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|Amber Brooks • 6/29/16|
The Short Version: LocalWineEvents.com is a detailed calendar of food, wine, beer, and spirits events taking place in your neighborhood and in 63 countries around the world. On this site, event organizers post about upcoming wine tastings, festivals, dinner parties, winery tours, and other culinary events. In total, over 485,000 different events have been posted since the site’s founding 16 years ago, bringing wine lovers together on a local level. LocalWineEvents.com also has educational resources, quizzes, and a free newsletter to keep readers informed and entertained. Discover a festive place to meet people or a romantic venue for a date by searching online at LocalWineEvents.com.
Eric Orange was working for an Italian wine importer in Colorado when he came across a perplexing problem. Part of his job was to host events when prominent winemakers came into town, but he found it difficult to get the word out in a way that would attract wine lovers.
One night, he put on a dinner for a French woman representing one of the finest champagnes in the world. He expected people to clamor to attend the event and sample the bubbly delight, but only six people came. Eric was at a loss. He was certain the problem wasn’t a lack of interest. He just needed to find a way to raise awareness about such events in the wine community.
This was in the year 2000, just as the Internet was starting to gain popularity, so he decided to take a chance on this new medium.
He envisioned a website that would be a communal calendar of events posted by wineries and searched through by wine lovers. As he said, he had the right idea at the right time.
Using a dial-up modem and connecting through AOL, Eric hired a Slovenian programmer to build LocalWineEvents.com. People soon started posting events, and within six months the site received a mention in U.S. News and World Report. The site took off and has been steadily growing ever since. Today, it sees over 7 million page views per year.
Click the play button below to watch a one-minute video about LocalWineEvents.com.
Wineries, restaurants, and event coordinators have posted over 485,000 events in 63 countries. LocalWineEvents.com has over 189,000 Facebook fans and has become a widely popular resource for wine, beer, and spirits lovers, foodies, and singles.
“We offer something a little different to singles,” Eric said. “It’s not dinner and a movie — these events can offer an opportunity for something more than your average meet-and-greet kind of date.”
LocalWineEvents.com offers a simple way to find out about delectable opportunities to meet people in your area who share your passion for wine, beer, and spirits. There’s an app too, making your search for events all the easier. Singles can even search using a “singles” tag to find events that cater specifically to them. Over 500 local pages are stocked with fun opportunities to mingle.
In the spring and fall, when the weather’s nice, you’ll find many festivals that attract large crowds. “Festivals are probably the most popular,” Eric told us. “You generally get more bang for your buck in terms of different wines and foods to try, but there is something to be said for more intimate dinners with the maker of the wine present.”
This post-it-yourself format of events is easily navigated. If these local events don’t quench your thirst for fun, the site also lists worldwide wine and food tours available for you on your travels.
“It’s just a matter of what you’re looking for,” he explained. “If you’re looking for something quieter, more romantic, you’ll want a dinner, and if you’re looking for a good festive time outside jostling around, drinking wine, you’ll want a festival.”
When asked how the site has evolved since it began 16 years ago, Eric said with a laugh, “Well, it’s easier to get people to post these days, that’s for sure. We’ve come a long way.” He’s no longer fighting to be noticed or to earn a following. Wine aficionados come to him. People in the wine trade post about 2,500 events every week. Thousands of people interested in wine-selling and wine-drinking find exactly what they’re looking for at LocalWineEvents.com.
You can enroll in a class, sign up for a tasting, or get your ticket for a festival with just a click. LocalWineEvents.com has integrated a ticketing system into its event pages so that everything is clearly laid out for you.
“It’s been remarkably well-received,” he said. “It’s hard not to like, really. It’s telling people where the food and wine can be found in their neighborhoods.”
Since 2000, LocalWineEvents.com has expanded its repertoire as an online resource for all things related to wine as well as beer and spirits. Free newsletters, fun quizzes, and educational content now add zest to a visitor’s experience.
Even as the site evolves, Eric said it’s important to remember the main reason that people come is to find events through the wine community. “One thing we try to avoid is being too cluttered or trying to be too much of everything,” he said. “Each addition came along piece by piece. At the end of the day, we’re a food and wine events calendar.”
Every week, The Juice is sent out with a 30-day calendar of food and wine events that are happening in the subscriber’s particular area. This free newsletter currently reaches nearly 300,000 people. You can sign up online with just a name, email address, and postal code.
Tell LocalWineEvents.com what city you want to hear events about to get a weekly calendar made just for you. You can also specify your interest in certain topics in the newsletter including Events & Tastings, Recipes & Pairings, Travel, or Wine-Related News.
The Juice’s calendar gives individualized updates to thousands of readers. In addition to a calendar, the newsletter’s content includes wine quizzes and wine articles written by experts in the wine world.
For wine lovers looking for a challenge, LocalWineEvents.com has a Wine Quiz that goes out with every newsletter and is also accessible through the Resources tab online.
Joe Roberts (also known as 1Wine Dude) is a wine blogger who currently crafts the quizzes. This certified wine specialist has a healthy sense of humor as well as a rich foundation of knowledge when it comes to wine.
Wine buffs will delight in these questions. Do you know how many wineries there are in the U.S.? Do you know which country is the ninth largest producer of wine? (Answers: Over 7,000 and South Africa)
With true/false and multiple choice answers, Joe quizzes you on wine history, wine making, wine drinking, and wine names. Think you can measure up? You don’t have to wait for the next issue of The Juice — there are over 40 pages of quiz questions on LocalWineEvents.com, so have at it!
“People like to test their knowledge,” Eric explained. “The wine quiz has been a very popular segment of the Juice for a while now.”
Wondering what the difference is between Moscato and Chardonnay? At a loss as to what wine to pair with the dinner you’re preparing for your date? Roger Bohmrich has the answers.
Back in 1993, Roger became one of America’s first “Master of Wine.” Now he spends his days as a wine consultant and educator, mulling over questions and coming up with mature and thorough answers. “It’s not just a ‘yes’ or ‘no,'” Eric said appreciatively. “He does a great job of going above and beyond with his answers to people’s questions.”
Whether you need to know at what temperature to store your wine or what the selling price is of a particular wine, go to LocalWineEvents.com’s educational resource section. You can type in your question and submit your email so that you’ll be notified when your answer goes up on the site.
LocalWineEvents.com caters to your needs by making it easy to find a delicious way to spend an afternoon or an evening. Using the site’s in-house ticketing system, you can sign up within moments to attend an event hosted by a winery, brewery, restaurant, or retailer. Wine, beer, and spirits lovers alike delight in the ease of discovering a place to mingle, sample drinks, and laugh with people of similar interests.
Through his website, Eric has increased an event holder’s ability to spread the word and connect with an enthused audience. Now, when a renowned winemaker comes to town for a special dinner, more than six people will hear about it and attend.
This long list of local events opens up possibilities for wineries, restaurants, foodies, and anyone looking for a good date. If you’re burnt out on coffee shop meetups, try a different venue — one that serves wine. That’ll get the conversation flowing.
“The discovery of new foods and wines can be a great pursuit for a new couple,” Eric said. “I’ve always felt that my site is a good resource for singles from the standpoint of finding something a little out of the ordinary.”