Online tastings are hardly new. Brands such as Laphroaig have done worldwide whisky tastings over the Internet. But with the advent of Twitter we are seeing them evolve and become more popular as people find new ways to engage and educate.
Recently in London, Robert McIntosh and Bibendum wines invited a group of around a dozen food and wine bloggers to a Twitter wine tasting at the Saatchi Gallery. For an hour we tasted 3 wines which had also been sent to a bevy of wine and social media enthusiasts who couldn’t make it in person.
As we tasted the wines we were encouraged to Tweet our tasting notes and tag them with #ttl which is the code for Twitter Taste Live. By tagging all of our Tweets with this code it meant we could keep track of the conversation as it developed all around the world. At its peak #ttl became top of the Twitter trend chart which is no mean feat when you consider this was inauguration week for Obama! Things started soberly enough with tasting notes such as:
oudmouthman: #ttl seriously Dinastia is bloody gorgous. Like dating a super model and not wanting to tell your friends.
ZebraSun: #ttl I can report that 2 of us agree that “Sensations caramelised onion and balsamic chips” go well with the Delicato red.
But then as the tasting progressed things started to get a bit more out there when Dinastia Vivanco Rioja Crianza got compared to a Dinosaur.
rjbirkin: #ttl Dinastia: It’s like watching The Land Before Time after Jurassic Park
It was a fascinating example of the power of alcohol to bring people together even though people were spread out geographically. This is what Bibendum thought about it:
“Yes, Twitter Taste Live was the most talked about Twitter topic in the world…even bigger than Obama’s inauguration. That was pretty much the icing on the cake. What a brilliant way to educate and interact with wine enthusiasts and novices alike. In fact I think it was about the most fun I’ve ever had with my mouth closed!”
It was such a success that the format has also been extended to the world of fine dining. Fred Siriex from Galvin at Windows in London is one of the main restaurateurs to have embraced social media. He organized for Wright Brothers Oysters and Bibendum Wines to curate an oyster and champagne tasting at his 26th floor restaurant with an audience of food enthusiasts and bloggers brought together by Trusted Places and broadcast over the net by worldTV. Visit the Trusted Places blog for a detailed account and feast your eyes on the stream of Tweets that emanated from the event at #galvinw.
Both events were excellent. And it’s no surprise to see Robert McIntosh and Dan Coward (who live blogged the event here) at the heart of both events. What’s interesting is that the wine tasting seemed to spread much further and wider than the champagne and oyster tasting. This is mainly due to the fact that Bibendum kept things simple and partnered with the Twitter Taste Live platform. By doing this they were able to send the wine that was being tasted out to the bloggers who couldn’t make it. This meant that there was genuine engagement across the net, rather than the mass broadcast that seemed to happen at Galvin at Windows.
The idea of social media tastings is set to spread further as more people get to grips with Twitter and more brands wake up to the possibilities that are sitting on the plate and staring them in the face. Expect to see Twitter Taste Live at the forefront of this movement.