon

Since the post-war era, Cabernet has been a major player in California wine
production. Seventy-five thousand acres of California countryside are
devoted to production, creating half a million tons of Cabernet grapes to
be pressed and fermented, with a full sixteen percent of all California
wine sales coming from Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, Napa Valley Cabernet
grapes retail for no less than five thousand dollars per ton, an average of
about fifty dollars per bottle. Many Napa winemakers hail directly or
indirectly from the Bordeaux region of France, including Clos de Val’s
connection to the Guestier family and Beaucanon’s connection to the de
Coninck family. Many more borrow from the Bordeaux business practices of
mixing together up to five different wine variants to produce the final
product, combining Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc with Merlot,
Verdot, and Malbec. French winemaking emphasizes no strict importance to
the percentages of each wine in a blend, instead dictating each be added
according to soil and climate. Unlike Bordeaux in France, however, which
enjoys only four soil types, California Cabernet grows in no less than 33
soil series to generate a rich variant of wine.

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Sniff, Sip, and Slurp – The Joys of Wine Tasting http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2013/08/sniff-sip-and-slurp-the-joys-of-wine-tasting/ http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2013/08/sniff-sip-and-slurp-the-joys-of-wine-tasting/#comments Fri, 30 Aug 2013 14:51:25 +0000 http://www.travelingvineyard.com/?p=4223 Wine experts always come up with the most enticing descriptions during wine tasting. They go on and on about hints of this and nuances of that, and after reading their wine critiques we all clamor for the wine that got impressive ratings from expert wine tasters. Then we suddenly get the urge to be an […]

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Wine experts always come up with the most enticing descriptions during wine tasting. They go on and on about hints of this and nuances of that, and after reading their wine critiques we all clamor for the wine that got impressive ratings from expert wine tasters. Then we suddenly get the urge to be an expert wine connoisseur. But no matter how passionately you play the role, in the end you will realize that you actually need to learn how to be a great wine tasting expert, you will need to educate yourself.

But where do you start?!

What are the tools needed to make the most out of every wine tasting experience you have? In this article, we will enumerate all the things that an amateur wine taster should know in order to reap the fun and the satisfaction that wine tasting is known to offer enthusiasts.

True Passion for Wine

Before venturing into the famous vineyards of California, France, and Italy, ask yourself if you are committed to the craft of wine tasting. Being a wine taster takes time and money. I mean, imagine all the hours you have to spend learning terminologies and getting familiar with the science of winemaking. You might also have to invest a lot of time on traveling to different regions of the country or even fly to popular overseas destinations.

Wine tasting is not the snobby activity that everybody assumes it to be, but it would really help if you have/save up enough money and get ready to spend, that is, if you want to delight your tastebuds with wines from all over the world, and what wine taster doesn’t want to do that?!

If you are traveling the world searching for good wine to taste, you don’t want to find yourself at a loss for words or money. Its more fun when you know what you are doing and when you can afford to taste any wine you want. But remember, when it comes to tasting the best wines, how much you spend won’t directly translate to more satisfaction, the more educated you are about wine, the more satisfied you will be with your wine tasting abilities.

Sharpen your Wine Tasting Skills

Beginners need to remember that wine tasting involves these four crucial activities:

  • Observation
  • Description
  • Comparison
  • Evaluation

Of course, you will need to use all of your senses when tasting wine. The sense of taste and smell are known to be very important, as it is through taste and smell that you will form your main criteria when judging between wines.

Beginners, don’t torture yourselves by memorizing all the words that experts commonly use when tasting wine. I mean, if you are into that, go ahead, but most people just do not want to waste a lot of time thinking about which exact term perfectly fits their observation. Use any word that you think perfectly describes the taste, aroma, texture, and feel of the wine. Remember that wine tasting is a subjective experience. So it is absolutely appropriate for you to simply describe your wine tasting experience with the first words that pop out of your head.

Comparing wine may be difficult for first time wine tasters or those who have not had the opportunity of experiencing a wide verity of wine varietals and vintages. Wine tasting comparison analysis will become natural for you as soon as your experience in wine tasting becomes more extensive over time.

Judging wine quality is highly subjective. What that tastes excellent for a sommelier may be disapproving to your palate. This doesn’t mean that you have bad taste though! Do not be discouraged if your observations are far different from everyone else. The differences in perception and opinion alone are more than enough to make wine tasting a very challenging and highly enjoyable activity for beginners and experts alike.

Be Consistent with your Wine Tasting Methods

The steps in tasting wine are simple and repetitive. This is most true when you are about to go into wine flights and wine tastings. To guarantee efficiency and accuracy, you will need to perform the steps in chronological order for each and every wine on your list.

An expert will tell you that the fastest way of mastering wine tasting is in this order:

Lift and See

Observe the color, texture, and consistency of the wine. The practice of tilting wines ensures that you see its true color. The presence of legs on the sides of the glass reflects the high alcohol content of the wine and directly identifies that it is full bodied by nature.

Swirl and Sniff

You really do not have to exaggerate the swirling motions as you really wouldn’t want to stain your expensive dress or suit. A subtle swirl really opens a wine’s true aroma. Place the glass a few inches away from your nose and perform a moderate sniff. Remember that a wine’s bouquet or aroma also contributes to the overall taste of the wine so make sure to perform the sniffing before taking a sip.

Sip and Swish

Wine tasting in essence is just, well, wine tasting. Experiencing wine excellence does not mean that you have to consume glasses of wine in one sitting. Take a short sip and let the wine travel across your tongue. Let it pass through all of your taste buds for a few seconds. Once you have tasted the sweetness, the acidity, the alcohol, and the tannins from the wine, spit it out. You don’t want to get drunk at a fancy wine tasting event, mostly because this will affect your judgment on the wines that you are evaluating. Remember to rest your taste buds for a few minutes and let the aftertaste fade before tasting more wines again.

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Traveling Vineyard Markets Charity Wine In Partnership With Living Beyond Breast Cancer http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2013/08/traveling-vineyard-markets-charity-wine-in-partnership-with-living-beyond-breast-cancer/ http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2013/08/traveling-vineyard-markets-charity-wine-in-partnership-with-living-beyond-breast-cancer/#comments Tue, 06 Aug 2013 18:54:44 +0000 http://www.travelingvineyard.com/?p=4464 Traveling Vineyard will release a new Cabernet Sauvignon in conjunction with Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC). One dollar from the sale of each bottle of this wine will be donated to LBBC. Traveling Vineyard, a direct marketer of wines through in-home wine tasting events, will release a new wine called the 2012 Rayado, Cabernet Sauvignon, […]

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Traveling Vineyard will release a new Cabernet Sauvignon in conjunction with Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC). One dollar from the sale of each bottle of this wine will be donated to LBBC.

Traveling Vineyard, a direct marketer of wines through in-home wine tasting events, will release a new wine called the 2012 Rayado, Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley, Chile in conjunction with Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC). LBBC is a non-profit that empowers all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life. One dollar from the sale of each bottle of Rayado will be donated to LBBC.

The new charity wine was inspired by a former wine consultant, Paigeann Mapley-Brittle who passed away in November, 2012 after a battle with breast cancer. Paigeann was a wife, mother and enthusiastic wine lover whose life was cut too short at the age of 42 from breast cancer.

Her husband, US army officer Jon Mapley-Brittle explains, “During her battle with breast cancer, Paigeann vowed that she would not let the disease define her. She vowed, ‘It won’t change who I am or what I do.’ She fought the cancer three separate times, and managed to run a full and a half-marathon after her first chemo to raise funds for cancer research. Her cancer came back twice, and the third time it was just too fast. But she was a fighter until the end. It makes sense that TTV would choose an organization that helps women and their families during their battle with cancer.”

According to Rick Libby, Traveling Vineyard’s Founder and Chief Grape Stomper, “The Rayado is a wine to represent a bold woman and an organization that supports courageous women like her who fight this disease every day.” The name Rayado translates as “pinstripe”, as in charity event attire, a nod to the fundraising aspect of the wine.

“It is through the generous support of partners like The Traveling Vineyard that LBBC programs and services are always provided to women diagnosed with breast cancer, their families and caregivers for no or little cost,” states Kevin Gianotto, the nonprofit’s Associate Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Corporate Partnerships. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with The Traveling Vineyard to raise the funds required to develop and present these resources that further LBBC’s vision of creating a world where no one impacted by breast cancer feels uninformed or alone.”
This Cabernet Sauvignon hails from the Colchagua Valley, an up and coming area of Chile. It is a beautifully intense and strong wine brimming with rich flavors of blackberries, raspberries and plums with a hint of oak. Blended with 15% Carmenère, Chile’s signature red grape, it makes the perfect offering as a cocktail or dinner wine.

TTV consultants at the company’s Annual Harvest convention held July 25-28 near Boston tasted tank samples of the Rayado and 11 other wines. The wines, both domestic and international, will be released over the next 90 days for tasting events. This is the largest number of new wines ever released by Traveling Vineyard since its inception.

View the Full Press Release

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9 Steps To Running A Fun And Successful Home Business http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2013/07/9-steps-to-running-a-fun-and-successful-home-business/ http://www.travelingvineyard.com/2013/07/9-steps-to-running-a-fun-and-successful-home-business/#comments Fri, 12 Jul 2013 13:20:58 +0000 http://www.travelingvineyard.com/?p=4155 Before you start a home business, you need to realize that running a small business can be quite challenging. As a business owner, you will likely have to deal with key aspects of such a business, including service/product delivery, financing and management, with little or no help. In view of this, you need to take […]

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Before you start a home business, you need to realize that running a small business can be quite challenging. As a business owner, you will likely have to deal with key aspects of such a business, including service/product delivery, financing and management, with little or no help. In view of this, you need to take some steps to ensure that your home based business is rewarding both personally and financially. Besides taking precautionary measures to ensure your business does not fail, you also need to make your business fun and interesting to ensure you do not lose interest in the business.

Here are 9 steps to running a home business successfully:

1. Create a Business Plan

Before you launch your business, you should make a plan that clearly outlines your business’s goals as well as projected growth. No matter how small your home business is, your business plan should detail how you intend to make enough sales to break even once you invest your finances into the business. Since one of the keys to attaining your sales target is business growth, you plan should also outline the measures you intend to put in place to attract customers and improve your business over time. However, while a business plan should ideally be clear and specific, you should be willing to adapt your plan to changing circumstances once you implement it. As your business grows, you will probably learn more about business management and as such, you will need to adjust your business plan accordingly.

2. Creating and Organizing Your Workstation

One of the key advantages of a home-based business is the fact that you do not have to remain restricted to your workstation for long periods of time. However, if you want to run your business efficiently, you need to create a professional workstation to make business processes such as filing, business accounting and storage easier.

3. Complete All the Necessary Requirements

In order for your home-based business to succeed, ensure that you complete all the basic business requirements before you start running it. Some of the important requirements you need to address include:

  • Create an efficient business accounting method: An efficient accounting system makes it easier to run a profitable business since you are able to account for all receivables and payables.
  • Obtain the necessary permits and licenses: To avoid potential legal complications, make sure you meet all your state’s requirements in terms of business licenses and permits before you launch your business operations.

4. Stay Organized

Once you launch your business, make sure you organize your time, finances, inventory and family life (if you have one) properly to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Take time each day to organize and review your work schedule, especially if you have children at home. If you are not well organized, your family may distract you from your work or vice versa. If this happens, it may take all the fun out of the process running of your business and affect your success.

5. Take Time to Enjoy the Freedom and Flexibility

Once your business starts running smoothly, ensure you take a break from work occasionally to avoid fatigue. As a home business owner, you have the freedom to take a few hours or a day off to relax and reinvigorate yourself so that you are able to run your business efficiently. Even though it may be difficult to take time off when your business starts growing, you are unlikely to be productive if you work in a fatigued state.

6. Network

Even if you are working/running a business from home, you should not forget to network in professional business circles, especially if you want to grow your business and attract more customers. For instance, you can network by joining organizations that support local small businesses or attending functions in your community to meet potential clients. Additionally, you can also create an online presence using a website or social media profile for your business.

7. Remain Focused

If you do not meet your profit or growth projections, do not get discouraged. It normally takes time to build a successful and stable business. If you remain focused and dedicated to accomplishing your goals, your business would be more likely to succeed. One of the best ways to ensure you remain focused is by structuring your workdays properly. During days when business is slow, it may be tempting to take a nap or watch TV since you do not have a boss to tell you what to do. However, if your workdays have a clear structure, it is easier to focus on your vision for your business.

8. Conduct Regular Progress Reviews

In order to succeed at anything, you need to motivate yourself. As a home business owner, you can do this by keeping track of the progress your business is making. One of the best ways to review such progress is by setting goals for your business and then working to towards attaining specific goals. Once you achieve any of your goals, you can reward yourself, for example, you can buy yourself something nice that will always motivate you to work even harder, but you must be mindful of your budget when doing that.

9. Know Your Business

Most successful business owners have one thing in common: they stay informed about current events in their field of business in order to ensure they remain competitive. In order to run a successful home business, it is vital to keep up to date with the trends and events in your industry. By doing so, you would be able to remain ahead of your business competitors.

Conclusion

Overall, the challenges of running a home based business may differ from one business to another depending on factors such as the size and function of each business. However, irrespective of the type of business you start, you can overcome any obstacles and make your financial and time investment worthwhile if you remain focused on your business goals as outlined on your business plan.

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