#TTL HDR @ Estate, IRL

How to reach younger wine drinkers on Twitter

From the “Has A Clue” Department…

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about how to reach younger wine drinkers. And it’s a good question, but really, all the winery hand-wringing is laughable to anyone under the age of 40.

The truth is, we don’t trust advertising. We want to hear about things from our friends. We trust them. We make our own decisions based on, uh, how good your wine is. Not how cute the label is. And we talk about you on the InterWorldWideWeb. A lot.

So here’s the 411: I’ve been hearing quite a bit about the success of Twitter-based tastings. The idea is that you Twitter what you’re eating or drinking along a theme (say Rhone Wines) to a broad group of folks
doing the exact same thing at the same moment. You can do them at home or with a group. In your underwear or a tuxedo. Fun, right?

Now, here’s the action item: Sondra Bernstein (you know her from Girl and the Fig and the Fig Cafe) is dialed in to host a preTTL-Twitlight Dinner at her new restaurant, Estate, on Friday April 17 @ 5:30pm in addition to an IRL* gathering from 7-10pm for the Twitter Taste Live Hospice du Rhone event .

#TTL HDR is billed as one of the largest online tastings ever, during which hundreds of folks will be sipping and chatting about Rhone wines.  Bernstein, in case you didn’t know, is a Rhone fanatic, serving these tasty wines almost exclusively at her restaurants. Confirmed for the dinner are locals from Verge, JC Cellars, Unti Vineyards, Bonny Doon Vineyards, Cline Cellars, Audelssa, Shane Vineyards and Miner Vineyards. Hint: These wineries get it.

The Estate Twitlight Dinner with the winemakers is a pretty thrifty $35 pp and includes admission to the IRL TTLHDR event at the restaurant (and online) from 7-10pm.  Attendees are asked to bring a bottle of Rhone varietal wine to share. Very social. 

Just want to HDR? It’s $12 pp with a bottle and nibbles are included. You’ll get to meet up with fellow Rhone fans, winemakers and Twitterers. Details here.

Congrats on getting it. And please don’t come in your underwear.

(*IRL: In real life. Please don’t make me explain it.)


21 thoughts on “#TTL HDR @ Estate, IRL

  1. This is turning into a circular discussion where everyone is saying why the other person is wrong. Let me keep the spin going.
    I personally don’t mind when someone says that they don’t understand a technology or why anyone would use it. And, I don’t mind when someone says that the do understand a technology but don’t like it personally and can’t see why others do. But, what always irritates is when someone says they there is no reason for me to like something and it is “simply asinine”.

  2. Because disagreement is always based in fear or ignorance. You’re saying: “You think I’m wrong? You disagree? That must be because you don’t know what I’m talking about. You don’t understand.”
    Good argument. You find negative feedback surprising, and then suggest that no one “can claim to have the corner of anothers (sic) context.” Isn’t that exactly what you’re doing by condescending to dissenters? Brilliant argument.
    And as far as “slamming communication” goes. That’s a wonderful oversimplification. No one has suggested we revert to Morse Code, or smoke signals, or stop communicating entirely. A few people aren’t sold on a concept and they are branded idiots for rejecting or resisting an idea.
    Sorry I couldn’t keep this to 140 characters Randall.

  3. Good god, surprisingly negative feedback here, as if someone can claim to have the corner on anothers context. Hilarious! No matter how well you compose your criticism, it still reads as that good ol’ well-shaken combo of fearbiter self-righteousness with a solid layer of ignorance. It’s just your fear of the new baby. Your fear of the new. Oh and by the way, what you’re slamming here is communication. You’re criticizing communication! Again, hilarious, nuff said. Unless you’re the Captain and protector of the 1861 Pony Express Reenactment Club, get off your high horse.

  4. Its interesting that most of the people commenting on this discussion are either writers, restuarant staff, on wine industry people. Promotion & self-promotion disgused as “on-line” community! Love it!

  5. I invite anyone who doesn’t see the point in all of this to come to ESTATE on Friday (actually, I invite anyone in general). Come see that Twitter has brought an amazing group of people together, a group that actually engages in real life conversations, in addition to an online conversation with people all over the world.
    If you still feel the need to bash events like this, then feel free to. At least then you will be able to talk from experience, instead of sounding ignorant to something that you only think you know about.

  6. So, uh, Timmy…does that mean you won’t be following me on Twitter? Cause we’re all going to be talking about you. #timmyhatestwitter
    Drink local wine. However, wherever and with whomever you like. (Following local laws of course).

  7. I also wanted to add an observation. You say you like the idea of wine tasting through Twitter because it brings more people to the party.
    Really? Because that is EXACTLY what wine tasting is about. The more the merrier? Who cares what we’re drinking as long as there’s a lot of us! I’m all for social networking, and being social in general, but you’re missing the point entirely. I can get twenty people to meet me in an alley in an hour, but they’re not going to show up because it’s a great alley. We might have a great time once we’re there, it’s just not going to be because of the alley.

  8. Heather, it’s precious how naive and condescending you can be.
    You say (“with some certainty”) that you either “get it or you don’t.” I’d suggest you consider that there are plenty who “get it” but think it’s asinine. Since when does understanding equal support? It’s not as black and white as you think.
    And we should all support local businesses. Your personal reasons for enjoying social networking aside, that was a good point.

  9. odd. will there be dwt? drunk while texting/twitting? you people should try having a conversation instead of staring at a keyboard. lack of personal skills? need affirmation that somebody wants to hear you? nothing better to do? i am certainly not against wine reviews but please. live life instead of hanging on someones word. at least interact with other people if you are going to subject to someone elses mindless bantering. shut in people who arent satisfied with the people in front of them so they devoid themselves of any personal connection. reading an email is not comparable.

  10. My question is what makes peers and fellow wine drinkers any more of an authority or an expert than an “expert?” People generally respond more to peer pressure and group think than they do to advice from knowledgable sources. Not that I advocate listneing to the so-called wine experts and authorities. This just seems like another way to avoid thinking for yourself. I tell customers in my tasting room to drink what they like and like what they drink. No apologies needed. Don’t let Robert Parker, your twitter pals or anyone else tell you what to like. Also, wine tasting is a sensory based process that requires an individual to focus and pay attention. Crowded tasting rooms are hard to do this in. Add twittering to the mix and you have one more thing that will draw the focus away from the wine.

  11. One thing I can say with some certainty is that you either get Twitter or you don’t. When I first heard about it, I too thought it was about the dumbest idea known to man. Why would I care at all about what someone is doing at any given moment…especially when it involves the mundane details of their life?
    Then a friend of my twittered me from NY that she’d just seen a movie star on the sidewalk. Kind of interesting. And I hookedup with a bunch of other foodie twitterers…I find out a ton of stuff I didn’t know.
    Lately, I”m pretty fascinated by local twitter folks who help keep me abreast of what’s happening in SoCo…if they had a great lunch at a local restaurant, if there’s a fun event happening, etc. Love that. It’s also a way that I keep in touch with friends in town that I don’t get to see as often as I’d like.
    So, no…it shouldn’t be a substitute for real life conversation or connections, but for those of us often chained to a desk anyway, it’s a way to keep IRL connections alive. I see twitter, facebook, etc. as a way to make new friends and connections with folks I might not have known.
    ANd BTW…I do turn off my deck sometimes too. It can be overwhelming at times.
    But I love the idea of wine tasting through Twitter because again…it just brings more people to the party. What could possibly be wrong with that?
    Like I said in the beginning…this is for the folks who “get it.” There are plenty who don’t, and frankly, its their loss. Keep tweeting, keep connecting and keep supporting our local businesses. THat’s the bottom line.

  12. Wow! Your are really angry. I guess no one has to worry about your complaining about this social media fad during one of the Twitter Tastings that you find so meaningless.
    I am sorry (actually, no, I’m not) that you don’t see any redeeming qualities in the activities that other people find so enjoyable. But, I am sorry that those activities are so very objectionable to you. Many people would probably sit at home and watch the latest episode of some reality TV show, or rerun of a sitcom, or who knows what on TV if they were not interacting with like minded people for an online wine tasting.
    That might seem like a better use of your time, but not mine.
    When you find something that just doesn’t make sense to you, but others (hundreds of others) really seem to like it, you might consider that it isn’t all those people who are missing the point. Just saying.

  13. Dear Mr.Field: Kudos to Paige (altho I must let all know we work together). More importantly, why is a tasting that is done in a method that we are “told” how and what to taste more valid than a tasting done in a newly formed communal manner. I am no techno geek by any means but if ideas are shared by people with common interests and we can all learn from their IDEAS, not the METHOD in which they are communicated, who is the loser?
    Today, instead of listening to comments, we read them. Instead of print authorities telling us what we are tasting, we can now communicate with fellow readers and decide for ourselves. Don’t wait for the NYT. Believe it or not, it’s not done. It’s only just started.

  14. I am always amused to see adults imitating teens.
    Thank you for that SVO.
    Twitter is for twits, get a life.

  15. Wow, in the “doesn’t have a clue” department it would seem some of the commentary here has totally failed to consider a world of possibilities beyond a need to disparage an interesting concept.
    Do you have kids to take care of? Where do you live? How long would it take you to drive to a great wine shop for a consumer tasting where you could learn about wine or beer directly from the person who made it?
    Before the assumption is made that a social networking event taking place online is a load of bulls***, consider that not everyone has the same options and opportunities as everyone else. And quite frankly, some people might just want to participate in a wine tasting from the comfort of their own home in their pyjamas. Who is anyone to tell them the experience isn’t “valid” just because they weren’t face to face with the winemaker or retailer? That’s more absurd than saying TTL is analogous to an online farmers market.
    For us, TTL has nothing to do with any sort of “desperation to connect with younger consumers”. It’s merely an add-on to our existing business and an opportunity to interact with new consumers in distant places.
    And just curiously, what the hell does “the arrogance of public wine tasting” mean anyhow? Are people supposed to learn about wine by reading books? You learn by tasting. Period.

  16. Twitter Taste Live has been going on for a year now and has continued to grow in popularity! The wines that will be tasted are published in advance at http://www.twittertastelive.com – along with some convenient suggestions as to where they might be purchased on-line. People meet at the agreed time and contribute using all sorts of social media. Usually there are gatherings to share the bottles and expense with other tasters, but when I can’t get a babysitter, my wife and I taste in our living room. We have a great time discussing the wines we are tasting with our friends who are on-line and tasting as well.
    Last month, about two dozen tasters gathered at Healdsburg’s very cool Palette Art Cafe to taste several Pinot Noir together and then share their notes, thoughts, and opinions with the hundreds of others who were trying the same wines simultaneously at the Jug Shop in S.F. as well as in other places around the country. We also had tasters Tweeting in from the U.K. and China! Not only did we get to taste some interesting wines, we also enjoyed some great food at one of the grooviest establishments in Sonoma County.
    The days of the snooty grand somellier tasting out of a silver “Tastevin” are at an end. The wine critic no longer has the last say. We have entered the era where anyone can sip some wine and tell anyone else what they think about it. The goal of #TTL is to engage more and more people in conversations about something they enjoy. Voyeurs are welcome – but it is really all about tasting together. Tasting wine and sharing has been around for a very long time. Now our reach is even broader with Twitter, 12seconds, viddler, UStream, Facebook, Skype, Ning communities, and so many others.
    Heaps of Sonoma County wine lovers will pour into Estate on April 17. Hundreds others will get together in restaurants, bars, and dining rooms all around the world. Why not join in the fun? http://www.twittertastelive.com or #TTL if you are on Twitter!

  17. This is social networking gone too far.
    I am all for Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Digg, LinkedIn, etc., but these kind of events are simply asinine.
    How terribly inconvenient and old-school it must be to communicate with people using your voice and words and expressions. How awkward it must be to actually interact with people you are in a room with without using a BlackBerry or iPhone.
    The need to publish your thoughts (of the moment) to a group who are either right next to you, or are not next to you and have no frame of reference is just silly. And if you’ve ever read the “transcripts” of these kind of events you know what it is to want to own a gun and draw a target on your temple.
    The arrogance of public wine-tasting combined with the arrogance of Twitter (you know, that idea that people actually care what you’re doing at all times and where you’re doing it?) makes for a foul-tasting blend of narcissism and desperation. A delight for budget bloggers and self-promoters, but also a tragic and transparent attempt at “connecting” with the next generation of wine drinkers through technology instead of taste-buds.
    “Online Tasting.” Wow. It says it all right there and yet people still pay money to participate in such garbage “events.”
    Let’s keep going and try “Online Molecular Gastronomy,” “Online Farmer’s Markets,” and “Online Culinary Arts Certificates.”
    I might have to wait for the NYTimes to come down on this joke of a social experience for it to wind down, but really? It’s already done.

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