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Reaching the wine drinker

LIWF 2008
Image by RobWinton via Flickr

The UK wine trade has lots of events where we pour, taste, buy and sell wine, but the majority of the big events are “trade only” events where professional buyers, writers and winery representatives such as agents, importers and distributors, get together to do deals.

The great news is that the quality of wine being made is arguably as good as it has ever been, and the buyers themselves are also better qualified to choose wines for their businesses.

But someone is missing from the picture. The drinker.

Of course, the UK consumer is always on the mind of wine makers and importers, and certainly of the businesses that will ultimately sell them the wine. Yet, how often do these businesses make decisions based on feedback directly from their ultimate customers?

One of the reasons I bang on about Social Media for wine so much is that it allows all of us, whatever our role in the wine value chain, to hear directly from a whole range of consumers about their tastes in brands and products, including wine. Today, that audience is still somewhat limited to the more technically minded (i.e. geeky) but this is changing VERY fast.

I am very excited, therefore, about the possibilities offered by the combination of wine and Twitter‘s short, focused and public messaging as is being used by twittertastelive.com – in fact I like it so much I am involved in helping to bring this idea to a broader UK and European audience.

I used this in December as well, but this time we are giving consumers and influencers outside the wine trade the chance to give some feedback on wines during one of the most important UK trade events, Bibendum Wine Ltd’s Annual Tasting. I must state for the record that 1) Bibendum is the company that imports the wines I work for and 2) we will be tasting one of these wines as part of the event, namely the Dinastia Vivanco Crianza. However, no-one will be filtering the results or comments so I hope you’ll accept this minor potential conflict of interest.

From 4pm tomorrow (21st January 2009), there will be a group of food, wine and media bloggers gathered together at Bibendum’s physical event (at the Saatchi Gallery in London) and another 8 or more individuals and groups around the country particpating remotely. Each will taste the three wines and exchange tasting notes, comments, questions and desperate demands for refills using twitter. Click here to read more about “Beyond the Trade“.

Follow along on twitter by following me (@thirstforwine) and the others listed below, and look out for tweets with the code #ttl

I’ll report back on the success, or otherwise, later in the week.

The participants will include:

@bibendumwine
@thirstforwine
@documentally
@sizemore
@loudmouthman
@eatlikeagirl
@hollowlegs
@chrispople
@foodstories
@wmjohn
@bigbluemeanie
@jonthebeef
@mackney
@fraseredwards
@rjbirkin
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