Tag Archives: crowdsourcing

Buy me a glass of wine?

Shiny enomatic dispensers at The Wine Theatre

Shiny enomatic dispensers at The Wine Theatre

I tried a very brief experiment today.

I was off to The Wine Theatre in Southwark for lunch to meet a fellow blogger, Oliver Thring of Thring for your Supper. As I had not tried the restaurant before, but it billed itself as a wine destination, I was hopeful that there would be interesting wines to try. They have their food and wine menu available online (I can’t believe all restaurants do not do this automatically), so it was easier to prepare.

Rather than choosing the wine myself, I opened up the choice to my followers on twitter and “crowdsourced” the choice – hoping they would be inventive, creative … and kind (and not force me to choose the most expensive wines). I’m a little busy with other tasks at the moment so I wasn’t able to encourage lots of participation, but one follower (@philippav) did respond with some excellent suggestions, and mostly ones I would not have made myself.

The result was that we ended up sharing a bottle (I know, it was supposed to be a glass, but we did have starters AND mains) of a Barbera d’Asti 2007 called Teis from Ca’Bianca – a lovely, light bodied and fruity wine (though with great Italian acidity) that matched the mood and conversation perfectly (though you’ll need to read Oliver’s review to see how it matched the food).

image_481I wonder whether this is an interesting challenge for future outings; to allow certain choices in my vinous exploration to be dictated by a group of like-minded individuals and thus encourage greater experimentation – a little like “Yes Man” (but with wine, and more style – not that I’ve seen the film, but I somehow doubt I need to bother based on the cast and the trailer)

Based on today’s results, it is at least worth repeating, but maybe with a little trepidation

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Crowdsourcing Wine

Ever heard the term “crowdsourcing“? If you haven’t check it out! It is a great idea, perfect for the “social networker” in all of us – either as a producer looking to create new products, or a consumer eager to get involved in shaping new solutions.

From Wikipedia:

Crowdsourcing is a neologism for the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people, in the form of an open call. For example, the public may be invited to develop a new technology, carry out a design task, refine an algorithm or help capture, systematize or analyze large amounts of data (see also citizen science).

The term has become popular with business authors and journalists as shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals. However, both the term and its underlying business models have attracted controversy and criticism.

There are loads of examples of crowdsourcing happening around the world, taking full advantage of the benefits of social networks to get the word out, and involve lots of individuals all over the world.

I came across this example of a crowdsourced cafe today, called Elements.

Members share ideas of what to call the project, choose its logo, what to serve, why, how to communicate its values – even what those values are. All the while, this group is creating a loyal community that will hopefully turn into loyal customers in future.

So, who is doing this in wine?

You could argue that the clever chaps over at Crushpad have started this sort of thing, allowing groups of virtual winemakers to create their own wines, from choice of grapes and how to ‘make’ the wines, all the way through to packaging design.

These wines are, therefore, available only in limited quantities and are expensive. I should admit I’m involved in one Crushpad group being run by Tim Elliott but, in an example of the limitations of taking these virtual projects into the ‘real world’ it may be legally impossible, and financially impractical, for me to ever actually drink this wine!

But, are any of the big brands in the wine world working on something like this? It would seem ideal territory. Who knows, maybe we’ll hear something exciting in the not too distant future.

With thanks to Springwise for the tip about Elements