Articles Tagged twitter
Back on December 18th, 2013, a Sicilian dessert wine made from dried Zibibbo (aka Muscat of Alexandria) ruled the wine twitter world for an hour.
Think about that for a minute. A $40 half-bottle of sweet wine. Of Zibibbo. From Sicily.
I recently wrote up the top five most mentioned wines online in 2013, and Sicilian dessert wine was… uhm… not anywhere near that list… nor in the top twenty… I’m guessing it wasn’t in the top 600…
As good as the wine is (and it’s great – more on that in a few minutes), I was skeptical after I received Donnafugata’s invitation to join their twitter tasting of the then newest Ben Ryé Passito release. First of all, after last week’s top ten Most Interesting Wines 2013 roundup (the 2008 Ben Ryé made the cut), how much more publicity did they need from me? And there was no structure whatsoever to the tasting, which isn’t typical of most simultaneous twitter tasting gatherings; usually, there are more than one wine to taste, someone sets the order, and those with the wine (mine was received as a sample for the event) are paced through the tasting by a leader, who fields questions snet via twitter to winery representatives, sometimes with video involved. This Donnafugata tasting had none of that. Until the day of the tasting, they hadn’t even announced a hashtag to use for summarizing all of the tweets involved.
But… I wanted to try the wine, had a free hour that evening, and it was being spearheaded by a friend of mine, Master of Wine candidate and indefatigable wine promoter Luiz Alberto. And so I figured, what the hell, let’s do it. I was unprepared for the outpouring of love that Ben Ryé received. Let’s take a look at the numbers, ‘cause they don’t lie…
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Make that, your Somm is under fire.
Last week I was guest on the Keeper Collective’s weekly twitter guest Q&A wine event, called #SommChat, part of their Somms Under Fire wine competition brand umbrella. This prompted quite a comments coming my way, most of which can be summed up in the following imaginary-but-wholly-representative re-enactment style on-line conversation:
Peeps: Joe, I didn’t know you were a Somm??
Me: I’m not!
Despite the fact that I am one of the few non-Sommelier guests to appear on #SommChat, I had a fantastic time fielding the questions from those who tuned in to attend last week, some of which were provocative and really got me thinking, particularly those that asked about recommendations for building up a palate, and learning more about wine.
The results of the reflective thinking? The deeper I’ve gone into the pro wine world, the less important I feel palate-building and wine appreciation tips really are, which I suppose on some level seems ironic but as we gain experience in any area, one likes to think that we can come back to basics having turned that into a modicum of wisdom, and wisdom seems to be telling me that it’s far, far more important for people to learn deeply what it is about a wine that really turns them on or off, and focus on learning their own palates and preferences first before thinking about developing a palate that would be used for critical assessment. The former opens the door to the wonder and magic and pleasure of wine; the latter is work, a job, often fun but sometimes a real working-stiff-like slog.
Anyway… You can check out the entire #SommChat convo from the twitter feed last week at http://sommsunderfire.com/sommchat/, and I recommend tuning in to their future events (they’ve got a couple of Master Somms lined up for the next series, which should be fun) on Wednesdays at 11AM Central Time.
Last week, I wondered aloud (on twitter) whether or not anyone out there cares if a winery uses cultured yeasts instead of wild yeasts.
The feedback from the twitterati is included below after the jump (if you chimed in already via twitter, your response may be listed for all of the 1WD faithful to see – don’t say I didn’t warn ya!).
The short (and grossly oversimplified) answers to the question, by the way, seem to be "Yes!" for wine geeks and "No, who cares as long as the juice tastes good!" for the majority of people, based on the twitter responses that I received.
The topic of wine yeasts, and why they seem to touch off a hot-button reaction among wine pros and the geekier of wine aficionados, requires a bit of a primer, because to most wine drinkers, this is gonna be some pretty esoteric shiz.
During my last trip to Napa, I stopped into Chimney Rock for some barrel samples tasting (that’s samples of wines from barrels, not tasting samples of barrels) and spent a few hours geeking out over all things wine-related with the affable Elizabeth Vianna (CM’s winemaker who last week was promoted to GM). Elizabeth is open, honest, and easy to get along with, and she’s not shy when it comes to expressing her opinions. And yet, when she was explaining the winemaking process behind each of Chimney Rock’s wines, she became almost apologetic when she mentioned that they – gasp! – inoculate their wines with cultured yeasts!
Imagine, the audacity! The HORROR!!!…
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Many moons ago, a very nice young lady by the name of Alana Riley, who had friended me up on twitter, contacted me to see if I was interested in a customized twitter background for my twitter landing page. You know, so I can keep up the appearance of professionalism and all that.
Was I interested? Well… Duh.
I was amazed at the finished product that Alana produced for me, which you can see below (click to embiggen), for those of you who are tweetdeck fanatics and never visit anyone’s twitter pages directly.
I’ve been thinking about giving Alana’s biz a plug on here for a few months, and never really got around to it because I suck and should be destroyed, and probably should mow Alana’s lawn and then pay her $2 when I’m done. Anyway, better late than never!
Here’s how Alana describes her new biz:
“I create custom websites and logos for individuals / small companies, offer graphic design & logo services, as well as social media services (from setting up an account for someone to running an account should the individual want to outsource that).”
You can check out her wares at www.sixtwentymedia.com which should be going live soon, or email Alana if you’re interested in a kick-ass twitter background.
And yeah, I know this has nothing to do with wine but you’ll get over it because you’re cool like that.