A number of virtual wine tastings will occur online over the next few weeks and there’s lots of opportunities to discover new and exciting wines: #pinotsmackdown (18th Aug), De Bortoli Bella Riva Ustream Tasting / (25 Aug), #cabernetday (1 Sept), Best’s Great Western Virtual Tasting (8 Sept), Grenache Day (25 Sept) and excited to announce that the Rose Revolution will kick off again on 10 November.
Those of us who have been tasting and tweeting for a while know how these events work, but if you’re new to virtual wine tastings or have never been brave enough to talk about wine online, here’s a few tips to get you started with answers to some of the most common questions I receive:
Q: What do I talk about?
A; There’s no rules on what you need to discuss – it could be about how the wine tastes, the region it’s sourced from, if there’s a food that the wine is going well with, or ask the winemakers a question directly if you have questions. Some people take photos of where they are and get some photos into the stream of activity so there’s a visual reference for others to see what’s happening or if there’s a line up of wines to sample talk about what your favourite selections were.
If you follow the stream of activity close enough you’ll often pick up links to videos or online content that winemakers are sending out – it may be that you watch these and come back with comments or let people know your thoughts after tasting the wine. It’s all about participating in the discussion.
Think of the event as a big dining table where you don’t know everyone but you’re coming together for an event and find common things of interest to chat about.
The key thing to make sure you include is the relevant hashtag so that people can see the thread of your conversations.
Q; I don’t know much about wine, can I still participate?
A: Absolutely – the whole purpose of these events is to help people discover more about wine and have some fun along the way. Those people participating are often very passionate about wine, so if you don’t know something or understand, ask them to explain – that’s the value of sharing on this online forum.
Q: I am not on twitter, can I still get involved?
Most of the action will occur via twitter, but you can still get involved with facebook posts, posting videos or checking in to venues participating if you are using something like facebook places or four square.
If you’re at home and have access to internet, you can watch the activity by putting in the hashtag on sites like www.twitterfall.com, www.kurrently.com or searching for the hashtag on programs like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or Seesmic.
There’s no set rules for these online tastings and one of the core objectives is to help people discover more about wine – new varietals, different regions and styles, brands you may not have come across before.
Hope to see you online tasting and tweeting. Keen to hear about your favourite wine discoveries.