A toast to wine freedom

In this 50th anniversary year of Amnesty International*, I propose a letter-writing campaign that might liberate wine stories from their digital prisons.

“Yet if these feelings of disgust all over the world could be united into common action, something effective could be done.” Peter Benenson

Please feel free to employ this whenever you come across egregious examples of “digital wine imprisonment” then give a “Toast to Freedom“.

Wine Class @ Diony Castle

[Template Letter – amend and complete as appropriate]

Dear [Winery]

It has come to my attention that the amazing, delicious and unique [wine], a wine celebrated by wine lovers across the world as an outstanding example of the craft and science of winemaking, has, by your actions and inactions, been digitally imprisoned and locked away from the gaze of millions of potential appreciative drinkers.

It was clearly established by international convention that the use of Flash-based web sites is cruel and unusual punishment, tantamount to torture. Wine lovers wishing to enjoy [wine] should not have to wait ages for screens to load, to sit through cringeingly self-congratulatory and irrelevant films, or install plug-ins just to watch bubbles burst on their screen or photographs drift in and out of focus.

The people of the world have the right to read about, listen, watch and interact with [wine] wherever they are on their Apple-branded mobile information consumption devices, not be blocked from such communication by your vanity-driven technology choices (but to be fair, I am also writing to the dictatorship at Apple to end such restrictions).

[Wine] has a message to share and a role to play in bringing happiness, cultural expression and camaraderie to people everywhere, so why do you insist on hiding this beautiful personality behind appellation schemes designed to be penetrable only to the most bureaucratically minded?

Why do you refuse to use the communication channels available to share information that is actually useful? Why is your label treated as an ID tag instead of a loudspeaker? Why have you failed to create a platform, such as a blog or other open media channel, to allow interaction to happen? Are you hiding something? What are you afraid of?

Why do you still speak in “wine code”, excluding those who are uninitiated in its damson-scented, mineral and toothsome ways?

Does [wine] really drink well on its own, and does it HAVE to be a great match for chicken and pasta dishes?

It is time for [wine] and its story to be set free from these injustices and allow it the opportunity to travel the digital channels unimpeded.

I shall be asking my friends and elected representatives to make these same points to you at every opportunity. I trust that this pressure will help you realise the greater potential of a more open future.

Yours faithfully

A Digital Wine Lover

* this is not meant to make light of the incredible achievements of Amnesty International. On the contrary, I hope it encourages you to read about their work and join in. The Amnesty story began with the letters of one individual concerned about the plight of one small group of students imprisoned for making a toast to freedom (hopefully with wine). Maybe together we can effect change for the general good too.

UPDATE: 03/06/2011 – Thank you SO MUCH to Lizzy Tosi for translating this letter into Italian

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