The last month has seen a lot of changes taking place with my friends in the wine community. I've been falling down on the job in covering these items individually, so I've decided to take this opportunity to post an update on the goings-on. Some of these are just news about new endeavors, and some are developments that will be important to you as a wine consumer.

The Nectar Tasting Room – Josh Wade

Joshwade One of the first people that I connected with when I started by wine blog was Josh Wade, the brains and talent behind the Drink Nectar blog, now known as The Nectar Wine Blog. Josh and I started our blogs at about the same time, and he instantly vaulted to the head of the class in wine blogging and social media within the wine community. He was very up front from the beginning that this was all part of an effort to build his brand in the interest of starting a business (or businesses). Over the last year we have been able to watch that dream come to fruition, and we are now on the cusp of seeing the Nectar Tasting Room in Spokane open it's doors for business. After fighting through the inevitable delays that often beset a new business, it is looking like the official grand opening will hopefully take place in early December. The tasting room will feature the wines of Northwest Cellars, Anelare, Hard Row to Hoe, Terra Blanca Winery, and Skylite Cellars.

The Launch of Bakas Media – Rick Bakas

Rickbakas Rick Bakas jumped into the wine public eye during the Murphy Goode "Really Goode Job" contest, which lead to him being hired as the Director of Social Media Marketing for St. Supery Winery. Recently Rick left St. Supery to start his own company, Bakas Media. Rick has recently signed on one of my other online friends, Anita Gouloomian, to lead the video efforts that Bakas media will produce for their clients. Anita has been producing some really amazing video work on her own, so she should add a valuable aspect to the work that Bakas media produces. Rick already has notoriety both in and outside of the wine world for his social media efforts, and now he will be leveraging those skills in his own business.

Meet the New Social Media Manager for Vintage Wine Estates – Ed Thralls

EdThralls1 This year I got to hang out with Ed Thralls, the blogger behind WineTonite, on several different occasions. One of the occasions was on my job search trip to California, where I know that Ed and I interviewed for some of the same positions. I told several people that if I had to lose a job to someone, I would want it to be Ed. Not only is Ed a super knowledgeable wine guy and one of the few who really gets social media, he is also one of the nicest guys on the planet. With all of this behind him, it really is hard to root against the guy. Plus, now that he's off the market, that's one less guy I have to fight with to get my coveted job in the wine industry.

The Evolution of Wine Social Commerce – Paul Mabray

Paulmabray There are so few people in the wine business who really seem to be pushing for true innovation, so when someone does, they really stand out. Paul Mabray and his crew at VinTank are nothing if not innovative thinkers. They are always trying to come up with the next big thing that will drive wine sales in the online market. The most recent example of this is the Facebook group Deals from the Vines. Paul announced the group with a blog post explaining the idea. As time goes on, the idea is obviously evolving, but the gist is that wineries are able to post deals for the group members, without paying any fees to participate. This gives the wineries the opportunity to sell their wines directly to the consumer without being gouged by a third party, and in turn the consumer gets a great deal on some fantastic wines. There have been some hurdles, but overall the experiment seems to be doing well. Since this is a closed Facebook group, you have to be invited to the group to keep up with the deals, so feel free to contact me on Facebook if you would like an invite.

Congratulations to all of my wine friends and I'm wishing them all good luck in their endeavors. I am also working on a new endeavor, which I should have more news about soon. Look for more in the coming week or so. Cheers!