If you’re still new to the whole Twitter revolution, let alone a Twitter Tasting, allow me to give you a brief primer on the latter. It’s a virtual gathering of tasters who sample a series of wines at the same time and share their tasting notes via the social network. No one has to assemble a tasting panel at a central location, and anyone can join in by reading the Tweets. (If you don’t have an account, you’ll have to join Twitter before participating.)
Even if you don’t have the same bottles on hand (see the list after the jump) as the tasters, you can chime in with your tasting notes of other Virginia viogniers by using hashtags #VaWine and #VaViognier. If you want to increase your audience, include #WBC11, the hashtag for the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference, which convenes next weekend in Charlottesville.
To make it even more fun, we will collect the Twitter feed here on All We Can Eat during its two-hour run.
Thursday’s Twitter Tasting is sponsored by the Virginia Wine Board, the state marketing office that recently declared viognier the Old Dominion’s official wine grape variety. The tasters include some of the “Virginia Wine Mafia,” the group of bloggers who have been cataloging their explorations of Virginia wine; Frank Morgan, who blogs at DrinkWhatYouLike.com, will be moderating. I’ll be participating, too, from my Twitter account, @dmwine, which means you’ll get my unvarnished opinions of the wines with uncharacteristic parsimony. (Would “uncharacteristic parsimony” even fit in a Tweet?) Of course, I haven’t been exactly shy about my preferences in Virginia viognier.
From the Virginia Wine Board: “The wines will showcase Virginia’s signature grape in many different styles, from sparkling to still and dry to off-dry. The tasting order for this event will be Horton Vineyards NV Sparkling Viognier, Blenheim Vineyards 2010 Viognier, King Family Vineyards 2010 Viognier, Barboursville Vineyards and Winery 2009 Viognier Reserve, Cooper Vineyards 2010 Viognier and Delaplane Cellars 2010 Maggie’s Vineyard Viognier.”
It’s an interesting lineup: The Horton sparkling viognier is a delicious anomaly, if only because no one else makes viognier this way. The others seem to be in order of less-oaked to more-oaked, except for the Barboursville, the only one with no oak treatment. But now I’m getting geeky, and this paragraph has gone well over 140 characters.
I would never claim to be a social media revolutionary, but one of the first — if not the first — Twitter wine tastings was at the inaugural DrinkLocalWine.com conference in Dallas in August 2009, where about 60 writers live-blogged and Tweeted their impressions of various Texas wines. We did it again with the Virginia conference in 2010 and at the Missouri gathering this year, with Colorado scheduled for 2012. With a live Twitter feed, and hundreds of followers, a tasting like this can be enjoyed around the world in a matter of minutes.
So I hope you’ll join us on Thursday evening. If you can, pop open a bottle of Virginia viognier — one of these or any other — and jump in the discussion. You may also discover some good wine bloggers worth following.