Wednesday, December 10, 2008

London Bloggers Meetup and Wine Tasting

Last night, myself and about sixty other bloggers attended the London Bloggers Meetup. This one was held at Ember in Farringdon, so it was good to get out of my usual haunts. The gang was all mostly all there, and it was great to catch up with Epicurienne and Jaz and Chris and Rob, who I'm intentionally not linking because I'll link him in a minute.

Rob gave a great talk on wine and social media, and how the wine industry is hundreds of brands all jockeying for position in a very crowded space where often the only differentiators to most consumers are prices - so social media gives wine and wineries the opportunity to give their brands the personality and connection required to set them apart from the rest. Rob runs a blog called The Wine Conversation where he blogs mostly about wine culture, and does so well; it's worth reading for his extremely knowledgeable perspective if nothing else. But hey, there's wine too!

We then had the opportunity to sample a selection of six wines, of which I partook in three. The first was an incredible 2004 Syrah from Cortes de Cima in Portugal. It was rich and flavorful, the kind of wine you want with a nice big multi-course meal or on a Sunday afternoon when it's raining.

More subtle was the Vivanco Viura/Malvasia 2007 Dinastia Vivanco Crianza 2004, everything I expect from a Rioja red: just a little sweet, like you can't quite tell if there are some fruity or even vaguely spicy undertones. Not as heavy as the Syrah but still packs enough robustness to satisfy.

Here's Rob's presentation to us. Sorry I didn't have a better camera for pictures; next time I'll take a good camera along so I won't have to rely on the Blackberry's built-in pinhole.

Wine Conversation 081209
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: media social)

The best part of the evening though was hanging out with friends from outside of the office; I realized on the way home that I've intentionally been avoiding getting too close to people here as friends, and I need to change that. Which means more blogging meet-ups in the future!

Update: Rob writes in the comments that the Rioja was the Dinastia Vivanco Crianza 2004, oops! Fixed above. My fault for not taking better notes.


Jaz Cummins said...

Hey Jason, good to see you. Hope we'll be seeing more of you by the sounds of it!

Looking forward to your 'Twittering from Tulsa!


Robert McIntosh said...

Hey Yankee! Thanks for the write up. It was good to see you there again and I agree that spending a little extra time face to face with our otherwise digital entourage is a good thing.

BTW, the Rioja you liked was the Dinastia Vivanco Crianza 2004 as the Viura/Malvasia was the white wine (not well known grape varietals, so easy mistake).

See you again soon I hope

Jason said...

Hey Jaz, definitely will be getting out a bit more and being social. We should do drinks sometime too - I'd love suggestions on good music acts around London.

Rob, thanks for everything last night - fixed my mistake in the post.

Cortes de Cima said...

Hey Jason,

I'm really glad to read that our Syrah made such a good impact on you. I challenge you to taste our full range, you will be surprised. If you ever come to Portugal, look us up.