I am constantly on the lookout for innovative ways to persuade people to try Greek wines. Twitter certainly has seen its share of live wine tasting events. For my personal liking, many are good fun, but offer little additional value.
The Germans have found quite a smart way that adds an interesting twist to the more traditional twitter wine tastings we are familiar with. Simon Atzei is a private wine enthusiast and the initiator of the following concept: Wineries or wine merchants select 2 bottles of wines that can cost up to 20 €, inclusive of shipment within Germany. Anyone who is interested can simply order these wines. The community then meets on the second and third Monday of the following month on twitter to taste and discuss the wines. The really interesting fact is that this community includes end consumers, wine bloggers, wine merchants and wine producers. This adds a lot to the excitement level, as wine novices and professionals alike discuss the wines.
The event is called Twitter Wein Verköstigung (twitter wine tasting) and uses the hashtag #twv. It has been running since October 2009, and an average of 20 users participate each time. The duration is between 1 and 2 hours, depending on the level of engagement, and of course the quality of the wines. The concept is so simple, yet so smart, that the German press has reported about it earlier this year – The Financial Times Deutschland, Handelsblatt, Focus, BILD are all national heavyweights, the ability to peak their interest speaks for itself.
I offered two Greek wines for the month of June, and received about 20 orders. Both live tasting events were a LOT of fun, and I was very impressed with the high level of interest and interaction by the participants. Some had never tasted a “proper” Greek wine in their life, but all were really open to expand their palate. It was quite a challenge to communicate with all users at the same time, but this sort of engagement is worth every effort. The wines received solid ratings, and people were surprised in a very positive way about the quality/price ratio. For me, it was an extremely efficient way to spread the word about the wines of Greece. 20 people might not seem to be a large number for some, for me it was an opportunity to communicate with every single one of them.
I believe that the concept of the #twv is quite fascinating, as it puts the platform to commercial use while focusing on interaction and education. It does not come as a surprise to me that there is currently a waiting list for merchants/wineries that wish to offer their wines via #twv.
Below are further links in German that were a direct result of the #twv featuring Greek wines: