Let's face it: We're kinda geeky about Michigan wine. So let our geekiness work in your favor! If you're only following our posts on Facebook, you're not getting half the story. And if you're only reading our site but not interacting with our ever-growing Michigan wine loving community on Facebook, you're missing out, too! Here's a quick guide to getting the most out of Michigan By The Bottle.
The site itself
Yes. MichiganByTheBottle.com. The magic happens here. Or something like that.
At right, you'll notice a series of buttons that lead to some core elements of the website.
- About MBTB: Some yammering about who the heck we are, lest we come across as disembodied heads and hands clutching wine glasses.
- MBTB Store: One-stop shopping from our expansive collection. Well, maybe not so expansive. But we do have "I Support the State with Every Sip!" T-shirts (printed locally in Sterling Heights, Michigan!) for sale, as well as our iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch/Android app that serves as a guide to Michigan wine country. (More info below.)
- Video Features: An archive of our past videos on Michigan wineries and events.
- Video Podcasts: An archive of our past podcasts, focusing on individual Michigan wines.
- Event Calendar: An archive of "This Weekend in Michigan Wine," our weekly event listing. (More info below.)
- Michigan Wineries: A listing of links to the websites, Twitter accounts, Facebook accounts and MBTB content associated with all wineries recognized by the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council as Michigan wineries. A veritable click-fest!
- COMING SOON! Get Me to the Grape Guides: We're soliciting your opinions on accommodations, dining and attractions along the wine trails for our new travel guides. Click here for details.
We have a number of regular features that we (try to, at least) post every week, as well as various periodic segments.
- Video Podcasts (Tuesdays): Brief (some more so than others) videos highlighting individual Michigan wines and their producers.
- This Weekend in Michigan Wine (Thursdays): A listing of Michigan wine-related events, both at the wineries and off-site, scheduled for the coming weekend and beyond.
- Feedback Friday (most Fridays): We solicit feedback on a trio of wineries weekly for possible incorporation into our iPhone/Android app.
- WIOG Weekly Roundup (Sundays): Tasting notes on some of the wines we've been drinking lately.
- Aggregated links: Throughout the week, we post links to Michigan wine-related news from across the web, authored by others. You can distinguish them by their purple-colored titles, versus the burgundy that denotes our original content.
- NEW! Bottle Blurbs: Little news clips culled from the wineries.
- NEW! fine/wine/dine: Articles and interviews exploring the link between fine dining and wine lists in Michigan restaurants.
- Meet Your (Wine)Maker: Video interviews with winemakers from Michigan wineries, exploring their backgrounds and philosophies.
- New to the Scene: Q-and-A features on new additions to Michigan wine country.
- Sip Clips: Short videos on interesting wine topics using cutting room floor footage from video features.
- Michigan Wine Lover of the Week: We tend to post these over a series on Mondays when we have a good chunk of people interested in filling out a questionnaire about their favorite Michigan wineries, wines, events, etc. If you're willing to put yourself in the spotlight, drop us a line! The only pre-requisite: loving Michigan wine. (If you didn't, you probably wouldn't be reading this anyway, right?)
- Contests: We have periodic contests, based on prizes offered by various wine trails, event organizers, etc. These are always posted on the site itself as well as promoted on Facebook and Twitter. Our biggest contest occurs in April: The MBTB SUPER HUGE Michigan Wine Month Giveaway, where we partner with dozens of wineries across the state to give away prizes EVERY DAY, ranging from T-shirts and corkscrews to VIP tastings/tours to vineyard picnics. Most of our contests involve random drawings by which we pick a winner using a random number generator. If you're an event promoter or anyone else with something Michigan wine-related that you'd like to see given away to promote your event/winery/etc., feel free to drop us a line!
The social media
Where things get really fun, because we get to interact with YOU!
OUR FACEBOOK PAGE
There's a whole lot of magic happening over here, too, at http://www.facebook.com/michbythebottle. We have around 3,600 Facebook fans, and many are extremely active. We post links of newly added site content here, as well as links to wineries' events, news, etc. We also discuss on a daily basis what everyone's drinking, and readers often swap travel tips. Come interact with like-minded Michiganders (and honorary Michiganders, as we have a number of out-of-state Michigan wine lovers)!
OUR TWITTER FEED
For those of you who prefer the Twitterverse to Mark Zuckerbergville, feel free to hit us up over on Twitter to converse and to see more aggregated links to Michigan wine news. You can track us down at @michbythebottle.
"The Split" is our e-newsletter and it goes out with semi-regularity on Mondays, recapping some of the recent additions to the site. If you sign up, we promise not to inundate you with random junk! The box to sign up is at right.
Oh, you actually want to send us a message? That's cool, too! You can reach us collectively at email@example.com. Or if you have something super-secret to tell us, you can drop us a line individually: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
The parting thoughtsAnd now, because inquiring minds want to know, we conclude with a few questions that may be on your minds.
Q: How come you seem to like every wine that you feature on a podcast?
Because we only highlight wines that we enjoy or find interesting for one reason or another. If we don't care for something, we just don't talk about it. That way, we can stay both positive and sincere!
Q: Do wineries pay you to say nice things about them?
No. We do have several sponsors who help make the site possible through their financial support: Their ads are on the right-hand side of the website, and we thank them profusely for their continued confidence in us. However, we aim to give all Michigan wineries equal treatment and try to feature various places from all over the state, and our advertisers know and (happily!) accept that.
Q: How come you charge for your app?
None of the wineries pay for inclusion on the app, and there are no embedded ads, so without the $2.99 fee, it would have been difficult for us to create it. The majority of the cost goes to Apple/Android and our developer, without whom we would have never been able to create this app. The rest helps offset the time investment in generating the content (we personally compiled, arranged and wrote everything, and took most of the photos). We're avid iPhone/iPad users and we know that the decision to actually spend money on an app is often made with a lot of deliberation. (Free? Heck yeah! Paid? Hmm, let me do a cost-to-benefit analysis on this...) We're confident you'll find this app worth your $2.99, and we hope you agree!