Wouldn’t it be cool if we could taste wine together virtually? That was the question echoing in the Webosphere just a few years ago. Sure, the technology was there, but it was slow and stodgy. I’d rather remove the “d” in stodgy, replace it with a stogy and puff slowly on a Cuban Partagás or a Nicaraguan Rocky Patel Torpedo rather than watch a choppy, slow moving video that cuts out every 10 seconds. Even today, the technology is not perfect, but it has improved quite a bit which makes virtual tastings not only possible, but also easy to use and it works fairly well.
Since participating in the New Zealand Complexity live tasting event, my email box has been filling up with questions about how to participate in virtual tastings, so I thought I would create a quick little cheat sheet to get everyone dialed in on how it works. So here is goes…
- Head on over to twitter and create an account
- Add an avatar and short bio so people know a little bit about you
- Follow me and other wine loving geeks. Don’t forget to follow your virtual wine tasting event sponsors!
- Read this quick cheat sheet on finding and following tweeters
- Search for upcoming events via twitter
- Create a Google email alert for “virtual wine tasting“ (Warning! You’ll get a lot of unrelated news but it is still a good method to find stuff)
- Find events via Tout Suite Social Club
- Yearly events: Here are a few events that happen yearly. It is by no means a complete list, more so just to give you an idea of what sort of events are out there: New Zealand Wine Day; Four Seasons (an opportunity to talk with Master Sommeliers and other industry folks); Beaujolais #NouveauDay; #CabernetDay; DLW 2012: Colorado
- Winery events: Soave; Villa Bellangelo
- Educational classes: My Wine School
- Register for the event: Many programs use Eventbrite for registration. Once registered, add the intive to your calendar so you don’t forget about it!
- Live Streaming Video: Most of the events have a mechanism to view the party from the hosting location. The invite will inform you of which live streaming video they will use. Typically, it is either UStream or Livestream. When you find out which streaming video to use, I would recommend creating an account and testing the software prior to the event.
- Buy the wine: Most events will let you know where to buy the wine (locally or online). If there were several bottles to buy, I would recommend inviting friends. Ask everyone to buy one of the wines to split to cost of the party.
- On the day of the event, chill your whites (1 hour prior) and open your reds (maybe 20 minutes prior)
- Sign in to all applications such as twitter, UStream or Livestream
- Introduce yourself on the social media platform once the event kicks off
- Drink, twitter, chat and enjoy! Oh yes, one last thing. Most events use #hashtags so don’t forget to use them. Not sure what a #hashtag is? No worries, read this introduction!
Hit me up with a comment if you have any questions.