Tweeting My Way Through the Wine Festival

Hard to believe it has been a couple of weeks since the annual Vancouver International Film Festival! But I resolved to do something different this year — specifically, to “tweet” my way through the entire evening of the Thursday night grand tasting.

What an experience! As I rode the skytrain home, I did some calculations and found — to my amazement — that I actually tasted about the same number of wines as usual (60+, with spitting, of course!). But took me far longer to do so, as I was there right till the end (when I am usually done with 30 – 45 minutes to spare).

For those who want to try this, here are a few things I learned:

1) As mentioned above, it does take longer. I worked it out and you can count on a couple of minutes per tweet.

2) Having said that, you can learn to do it efficiently. For example, I “bundled” wines from a producer together in each tweet, meaning I could cover 4 – 5 wines at a time. Only really exceptional wines got their own tweet.

3) It takes a while to work the best routine out. It’s hard to work a blackberry, hold a glass and the program all at once, so in the end the best way I found was to taste, spit and then move to one of the tables in the aisle and use it to hold your glass and program while you tweet.

4) Watch out for you tweeting device! With all the swirling and spitting, it can be easy for wine to get spilled. I had a couple of close calls, but nothing got on my blackberry.

5) Expect some funny looks! I got a couple of “wow, you’re taking it seriously, aren’t you” comments, although that may also be because I had my media badge on.

6) Also expect to get some on-line attention!I don’t have a lot of followers, but the tweet stream caused some immediate reaction and also ended up adding followers to my account!

7) Finally, it’s a great — and often more legible — way to track what you tasted! I usually have trouble reading my tasting notes after a big tasting, but I had a full — if abridged — set of them at the end of the evening, which was great.

My conclusion afterwards was I will do it again. And I will soon have the chance — the annual Naramata Bench Spring Release Trade tasting is next week, so stay tuned! You can get my information at my website below.

Happy wine tweeting!



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