He’s frank (actually he’s Harry, Harry Haddon), he’s funny, he seems knowledgable and most importantly, he has access to a video editing tool.
Welcome to Harry
At last we have someone new who might be able to make a wine video worth watching – there are surprisingly few who have achieved this.
Wine discussions should not have to be restricted to printed text – so we particularly liked the “wine for non-readers” title.
Do check out the “First Video Post – Foreign Condescension and The Aristargos 2012” by Wine and I’s Harry Haddon and encourage him to make more videos like this – he deserves a much wider audience. This is by no means polished yet (it would be good to invest in a microphone; sound matters too), but there is potential here.
Harry, if you are reading this, you are right, we all hate the “sit in front of a camera and sniff & swirl for ages” stuff, so maybe cut the technical stuff down to minimum, and focus on sharing more of the “if this wine were to go to a picnic, it would wear suspenders and a straw hat” stuff.
Now, I’m off to meet this wine and invite it to a private picnic, just the two of us.
I don’t claim to be a food ‘expert’ in any shape or form – whether as a taster or cook. However, I do enjoy good food when I am offered it, and especially when I have friends with me who know more about it than I do, and help me learn something about it.
I have met Simon Majumdar, one half of the Dos Hermanos crew, on a couple of occasions. Simon puts on what are probably the most stunning events I know of for bloggers such as myself, under the banner of “Dine with Dos Hermanos” (I strongly urge you to join their facebook group and read the blog to stay in touch with them).
… these guys are DEDICATED TO BEEF!
In the process of talking about wine and food matching at these events, Simon invited me to lunch along with another mutual friend, William Leigh – another accomplished foodie and writer.
Lunch was to be at Goodman, an American style steak house not far from Oxford Circus, and what a lunch it was. 4 ENORMOUS steaks of different provenance and different ages, cooked perfectly, and accompanied by a very nice bottle of Cahors from the wine list (Cahors is the home to the Malbec grape whose more recent incarnation as the ‘signature’ grape of Argentina is generally considered a great match for steak).
However, what really opened my eyes was when we were given a “behind the scenes” tour of the kitchen by Head Chef John Cadieux. Words are not enough to explain this, so thankfully I remembered to bring along my video camera! Do check out my short summary video as John explained the meat, the ageing, the grill and even the charcoal – these guys are DEDICATED TO BEEF!
The great news is that I can put my new-found expertise to good use in about a week when a group of us will gather in Goodman for “Blokes Eat Beef” – so do expect a lot more posts and photos about the food from others too.
I’ve only just returned from the European Wine Bloggers Conference (EWBC) in Lisbon, but instead of collecting my thoughts and writing them up, I was straight into the next project which was to be the voice in social media of The Wine Gang at their first wine tasting.
The Wine Gang (Olly Smith, Tim Atkin, Joanna Simon, Anthony Rose & Tom Cannavan) asked me to help share information about the event they were planning with the world. It is interesting that more and more of the wine trade are recognising the possibilities of Social Media not just to do traditional things, such as get visitors to a show, but just to raise the profile of the participants (organisers, exhibitors, brands and even visitors). However, getting started is not easy, so I offered to help get the process started with The Wine Gang Live blog and even a twitter account @winegang – let’s see where these go from here!
Check out one visitor’s reaction to the event and how they learned about it:
The event took place last Saturday at Vinopolis and was a great success I believe. The exhibiting wine importers and retailers seemed happy with the orders and feedback they were getting, and the consumers learned a lot and tasted some EXCELLENT wines (Corney & Barrow had an excellent Nerello Mascalese called Passopisciaro – thx for the tip goes to Tim Atikin). It all means that The Wine Gang are likely to do this again next year, so keep an eye on their wine subscription site (I think there is lots more news to come there) as well as their blog.
I enjoyed meeting so many people I know in the trade, and to bring along some fellow bloggers. I also really enjoyed meeting some of my twitter friends in person (IRL as it seems to have become known). I have lots of video to edit and photos to sort through, BUT …
Tomorrow I’m off to Rioja for Wine Future conference with Robert Parker, Jancis Robinson, Gary Vaynerchuck and Ryan Opaz! (oh, and a few other speakers too). It will be an INCREDIBLY busy trip, but I will be live blogging the event with Gabriella Opaz so look out for lots of content about what these industry leaders make of the future of wine!
How would you like to share a glass of wine with 700 potential new readers of your wine blog?
The Wine Gang have offered me the opportunity to showcase a small number of UK bloggers at their upcoming The Wine Gang Christmas Fair on November 7th, 2009 at Vinopolis. In exchange for spreading the word about their event (which I would have done gladly) and a little blog building expertise, I am being given the opportunity to bring 3-5 bloggers along to the show with me to taste the wines and showcase wine blogging to a community of wine lovers.
The Blog Spot
I have a small area in the show where we can set up our laptops with free wifi (for us, not the general public I’m afraid), power and the space to speak to wine lovers about our blogs, our views on wine and what they can learn about wine from bloggers. This is called the ‘Blog Spot‘
I believe that this is a great opportunity for bloggers and readers;
Bloggers can meet their potential target audience and find out about what interests them, what sites they read (if any), what motivates their wine buying and what wine lovers really think of wine blogging. These blogs will be exhibiting alongside some of the biggest names in UK wine retail as well as distributors, brands and generic bodies. It is an amazing opportunity to create a brand new audience for your blog content
Wine consumers can learn what motivates bloggers to go to the efforts of maintaining a blog, usually for no reward (except appearing at wine tastings) and what their particular passion is. It is an easy way to find some great new sources of wine information to complement their own wine buying research and maybe even new friends to share experiences with.
Want to come along and feature your blog?
1. Who is eligible?
If you are based in the UK and write a blog on any topic, but include wine regularly (but not necessarily exclusively) then you qualify. This offer is open to wine bloggers, food bloggers, travel bloggers and anyone else who likes to talk about and share their thoughts on wine.
2. What do you need to do?
Create a post on your own blog in the next 10 days (published before midnight, Tuesday 6th October, 2009) on the subject of “Buy Smarter and Drink Better Wines” (The Wine Gang strapline). Interpret this as you like! You can write in your own style, in the context of your own blog and for your audience, even produce a video or any other format content, but we want to hear what YOU think about how consumers can learn more about wine and improve their appreciation of better wines.
Most importantly, you need to link back to this post and to the new The Wine Gang Live blog so I know that you have written it (it wouldn’t hurt to leave me a comment or notify me on twitter as well, just in case).
All participating posts will be read, and The Wine Gang and I will select from these the ‘best’ entries. Unfortunately I can’t give strict criteria as I want to leave you free to interpret the brief as widely as possible, but we are looking for creativity, a good sense of how wine appreciation can be improved and of course for those ideas that can encourage more people to enjoy wine, responsibly!
Those selected will be notified before October the 12th so you can make plans to be at the show, but please put Saturday November 7th, 2009 in your diaries now!
I hope you agree that this is a fun and exciting opportunity for wine bloggers and wine blogging, and I look forward to reading your posts.
UPDATE 06/10/2009: Today was the deadline for submissions, but I have been too busy to remind people about it. I already have a number of candidates, but I would like to spread the word a little further, so I am extending the deadline to the end of this week (ending on Sunday 11th October). Due consideration will be given to those who did get their posts up for the original deadline, of course!
As you will have noticed from my last post, and if you have been following me on twitter, I’ve been exploring some video resources as means to spread the love and culture of wine. I decided it might be useful to share some links, and some thoughts, on some of those I have come across in case you are thinking of doing the same. If you are, send me a link to let me know.
Here is a short list (it could be much longer) of resources I am either using or looking at, which I am arbitrarily splitting in two, plus links to videos I’ve made, or been involved in on each.
First, those video sites where you share pre-recorded (& hopefully edited) videos:
The BIG video site. It is a massive site with lots of reach, so a great place to upload your video if you want it easily available. However, there are some limitations. It can be a maximum of 10 minutes long, it is one amongst millions (and millions) and although there is a healthy community effect which encourages comments and votes, it can equally turn nasty and childish. However, any wine communicator ought to have their own place on YouTube to upload and share videos.
I’m sure that their respective CEOs would give me a long list of their unique features, but essentially they offer the same service. A smaller, more focused community within the sites themselves, but more importantly, the opportunity to upload longer videos if you need to (which you probably don’t, by the way). One neat feature of Viddler is the opportunity for you and your viewers to add comments linked to specific points in a video. Worth checking out.
I’ve yet to use this, but if you have a short video you want to share with your twitter followers, you can upload it to this site and have it sent out to your followers. I think this made the list (i.e. I became conscious of it) because it was one of the first to be available for the iPhone 3GS. There are plenty of similar sites out there, but the key is to upload fun, social content that pretty much anyone will enjoy.
The second category of video sharing sites allow you less scope to edit, but offer more spontaneity and in some cases LIVE streaming:
I’ll deal with this first as it is a bit of an anomaly. This is a more interactive site than those in the previous category. In fact it is more of a discussion forum with video, where the whole point of the videos are to begin conversations with other users who record their replies in video format.
I separate it also because in reality, it is a community in itself. Most wine consumers are not at all interested in recording videos of themselves, so users on here are mainly reaching out to a very specific community
Now it gets fun. Think recording a video is difficult, you don’t know what to say, how to edit it, upload it and promote it? Well, don’t bother. All you get are 12 seconds of recording, and the site does the rest. Perfect for fun, trivia, quick insights, stolen moments (ahem), etc. Share your video with the 12seconds community but also take advantage of sharing through facebook, twitter, etc. Definitely one to try.
A new toy for me. No pre-recording or editing. You stream live (from you computer only at the moment I believe) and users can interact with you in a chat window and through twitter. As soon as you are online, it lets people know through twitter so you can have your own TV moment. If you have good relationships with followers on twitter, it is worth checking out.
A service that allows you to stream video from your mobile device (except iPhone for now, but that is about to change) straight to the internet, and then share it though social media sites. A great way for those who want to let their friends and followers into their daily lives away from the office and desks – such as vineyards or tasting rooms (but make sure you have wifi access).
Finally, for now, something which will become more and more important as the volume of content grows, a place to actually FIND relevant content. The EWBC has partnered with 23video to create a place to view lots of video content about the wine bloggers conferences in both USA and Europe. Check these out then consider where, other than your own site, you might want to have your video “archived”. Think of it as a library or gallery of your work, where future consumers will find it.
I could have listed a lot more, but these are things I am playing with. What are your favourites?