Category Archives: Virtual Vino LIVE

What fun I had with my friends, the “Media Mavens”!

Pam Pearson, Cathi Hatch, Nicole Vogel

Yesterday, Nicole Vogel, Founder and Publisher of SagaCity Media (Seattle Met Magazine, Portland Monthly Magazine plus 25 other magazine publications) and Pam Pearson, General Manager of Q-13 FOX TV and JOE TV in Seattle and NW 32 TV in Portland joined me at my home to taste wines together for our new Virtual Vino LIVE online shows.

Brian Calvert & Cathi

It was a blind tasting (though our moderator, Brian Calvert, kept saying that “We were blindly tasting . . .” which was not true!) of three separate Sauvignon Blancs.  Our job was to taste each wine, select a favorite and then try to guess the retail price of each wine without yet seeing what it actually was.  We each selected charities of choice and a portion of sales made to online viewers of the wines that we tasted are donated to the charities which we choose.  Yesterday, we chose Junior Achievement of Washington and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra

It is also a good deal for the wine buyer because they get an automatic 20% discount from the retail price and it is great for the wineries because they have a chance to introduce their Northwest wines to some potential new buyers.

Nicole, Cathi, ZiZi, Pam

Most importantly, we had a wonderful time while tasting some delicious, affordably priced wines together.  The show is focused on showcasing wines at a retail price of less than $75.   Brian, whose role is to explain the show’s format and move the process forward and keep us on track was hard-pressed to get a word in edgewise since we were having so much fun together!  This started before we had even tasted one sip of wine.

If you would like to see the 30 minute Sauvigon Blanc show or even just a portion of it, you can go to Virtual Vino LIVE Sauvignon Blanc Show.  Do let me or our “behind the scenes producer” Blaine Millet know what you think and be sure to share this blog post with anyone else that you think might want to support the charities and buy wine.

Brian with the Show Producer
& Man Behind the Camera, Blaine Millet

Also, my little Yorkshire Terrier, ZiZi keeps putting in a fleeting appearance throughout the show.  How many times did you catch a sighting of her?

Raising a Glass of Wine at Virtual Vino LIVE!

Cathi Hatch, JJ McKay, Patty Barrier

Last week, I invited good friends, Patty Barrier and JJ McKay to join me at my home to taste wine with me on behalf of the new business I am co-founding with Blaine Millet, Virtual Vino LIVE!  This is an online blind wine tasting show featuring Washington wines and supporting local charities.  Because of my involvement with Wine Professional Members at ZINO Society and my background of serving on charitable boards, I know lots of winemakers and charities that we can invite to participate.

Patty and JJ and I served as panelists tasting wines and giving our non-sommelier opinions, while radio host and show facilitator, Brian Calvert, tried to herd us into a semblance of structure.  Brian was very good, but we kept finding topics that would take the conversation just a tiny bit (well maybe more than a tiny bit) off track.  Meanwhile, Blaine captured the fun on camera. ZiZi, our little Yorkshire terrier again took a lead role in providing a colorful sound track.




JJ McKay, Cathi Hatch, Patty Barrier, Brian Calvert
during VirtualVinoLIVE show.

This is still a new venture and I know we will get more polished at this as we go forward, but in the meantime, it is alot of fun!  You can see our Red Blend Wine Tasting Show by clicking HERE.  On that particular show, the favorite wine of the three panelists was the Dunham Cellars, Trutina 2007, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.  We also tasted some great wines by J. Bookwalter Winery, Goose Ridge and Brian Carter Cellars.

The charities that we featured in this show included ARCS, Hopelink and the 50th Anniversary of the Seattle Center

Can’t wait until our next show together.  I think we will taste white blends . . .

Patty Barrier, oenophile

Virtual Vino LIVE! Kicks Off

Detlef with ZiZi, Cathi, Roger, Brian

This week, we finally got enough of the moving pieces together to produce our first three Virtual Vino LIVE! wine tasting shows.  Blaine Millet and I have been working on this on and off for many months.  Our celebrity tasters were Detlef Schrempf, former Seattle Supersonic, and Roger Reynolds, Co-Founder of Coldstream.

Providing the “glue” for the interview format was radio host, Brian Calvert, who did a great job of keeping us on task as we tasted three different wine flights for the three different shows.  First we blind tasted three Merlots, second we tasted four Cabernet Sauvignons and last we tasted four Roses.

Brian Calvert overseeing the blind tasting.

Our responses to the wine were intended to be “uncorked and unscripted” which seemed to be easy since none of the wines were bad wines and all were very drinkable.  Part of the program called upon us to guess the retail price of the wines we were tasting without seeing what they were.  We each had our turn guessing the retail price and holding up our guess for the “audience” to see.  Detlef, who is very funny and kept me laughing throughout, was right 90% of the time and couldn’t resist pointing it out to everyone by saying ‘Winning!” in his German accent as a good imitation of Charlie Sheen each time his white board was the closest to the price.  Plus, though both Roger and I would post an even price such as $25 as our guesses, Detlef would write an odd price such as $14.85 and he would be right!

Detlef, Cathi, Roger giving our tasting opinions

ZiZi, our little Yorkshire Terrier seemed to be quite taken with Det and spent her time trying to get him to pick her up and hold her.  The juxtaposition of his towering heighth and her miniscule frame was amusing to see together.

The charities that we were supporting with our participation on Virtual Vino LIVE! were the Detlef Schrempf Foundation, Pacific Northwest Ballet, the YMCA of Greater Seattle, Todd Stabelfeldt Foundation, Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Outdoors for All Foundation.

Blaine and I look forward to getting this set up so we can produce several shows each month and support the wineries in generating more revenue which will in turn supprt the selected charities.  Thank you Roger and Detlef for agreeing to be the guinea pigs!!  Cheers!