I was playing with a new service on twitter call TwitCam that allows you to create a video broadcast and then let people know, and chat, via Twitter.
It was fun broadcasting a wine tasting LIVE.
My first video was meant only as a response to a question, but it encouraged some feedback from others who tried to interact, so I thought I would do another and ask for interaction. I decided to run a wine tasting, not as a “presentation” (as most wine videos are), but as an interactive event, getting guesses on the wine from participants – a double blind tasting*.
The results can now be seen on the archived video here (or click on the image). I am not embedding it here as it starts playing automatically, which can get annoying.
We are only just starting to explore the possibilities of bringing together different services such as twitter, blogging, video and audio. This is what can make communication and learning fun. Not just for wine, but in many fields. It is not a lecture, but a way to reach out to a lot more people around the globe and make friends.
If you participated or left comments later, thank you so much! I had great fun. So much so I’m planning on doing it again next week.
My friend Christian Payne (aka @Documentally) has introduced me to lots of amazing technologies, especially opening my eyes to video, and this morning he pointed me to an incredible use of video technology to “immerse” the viewer in the action – yellowBird :: with the longest URL I have ever seen:
This technology (compared to the Google StreetView Car approach) uses multiple cameras to capture the action in all directions at the same time, merges them and then you can then change your viewpoint as you watch. Watch the video below and have a play – then imagine this as a tool for capturing the reality of harvest and the atmosphere of the winery. How much more would consumers understand about wine?
On Wednesday I was invited to taste through a small range of examples of 2008 vintage Chablis with Arnaud Valour of the Burgundy Wine Board. Naturally I accepted – and it had nothing to do with the branded gifts I took away (although I’m particularly grateful for a copy of Rosemary George’s wonderful book; The Wines of Chablis)
I’d say that the wines were great, but they were only a selection of 6 bottles (blind – i.e. without saying which they were) and chosen to be the best of the region in this vintage, so you’d expect them to be. I was particularly impressed by the quality and easier drinking style of the Petit Chablis wines – they had more character than I really expected. For those unfamiliar with the Chablis hierarchy, this is:
Petit Chablis – the least expensive, simple, crisp wines
Chablis – a range of wines, but fresh, delicate and with hints of “minerality” (like the aroma of shells on the beach – see video)
Chablis Premier Cru (or 1er Cru) – more complex wines that must come from only 40 or so vineyards
Chablis Grand Cru – the most intense, age-worthy and usually stunning examples; only 7 vineyards on one slope go to making these
I asked Arnaud what he though were the unique style characteristics of Chablis, and why people should chose Chablis, and I recorded the answer (I apologise for the poor quality sound):
Of course, the wines got better as we went up the scale, getting more rounded, more complex and showing those classic Chablis characters. It does seem that 2008 will be a good vintage for the region. It also seems that sales of this premium region are as affected by the credit crunch as everyone else, so you may be able to pick them up for a decent price when they hit the shops and merchants.
For the premier cru wines (I tried an interesting organic 1er cru) and above, it would be a crime to drink a 2008 now as they’ll develop over the next decade, but the trouble will be finding someone who will keep them for you, so it might be worth getting a few and keeping them in a cool corner for a future special occasion.
But this blog isn’t about tasting wines or about specific regions. I also spent a while asking Arnaud about the online marketing and social media plans of the Chablis region. After all, Chablis already has brand recognition around the world, you would think it could leverage this to its advantage online too.
It seems that there are plans to launch a new site at http://www.chablis.fr – I see there is a site there now, but it has numerous flaws, so I’m hoping it is a work in progress. Considering how controversial internet marketing of alcohol is in France these days, it is good to see that not everyone is abandoning these efforts. Apparently Chablis is out to broaden its appeal to “women and younger consumers”, mainly, it appears, through tasting events in Chablis itself. For the rest of us, the plan is to focus on the wine trade. Unfortunately the wine trade is already familiar with the wines, and with hundreds of regions competing for their attention, I wonder how effective this will be (it got me writing about it I suppose). I was specifically told they had no plans for Facebook fan pages, blogs or twitter accounts, which unfortunately fits the stereotype of French wine marketing.
Arnaud himself was very articulate, friendly and spoke excellent English, but there are only so many people he can meet in person. Surely they could find a way to “amplify” his message through social media channels easily enough?
In short, Chablis continues to be a great wine, it continues to be a reasonably expensive wine, and it doesn’t have much new to say about itself from a marketing perspective, so continues to speak to the same consumers. If you buy it, you’ll probably keep doing so. If you don’t, what reason have you to start?
Question: What does Chablis mean to you?
I wonder if I could urge you to go and taste a bottle of Chablis, any style, any vintage, and let me know what you think of it? How did you find the wine? Did you like it? Was it good value for money? How was it being sold compared to the competition? If you would consider undertaking this mission, please do let me know what you thought here in the comments.
This to be filed under: “It seemed like a good idea at the time …”
What wine bloggers do when they get together
When preparing for the sponsorship of the London Bloggers Christmas Networking meetup I contacted my wine blogging friends with a challenge:
“As you probably cannot make it in person to the tasting, how about making a SHORT video, say 2 minutes maximum, explaining a little about you, your blog and your wines, so that the London Bloggers can learn a bit more about the people behind the blogs?”
Of course, it is a good idea, but despite the fact that some of us have been blogging for ages, and the multimedia capabilities of the blogging platforms and our computers, most of us are firmly wedded to our keyboards. I have never produced a proper film (with editing) before, and nor had anyone else I think.
However, everyone was up for the challenge and we got an amazing reaction and variety of presentations.
My absolute favourite is below, but rather than load them all on this page, please follow the links below to the videos on YouTube – and if you were at the tasting, why not check out the producer of your favourite wine from the night?