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Fame.  Wealth. Unlimited wine samples (don’t forget that FTC disclaimer though). Rock star treatment at wineries.  Groupies.  World travel to renowned wine regions.

Oh, wait, I’ve never experienced those lifestyle perks as a result of wine blogging.  That lifestyle is reserved for wine demigods like Gary Vaynerchuk (big ups to him for his amazing work ethic!) and to a lesser extent Robert Parker. 😉

For wine blogging neophytes like me, the benefits I draw from wine blogging are perhaps less glamorous, but equally, if not more, important!  The benefits I’ve personally gained  since I started this blog 16 months ago include a few wine samples, access to a few tasting events and wine festivals via media passes, but most importantly I have met some awesome people and have built friendships that will long out last DrinkWhatYouLike.com.

Last night I had the chance to take advantage of wine blogging’s biggest benefit – meeting fellow wine enthusiasts and bloggers.  I had the chance to meet up with Brian of TheOther46 blog, and Randy of TheWineWhore blog.  I’ve had drinks with Randy before during a previous trip to Tampa, but never had the chance to meet up with.  Finally, last night we were all able to meet up, drink and talk wine.

Meetup at Wine Room

Although Randy is about to leave on a trip to Europe, he still drove up from Tampa to meet us in Orlando at The Wine Room (no distance too far for wine).  After a few glasses from the enomatic machines, it was time for food and a couple of bottles.  Since I publically chided Randy via Twitter for the bottle of wine he selected during our first meetup in Tampa, I was on the hook to select a great first bottle of the night.

Selecting a bottle of wine to share with two people who know a lot about wine can be a daunting task, but I welcomed the challenge of showcasing my wine selection prowess.  I spent about 5 minutes scurrying around the Wine Room looking for a stand-out white to begin with – as time elapsed, I panicked and decided to go with what I consider a reliable standby to start an evening – Sancerre.

Ok, so I learned that all Sancerre is not created equally, and that I really don’t have wine selecting prowess.  The Domaine Hippolyte Reverdy 2007 Sancerre ($23) was a flop, a cross between watered down lemon water and a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that had been left out overnight.  Lesson Learned: Don’t select a crappy bottle of wine after kidding someone else about the bottle they selected during your last meetup.

Belle GlosOur second bottle of the night was a little better – the Belle Glos Santa Barbara 2007 Pinot Noir ($50).  Belle Glos (pronounced Bell Gloss) was named after Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, co-founder of Caymus Vineyards.  I really liked the nose, but this one could be the poster child for unbalanced wine.  The nose was full of cherry, some strawberry, earth, and an intense cinnamon aroma.  Unfortunately, the aroma profile was not matched by the flavors – I picked up a surly isopropyl alcohol flavor from the initial taste all the way through the finish.  Randy commented that this wine might benefit from some time in the decanter- I’ll go with a “maybe” on that one.

Despite the less-than-stellar wines I had a great time catching up and talking wine – perhaps ‘the’ biggest benefit of wine blogging!