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This event will be a virtual wine fest

Taste and tweet with Josh Wade.

The Spokane wine blogger behind Drink Nectar is organizing a virtual tasting of Washington merlots on March 25 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Wade works for Bank of America by day and writes about wine and coffee after work hours. He hopes to get people buzzing about Washington merlots.

All you need to participate is a bottle of Washington merlot and a Twitter account.

Here’s how it works:

•Pick up a bottle or more of your favorite Washington merlot.

•Drink and then tweet to tell others about the wine. Tag your post on Twitter with #WAMerlot so others can follow along.

Wade says he was inspired to try the tasting after participating in a similar event focused on promoting California cabernets. That virtual tasting was organized by Rick Bakas, the director of social media marketing at St. Supéry Vineyards and Winery in the Napa Valley.

Wade has recruited ten other Washington wine bloggers to encourage their friends and followers to tweet along. He’s also asking Washington wineries that use the social networking site Twitter to encourage their customers to join. He had 70 wineries at last count (with a goal of 100), including eight local wineries.

If all this sounds like fun, but you prefer networking to be a bit more social, check in with the local wineries. Wade says Barrister Winery, Grande Ronde Cellars, Latah Creek Winery, Liberty Lake Cellars, Lone Canary, Robert Karl Cellars, Townshend Cellars and Whitestone Winery are all planning events to correspond with the virtual tasting.

Wade, 37, began writing about his dual love of wines and coffee on his Drink Nectar site in November, Coffee has been a daily essential since college. He began exploring wines when he met his wife five years ago.

“I think Spokane has a lot to offer that people don’t know about,” he says.

He hopes to help promote local wineries and coffee roasters while building a brand name for his own business. Wade says his original plan was to open a wine and coffee bar, Nectar Coffee and Wine. Now, he’s also considering collaborating with Washington wineries across the state to open a wine tasting room in downtown Spokane.

Wade’s site includes his reviews of wines as well as video interviews with area winemakers. He also includes tutorials on how to use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote businesses. He uses both sites to promote Drink Nectar.