A few random thoughts before diving into some notes on a couple of bottles I want to review!

The Blog: I like fidgeting with the look and feel of Grape Sense once or twice a year. I blog on Google’s Blogger. It’s a free platform and not bad but I’m considering a big change this summer. So I have been playing a bit lately.

Notes on Wine Blog, Chicago EventI changed the look and simplified all the colors a few weeks ago. I always list some blogs I read in the right hand column but like changing those periodically. Blake Gray’s blog is the only one remaining at the moment. He’s a well-known name in writing circles. Blake speaks his mind and isn’t shy about ticking people off, if necessary. He’s a bit irreverant, which I like a lot. But he does his homework and writes without a  dose of geeky wine overkill. He also isn’t afraid to poke fun, jab a stick in your eye, or call winos out for being pretentious.

I’ve removed the others I had listed for a long time. I want to add a few new ones and have a couple in mind. If you like wine, it’s nice to see what some of the writers with an influential voice are saying about the wine world. If you have a blog you read regularly drop me a line at the address below and I’ll give it consideration.

New Indiana Winery Page: I finally got a tab started at the top of the blog for Indiana wineries. I’ve only posted notes on two so far but have quite a few more to add to the short profiles. I’ll be updating that each time I visit an Indiana winery.

Oregon’s best: I’m really looking forward to Willamette Valley’s “Pinot in the Windy City” Mar. 7 in downtown Chicago. There are public tastings, trade shows, and all sorts of wine events in Chicago regularly. If I wasn’t three hours away I’d attend more.

I’ve been to the valley three times and expect to meet some of the folks I’ve visited during those trips. More than 60 wineries will be representing Oregon. The trade tasting for wholesalers, retailers, and wine press, is in the afternoon. But there is a public event that night with all wineries pouring and small bites provided by City Winery on Randolph St. The cost for the evening public event really isn’t bad at $65. If you consider the cost of visiting a handful of wineries while in Oregon, the $65 is pretty good bang for the buck.

My only disappointment about the Pinot event is that Provence producers will also be in town the exact same afternoon. I’d love to taste and talk to France’s great Rose’ producers.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com