Tag Archives: wine conversation

Wine is not just for wine bloggers

This post follows neatly, although it wasn’t planned that way, from the last one.

A wine region in Spain wants to invite a select group of influential bloggers to visit their region, possibly in June, to learn about the wines, about the local food it matches with, and a little about the region itself as a tourist destination.

The first port of call, in Social Media, would be wine bloggers in key markets like the UK, … but why just wine bloggers?

I’ve said before that if we want to make wine more relevant and less threatening to more people, we need to “reach beyond the wine bubble” and talk to others who also influence consumers interest in wine, such as foodies, event organisers and travel bloggers. If this group felt comfortable discussing and recommending wines, the Wine Conversation would be transformed!

So, I’ve offered to put together a list of interested UK bloggers, but also of those active in other forms of Social Media, so that this wine region might decide to invite a broader selection of them and thus have lots of different people learn more about it.

Disclaimer bit: this is nothing to do with the wines or wine regions I represent, it is on behalf of a friend who is working with the wine region in question, and who asked me to reach out to my UK followers.

Why these categories, and why bloggers in particular?

The cost of the trip will not be insignificant for the wine region (few wine regions have big budgets) and they hope to have those who come write about their experiences and share them with their audiences. This is easiest where writing about the trip will be ‘in context’ for those bloggers. For example, it might not be that easy for a tech blogger to suddenly switch to writing about great wines from Spain (although I accept that depends on the blogger).

Also, why bloggers? All can be considered, but from the region’s perspective, they’d obviously love to have the kind of content, reach and permanent record offered by blogs (and I mean written word, photography and video). Remember, this is a BIG step for a wine region only used to talking to wine journalists working with established media.

Finally, I’m afraid they cannot bring everyone. I believe the trip will be for 5 or so people, so I’m afraid quite a few of you will be disappointed, but I promise to let everyone know if more such trips arise, so it’s worth getting involved anyway. I have no idea what criteria they might use to select a group, beyond making this a fun, influential and eclectic mix to see what an investment in Social Media might deliver for them.

I already have a pretty good list of foodies and some events people, as well as a few unusual requests that could be very interesting too, but if you want to throw your hat in the ring, you can do it publicly by leaving me a comment here, sending me a Direct Message on twitter, or an email at: thirstforwine AT gmail DOT com – and if you were to say WHY they should choose you, that might help 🙂

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Open That Bottle Night

Old bottles, lying and waiting

Old bottles, lying and waiting

It is coming up fast, so I thought I’d pass on the tip.

If you’ve been holding on to a bottle or two of wine or Champagne, waiting for that “Special Occasion”, or the “Right Time” to drink it – then wait no longer. In truth, that event or moment very often never materialises, and worse, you could ‘accidentally’ get so frustrated waiting for it to come along that you open it and then realise you have to drink it alone, from a styrofoam cup and match it to take-away pizza – somewhat like a distraught Miles in Sideways.

So, Open That Bottle night (OTBN) was dreamed up in 2000 to create that moment, to place a marker in the diary that means that you will always have a “drink by” moment for those wines. That date is the last Saturday in February, which means 28 Feb 2009. Not only that, but others are doing the same, so you are really taking part in a global quality wine drinking occasion that you can share on Twitter, Facebook, Snooth, Adegga and many other wine social media platforms.

I had planned on doing this on Saturday with a bottle of 1981 or 1982 Rioja from my cellar, and may still do so, but as it happens, the idea of this event prompted me to dig out some bottles and invite some friends over to share them – and beat the deadline. I had a stunning bottle of Nicolas Catena Zapata 1999 (elegant, cassis fruit, soft tannins and wonderful concentration and length, but still with a decade or more in front of it) and even crack open a bottle of Leacock’s Verdelho Madeira from 1971 given to me as a gift (incredible complexity of caramel, banana fruit, nuts and an acidity that smacks you in the mouth and leaves your head spinning and drooling … in the most wonderful way of course).

So, I’ve opened my bottles. What bottles are you tempted to open on Saturday?

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Can you make money on twitter from wine with breakfast?

If you have ever heard of Twitter, whether you have joined or not, you’ll probably recognise the truth and comedy in this (click on the image to go to original site and make it larger):

Tweet Your Breakfast

Tweet Your Breakfast - from wheres my jetpack

In summary;

Twitter is really a waste of time because it is full of people with nothing better or more interesting to do than tell you what they had for breakfast.


Yes, there are a lot of people who are talking about what they are doing, what they like, dislike and want information on. Some of it is trivial, some of it is not. But, and this is a BIG BUT, you would be wrong to assume it isn’t valuable.

First, consider that we are all preening social animals, so what we project on twitter says something about us and how we want to be seen. It is important to someone.

Second, it is a shared activity that builds networks of friends and contacts who might then go on and do what you might consider “interesting”, so there is always a benefit in it

Third, let’s put an entrepreneurial hat on for a moment. If there are around 3-4m twitter users (recent estimate) telling you what they are buying, eating and drinking for breakfast, is this not UNBELIEVABLY useful for breakfast providers: coffee brands, cereal brands, diet snake-oil-salesmen, media companies and more?

In fact, I’d go so far as saying that breakfast tweets (and their like) are the most monetisable elements of twitter. No joke.

If you are a wine producer you should already be searching and monitoring the Twitterverse for mentions of your wines or even your direct competitors’. If they are doing it with breakfast, they are probably also doing it with lunch (#lunchtweet) and dinner … including what they drank (the audience is definitely skewed towards a wine drinking profile, see some stats here)

If they mention your wine, the users are doing your word of mouth marketing, FREE. They are also potentially spreading bad reviews (maybe because of corked bottles or poor retail experiences) or misunderstandings about your product or brand. You can easily address these by responding in a timely way. You don’t even need to spend much time on twitter for this benefit, just set up an alert and you’re done. The information comes to you. This is a fantastic opportunity.

If they are not talking about your wine, why not?

The full benefit of Twitter comes from getting involved and becoming part of the many informal networks. There are wine bloggers, wine merchants, journalists, collectors, wine makers and wine consumers already there. They exchange information, link, reviews, suggestions and advice. There are plenty of opportunities to contribute, for example participating in online chats, online wine tastings, or maybe offering a unique view of your wine region. Could you not afford a little time to contribute and therefore also share the benefits? If you do, please link to me (@thirstfowine) and send me a tweet

Twitter is only a tool, still with a limited reach, but a potentially very useful one.

Things to do NOW:

  1. Search for your brands and key terms on Twitter
  2. Check out some wine twitterers (or visit my page and link off to others that you find interesting)
  3. Sign up for an account – OWN YOUR NAME!
  4. Respond to customers in a positive way – but don’t preach or ‘sell’ (not until you have twitter street cred)
  5. Join the fun. Follow some people and get to see how it works first hand
  6. Spread the word and get other interesting people involved

Image above borrowed from Where’s My Jetpack – check it out!

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More BBC Wine Conversations

The programme's set, introduced in May 2006, f...
Image via Wikipedia

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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How to find your new favourite wine blog

A short update to let you in on an exciting development.

There are quite a lot of Wine Blogs out there – by some estimate there are around 1,000, and very few of them have much profile (i.e. traffic) yet. A few (mainly American) sites have gathered a reputation beyond a small circle of followers, such as Vinography, Fermentation, Dr. Vino and Good Wine Under $20, and a few Europeans are also regularly quoted, such as Catavino and Wine Anorak. These are the sites that get mentioned most often in articles about wine blogging online and in print, but they may not represent the kind of wine blog YOU want to read.

How do you find a blog about the wines of India, or a Wine Marketing blog in French?

Last year, Guy Kawasaki launched the popular Alltop into the wine arena with wine.alltop.com (where you will find this site listed, of course) but by its very nature, the site is still limited.

Now, Catavino Marketing has taken this to the next level (with just a little input from friends) by relaunching a great wine blog resource at http://wineblogger.info

The site has existed for around a year, listing the growing number of wine blogs around the world, but with quite a lot of effort, and some nifty programming, Ryan and Gabriella have now categorised these blogs into languages and even some topic categories so you can find the kind of blogs that are most interesting to you. What is great is that you do not even need to visit each one, but you can see the latest 5 posts from each one and even a preview of the post itself.

Of course, the technology and design may not be radical but it IS important because it is a major resource for the wine blogging world, and the kind of thing that no commercial organisation was going to get around to build for us as it is unlikely to make money. We ought to be doubly grateful for the skills and dedication to the wine blogging cause of Catavino Marketing & friends.

I’m certain we will see this site grow as a resource for wine bloggers and those who like to read them over the next few months, so do keep an eye on it, and if you find something new and interesting because of this, do let me know.

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