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Wine Webinar with Cline Cellars and

I’m real proud of myself as I feel like I’m keeping myself in the loop.  The Social Media loop that is.  While on Twitter (@WineTravelLori) last week I met someone who runs  This is strictly a wine webinar program where everyone gets to drink a selected wine together from a particular winery.  The nice thing is as long as you can log into a computer you can join in, no matter where you are so get creative!  We were all given the date of June 2, time 5:30 p.s.t. The wine we needed to buy in order to taste it with everyone was, Cline Cellars, ’07 Ancient Vine Zinfandel.  I found the wine at Cost Plus World Market for under $18.  I was given a code to log and when it was the right time we signed onto the computer and joined in with the host, Chris, of  I did this with my son Brandon and daughter-in-law Kim.  We had the wine, the glasses, some snacks, and the Giant’s game on the T.V. (Linsecom was pitching, we had it on mute).  Brandon was very leery about this, but Kim and I were optimistic that it would be fun and educational at the same time.

Chris introduced himself and the general idea of how the interview/tasting was going to go. He gave us a demonstration on how to ask a question if we wanted or how to just write in a question.   He also informed us that we were all on mute unless he manually unmuted us for a question or comment.  After that we were introduced to Charlie Tsegeletos, director of winemaking at Cline Cellars in Sonoma Valley.   Charlie was very nice as was Chris.  Charlie has been making wine for 22 years and his style is to use the tools that he has developed over the years and to make a wine that he likes.  He finds that his taste in wine, which is balanced, is very popular with his clientele.  Charlie’s motto is to “price it right, make it, and sell more”.

My only disappointment in the whole thing were the guidelines on the computer didn’t instruct us to open the wine until 10 minutes into the 45 minute call.  Then 5 minutes later Chris had us pour, and then drink.  Well, we had our bottle opened and our glasses poured before the webinar even started!  I guess I was hoping that we would all do the steps together, the open, pour, swirl, taste and discuss each step as it happened.   Instead there was a survey asking:  Where does Zin rank in your favorites? – 70% said towards the top.  What is your nose telling you?  Black Cherry = 73%, we voted for Raspberry which got 9% of the votes.  This was pretty cool, but I would have either liked more surveys or more discussion from the two live speakers about the smell, taste, etc.

Cline Cellars started in Oakley California, which is in Contra Costa County, 20-30 miles east of San Francisco.  Even though their winery is in Sonoma they get the majority of their grapes from those vineyards in Oakley and from Lodi, Central Valley region.  Their Ancient Vine Zins are between 40 – 99 years old and grow in a very sandy region.  Being sandy means that the vines have to work harder to find the water table, which can be as deep as 30 feet.  In order for a wine to be considered “ancient” it needs to be at least an average of 50 years old.  The flavors of this particular wine that we tried are described by Charlie as “exotic chocolate and strawberry”.  This Zin has 14.5% alcohol and is fairly high in acid, but has a medium body.  Cline is the first winery to develop a very unique label.  It has a recipe inside the label!  There is a “peel here for recipe” tab and once you peel it off you have more detailed descriptions of the winery and a recipe.  Our recipe was for a bbq sauce.  I loved this idea, thought it was very clever.  Their farm is as organic as possible; they use goats and sheep to eat the grasses down.

Some of the Q & A’s –

Q – Plano, TX – What is your favorite wine?
A – Zinfandel, the ’07 Ancient Vines Movedre and Viognier

Q- Texas – What is your favorite food to pair with this Zinfandel?
A – Shoot for a flavorful food.  Something that has a tomato base like pasta or pizza is great!

Q – Jacksonville, FL – What would you say is your style of wine making?
A – I make more of a Big, Chewy Zin that is between 14.5 -15% alcohol.  We make 7 different Zins each with its own style.  We offer a CA Zin that is below 14% alcohol that goes for under $16.00.

Q – Texas – How much does the soil influence the flavors and aromas of the Zin?
A – The soil has a huge impact on the nutrients (water/vapor, growth, and terroir, in the vines.  And the nutrients in the vines ultimately add flavor and texture to the grapes.

If you are interested in joinint in with wine webinars, check out  I just enjoyed being part of the Clos LaChance

Friday night gathering.  We all tasted their Chardonnay, Meritage, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The Meritage was the big winner of the night with the Chardonnay coiming in as a close second.  This setup was more of what I was hoping for with the  Oh well, there is no harm in learning all about this social marketing especially if the topic is wine and you happen to love wine.