Wearing my Wine2030 hat I flew to Brisbane to visit wine educator and friend, Steve Knight, and to talk about the University of Adelaide’s Wine2030 network to his students at Bond University on the Gold Coast – a beautiful venue by anyone’s standards. The sun shone consistently and the campus is perfectly laid out, with pristine modern buildings and facilities, open grass and seating areas, sculptures and wide pathways, and a glistening lake in the centre. See the slide show below.
Steve has been in the wine trade for many years both in retail and as an educator, and he is also an associate wine judge. His knowledge and palate are exceptional so it was a privilege for me to spend a few days in Queensland and see him in action. He currently teaches Wine Studies at Bond University and at Griffith University, both on the Gold Coast (details below).
Steve teaches students how to understand and appreciate wines of all styles and from all over the world. I attended one of his sensory evaluation classes where he concentrated on white wines, including the pinot gris/grigio distinction and other aromatics. We tasted a range of white wines from Australia and NZ and Steve put them into the international context, referencing Alsatian pinot gris, South African chenin blanc, and chardonnay styles from around the globe. Discussion was encouraged, while analysing all aspects of the wine within a pragmatic and practical framework.
This was only the students’ fourth sensory evaluation class and they sounded like seasoned professionals, talking about the weight of the palate, the length of the wine, the mouthfeel, the body, nose, food and wine matching, and picking out the array of fruit and oak-related characteristics of the wines. They all gave 100% attention to Steve who entertained them with his many tales from the industry and his extensive wine knowledge.
Wine2030 and social media in wine
It is important for students with this much interest in wine to be aware of the opportunities in employment, research and further study, and also simply to have access to sites which will further their knowledge and interest.
So I introduced them to the University of Adelaide websites for Wine2030 and the Wine Economics Research Centre (WERC) and talked about the aims of each initiative and the resources available, such as the Global Wine Markets statistical compendium on the WERC site. As they walked into the class I was tweeting about the event for all to see and during the talk showed them the Twitter, blogs and websites I use as components of the social media network promoting Wine2030 and WERC and sharing information and inviting feedback.
Steve noted that I had their undivided attention when presenting the part about the rules of engaging in social media. I had published Tig’s Ten Commandments for Engaging in Social Media just a few days earlier and already seen a spike in blog views, retweets and feedback. It was important to me to come up with a checklist of considerations when posting any material online as I have seen numerous examples where too little thought and care has been used and this can have far-reaching effects. As with any venture, if you want to do it, it is worth taking the care to do it properly.
As with all of my blogs, I welcome feedback and discussion.
If you want to learn more about Steve’s courses, here are the links: