Thursday, August 13, 2009


WINE BLOGGERS to the right of me; WINE BLOGGERS to the left of me....WINE BLOGGERS everywhere....with a MAC in hand and WINE on their mind, this group of forty or so RADIO-FACED, NEW-AGE JOURNALISTS descended upon VINI PORTUGAL'S ( and Ryan and Gabriella's CATAVINO ( pre-European Wine Blogger's Conference get together at the newly opened and much anticipated (May 2009) Portuguese restaurant, Aldea (31 West 17th Street, NYC).


The setting was surreal...ALDEA is a Portugese restaurant that is somewhat traditional and modern at the same presents itself like Frank Lloyed Wright in a tuxedo meets Martha Stewart in a housedress. This brand new restaurant smelled like the interior of a hot new sports car that was driven through a chorizo factory.

Chef George Mendes's (Google him...he is nearly famous) food makes you experience the moment. Rooted in the past, combined with a flair for Portuguese spirit, Chef Mendes's innovative cerebral fancy food is not about conceptual flavor, but rather, taste, which lets you know you are in Portugal.

The food served (too many to list) and paired with wines are all found on Aldea's website: Yes, the cornucopia of food and wine was great and unfortunately beyond most aspiring cook's abilities.

George Mendes's sights are set on the next meal before he has even digested the last.

To satisfy my curiosity, I returned to Aldea the next evening for a meal. Not only was my curiosity satisfied, but my food and wine fantasies were met beyond expectation.

George Mendes and his creation, Aldea, are the real deal. He creates memorable food with enduring tradition.

George's culture and heritage are a tribute to what is in store for all of the bloggers who plan on attending the European Wine Blogger's Conference in Lisbon on October 30th through November 1st.

The conference's main sponsor is Vini Portugal, whose mission is to promote Portuguese wines (in our case), brandies and vinegars to international audiences and to provide strategic support for the Portuguese wine sector.

Portugal is now on the radar screen in the wine world and is headed toward a bull's eye.

A short quiz:

Alvarino Arinto Encruzado Fernao Pires Loureiro Aragones Baga Touriga Franca
Touriga National Trincadeira


Portuguese wines are hip because they are the result of winemaking traditions introduced by ancient civilizations dating back to the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Carthginians.

The Portuguese originally exported wine to Rome during the reign of the Roman Empire.

In the 12th Century, Portuguese wines were the talk of England.

In the 14th century, Henry the Navigator brought the Moscatel and Malvasia grape to the newly discovered island of Madeira.

Modern trade with England began in 1703 after the Methuan Treaty was signed.

From the North to the South, Portugal has a wealth of still wines, apart from the Port and Madeira.

At the EUROPEAN WINE BLOGGERS CONFERENCE, we will have first-hand opportunity to both visit the vineyards and taste the wines that we write about.

The conference has many seminars that are geared to help our blogging skills.

If you are into tech, you can take Basic Blogging 101; Video Blogging; Tech Tools and Gadgets; and Social Media (Twitter, Ablegrape, etc.) Blogging.

If your interest as a blogger is marketing, the following sessions are offered to help your blogging skills: Wine Tourism and Social Media; Winery and Wine Blog Relations; Wine Blogging Ratings and Monetizing the Social Wine Brand.

The DOURO BOYS, with the help of the sponsors, have arranged a memorable grand wine tasting and dinner for all of the bloggers.

The conference will address "THE FUTURE OF THE SOCIAL WINE BRAND." The conference is unique, as it is 100% participant created. It is about you, the wine blogger, the wine maker, the wine importer and distributor and the wine retailer.

Since the conference is 100% participant created, the pricing is fair (thanks to the sponsors), unlike other profit-driven wine conferences and tastings most of us have encountered.

For $150 (the deal of a lifetime) wine bloggers can attend the October 30th-November 1st Conference in Lisbon that includes:
1) A day of visits to three Portuguese wine regions
2) Two dinners and two lunches (wine included, of course)
3) Grand tasting featuring Portuguese wines
4) Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday (hopefully, wine is included)
5) Live blogging sessions, where you will try and rate wines presented by vintners
6) Conference participation including keynote speakers, breakout sessions and networking opportunities
7) Sponsor related events
8) Discounted hotel rates

All of this plus, if you want to stay a couple of extra days after the event, many vineyards are willing to host your visit.

This is a no-brainer!

There is no reason not to attend the European Wine Bloggers Conference in Lisbon.

Without the sponsors, the cost of the event would be enormous. As a blogger, we must thank and support the sponsors, who are making this trip affordable and essential for us to attend.
Wine Conversation
Vini Portugal
Douro Boys
Vinhos Do Alenteio
Enteco De Belem
Herdade Do Esporao
Wine Blogger

Lisbon is the place to be...Nightlife, cuisine that will knock you out, architecture that will transcend you to another era and wines made for kings and queens.

This is the event of a lifetime and truly an event where you can learn from others.

An event where you can make your voice heard!

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