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Web site opens world of wine events

One of the challenges for a wine lover living not living in a major city is finding wine events to attend.
Not that they’re lacking, although someone in say, New York City probably can select from several events each week.
My friend Susannah talks here about having that abundance of decisions.
Here, I’m always looking for something other than the weekly “tasting” at one of the local liquor stores, semi-events with hand-picked limited selections that can turn into sales pitches for whatever the store has in overstock.
No matter where you live, though, if you don’t know about an event, you can’t attend it.
That’s why I was initially fascinated by the idea promoted by Eric V. Orange, founder and developer of the Web site LocalWineEvents.com.This site is a free listing service of wine events in your area.
And how do the events get listed?
By you, of course.
“Even after ten years online, I am surprised at how many people in the food and wine business do not know about LocalWineEvents.com,” Eric wrote in a recent e-mail. “I recognized years ago that the ‘industry’ folks are looked at as a source of reference from friends and family and the bigger base of the industry using the site, the broader it gets into the consumer world.”
His idea was to gather information on each event at one site and make that site available to everyone.
“It’s really a simple idea,” said Eric, whose wine background includes a five-year stint at Millbrook Vineyards outside of Poughkeepsie, former wine rep and certified sommelier who now lives with his wife and family outside Philadelphia.
He explained that LocalWineEvents.com is a free “post your own event” site, and once you’ve posted an event, future postings are easier since the basic information is on the site.
And keeping up with technology means developing an iPhone app, which includes a Geo-location feature (for those of us terminally direction-challenged) to show events within a pre-selected distance from your location.
Which means you don’t have to thread through events in San Francisco when you live in Atlanta (unless you’re headed to SF, of course).
And if you’re looking for an event, the site is remarkably easy to use. The main page offers you a click-on menu of states, which in turn opens a window listing all the sites in that state where events are planned.
The key here, of course, is that if you know of an event that isn’t listed, you can go ahead and make the listing and that event forever will be in your debt.
Or not.
Not just domestic events, either. LocalWineEvents.com is an international site, so if you’re heading to, umm, France, say, the current listings say you can choose from 26 events across the country.
Mais oui.
Oh, don’t worry about people reading your listings, it seems there’s a lot of demand for something to do.
Here are a few stats about LocalWineEvents.com, thanks to Eric: 115,00 subscribers to The Juice, the weekly events e-mail newsletter; 21,000 fans on Facebook; and 4,600 followers on Twitter.
Don’t you wish you had 4,600 followers on your Twitter site?
Eric said at last count, the site had listed 282,354 events and sold $3,987,629 worth of tickets.
I’d love to go on, there’s more (isn’t there always?) but the LocalWineEvents.com site has it all.
Take in an event near you, and spread the word on future events.
Who knows, you might save someone a boring weekend.

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