Sometimes it’s better when wine drinking is a group effort. But how to track down these gatherings? More than a decade ago, Eric V. Orange began the calendar for every event having to do with wine around the country. Today, Local Wine Events is an incredibly useful tool not only for those who are looking for like-minded souls to discuss their favorite grapes, but also for restaurants and shops who use it as a way to reach new clients.
At first, Orange thought he would have to beg wine buyers to persuade wholesalers to post events, but instead it was enthusiastic restaurants that helped boost the popularity of the site. After launching initially in 50 cities, the site now lists wine and food events in more than 500 cities worldwide, and some 1,500 events are posted every week, making Local Wine Events the largest online calendar of such things. Despite his being based just outside Philadelphia, the Las Vegas listings are ever on-point.
Orange recently brokered a partnership with Google’s deal service, Google Offers. So in addition to telling fans about some of the most exclusive culinary events in bigger cities, he can sell discounted tickets to them. He’s also launched a Wine Events app so oenophiles can get their wine-gathering events on the go.
Ultimately, Orange’s purpose is to continue to make enjoying wine more accessible to the world, and Local Wine Events has become the go-to site for people who want to seek out these experiences. “It’s been interesting watching the wine industry evolve and how the Internet is being used,” he says. “The overall effect should increase general wine knowledge to a wider audience. I like that.”