Dave Monk Show on BBC Essex

Dave Monk show

This morning I popped into the BBC Essex Radio studios in Chelmsford for a little chat with the morning presenter, Dave Monk.

I had been invited because I was chosen as one of the 50 best bloggers over 50 in September’s issue of Saga Magazine. It was good to meet Dave again as I had often appeared on his programme when I was running Webber’s Wine Bar, Billericay.

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The Saga of a Wine Blogger

© Saga Magazine

© Saga Magazine

A couple of weeks ago I was flattered to be told that I had been selected as one of the 50 best bloggers over 50 in September’s issue of Saga Magazine! In fact I am the only wine blogger on this prestigious list.

This exciting news spurs me on to share more of what I get up to in the world of wine which of course encompasses food, travel and photography as well.

I have been away for the last couple of weeks in two special wine regions and will be writing about my experiences as soon as I’ve collected my thoughts, checked my notes and sorted out all my photos.

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Takeaway Chablis

An interesting proposition – a blogger’s challenge, to match Chablis with takeaway food. I would be sent two bottles to try and to see if I can find a suitable match.

I was reminded of the furore a few years ago when Lanson suggested that Champagne would be a great match with fish and chips, illustrating the idea with a cheerful couple enjoying their newspaper-wrapped meal on a beach at dusk.

The Lanson advertisement did help in debunking the idea that Champagne was only for special occasions, and that I suppose is the idea behind the quest to match Chablis with a takeaway.

Two bottles of Chablis duly arrived so I looked into the idea of a beach tryst, similar to Lanson, particularly as I always find fish is complemented so well by Chablis.

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EWBC 2011

We have just arrived in Brescia, a delightful town in Lombardy, Northern Italy which is in heart of the Franciacorta sparkling wine region. I’d always been taught and told that Francicorta produced the best bottle-fermented sparkling wine in Italy. “As good as Champagne”…

After a 4 hour journey from Chinaillon, were we left under cloudy skies, to be greeted, as we emerged from the road tunnel under Mont Blanc, by clear blue skies. The views back up to Monte Bianco were stunning, and the steep, soon vine-clad, slopes of Aosta were breathtaking.

We’ve checked into the comfortable Hotel Ambascatori, unpacked and now ready to meet old friends and make new ones at the European Wine Bloggers’ Conference 2011. Our work will be cut out as there 200 or so delegates from all over the world.

The pre-event (the conference actually officially starts tomorrow) this evening is a BYOB buffet where there will be some great and interesting wines on offer.

In fact we enjoyed a pre-pre-event at home in Haute Savoie as our friends Jim and Carole broke their journey from the Loire to stay the night. We tasted, discussed and drank six wines from Jura and Savoie (well, drank some from each bottle!) to accompany our dinner. Our moderation ensured we set off with clear heads after breakfast!

Here are details of what this event is all about. This is the fourth EWBC; we’ve attended the last two, in Lisbon and in Vienna, and are really looking forward to this year’s which will really sparkle…

We had been asked to prepare video introductions, so here are ours:

My new website

Phew! Building my new website has been more complicated than I thought.

A year ago I wanted to have my blog on my website. The website system I was using only allowed me to add a link so I looked around to find the best way to do this.

Having used WordPress.com for my blog I did consider adding my website there, which is easy to do. But I wanted to be able to achieve a lot more without the necessary restrictions WordPress.com applies.

Seeking advice from other bloggers and using, yes, Google I decided to use WordPress.org. Self-hosted and with an enormous range of choice of themes, plug-ins and other slick gizmos it was just the challenge I wanted.

However I just couldn’t succeed in installing it myself (I have a lot to learn) so I tarried and procrastinated until last month when I found I couldn’t update my previous website.

After contacting support for the website host I was told that I couldn’t use the latest and up-to-date internet browsers! I had to use previous versions which, of course, we’d been told had been improved for security.

Working it all out!

Working it all out!

Have you tried to go back to a previous browser? It’s virtually impossible and not worth the risk.

So I managed to get a refund and asked PyxisMedia to help me install, and host, the latest version of WordPress.org.

Then the learning started – and will continue! I’m not into progamming HTML etc (yet!) but I am enjoying discovering everything that this excellent system has to offer.

So do have a look around my new website, tell people about it and I would love it if you subscribed to my blog posts!