Tag Archive - bbc

Wine on TV comes to a Second Screen

Ever wondered what they were drinking on a TV show and wanted to know more? Maybe even try it yourself?

We know that product placement in TV and film is very effective if nothing else because of the amount of money that is charged for the privilege. It isn’t just films either, as the experience of Vin de Constance from South Africa attests when it was included in the second in the “50 Shades” series of books.

That Wine on TV - found

That Wine on TV – found

Last night, the BBC relaunched their Food & Drink TV brand that was instrumental to growing wine consumption in the UK in the 1980s and 1990s, but while the original series with Oz Clarke and Jilly Goolden recommended specific wines from exotic new locations such as Australia and Chile, the new programme only talks in general terms about the wine’s regional provenance and avoids showing the label.

Will that have an effect on wine? Maybe not directly, but indirectly it might:

  • help to widen the benefit of the profile to a category of wine instead of a single bottle
  • start a conversation about new regions
  • encourage exploration and a bit of fun ‘detective work’
  • allow producers to source more interesting wines from smaller regions and producers not on supermarket shelves

An appearance on TV or in a national newspaper used to guarantee sales, but this is no longer true as audiences dwindle and get fragmented.

Consumers today are not *that* interested in wine that they will suddenly jump up from their TVs and flood google’s servers with queries about wines from these new regions. Many will still want a bit more help in locating relevant wines. How do we connect interested consumers with willing suppliers?

What the world needs today is a more integrated information solution to information in the places consumers go to look for it.

The BBC is bound not to endorse any commercial brands, so there is a BIG opportunity for others to step in and provide this information alongside the TV show in what is known as “Second Screen” solutions.

Second Screen means that consumers are interacting with TV programmes on their main screen via a second device such as a computer, smartphone or tablet. They are commenting on appearances of their favourite celebrities via twitter or facebook while they watch it simultaneously. They are also searching for related information for holidays or ingredients.

What if someone were to help identify those ‘mystery’ wines, tell you where you could buy them, offer you similar alternatives that might be more attractively priced or conveniently stocked, and finally link to retailers (and monetise this through affiliate links)?

Just because the BBC can’t do this, doesn’t mean others could not.

To show what I mean, I set up That Wine on TV in a couple of hours last night (most of the time spent trying to identify the Dao red on the programme) which I will try to maintain for a while for fun.

There is a great deal of NEW opportunity in wine retail if we use social media not simply as a communication tool, but to create the sort of immediate, relevant and convenient tools that today’s wine consumers are looking for.

Deos anyone else have a good example of Second Screen solutions in action for wine?

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Lebanon and a truly inspiring wine story from the BBC

Today the BBC Radio 4 broadcast a special programme on the wines of Lebanon, presented by Jeremy Bowen, called ‘Vines on the Front Line‘. The result was actually a very interesting human story, not one of grapes, and I was impressed.

Jeremy Bowen, BBC

Jeremy Bowen, BBC

To listen to the report, click on the link below:

(at least if you are in UK, not sure if it works elsewhere. If I find a permanent download file, I will add this in here later too.)

Vines on the Front Line, BBC Radio 4

My view:

Jeremy is best known, at least in this household, as an international correspondent for the BBC, reporting from the Middle East on conflicts, power struggles and diplomatic wrangling. He is definitely not a name I would have associated with wine reports, but, as he said himself,

“Grapes have been part of my life as a correspondent”

… and I can well imagine!

There are many directions a programme about wine in Lebanon could have gone. It could have been an excuse to treat the people involved as freaks in the context of a war – bombs and suffering sell news better than wine stories after all. It could have been another ‘introduction to wine’ programme rehashing basic wine knowledge with a bit of politics thrown in to make it a bit different.

Instead, Jeremy Bowen’s people skills, and his ability to sniff out real, personal stories, were well matched to his political and historical knowledge, and used to make us understand that what people are doing is neither odd, nor crazy, but actually part of a culture that is older and more enduring than the political, religious divisions that dominate our news of this region. There’s a lesson in there!

I like the fact that he doesn’t actually spend time giving us any detailed tasting impressions, or discussing wine making practices other than a few references. Wine doesn’t have to be about that. What makes Lebanese wine different is the combination of ancient & modern history, the attitudes to wine culture and the imported technology, the recent struggles to keep these traditions alive, and by people whose passion is simply demonstrated by the fact that they continue to do it despite the political, and violent personal, setbacks.

I’ve listened to the programme 3 times. I want to go out and drink some Lebanese wine and learn more about it. That’s the mark of a good programme. Well done Jeremy. Well done BBC.

Can we have a few more like this please?

By the way, if you are inspired to try some Lebanese wines too, here’s a list of key wineries and their UK importers who might be able to help locate a local stockist to you (list courtesy of @LebanonWines)

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It is so loud in here, I can’t hear myself drink

Interesting research reported on the BBC today:

The level of background noise affects both the intensity of flavour and the perceived crunchiness of foods, researchers have found.

It also makes me wonder about wines. We’ve known for a while that wines don’t taste the same in the air, and I seem to recall it was assumed it had to do with air pressure, but noise also makes sense. If any of your senses is being overwhelmed, then the others will naturally be affected.

I happened to run a dB meter on a recent plane trip (“there’s an app for that”) and it registered over 90dB – that’s as loud as a petrol lawnmower … and you sit in it for hours!

On the other hand, the research also seems to point to positive aspects – where pleasant sounds increase the intensity of flavours, which is backed by anecdotal evidence of “great wine moments” you have on holiday or with a great dinner partner.

Also in the group’s findings there is the suggestion that the overall satisfaction with the food aligned with the degree to which diners liked what they were hearing – a finding the researchers are pursuing in further experiments.

It seems that we have, at least partially, now got evidence that wine drinking is a pleasure that requires all your senses, not just taste!

Certainly, airplanes are not ideal wine tasting locations for many reasons, but there’s always a good reason to keep testing!

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More BBC Wine Conversations

The programme's set, introduced in May 2006, f...
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Must get this post up quickly because I’ve been asked (this morning) to come along to the BBC Working Lunch studios TOMORROW to discuss Wine, Social Media, and specifically the business benefits of Twitter.

Not only that, but I get to share a stage with Annie Mole who will be focusing on the blogging side of things – wow!

How exciting is that? I’d never intended to BE the wine spokesperson on Social Media, only to get to know it to the benefit of the wonderful wineries I work with, and all my wine friends. However, anything I can do to raise the visibility of wine blogging and wine tweeting, then great! After all, this IS the wine conversation.

Of course, one of the main points and examples will be the ongoing developments at Twitter Taste Live

If you are in the UK (or can access the BBC Two), check out the programme that starts at 12:30 tomorrow (6 January, 2009) or watch the iPlayer catch up in the next week.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, if you are reading this before the programme goes out, let me know what you think I should say. Any great examples of where Twitter has helped your wine business – winery, retailer, marketing agency or importer? What about as a wine consumer – has twitter helped you explore wine further? I’d love, in fact am DESPERATE for, your feedback.

Wish me luck!

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Wine Conversation on the BBC

BBC Pods & Blogs

BBC Pods & Blogs

A brief note to let you know that for the next few days you can listen to my less-than-dulcet tones on the excellent BBC show called Pods & Blogs

I was invited to speak a little about what is happening online with wine blogs and a couple of pointers for choosing wines for Christmas. Hopefully I can make a return visit in 2009 to update Jamillah Knowles on the news emerging from the 2009 European Wine Bloggers Conference – more news on that very soon.

As I mentioned on the show, there are interesting things underway at http://wineblogger.info thanks to lots of effort by Ryan and Gabriella Opaz of Catavino, so keep an eye on that too.

By the way, if that wasn’t already too much of me, I also participate from time to time in another fun podcast on wine called New Wine Consumer with Randulo, Evelyne Resnick (author of Wine Brands), daveac and many other friends including Ryan and Gabriella. Unlike the BBC content, this is archived for longer, so you can check out lots of past episodes as well as the most recent one which happened to be on Spanish wines.

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