Gathan Beaga

wine + twitter

Now that I’m cutting down the number of internet venues for my episodes of compulsive self-disclosure I’m spending even more time on Twitter, for better or worse1.

Twitter is actually really good for some things. One of those is creating a low commitment channel for busy people to keep in touch with each other and their clients. Along these lines, one group that really seems to have taken to Twitter in a big way is the local (New Zealand) wine industry.

I think there’s a few things working to push this along – there’s a couple of social media gurus that have encouraged participation by a few key figures; there’s several handfuls of forward-thinking vintners and owners using the medium to talk to their clients directly… and the general “OMG! I need a Twitter presence!” effect that’s emerged in the last year.

But what’s really nice is when they start talking about what’s happening down on the vineyard; interacting with each other, and with us, the winedrinkers. I’m way more interested in the stories and people behind the wine I drink than being the passive recipient of the branding & marketing of it.

So I found out how one of my favourite Rieslings was getting on this vintage in this tweet from Martinborough winemaking legend Larry McKenna:

LarryMcPinot – Finally rained! delayed our 2nd to last day but meant to be great tom so will be back into the last bit of 777 PN then Escarpment Riesling – 4:15 PM May 1st via web

I replied to Larry with in a fairly inconsequential “Mmmmmm, riesling…” to which he replied:

LarryMcPinot@dubh yes looking good but decided to leave it for a few more days some sunny days coming and its only 21 brix – 4:47 PM May 2nd via web in reply to dubh

I love this sort of interaction, and I think the winemakers get a lot out of it as well. So over the last few months I’ve been busy creating Twitter lists with all the New Zealand wine people I can find, and so far I have found:

  • NZ Wine – 195 wine industry people: the wineries, personalities, shops, and reviewers across New Zealand; and
  • NZ Wineries – a subset of the above list containing just the 104 wineries (and some brands) for following the actual winemakers themselves; and
  • Central Otago Wineries – 23 wineries from my favourite region, Central Otago.

Follow! And you never know – you may even score yourself a bottle or two of wine along the way.

1 And yes, Twitter is what kills blogs, 140 characters at a time. Every small thought that could be lovingly crafted with time and thought into a towering edifice of logic; or a scintillating entertainment; or even just a seriously impressive read, simply gets blurted out prematurely and half-made with about as much impact as a fart in a hurricane. But I digress.