Best New Wine Blog!!
Last Saturday evening, while sitting in a large banquet hall filled with wine bloggers from around the world in downtown Portland’s Doubletree Hilton Hotel, the lights were dimmed and the Wine Blog Award winners were soon to be announced during the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference. As notable names of wine blogs; such as, Jordan Winery, New York Cork Report, Ken’s Wine Guide, King Estate Winery and WineOh TV (to name a few)appeared on the two large screens, I was so excited to see WineJulia among such well-known wineries and talented wine writers, wine reviewers and marketing gurus.
Out of nine Wine Blog Awards categories, which included Best Blog Post of the Year, Best Original Video or Photography on a Wine Blog, Best Industry Wine Blog, Best Wine Reviews on a Wine Blog, Best Writing on a Wine Blog, Best Single Subject on a Wine Blog, Best Winery Wine Blog and Best Overall Wine Blog, WineJulia.com was announced a couple months ago as a finalist in the Best New Wine Blog category.
One thing many people don’t know about me is that I have a tremendous fear of being on stage. I never took drama classes during my school years, and I somehow got out of speech class in high school and college. I’ve shied away from the spotlight and avoided public speaking my whole life, so when WineJulia.com was announced the winner of the Best New Wine Blog category, I had no choice but to stand up and face my fears head-on.
It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be; in fact, I was so incredibly thankful for the recognition that my fears literally dissipated, and I didn’t even trip on the way to the stage, fall on the stairs up to the stage or stumble on my words. My excitement and gratitude overwhelmed my fears, and for the first time in my life, I was okay with being in the spotlight in front of hundreds of people.
Although accepting the award in front of hundreds seemed easy breezy, as a winner, I was expected on stage the following morning for a winners Q&A session that definitely caused some rattling of the nerves. For a little over an hour, the three winners that were present for the conference gathered on stage for questions from Tom Wark, creator of the first American Wine Blog Awards and well-known wine blogger and owner of Fermentation, A Daily Wine Blog, along with questions from the audience. I tried not to worry too much about the questions, and instead focused on learning from the two seasoned professionals I was sharing the stage with.
One of the questions Tom Wark asked me that I wish I would have answered better was regarding how other wine blogs and wine bloggers have influenced me. Although I don’t have enough time to read as many blogs as I’d like to, there is one in particular that I wish I had mentioned on stage during the Q&A: Snooth.
I’m a Snooth Mentor, and I’m really proud to be a part of the world’s largest and most comprehensive wine website. As a mentor, I represent the wines of the Willamette and Umpqua Valleys, and I really enjoy sharing stories and wine reviews with others in this very interactive and educational wine website. Over the years, Snooth has been my go-to website for many wine related topics, and I’m truly grateful to be a part of such an impressive and dedicated community of wine enthusiasts. Without a doubt, Snooth.com has influenced me in many ways, and I regret not mentioning a website that I truly love and have gained much knowledge from.
Even though I missed the opportunity to chime in on matters that are really important to me as a wine blogger, I surprisingly made it through the Q&A okay. Seeing WineJulia.com on the big screen in the banquet room made me feel remarkably proud and incredibly thankful to all who voted for WineJulia. With the help of Eugene Daily News, where I’m the Food & Wine Editor in addition to having ownership, I have big plans for the world’s Best New Wine Blog, WineJulia.com. I’m energized by this accomplishment and I’m looking forward to sharing in detail each of the events of the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference. From lunch prepared at Youngberg Hill Vineyards & Inn by Chef Christopher Czarnecki of the famed Joel Palmer House, to blending my own wine at R. Stuart & Company with owners Rob and Maria Stuart along with dozens of events in between, I have a lot of pictures and memories that I look forward to sharing.
Thanks to everyone who voted for WineJulia.com…we did it!
Next up: Youngberg Hills Breathtaking Beauty.