Anthony Blackburn: Unified Wine and Grape Symposium

I recently attended the annual Unified Wine and Grape Symposium, held in Sacramento, CA January 26-29, 2010.

Of course I proudly wore my “Eve’s Wine 101” shirt. In fact, it made me look so good, that women were constantly staring at me.

I’m sure the shirt made me look better. I can’t imagine they were just staring at my lobotomy scar.I recently attended the annual Unified Wine and Grape Symposium, held in Sacramento, CA January 26-29, 2010.
The UWGS is just about the largest confluence of wine makers, drinkers, suppliers, growers and just about anything else you can think of associated with wine, on the west coast. The website claims it is the largest in the nation, in fact.

The UWGS is put on by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture and the California Association of Winegrape Growers and is a combination of education and showcasing of products and services. There are numerous classes, in several different tracks. There is the Marketing/Public Relations track, which has classes like: “Communications Strategies for Interacting with Public Policy Decision Makers” and “Social Media & YOU”. The Grapegrowing tack featured classes like: “Vineyard Practices for Wine Quality: Are We Getting There?” and “Advances in Pest and Weed Management”. The winemaking track had “Water Management” and a class called “Varietal Focus-Bordeaux Blenders”. There is even a Spanish track, with “Oak and its Impacts on Wine” and “Personal and Professional Development: Setting and Achieving Real Goals”. The educational component of the conference is wide ranging and comprehensive and are taught by such industry heavyweights as Bill Turrentine, Turrentine Brokerage; Jason Haas, Tablas Creek Vineyard, California; Chik Brenneman, University of California, Davis and many more.

The star of the show, however, is the expo. Two days of 650 exhibitors and 11,500 attendees, elbow to elbow. The exhibitors hawking their wares, ranging from barrels and tractors to palate cleansers and wine preservers. Attendees with bulging bags of goodies and giveaways, going from booth to booth.

I was one of those attendees.

There were many innovative products at the show. I’ll review or describe them in later posts. Here in the business, that’s called “A Tease”.

But, for your reading pleasure, I’ll go through one of them that found innovative.

And now the disclaimer. I have not been compensated, bribed, cajoled or bamboozled into reviewing or describing any product or service.

“Wine Preserva” is a product I hadn’t seen before.

I thought the name was catchy, because the product is from “Down Unda”. I spoke with the sales rep, who was an Aussie and of course, he pronounced it “Wine Preserva”…which is the way it’s spelled. Here in the US of A we would have called it “Wine Preserver”. Just a neat tie in and marketing gimmick

The product is, like it says, a “Preserva” of wine. Lets say your liver doesn’t have the fortitude to finish that third bottle of wine that you have opened. After you recover from your hangover the next day, or two, or event a week down the road, you don’t want this half bottle of wine to be oxidized when you get back to it. What to Do? “Wine Preserva” to the rescue. Wine Preserva is an FDA, approved, food grade plastic disk, with a small pocket of air in the middle and a frayed edge. It’ meant to be put into that half bottle of wine to protect it from nasty oxidation, preventing deterioration of the wine’s aroma and taste. It floats on the surface of the wine, creating a seal between the wine and the bad, bad O2 that would love to sink it’s teeth into your wine. Wine Preserva protects wine for up to five days, giving your plenty of time to recover from that hangover and move on to new partying pastures.

For a more graphic description of the Wine Preserva, click

The manufacturer claims about a 35% reduction in oxidation, using the Wine Preserva. The Wine Preserva is also biodegradable and can be tossed out with the bottle, without fear of clogging our precious landfills.

It’s easy to use, inexpensive way to preserve the aromas and flavors of that 2007 Biohazard table wine you purchased for $2.99 at your local mini mart.

Next week, I’ll review or describe another interesting product from the 2010 Unified Wine and Grape Symposium.

Anthony Blackburn
Student of the Grape at Napa Valley College
Soccer Player (Goal Keeper)
Wine Maker (In my own mind)
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One thought on “Anthony Blackburn: Unified Wine and Grape Symposium

  1. Thanks for the tip. I am always on the lookout for new products, gadgets if you will.

    Sounds like a practical solution to persistent problem; down the whole bottle, or risk spoilage? Another way of looking at it is: which is more valuable, my liver or the leftover half bottle of wine? Now you don't have to make the hard choice!

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