Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wine tasting: Twitter Wine Tasting

Picture: Twitter wine tasting with

Wine tastings can take different forms. As far as I am concerned, I do the following.

Most of the wines I taste with my wife Annette over dinner with food. I always choose very deliberately what wine we have for dinner. Normally, I open 1 bottle, sometimes 2 bottles. Typically, we have wines still open from the day or days before, so we usually compare 3 to 4 bottles every night. And we talk extensively about the wines during dinner

The second most popular route for me is to taste wines in a group. This could be the German Wine Society of Washington DC, the Hochheimer Weinfreunde or a tasting group at a wine retailer in Washington or Frankfurt. Typically, somebody would take the lead, ideally the winemaker himself as was the case recently at the Out of Site Tasting of Soter Wines.

Picture: Annette and Christian G.E.Schiller in McLean, Virginia

Another option is to do a tasting with oneself, drinking the wine and reading the notes in the Wine Spectator for example or watching a video of Gary Vaynerchuck or Hendrik Thoma. Or Susan Sterling's naked wine show videos with some extra spices.

Recently, I have tried something new, twitter tasting, both in the US and in Germany. This works as follows.

In the US, I did it with at the initiative of that managed the whole process. Here is what happened. First, I signed on with Then I went to my wine store and got the four featured German wines. I RSVPed as the third participant on

On December 3, at 8:00 pm I sat down in front of the computer and moved to the web site. The process was hosted by the 1winedude from

The upstate New York's House of Bacchus and Manhattan's Roger Smith Hotel were supposed to host tweet ups, but I am not sure, anybody showed up there.

Not much happened during the tasting, frankly. There were a few tweets on the wine, but overall I felt it was not worth the effort.

In Germany, it was basically the same process, but without Instead, somebody had created a Twitter wall. The next thing I needed to know was the hash tag for the concerned Twitter wall. I just had to add the relevant hash tag, which always begins with a # and was #twv (Twitter Wein Verkostung) and sent the tweet. The tweet would then appear on the Twitter wall. also works with has tags, but they are automatically included in your tweets once you are on

Overall, there was not much of a difference. The twitter wine tasting in Germany was also very limited. And, in Germany, I had to go back and forth between my Twitter account and the Twitter wall if I wanted to send tweets. In the US, with my tweets and the Twitter wall were on the same web site.

Looking ahead, I could see a scenario, where the winemaker, for example, participates in the twitter event and leads the tasting with a lot of tweets and providing a lot of information. Perhaps also if the group is larger, this would help. But in my case it was pretty dull as there were not enough tweets. I rather prefer the conventional approach, tastings over dinner with my wife, but not everyone has this privilege.

Schiller Wine - Related Postings

Wine Tastings: Soter Wines from Oregon at Out-Out-Site Wines in Vienna, US

Hochheim am Main, Germany: Summary of August to November 2009

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