I've always liked the idea of holding wine tastings through this blog, along the lines of a book club: interested participants agree on a wine to buy, and then sample their purchase at an agreed time and publish their findings as comments on an aggregating post - rather after the fashion of Wine Blogging Wednesday.
An idea is all that it's been, though. I don't have enough of a readership here to make it happen that way, and customers in our shops mostly don't choose to spend recreational time in front of a computer screen, so they're not hip to all the internetly jive that it's easy to take too seriously when you're embalmed in it all day.
However, to my great satisfaction, the greater because nothing really to do with me - like swing dance in Cork, which is now established in fulfilment of my long held hopes but without my having done anything about it except whinge - there is about to be an Irish online 'blind' tasting event co-ordinated by means of Twitter, the electronic apophthegm generator of which you may have heard.
Bubble Brothers have supplied 'mystery bottles' (wrapped and otherwise prepared so as not to be readily identifiable) through our own shops and those of our obliging customers Morton's of Galway and URRU in Bandon. The wine is red, and its value about €12. The rest is for tasters to enjoy discussing. You can follow progress if you wish, whether you do twittering or not, because all the participants should be using the label #twebt to channel their comments to this page. You'll see the latest slings and arrows pop up each time the page is refreshed.
Fair play - to put it mildly - to all concerned for making it happen. I'm not getting involved in specific praise (or blame), because the arena is already all but invisible thanks to the acrid dust of pre-competition skirmishing.
You can read a more comprehensive account of the event and see a list of participants on Brian Clayton's blog. I'll endeavour to acknowledge any other posts as they crop up.
Kick-off is at about half past eight tonight, Sunday 8th November.
What happened next:
You could always scroll through the tweets themselves to get the full aroma and flavour of the tasting; but, in brief, a great time was had by all - though there was a little material damage to a wine glass and a computer in the excitement of the thing.
I recognize and applaud the skill of those who identified the wine with accuracy, but the awards ceremony was indistinguishable from the event, it seems to me. I'm not going to think too much more or less of anyone in the light of last night's session - though I have some ideas about who not to play poker &c. with.
Thanks were similarly dished out by the assembled tasters as we went along: to @KevAtFennsQuay for instigating the tasting, to @brianclayton as MC and so on and so forth. The whole thing was pretty straightforward to organize, thoroughly enjoyable, and would be easy to repeat.
The wine? It was an unoaked Rioja joven from Bodegas Martínez Corta, and you can read some reviews, written while the heat of battle was still not cold, by following that link to the wine on our website. Thank you LouderVoice for making the reviewing so easy for the tasters, thanks to the LV twitter login facility.
Here's to the next one. I suspect last night's tasting was some sort of Irish first.