Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Wednesday’s Meritage – Wine Quiz Answer, WTSO Marathon, Dangers of Twits, Natural Wines Commotion

July 23, 2014 5 comments

Meritage Time!

Of course we are staring with the answer to the weekly wine quiz #109, where you were supposed to identify 8 wines by the image on top of the bottle cap or a capsule. Below are the pictures, now with the answers:

While nobody was able to identify all 8 wines, Zak (no web site) did an excellent job identifying 6 out of 8 wine tops, so he is definitely the winner of this round and gets the unlimited bragging rights! I also want to acknowledge wineandhistory, who correctly identified PEJU wine. I’m also glad to say that a number of people said that they will start paying more attention to the bottle tops, which makes it all more fun.

Now, to the interesting news around the web and the vine!

First, the WTSO is on it again – Summer Cheapskate Marathon is coming to the browser next to you on Tuesday, July 29th. Starting at 6 am  Eastern time, the new wines will be offered in the $7.99 to $18.99 range every 15 minutes or sooner if the offered wine will sell out. All wines are offered in the quantity of 4 bottles or more to get the free shipping. The marathon will finish at 11:59 pm Eastern time.

Next up is an interesting post by W. Blake Gray. I made a number of attempts to come up with a clever abstract for his blog post; instead, I just have to explain why I think it worth a few minutes of your time. In the article, W. Blake Gray explains how two of his short posts on twitter led to the angry rebuttal from the Cellar Tracker founder, Eric Levine, with the declaration of “wine snob” being literally slapped on W. Blake Gray’s face (yes, as a figure of speech – no bodily harm took place). Twitter is a dangerous medium – the condensed format requires lots of careful attention to what one is saying – and viral potential of any twit making huge waves should always be taken into account… Anyway, read it for yourself, including the comments, and if you will, let me know what you think.

What do you think of natural wine? Yes, I know that the term itself is somewhat controversial. But, considering that the wine is a form of art, I only see it as one of the styles, which is perfectly valid alongside of many others. However, it seems that a lot of wine professionals don’t see it like that. First was an article by Bruce Palling, called “Is there anything natural about raw wine“. Jamie Goode, a winner of the Best Overall Wine Blog Award at WBC14, responded to this article on his blog, in the post called “Comments on Bruce Palling’s anti-natural wine article“. Then Steve Heimoff jumped in with “I weigh in on Jamie Goode’s post on “natural wine””, and even Matt Kramer couldn’t stand aside and wrote the post called “When Did Wine Become So Partisan?“. If anything, I’m definitely siding with Matt Kramer and his question – I don’t understand why the opinions about wine, which is an extremely, extremely subjective in terms of “good and bad”, should be so fiercely antagonistic. If someone doesn’t like the taste of Australian Shiraz, does it mean that Australia should stop making Shiraz? And if the answer is “of course not”, then I don’t understand why natural wine should be any different. Anyway, I suggest you will spend a few minutes of your time reading those articles – and don’t forget to read the comments.

And we are done for today. The glass is empty – but the refill is on the way. Cheers!

Advent of Wine And Social Media

March 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Someone can probably run a very interesting study as to why people blog. I guess that we [bloggers] have something to say to the world, and the Internet gave us an ultimate platform to deliver the message – I’m not sure if this explains the  phenomena of mass social media, but I will leave that research to the professionals, and while they are working on the answer, I will keep blogging.

Another interesting question for me is how do we [bloggers] come up with the subjects for the blog. I’m sure that some people have a plan. My method, though, should be called an “opportunistic blogging” – I rarely know in advance what my next blog post will be all about, so I’m blogging as the life takes place. Consequently, the subject I want to discuss here was not planned in advance at all – the idea for this blog post was born after reading the post by Joe Roberts, a.k.a. @1WineDude, which was called “This Is Me Totally NOT Lightening Up On Wine And Social Media“. The best thing you can do is read the original post – but to give the main idea, the blog post is about wineries not investing enough into the social media, not engaging the consumers through the social media channels and not building up their respective brands.

This is definitely an interesting discussion. How much time and effort should wineries dedicate to the social media? I don’t have an answer to that question – just some thoughts. Twitter and Facebook are two major social media outlets for the task of reaching out. The question is – are you reaching out wine professionals or the consumers? If we are talking about the need for wineries to engage wine professionals in the restaurants and the stores, wine writers and sommeliers – yes,  I fully agree with that, this is an important way to communicate with your immediate target audience. Trying to reach the consumers? How effective it will be, outside of delivering your message to the people who are already in your club or the mailing list? In the store which has hundreds and hundreds of bottles from all over the world, where appearance of the label is the first deciding factor for majority of the wine purchases, will your social media message help?

Actually, as I warned you, I don’t have the answers. For someone like myself, social network recommendations and discussions play an important role – this is where I learn about new wines and decide what I want to try. But what about the majority? I guess the full blown study needs to be engineered to assess how much of the social media engagement by the wineries will translate into the actual buying decisions. While we can only hope that someone will actually conduct such a study, I decided to compare some simple numbers for wine world versus general food products in terms of the number of followers on Facebook (FB) and Twitter (T).

Here are some numbers. First, for the brands: Beringer Vineyards – FB: 18K, T: 9K; Robert Mondavi Winery – FB: 20K, T: 5.8K; Francis Ford Coppola Winery – FB :15K, T: 4K; d’Arenberg Winery – FB: 6.5K, T: 3.6K. Now, for comparison: Barilla Pasta – FB: 48K, T: 14K; Breakstone’s (sour cream etc.)  – FB: 50k; Pepperidge Farm -F: 22K, T: 9K. Food products do have an edge over wineries, but the gap is not very big.

For retail, my comparison will not be fair, but I still find it interesting. Wine world: BevMo! – FB: 28K, T: 2.4K; Wine Library – FB: 39K, T: 21K; –  FB: 10K, T: 10K (very interesting exception with the number of Facebook and Twitter followers being practically the same). For comparison: Target – FB: 9.9M, T: 300K; Wal-Mart – FB: 13M, T: 150K; Amazon –  FB: 3.1M, T: 229K. Okay, as I said, this will not be a fair comparison.

For publications: Wine Spectator – FB: 61K, T: 48K. For comparison, Glamour – FB: 680K, T: 160K; Wall Street Journal: FB: 461K, T: 1.55M.

When we are talking about publications, I can’t help it but to mention that there are thousands of the wine blogs – of the time of this writing, 659 blogs are registered with the web site called Vinography – and that is considering the fact that you have to request to be listed on the Vinography site. Interestingly enough but that leads back to Joe’s point about social media engagement from the wineries – there are only 72 winery blogs registered on Vinography site. Talking about wineries’ engagement, I want to mention a blog post by Steve Heimoff, an Editor of Wine Enthusiast Magazine, which was titled “Staying relevant: for wineries, it can be tricky” – while Steve’s point is not directed at the social media, I think that in today’s world, “staying relevant” includes great degree of social media connection and engagement for any business, wineries included.

I also want to give you a great example of the social media engagement – if you look at  the picture, you can see @KingEstate printed right on the cork – this cork is from the bottle of a very good Pinot Gris from King Estate winery in Oregon which we had a week ago. If someone needs a proof that wineries are taking social media engagement seriously, I think we don’t need to look further.

Okay, enough is enough. It’s time to round up this post. I gave you a lot of numbers here – if someone knows how number of followers translates in to the actual sales, I would be really curious to know. That’s all, folks. Cheers!

Best Wine Reviews Ever

March 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Aren’t you tired of reading wine reviews about “hint of apple”, “cinnamon and clove”, “coriander and last year’s rain”? Especially when you can’t find that specific flavor profile in your glass no matter what? Today I managed to come across two wine reviews which were much easier to assess and appreciate.

First, here is review of the Corison Cabernet Sauvignon (not so widely known but excellent Cabernet from Napa Valley) by Joe Roberts, a.k.a. 1WineDude (@1WineDude on twitter): “07 Corison Kronos Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Sort of like owning a trained black panther; dark, piercing & gorgeous.“. How do you like that? Is this is the wine you want to try or what? I don’t know about you, but I will be glad to meet this black panther at any time.

And the next one was a review by Adler Yarrow, who has one of the best wine blogs called Vinography. Latest two posts in that blog are on the subject which is an ultimate treasure for any wine lover – wines of Domaine Romanee-Conti (DRC, as it is typically called). DRC wines are considered best of the best, in any vintage and any time. So I think all people who are serious about wine can be divided into two categories – those who tasted DRC wines, and those who are dreaming about it. I belong to the second group ( sigh). Adler Yarrow belongs to the first, and he recently tasted full line of DRC 2009 wines – you can find his detailed notes here. But one particular review attracted my attention. It was for 2009 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Grand Cru Montrachet, the only white wine produced by DRC and considered the rarest of the rare. While the descriptions there allude to the usual taste elements such as nuts and apples, one sentence I think puts that review in a totally different prospective: “In the mouth the wine has an incredible texture that I’m prompted to describe as liquid sex, and gorgeously balanced flavors that…“. Once you read this description, do you really care about the rest of the grapefruits and nuts, or do you really get one pounding question in your head: “where can I try this wine”?

I’m really glad to find those reviews – now I got a frame of reference for my own reviews to aspire to. What is your favorite wine review, the one which forced you to resolve “nothing can stop me, I will find and drink this wine”? Anyway, while you are thinking, let me go back to my dreams. Cheers!

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