Wine and social media – that pairing again! Those following my blog will have read about #ChardonnayDay on 26 May 2011 – well 1 September was the second year for cabernet to take the stand. Rick Bakas, the wine and social media guru from California who toured Australia in April this year, was the brains behind this idea of themed wine days, combining those two elements – wine and social media.
In Adelaide, the Qwoff Boys – Justin and Andre – have taken up the baton and run fabulous events for wine drinkers and tweeters – not only do you get to try some excellent wines – and lots of ‘em – but the networking is incredible – online and face to face. There is also the conversation before and after the event online.
At this event the same was true for cabernet – this included cabernet franc, not only sauvignon so there were a few francs there, such as an elegant number from Howard Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills. I wouldn’t like to guess how many wineries had contributed wine for the event but safe to say you couldn’t realistically try every single one. I tried very hard though you’ll be relieved to know! There are some photos in a slideshow below showing the wines that I loved and some of the great people I chatted to at the event. The atmosphere oozes from the pics!
The GWA app
With this event, the Qwoff Boys had stepped up a whole new level in their use and inclusiveness of social media. As well as the #cabernetday Twitter reference to follow the conversations around the world, prior to the Qwoff event we were asked to sign up to the new initiative – the Great Wine Adventure – and put the app on our phones and link this through to Twitter (@GreatWineAdv on Twitter). At the venue there was a screen on the wall showing these tweets – which show up on Twitter but are in a single stream on the GWA website too. The app was excellent and easy to use with a tincy wincy bit of help from Justin, Andre and Jason, their web wizard. The app asks (i) where you are – at a winery, restaurant, wine bar or pub, at home or somewhere else; (ii) what you are drinking – it lists the wineries taking part in the event so you don’t even have to type it in, just select from the list; (iii) you have the option to attach a photo or video and write something about the wine, and then just hit the ‘Check In’ button.
Why do this?
Lots of reasons and feel free to tell me more – blogs can always be added to! As with many people I am constantly learning about these media and their benefits – because the benefits often surprise me in their nature and reach!
Well the app links the check-ins through to the wineries who then see who is saying what about their wines – Jim Barry answered me thanking me for my comments and retweeted it. Retweeting is gold as all tweeters will know!
I noticed with several of my check-ins (I did about eight or so I think, through the evening…) I earned a reward, such as a free tasting of a wine – for example the d’Arenberg check-in rewarded me with a free tasting of the 2002 Custodian Grenache. This encourages people to go to that cellar door to claim their freebies and helps cement that winery in that customer’s mind, and hey presto you have the all-important ‘attention’ that Rick Bakas tells us that social media is all about, in our busy, media swamped lives.
Of course, it helps the wineries themselves see what people think about their wine, where it is being consumed – geographically and venue type – and which wines are getting the most accolade, etc.
The tweets for me personally are a great record of what I tried and what I thought of them. I only checked in with the wines I really liked, although in fairness I struggled to dislike any at this tasting – well done Australia for some most excellent examples of cabernet!
I had many leads from the #chardonnay day event at Qwoff HQ, where I stayed for hours, trying a whole range of styles of chardonnay from all over Australia and New Zealand and tweeted and subsequently blogged about it. I have ongoing Twitter relationships with many of these people, it has added to my number of followers on Twitter and readership of my blogs (so it widens my online reach and networking), and I have subsequently met these people again at these kinds of events and even at cellar doors. My circle of contacts has been greatly widened by Twitter, not just online but also face to face.
Of course I learned about the wines too – more exposure to your area of interest widens your knowledge. More exposure shows people that you are serious about what you do, enough to take part in events and have your say. While fun, these events are extremely educational, that has to be a central theme, but the most fun kind of learning!
The networking though is infinitely valuable. How else could I meet so many people with interests and expertise in areas relevant to me without attending a conference every month designed for my own purposes! This is like conference networking with the face-to-face element and involving a whole range of people who aren’t physically there. They may be at other events around Australia or around the world or sat at their home or restaurant or pub tasting a cabernet and taking part in the global conversation. You get the idea!
A massive thank you again to the Qwoff Boys, driving the Adelaide contingent in these themed wine days and opening up more avenues to learn about wines, wine events, share our wine thoughts through their apps, websites, Facebook pages, events, and engage in some networking – be it for work reasons, fun, or realistically a combination of the two. I love my work!!
Sit back and enjoy the slideshow – some of the wines we loved are pictured. Thanks also for the great wines from d’Arenberg, Zema Estate, Saltram, Kilikanoon, BK Wines, Plantagenet, Brash Higgins, Jim Barry, Voyager Estate, Penfolds, Raidis Estate, Chain of Ponds, Wirra Wirra, Haselgrove, Serafino and more.