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Feb 21

Congratulations!

Toast_1 Many congratulations to the winners of the American Wine Blog Awards, all very deserving and great-to-read blogs. Cheers!

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Posted by Michelle at 1:00 pm in Wine Blogs | Permalink | Comments ()
Feb 20

Blending Wine X Magazine & Adult Learning Styles

As I’m sure you’ve read by now, Wine X magazine is no more. Everyone has been weighing in on the demise, and on the not-so-sporting comments from founder & editor Darryl Roberts, as quoted in Decanter.

I’ve waited all day to get my thoughts together on this and still, I think they may just be random, so my apologies. You see, due to my career in elearning and collaborative learning, I tend to think of a lot of things from the perspective how people learn. You’d be suprised how analyzing how people learn affects everything from education to marketing.

Right now, in the world of education, we are facing the Silver Generation (sorry guys, it’s the Baby Boomers and older) and the Millenials, or Digital Natives. In between, we have the Cuspers, or Gen X and some of Gen Y.

Adults are interactive learners. Across the board, adults will learn more if they are somehow involved, via interactivity, via audio, or just via visual. In addition, the Silver Gen is accustomed to traditional learning styles, including sitting in a classroom and reading a textbook and needing to remember what they read. The Digital Native set is accustomed to the Internet – they can’t imagine a time when there wasn’t an Internet. These folks want their information delivered just in time and at their fingertips – engaging information relevant to the task at hand. In fact, they don’t worry as much about retaining the information as retaining where to access that information. Cuspers, like me, bridge the Generation Gap. We are accustomed to the traditional learning styles but we are adapting, rapidly, to the digital approach of just-in-time, meaningful learning.
Winex
So now you have a very basic idea of what is going on in the field of adult education. Now apply that knowledge to Wine X magazine. Originally, I believe they were aiming at me – the Cuspers, Gen X and some of Gen Y. However, as we moved forward and began to cross the digital divide, I’m not sure if Wine X magazine came with us. While I was never blown away by their web site, at least they had a strong web presence. For those of us who crossed the digital divide, though, that’s not always enough. 

I was able to read several issues of Wine X over the years, and I sort of felt like I had left Wine X behind. I had moved forward in technology and truly, I found their pop-culture-littered wine reviews were more like attempts to be trendy than actual content. In fact, the whole magazine made me feel like they were trying too hard to be cool. It seemed forced. At some point, I felt like I was no longer their chosen demographic – that perhaps they were reaching out for the slightly younger generation with their writing.

The thing is, print just doesn’t completely cut it anymore. In instructional design, we’re learning that to be effective, information needs to flow freely, be available whenever our students need it in addition to a formal courses. We call it blended learning and the traditional course (whether in person or in "e") is now being effectively blended with collaborative conversation via wikis, blogs, and message boards. Via web sites with RSS feeds for all students to access.

Magazines wanting to attract the digital adapters (cuspers) and the following generations need to take these learning styles into account. We don’t just want to read your magazine. We want to discuss it, grow it, and contribute to the conversation. So come up with something and count me in to help you. I think we need a non-stodgy alternative, available to everyone whenever they’re in the mood. Although I was always annoyed by the writing style, I’ll still miss Wine X magazine and it’s intent, if not it’s execution.

There you go. My slightly convoluted thoughts, rather late on inthe evening, on where media needs to go, wine or otherwise, based on how people learn. I love it when I get a chance to combine two of my passions.

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Michelle at 11:59 pm in News | Permalink | Comments (2)
Feb 19

Green Truck

This weekend I was poking around the Internets and stumbled upon Green Truck Cellars. It’s a 1-man operation run by Kent Fortner. The web site is extensive and very much like a good story. You have the opportunity to learn about everything from Kent and the truck to the exact grapes he chooses to use in his quest to create a perfect pinot noir. You’ll enjoy the story.
I was touched by the entire web site and without hesitation signed up to be a "Trucker." Kent makes small batches – around 200 cases I think – and he has many restaurants on his list. Truckers get first dibs though, and I’m interested to try it. Current budget crunches kept me from ordering even a half-case, so I’ll have to make do with 3 bottles, but I’m excited to try his 2005 vintage.
One of the great things about wine is that sometimes the little guy can put all his heart and soul into something and when you get to try it, you get to taste that passion. I’m looking forward to it.

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Michelle at 2:43 pm in Wineries | Permalink | Comments (1)
Feb 19

WBW #31: Boxed Wines & Non-Traditional Packaging

Wbwlogo_2_1
WBW #31 has been announced: Boxed Wines. Try to avoid the Franzia.
I’ve been thinking about boxed wines for a few days, as referenced in my previous post. I recently got to try some Target boxed wine, which wasn’t half bad. So I’ve been hoping to find some better quality wine-in-a-box. I already know what I’m going with, though, and I’m looking forward to the "excuse" to buy it. If you’re unfamiliar with boxes and alternative packaging, head on over to Roger’s blog to pick up some tips.

You can read more about this month’s WBW and open your mind to the box by March 14.

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Michelle at 11:49 am in WBW | Permalink | Comments ()
Feb 18

Going Once, Going Twice – Sold on a Brilliant Idea

Perhaps everyone was aware of this but me.
Alder wrote today about how to taste wines you can’t afford. 1964 Latour. 1967 Lafite Rothschild.
Go to a pre-auction tasting. For around $50 – $70, you can taste wines that most of us can only dream about. How wonderful to find out that a bordeaux really should taste like this, or that the cult cabernet is just another glass of cabernet, without anything special but a name. How wonderful to not pay hundreds, or thousands of dollars for these wines …
I’m positively in love with this idea.  A quick google search let me know that the closest I’m going to get to a fine & rare wine auction with a tasting is by heading 5 hours north to Chicago. Now, Chicago is one of my favorite places in the world, and I don’t mind the drive. I’ve made a promise to myself that Kevin & I will get to two of these tastings this year. I’ll be watching the ERI site and the Sotheby’s site, as they both have wine speciality houses in Chicago. Looks like the next one in Chicago is April 1, which we can’t attend. But I suspect there will be more …
Thanks, Alder, for the great idea!

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Posted by Michelle at 10:38 pm in Tastings, Wine Events | Permalink | Comments (1)

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