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Aug 24

Cincinnati Losers

That’s a compliment.

Seven women, myself included, have gotten together via Twitter and started a blog. The goal? Weight loss, and we’ve all decided it’s easier when you’ve got support – and an audience.

Come join us over at Cincinnati Losers, where you’ll find Julie from Wine Me Dine Me, Amy from Amy in Ohio, Kate from Kate’s Random Musings, Laura from Laura’s Carbon Footprint, Shannan from MommyBits, our friend Monika, and myself.

Each of us is responsible for posting on a specific day each week (I’m Wednesdays) and reporting on our progress, thoughts, and whatever else is relevant to our journey.

We’re all approaching weight loss with different goals and different methods. Our main goal, more than pounds, is to just get healthy. So come root us on!

Photo from Flickr user squarepants2004/auntyula
under a Creative Commons license.

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Posted by Michelle at 8:34 pm in Cincinnati | Permalink | Comments ()
Aug 22

Reader Input: McWilliams Wines Interview


I’m meeting with Scott McWilliams of Australia’s McWilliams Wines on Monday morning. (I just found out.) Overall, I’m interviewing him for an article I’m writing for Taste.  However, I will probably also use some of the information for the blog – especially if I get reader input.

What questions do you have for Scott McWilliams, winemaker?

Let me know and I’ll be sure to get them answered.

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Posted by Michelle at 1:25 pm in Knowledge | Permalink | Comments (1)
Aug 22

Featured Cincinnati Wine Events 8/22- 8/28

Don’t forget to sign up for the wine tasting benefiting the Krystal Pepper Memorial Scholarship. It’s Sept 11, 6-8 pm at the Party Source. Pre-registration only. Sign up here.

Brewhahaposter_2 This week, the wine scene picks back up a little, just as your kids are heading back to school.

Tonite and tomorrow is the Brew-Ha-Ha at Sawyer Point, with over 70 different types of beer available by the sample or by the glass. I’ve always thought Brew-Ha-Ha was one of the most creative ideas, and names, for an event.

Also this week are a couple wine dinners, two by Little Sonoma and one at Eddie Merlot’s. This weekend is also jam-packed with events.

For information on what’s going on in Dayton, you can refer to Mark’s blog at Uncorked.

Tell the retailers we sent you, and have a great weekend!

Map IconFriday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Map IconSaturday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Featured events are after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Michelle at 10:06 am in Weekly Cincinnati Wine Events | Permalink | Comments ()
Aug 21

Blog Synchronicity

It’s odd when you can have two unrelated posts that go together very well in hindsight. The example of this would be the "Game On" and "Restaurant Not Required" posts from yesterday. Looking a little deeper, it looks like the intent of the Wine Spectator snafu was to add publicity for an upcoming book and had slightly more to the story than had been previously mentioned.

Wine Spectator added their side of the story to their forum here and it turns out that Goldstein fulfilled all the requirements that Spectator checks to confirm the existence of the restaurant: website, Chowhound, phone number. A little more work than just submitting the forms as he implied on his blog. Also it looks like the 15 wines he highlighted were just part of the 256 wines submitted of which 53 were rated higher than 90 points on their archaic numerical scale. Full Disclaimer: I still prefer our pictorial approach here at My Wine Education.

So good news for everyone. People who dislike "The Speculator" get ammo as there was a miss by the magazine in presenting the award, Goldstein gets extra publicity for his book, the blog-o-sphere gets all wound up over half a story, and Wine Spectator lovers get to point out how no one gives the magazine any love by going off half-cocked with only half the story. I guess it’s all part of the marketing/publicity game and I don’t have to like it, especially when no value has been added to my life. I will still read WS, but then again I’m a sucker for pretty pictures.

Well played, Internet. Game on.

More can be found with Mark at Uncorked or Alder at Vinography

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Posted by Michelle at 2:59 pm in Wine Blogs | Permalink | Comments (1)
Aug 21

Game On!

Over the last decade, wine has become more approachable. From easier to read labels to consumer-focused and consumer-written wine blogs (waving hello!), it’s just getting easier to learn about wine.

In the learning field, we often add games to our courses, whether online or in person. Experts will tell you that adults learn better when they can apply their knowledge. Of course, adults also learn better when they’re playing a game, and the learning isn’t as obvious. They’re having too much fun.

No where is this more evident than in the world of wine. Two new wine games have hit the market recently. In Europe, there is the Dutch game, 4xProeven (Tastingx4), which combines a board game with four bottles of wine. Here in the US we have Karafe. I’ve yet to play either of these games, but here’s what I know so far:



This game is a brilliant move for marketers all over. Wine publicists should pounce on this. The carton folds out to become a game board. Inside the carton are six half-bottles of wine that are somehow related (ie, all Australia), six numbered bottle sleeves, playing chips, instruc­tions, additional information and tasting notes.  Players first select a game leader, who sleeves the wines. After that, there are three different games that can be played:

  • ‘Name and Blame’: taste all six wines and guess which numbered bottle belongs to which wine label
  • ‘Dare to Compare’: compare two wines at a time
  • ‘Grip the Grapes’: determine the two dominant flavours of each wine

This is a fantastic way to introduce people to new wines and let them get to know the wine in a fun and relaxed environment. As far as I know, this game is curently available only in Europe.



I own this game. The nice publicist for Karafe sent me a free copy and I’ve yet to play it. My weekends have been filled and this game doesn’t appear to be quick. From glancing at it and reading the instructions, it seems like an adult version of Life, Monopoly, and Trivial Pursuit, all rolled into one.

Truthfully, I’m rather eager to play it, although slightly fearful that my wine knowledge is lacking. The object of the game is to make the most money through the process of producing and selling wine. Yep, in this game, you get to be a winemaker. It starts with acquiring cash, then land, then growing and harvesting, bottling, and finally selling the wine.

To move forward, you the dice. Each space has a monetary amount or instruction. You can acquire cash or buy more acres. Eventually, you can start bottling, harvesting, or selling per the instructions on the space. You must answer a question correctly before you can recieve the asset (acres, bottles, cash, etc). 

There are two levels of questions: Sippers and Connoisseurs. Sippers have slightly easier questions. (This is helpful if you’re playing with a sommelier. They have less of an advantage this way.)

  • Example Sippers question: When decanting a younger red wine, it is best to pour quickly in order to allow the wine to splash against the side of the glass. True or false? (True)
  • Example Connoisseurs question: What is the term for the flaky deposit sometimes found in the older, bottle-aged wines, particularly port, which requires the wine to be decanted to remove it?
  • A) beeswing B) dust C) fermentos D) foliage  (A beeswing)

Occasionally, a player will receive a Wine Taste Test question. Ah yes, there is drinking in this game too. The player must turn their heads while someone else pours the wine. The drinker must then identify the wine. It’s recommended for everyone to taste each wine and make a note of them before the game begins. For more difficult tastings, you could have four similar wines; for easier tastings, you can use four starkly different wines.
When we do get around to playing this game, we’ll definitely let you know.

So there you go. Two completely different approaches to wine  games, but both educational and fun.

My thanks to Kevin Dugan for the tip about 4xProeven and for the title of this post!

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Posted by Michelle at 7:00 am in Entertainment, Knowledge, Tastings, Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments (1)

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