Well… I’m not…
But I was the guest on last night’s episode/webisode/whatever-isode of #winechat, the twitter / wetoku live video interview series hosted by WineChannelTV CEO/Founder and certified sommelier Jess Altieri.
We talked wine, social media, blogging, and fielded some awesome questions from the way cool #winechat viewers. I had a great time. Video of the interview is below. The unimpressive background on my side is my “home office” but I am wearing a Steelers t-shirt which makes it awesome, right?
“When our weary world was young
the Struggle of the Ancients
The Gods of Love and Reason
sought alone to rule the Fate of Man”
– Neil Peart, from Hemispheres
I am in the throes of TTL Aftermath.
Put another way, I’m extremely hungover from co-hosting the latest Twitter Taste Live event – the largest of its kind, ever – the kind of hungover that makes you mutter curse words aloud at the random air molecules that are causing you physical pain as they bounce off your head.
Actually, the air molecules aren’t so much bouncing as they are attacking, with extreme prejudice, using some sort of especially violent molecular kung-fu.
It’s the kind of pain that is somewhat abated by a) sleeping in until the hotel forces you to checkout, then b) spending a few hours walking the Wharf in Boston to take in the harbor air (and take advantage of Boston’s Spring, which is nearly an entire day-and-a-half in length). I wore my Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl XLIII Champions t-shirt, just in case anyone mistook me for a despondent Patriots fan.
By most accounts, the TTL event (which took place Friday across three time zones, and featured wines from Hospice du Rhone producers) was a big success. We had what seemed (to me, at least) to be a relatively small but passionate contingent participating in the East Coast portion of the event. On the Right Coast we had a sort-of battle between Aussie and California producers, but the clear winner was not terroir but the white Rhone varieties themselves – our participants enjoyed the white wines that bookended the on-line tasting: Rutherglen’s extremely well-balanced Marsanne / Viognier blend (“The Alliance”) and the honeysucke-sweet Le Vol Des Anges, a late-harvest Roussanne dessert wine from Bonny Doon. I think the East Coasters were able to try something new, and open up their wine worlds just a teeny-tiny bit.
The Second Glass (who were thoughtful – and probably over-busy – enough not to mention that I am long, long overdue on my writing assignment for them) really knows how to throw a top-notch event, and Wine Riot! was a great time. I’m finding myself a bit sad at the prospect of missing the second night of the Riot – my liver, however, is extremely pleased that I’m homeward bound).
While I thoroughly enjoyed myself, I was inwardly torn the entire night (I also struggled to behave myself on twitter as my tweets were being broadcast on projectors throughout the event location).
I’m a very social animal, and I’m a recovering chronic multi-tasker, so I try very hard to concentrate on the moment and not try to have too many things going on at once. Co-hosting a Twitter Taste Live event is the equivalent of me falling off of that wagon. The TTL events are frenetic, and it’s tough keeping up with the influx of information coming in from the stream twitterati comments (which are more often than not fantastic and energizing, so I don’t want to miss them). Throw in a near-constant stream of friendly and buzzed Bostonians who are coming to check out TTL, media types who are asking you and your posse for interviews (I did take part in one which was filmed, and will try to get a link out to that when/if I get one sent to me), hanging with the generous and excellent guys behind TTL (Craig and Chris) and trying to catch up with other bloggers (like uber-consumer Rob Dwyer and the uber-funny Dale Cruse)… well, it’s just a recipe for Dude Brain Meltdown.
My natural inclination is to engage with the people physically in front of me, and so the TTL stream likely suffered from lack of my full attention in co-hosting. As soon as the TTL event drew towards a logical close, I had to shut down the netbook and get my social-butterfly groove on (at the expense of my social networking groove).
My fear is that, during the time when both streams were full-on, my lack of ability to effectively balance them caused both the on-line and off-line events to suffer, in “Jack of all trades, master of none” fashion. This has potential negative impacts on both my on- and off-line lives, of course: in these situations, should we potentially piss-off the people who are right in front of us by appearing aloof and anti-social, or potentially piss-off the contingent of on-line participants who are expecting us to converse with them, hopefully uninterrupted, in a unique shared experience in real-time?
In my increasingly-inebriated state, I imagined the ancient Greek gods battling over topic of where my attentions (and intentions) should lie:
|Apollo – God of Reason, Logic, Lunar landing vehicles, & General Level-Headedness
||Dionysius – God of Love, Wine, & Aggressive Social Palm-Pressing
“Joe, this is not going well. Despite the fact that you want to talk to the people that are physically in front of you, you have a duty to co-host and interact with the on-line TTL participants.”
“Don’t listen to that guy. You’re here in Boston, you should enjoy yourself. Did you see all of those booth babes? There must be a thousand bottles of wine up in this joint. Here – take another sip…”
“Once again, Dionysius you show why he cannot be trusted to give Joe proper discourse. Joe, you must keep your countenance and abilities lest you drunk-tweet and damage your on-line brand image!”
“Countenance? Brand image? What planet is this dork from, anyway? Jeez, did you see how tight the shirt was on that girl who wanted to talk to you? Are you drunk yet?”
“I should come to expect such blinkered, juvenile and puerile attacks from you, Dionysius. And it’s clear that… wait a second, did you just give me the finger?!?? You a—hole!!!”
“You wanna piece of me, Logic Boy? Come an’ get it! Or should we just sit here and wait for us to all die while you prattle on with yer analysis-paralysis? Hey, let go of my tunic, d—khead!!!”
What does it take to make these guys just shut up already ?!??
Anyway, I’m really, really hoping that I did you all (both on- and off-line) better than that in how I handled things Friday evening.
And I’m also really, really hoping that I won’t need medication for hearing the voices of battling ancient Greek deities in my head when I’m drinking.
If you’ve got advice for a former chronic multi-tasker on how to handle these sort of conflicts, I’d love to hear it, because I’m not sure that I participated in either the on-line or the off-line as well as I would have liked. In fact, I’m am sure that I didn’t participate in either as well as I would’ve liked.
I’d love to blame the booze (and let’s face it, the TTL Grenache-based selections were whoppers and approached Port-like abv levels) but for me the struggle began long before the high-alcohol Rhone varietal buzz kicked in.
At the very least, I had a great time. And as Ricky Nelson once said, “you can’t please everyone, so you gotta please yourself…”
(images: 1WineDude, pantheon.org, mythencyclopedia.com)
As Neil Young sang…
“Toniiiiight’s the niiiiiight…”
The Biggest On-Line Wine Tasting Event EVER is happening TONIGHT!
Click the headline above for details – I’m frankly kind of sick of repeating them at this point ;-).
If you’re one of the (many) participants taking part via twitter, or if you’re one of the 500 soon-to-be-drunken-best-friends of the Dude, then I look forward to tasting with you tonight!
If you’re not already a part of this awesome event… then you’re probably too late actually… so too bad, better luck next time.
I will be co-hosting things on twitter (follow me) starting at 7PM ET LIVE from the Wine Riot! event in Boston with The Second Glass and the Bin Ends Wine / Twitter Taste Live brain trust.
I’m pretty stoked. The wines are all from Hospice du Rhone producers and they are likely going to kick total ass. And I plan on unleashing my drunken self over at Wine Riot! – 500+ Bostonians might not always be right, but 500+ drunk Bostonians are definitely NOT gonna be boring!
Twitter-folk (aka, twitterati) – please remember to stick the tag “#TTL” in your tweets tonight, so we can rock the hell out of the twitter topic trends.
Cheers – and see you TONIGHT!
Alright people, we’ve got a record-setting number that have already RSVP’d for the historic April 17th Twitter Taste Live event with the Hospice du Rhone. So… what are you waiting for?
If you’re in the Boston area, sign up for the Wine Riot! event in downtown, where the Bin Ends Wine staff and I will be making merry with 500 or so of our soon-to-be closest drunken friends. The last time that many Bostonians gathered together to drink, I’m pretty sure that the harbor was turned into a huge tea pot (possibly under the assumption that swimming in tea could cure a hangover…).
Anyway, details are (yet again!) below – and don’t worry, I won’t be posting them again!
The largest online wine tasting EVER!!
April 17th – Two countries – 3 events – 5 time zones – 5 retail partners – 15+ wines – A brand new Tastelive.com
All to celebrate the incredible producers of the Hospice du Rhône! For the first time #ttl will take place as 3 unique events across the U.K. and U.S. all at 7:00pm local time.
7pm UK: Robert McIntosh from wineconversation.com will be heading up the UK contigent. The UK TTL’ers will be gathering at a couple of dinner events, the main one happening in London, and maybe one outside as well, to taste the wines of the Rhone. Whilst our friends in the New World will focus on the single varietal expressions, we have taken it upon ourselves to look at blends, THE wines that made the Rhone famous, and we will mainly be drinking wines from France.
7pm Eastern: Hospice du Rhône producers from California and Australia will be the focus of this event. Joe Roberts from 1winedude.com will be joining the Hospice to host the event live from the Wine Riot in Boston, Ma. Join us and 500+ of your fellow wine and twitter lovers as we cruise through some of California and Australia’s top Rhône style wines.
Rutherglen The Alliance (Viognier/Marsanne) 2006
Fireblock Grenache 2004
Four Vines The Peasant (Grenache) 2006
Bonny Doon Le Vol Des Anges (Late Harvest Roussanne) 2007
7pm West: Twittering live, Hospice du Rhône (HdR) will be on location at Estate in Sonoma, California. This West Cost venue will tantalize the palates of Rhône lovers with exceptional Rhône wines and extraordinary food all while twittering with other Rhône enthusiasts throughout the West Coast. Reserve your spot today by visiting www.estate-sonoma.com. Thea from Vinquire.com, Jill from Domaine 547 and Paige from The Jug Shop will be co hosting the event on www.twittertastelive.com
Tablas Creek Cotes de Tablas Blanc 2007
Tablas Creek Mourvedre 2006
Kinton Syrah 2005
Verge Syrah 2006
Yangarra Estate Shiraz 2006