Committee member: Joe Roberts

Joe Roberts, aka 1 Wine Dude, used to be a total wine dunce.  He is now a wine consultant and musician in the greater Philadelphia area, and authors a freelance wine column for

Joe holds the Level 2 (Intermediate, with Distinction) and Level 3 (Advanced, with Merit) Certificates in Wine & Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) in England.  He’s a member of the U.S.-based Society of Wine Educators, holding their Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) qualification.  He also holds the Wine Location Specialist (WLS) qualification from the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) and the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto (IVDP), and is a member of the Wine Century Club.

Joe has blasted off from being a wine blogger to a wine writer and consultant, and is a founding member of our community.  His blog is trying to educate the consumer on how to be their own personal wine geek, without going over the top, spending a ton of money, or being a jackass about it.

We thank you for your support with the WBC Scholarship!

Donor Profile: Lorie Perone

Lorie Perrone is not only a donor, she is also one of our Committee members, and was a Wine Blogger Scholarship recipiant last year!  She is the triple threat, who calls herself a professional amateur wine expert.

Lorie has been an independent wine consultant for several years, and also worked in sales for an importer and retailer.  Wine to Lorie is akin to the game of golf – once the bug catches you it becomes a lifelong pursuit. Her personal goal is to taste as many different wines as she can, and continue to learn more about them along the way.

In 2011, she enrolled as a member of the Society of Wine Educators in pursuit of her CSW (certified specialist in wine). One of the highlights of that year was being able to attend the Wine Bloggers Conference in 2011 in Charlottesville, VA, due to the Wine Bloggers Scholarship efforts.  She found the experience was extraordinary, and wrote about it for us here.  At the WBC, Lorie was able to bond with a community of like minded individuals, and make enduring friendships with people all over the country.  While in awe of the wine knowledge all around her, she still felt as if she really belong amongst them and had something to contribute.  That is my primary mission as the Chair of the Scholarship Committee – to allow bloggers of all types to experience that feeling.

After a 20+ year career in the newspaper industry, Lorie was unemployed and trying to increase her social media skills and wine knowledge, in the hopes that it would lead to some new career path. After her trip to the WBC, she has been able to parlay that expertise in to freelance writing assignments, including regular contributions to the Palate PressExaminer.comFruit Growers News, as well as a full time copy writing position in tourism marketing for the Greater merrimack Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau.  With this job, she can imbibe her passion for wine, writing, and travel planning.  Congrats on your accomplishments Lorie!

We salute you and your amazing year, and thank you for both your financial support of the scholarship, as well as helping us select this year’s recipiants!

Please stop by and say hi to Lorie at Wining Ways, on Facebook, and Twitter!  She is also available to conduct private in-home wine tastings, tastings for charitable events and fundraisers, corporate appreciation events, seminars, and guided wine trail tours.


Donor profile: Random Oenophile

Jason Graham is one half of dynamic duo at Random Oenophile.  Cecilia Dominic, his other half, and Jason write musings on wines, wineries, and other topics that they find interesting.  Now, this might be beer, wine, booze, or just about anything else including fiction!

With all these food & wine articles, it’s enough to make a blogger hungry.

We thank you for helping to make the WBC Schoarhsip possible!

Please stop by and say hi to them on Twitter:
@randomoenophile (Cecilia)

@leoghann (Jason)


Donor Profile: Jason Phelps, Ancient Fine Wine

Jason Phelps is a blogger with many talents.  Last year, at WBC 11, he came to Virginia with an open mind and an open heart, as both a first time attendee and also a WBC Scholarship recipient.

As a first time attendee, he wrote about some of his expectations here, including learning how other bloggers blog, meeting the community, and getting inspired.  Once he returned home, he continued to write about what the WBC inspired him to do, which included finding inspiration, and focusing his blog on areas of speciality.

Pretty great lessons learned from a WBC Scholarship kid!  I’m delighted to see him come full circle, and donate to this year’s scholarship fund so he can help support our next batch of bad ass wine (beverage) bloggers (writers).

Thank you Jason for your enthusiasm, your insight, and your support of this years WBC Scholarship Fund!  We salute you and hope to see you in Portland!

Please give him a shout out at @ancientfirewine and check out the blog Ancient Fire Wine Blog!

Donor Profile: Debbie Gioquindo, the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess

Debbie Gioquindo is the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess.  What started out as an interest turned into a passion and that was the beginning says Debbie.

Debbie’s background is in marketing, and she has worked for a local TV and radio station, as well as owning a travel agency (one that focuses on sending people to the wine regions of the world).  She has also worked as a wine marketing consultant to the wineries in the Hudson Valley.

Beyond her wine career, Debbie has worked for a regional health insurance company doing community relations and social media marketing, until being downsized in February 2011. While on twitter deciding what she wanted to do with the rest of my life, she saw a tweet by @TheHappyBitch, a collegue, and so became a partnership made in Hudson Valley Wine heaven.

Wine has always been a passion of hers, and in 2006 Debbie began blogging about wine focusing on the wine region she grew up in – The Hudson River Valley region.  In 2010 she became a Certified Specialist of Wine, and in 2012 Debbie earned her Wine Location Specialist designation in Champagne and Port.

Debbie has been supporting the WBC Scholarship for several years, and we truly appreciate her support.  She has met some wonderful people and created great friendships through the wine blogging community and have learned a lot from them as well.  She feels that there is no better way to give back than to give another aspiring wine blogger a chance to network, learn and create new relationships by attend the Wine Bloggers Conference.


Debbie lives in Hudson Valley with her husband Paul, two children and dog. She is still looking for a day job to support her wine habit, but we’re happy she is a proud member of our wine blogging family!  We salute you Debbie, and thank you for your continued appreciation and support our our Scholarshp Fund!

Please visit her blog, and say hello to her on twitter!



Time, time, time, see what’s become of me
While I looked around
For my possibilities

Indeed, the summer has flown by and here we are in the holiday season. Which means, of course, it’s time to gear up for WBC12! Next year, the Wine Bloggers Conference will enter it’s fifth year. Five years? WOW! My first year, I had just started my blog, we were all fresh faced neophytes trying to find the best of Sonoma County and how to develop this little gathering of wineaux. Here we are, 5 years later, looking at 300+ attendees, and some pretty amazing content.

Here we are, with only 239 days until we converge in Portland for the next WBC.  That means I only have about 179 days to raise funds to send our next batch of bloggers to the conference!  By now, I hope you agree that the WBC is a great place for writers, industry reps, and wine lovers to meet and discuss their craft, as well as learn a bit about the local wine culture and each other.  Since not everyone is able to afford the time off of our lovely day jobs, or the expense in travelling to the conference, this fund was developed to help bloggers attend the conference.  As always we are seeking bloggers who have not been to the conference, are looking to join the wider blogging community, and those that express a unique interest and passion for their blogs.

The blogger applications will be open beginning January 15th, but I encourage everyone who has an extra $20 to donate today.  Have you been tot he conference?  Did you enjoy it/  Did you learn a lot/  Help us share this experience with someone else!  NO amount is too small, and through a partnership with Enobytes, we are able to offer you the tax advantage of donating to a 501c foundation.

SO ditch the Starbucks and help send a blogger to band camp!  Donate today!

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