Monday, May 30, 2011

The Ancient Fire Wine Blog is Jumping Off!

Just over a year ago I got started on my adventure of sharing my food, beverage and travel stories in a blog. Some of the earliest content of note were recaps from a pub crawl in Montreal, the WineMaker Magazine Annual Conference and the Oregon & Washington wines my wife and I tasted on that trip. I wasn’t sure where all this was going, and admittedly I still don’t think I do, but my blog has taken me to new places, given me the opportunity to meet many new people and has opened some doors to new challenges that I am now happily going to grab on to.

I will be shifting my focus from the Ancient Fire Wine Blog a bit, but with good reason; and I hope many of you will come along for the ride. I came to the community of food bloggers as a home winemaker and adventurous wine taster, and diversified into other areas as I felt my way around. Some of those choices resonated well with the audience, but I wasn’t sure my content and my audience were calibrated as well as could be. I’m not going stop writing about food, although I might write about it a bit less, and only because I need to focus on making beer and wine to share. I will be writing more about making wine, beer, cider and mead, wine tasting, wine travel and all the friends I have made through these activities.

Late last year I came across The Unreserved, a new community for food, wine and travel lovers sponsored by WinExpert, a manufacturer of home winemaking kits and a product line I know well. Membership was free and the primary focus of the community was the creation of blog posts about wine & beer making, food, travel and building relationships between like minded folks. After cross pollinating posts there for a few months I noticed a good deal of interactivity and felt I was getting closer to my optimal audience. Early this year I was contacted by The Unreserved community management staff and asked if I could fill in for a team member who had to take a personal leave. I was asked to author several articles per month and otherwise be an active participant in the community, commenting on other people’s work, welcoming new members and marketing the site via Twitter and Facebook. These were activities I was already participating in and I felt there was considerable potential that I could reach even more of the winemaking & wine appreciation community this way. I have and continue to enjoy the group that I am getting to know there as well.

Well, that gig has expanded! I am now a permanent member of their community management team with additional social networking and site design responsibilities! In the coming months there will several changes at the site to increase the type of interactions visitors can participating it, promotions with great prizes and a growing stream of content by folks who are having adventures of their own. I am tasked with growing the membership and I firmly believe that there are many people out there who will find new ideas and new connections that will make this possible. Come check out The Unreserved and watch for my tweets and posts about changes and new activity that will keep you coming back.

( Cheryl, Christina, Me & Margot at the conference awards dinner. )

Margot and I attended the WineMaker Magazine Confernece again this year in sunny Santa Barbara, CA. This trip was exciting for several reasons including a new winemaking region, new wines, a speaking gig for me, old & new friends and the potential for competition success. Our posts from the trip are going up beginning this week in all the places where you will find my writing, which will now include WineMaker Magazine and their blog! This is huge for me and I must start off with a heartfelt thank you to the staff of WineMaker Magazine. They work themselves ragged to put the conference on and it truly was excellent. Being included as a speaker was a unique opportunity for me, one that I thoroughly enjoyed. My post about it is going to make a lot of you laugh, especially when I relate some of the “wine nerd” jokes my wife was killing the table with at the awards dinner!

WineMaker is the most successful home, amateur and small winery magazine out there. I have been a reader for years and they definitely have considerable connections and opportunity for visibility of and with many different people. The thematic slant of my articles is definitely towards making wine & mead so expect stories about recipes, projects, tips and how I enjoy my creations each month at WineMaker Magazine! I will be spreading the word when my bio and writing starts showing up in the WineMaker channel and I hope some of my foodie friends will go and check it out. Maybe, you’ll even get the itch to try making some of your own. I happen to know someone who loves teaching people how to do it…

Here’s what’s coming up in the next week:

~~ Ancient Fire Wine Blog
    The Food & Drink of Santa Barbara
    Los Olivos Wine Tasting
    Frosting For A Cause & The Relay For Life (6/5)

~~ The Unreserved
    Speaking at the WineMaker Conference
    2 new wine reviews

I am hoping this adventure takes me even farther and higher, and I hope you all enjoy it. I’ve never stopped enjoying reading the stories from this community and can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with next!




Sippity Sup said...

Good luck! It sounds exciting... GREG

Melanie said...

Congratulations, Jason! Can't think of anyone better for the gig!

Tastemonials said...

Congratulations! What an exciting new adventure for you. I am envious. I have just decided to quit my full time job, so who knows - maybe I'll find something fun to do as well.

Brant Burgiss said...

Sounds like you're gonna be busy writing! Am looking forward to reading your posts. Good luck!

Chris and Amy said...

Congrats!!! Looking forward to hearing more!!!

Pam @ Sticks Forks Fingers said...

Jason, this is terrific news! How wonderful for you. I hear your point of view coming even clearer with this very post about your transition. I've not heard of The Unreserved, and am checking it out this very minute.

Isn't it grand where life takes you if you don't fight it???

My very very very best,

Anonymous said...

Just read newsletter & there's a comment about you had a tip to sweeten back strawberry wine with more strawberry flavor, color & aroma - will you share your tip with us?

Lori Lynn said...

Congrats! Best wishes for continued success Jason!

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

Belated congratulations on all of this exciting news! I can't wait to hear more about it!

Leslie Uhl said...

Jason, I am so excited for you, it sounds like so much fun! Good luck on your new gig and I will be checking out all of your links!

Kate said...

they couldn't have gotten anyone better :-) Congrats on the new gig!!