Perhaps I should have had more sense than to speak at Saturday's Cork barcamp - a convention of technological bright sparks - during a week off work. All sorts of woolgathered thoughts came spilling out at my seams, and the resulting farrago of half-baked ideas that I inflicted on the audience must have been confusing, at best.
To all those who ran the show, thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak. Thank you to all those who sat round the table and heard me out. If you were there and took offence at all, I'm sorry for not being better prepared and rather calmer. If I was rude, I didn't mean to be. I'm going to quickly resume some of the things I blurted, in case you'd care to comment &c.
BUBBLE BROTHERS NEWS
You can look forward to a refit of the English Market shop in two or three weeks' time. This will feature the ingenious modular wine racking from WinTower, which you will be able to purchase as well as admire: we're the Irish agents. What do you buy the wine fiend who has everything? Now you know.
I started a rumour about our move in the new year from the Marina Commercial Park to new premises, which will include the most impressive wine shop in the city.
You should be aware that Bubble Brothers are sponsors of the Irish round-the-world cycle expedition, which by now you may have heard about from the national news. If you'd like to find out more, and help swell Fearghal and Simon's charity fund - they are raising money and awareness for Aware - you will be very welcome to meet them at an illustrated talk in Cork's Blackrock Observatory this Wednesday, November 5th, at 7pm. It's €10 in and there's a complimentary glass of wine included.
PUTTING THE NONSENSE BACK
This was the mish-mash filling in the sandwich.
The demystification of wine - the suggestion that, assuming any degree of curiosity beyond wine-merely-as-alcoholic-drink, wine can be understood in isolation from all its cultural &c. connections is a mixed blessing that may strengthen the power of the wine brands, who may in due course dispense with regionality and other aspects of individual character altogether.
Because in Ireland we're not in an indigenous wine culture - where learning to appreciate wine is part of growing up - people find the prospect of 'making up for lost time' frightening, and think that getting a foothold on what they see as a slippery-sided monolith of wine knowledge is going to be impossible. I was suggesting that that's the wrong way of thinking about it. Wine is connected to all of us in all kinds of ways whether we recognize them or not. By using the cobwebby networks of blogs, barcamps, and so on and so forth, Bubble Brothers are hoping to emphasize that wine knowledge is a continuous part of the cultural landscape. No-one has to climb the mountain if they don't want to, but if the view from the top takes your fancy, all the equipment you need is available.
I mentioned that this is rather like the way in which people who have not grown up with technology need to accept that it is inevitably part of the world they live in, and accessible to them should they choose to explore. Perhaps one or two of our customers whose principal interest in Bubble Brothers is our wine have become aware of the diversity of online ways of doing things after hearing about or seeing my dabbling.
Enough of that (though I could have gone on and on and on).
I broke out the wine glasses pretty early on. It helps retain listenership.
We tasted two wines from France, one white and one red. Both are blends, both typical of good things that your supermarket may not offer you. I'm leaving the graceless arrangement of the pictures below - too much to do to go lining things up. If you tasted these on Saturday, please click the pictures and leave a review - three little words minimum please.