If you think that people who write about wine are all stuck up wine bores, you need to come on board and watch (or take part in) Twitter Taste Live, a live wine tasting event imagined by the folks at Massachussetts wine merchant Bin Ends Wine. A clever use of social media for marketing purposes, the TTL events are also just plain fun. Earlier this fall, I took part in one such event where Etienne Hugel, from the famous Alsace wine producer Hugel et fils, was the guest of honor as we tasted various Hugel wines. The sharing of notes, and opportunity to talk with the producer and fellow online wine lovers… it was just terrific. You can see a summarized recap right here which gives a sense of the event – but not all the grat atmosphere.
For the 5th Twitter Taste Live event, which took place in a lighthearted, football-and-vacuum-pump joke-filled session just a few hours ago, wine bloggers were invited to take the floor and propose wines and themes. And the proposals were quite diverse, thank you very much. Richard, the Passionate Foodie, gave a solid presentation on top of the line sake, while Craig from Bin Ends Wine contributed a Morgon by top natural Beaujolais producer Marcel Lapierre, followed by an affordable Priorat (!) dug out by Chris from SaltlineStudio (who made the Binendswine web site) and a Bloviatrix-sponsored 95-Parker-point Anderson Valley merlot/cab franc, all the way to three Cameron Hughes lots introduced by Tim from Winecast, four zins presented by Matt from A Good Time With Wine and finally, three sherries fresh from 1WineDude’s Wine Blogging Wednesday 51.
Thanks to effective PR by Lisa de Bruin at the Wine Bloggers Conference, a number of the Bloggers present had received samples of wines by Hahn Estates, where Ms de Bruin works as director of new marketing, and several put the Hahn Wines on the agenda. I was one of them, and joined in with Ward from WineLog, Thea from Vinquire, Liza from the Brix Chicks and others to give my impressions.
I liked the 2005 Monterey Pinot Noir best: for a 15$ wine, it had a lot going for it, with nice dark cherry aromas, a spicy mouthfeel, and some earthy touches: very ripe, from obviously hot vineyards, but without high extraction or heaviness. Good quality price ratio. The 2006 Central Coast cabernet got more mixed reviews (some saying it should be used for sangria), but I still thought it was a decent QPR: at 10$, fruity flavors and good quaffability will do it for me.
As for whites, good things were said of the SLH (Santa Lucia Highlands) pinot gris, from a higher-end line that Hahn has recently launched. I tasted the SLH chardonnay from the same line: nice citrus, roasted almond and toasted bread on the nose, fair bit of oak (too much, some felt), but with nice acidity that balanced it out, as far as I was concerned. Not terribly complex and higher priced (25$), but a very pleasant drink.
I also added a more local contribution to the tasting, a Château des Charmes St Davids Bench gewurztraminer that was really terrific. So good, in fact, that it deserves its own, full tasting note. So I’ll get back to that one. And there was also Oenophilus, who brought in an Almaviva from Chile.
If you want to get an idea of how this whole Twitter Taste Live thing all works, do a Twitter Search for the “#ttl” hashmark that everyone was using to participate in the event. Go back to Tweets from November 15, starting at 6 PM Eastern Time, and you can follow the whole conversation. There’s pages upon pages of tweets, by all the various participants, filled with thoughtful tasting notes and info about the wines, and jokes about football, White Castle Burgers and much else. Like a really great party – which it was, in a 2.0 kind of way.
Feel free to join in. Over 400 people are members of the TTL community. Just go to the Twitter Taste Live web site and become a member too. Maybe in time for November 20 and the Local Wine event, or the upcoming Charity event and the December 89 Project tasting.