social media

Arizona Wine Tasting: Scottsdale, July 22nd 2010 at 5th and Wine

On Thursday, July 22nd from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, join Jim Wiskerchen aka @mywinehelper at 5th & Wine for a blind tasting of 4 of some of the best Arizona wines. There will be plenty of great food served buffet style, all for only $25.00/person. You will also have the chance to win a gift certificate to 5th & Wine if you guess all four varietal wines correctly. After the wines are revealed you will be able to purchase these wines by the glass.  5th & Wine is a great place to hang after working all day and to escape the heat. So join Jim in supporting local wines and this great local wine bar. This event is limited to 40 people so get your spot reserved HERE
5th & Wine
7051 E. 5th Ave.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

5th & Wine WEBSITE

The Big Wine Tweetup: Scottsdale June 16th, 2010

Are you a business owner wondering about the value, the ROI of twitter and social media? Let me tell you about The Big Wine Tweetup that happened in Scottsdale, Arizona on Wednesday June 16th, 2010.  The event was organized by a group of twitterers based in the metro Phoenix area to do something special for fellow Seattle based Twitter personality and social media expert, Seattle Wine Gal.  The Big Wine Tweetup was a two part event.

The first part was a dinner organized by Foodies Like Us co-owner Susie Timm and was held at FnB restaurant.  Guests included @SeattleWineGal, @bspargo, @gritsnyc and hubby, @dragonflytweet, @diyamarketing and @CookieCaroline.  I asked Seattle Wine Gal to observe the way co-owner of FnB, Pavle Milic, greeted every customer.  He greets everyone as a guest of honor, so warm and friendly – something totally lacking in most restaurant experiences these days.  For wines we enjoyed some of Sam Pillsbury’s Rose and some sparkling Chardonnay from Canelo Hills.

After dinner we headed around the corner to Kazimierz World Wine Bar.  Thanks to @foodieslikeus and @ciaomari for the reservations.  This is where the tweetup got interesting, and where the ROI of twitter began to show itself.  We were joined by quite a few people and the group swelled to more than 20 people.  We were moving furniture around and eventually took up the whole front entrance all the way up to the bar, and even that wasnt enough room.  We were joined by Arizona Wine Grower’s Association executive director Rhonnie Moffit (@AZWineries) and her husband @AZVineyardguy.  Also in attendance was Bulbstorm’s @Tena_Hartwig, @Cardiogoop, @DesertSmokeBBQ, @Sandy161, @KadeDworkin, @mywinehelper.  There were also a bunch of people who were not twitterers, but were friends of twitterers and just wanted to come out and have a good time.

So, how much money do you think

Could you use a few more customers?

we all dropped on dinner and after dinner drinks?  How much do you think that is worth to a business owner?  I counted up the total followers of all the Twitterers at the wine bar and it was over 22,000.  Everyone sent out a few messages during the even- as people on twitter have a difficult time not tweeting about something fun they are doing! How much do you think it is worth to a business to have their name sent out to 20,000+ people, repeatedly.  And the next day too, as people were remarking about what a great time they had.

If you are a business owner you might want to think about getting involved in a tweetup.  But how do you do that?  How do you organize it, especially if you are not even on Twitter?  Just reach out to people who are.  You can reach out to me! @wklywinejournal  or send me an email.  If you are in the Metro Phoenix area you can reach out to any of the twitterers I mentioned I’m sure they would be glad to point you in the right direction.  Getting back to what it might be worth to host a Tweetup, a Wine Tweetup or a cocktail hour Tweetup.  It might be worth offering some kind of discount to the Twitter community.  After all, you are going to be getting a ton of buzz from the event.  And just think, what if your Tweetup had 40 or 50 people, tweeting to 40 or 50 thousand people?  You could have a packed house!

The next Big Wine Tweetup is being planned right now, the Weekly Wine Journal is looking for interested guests and hosts, so get in touch!

#Scottsdale #Wine #Tweetup Wednesday June 16th 7p.m. at Kazimierz

On Wednesday June 16th at 7 p.m. the public is invited to a Wine Tweetup

The t stands for Twitter

at Kazimierz World Wine Bar.  There is no cover charge.  Local “Twitterers” Bloggers and Social Media savy people will be meeting in real life (!) for drinks and conversation.  One of the confirmed attendees is @SeattleWineGal… yes, all the way from Seattle.  If you would like more information ask the Weekly Wine Journal on Twitter @wklywinejournal or send us an email.

Seattle Wine Gal’s Website

Map to Kazimierz

2 inexpensive Chardonnays for #Chardonnay, a twitter event

Rick Bakas of St. Supery is at it again with another twitter wine tasting event.  Hot off the heals of #calicab, and Josh Wade’s #WAmerlot comes #chardonnay.  If you are looking for something inexpensive to sip and tweet about, consider the following two Chardonnays which I found on Markdown for under $10 at my local Costco. Plus if you are looking for something to serve with the wine, check out my French bread Brie and roasted garlic recipe HERE

Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards, 2007 Chalk Hill, Sonoma County

Price: About $20, as tested $9.97 at Costco

How was it made? 97% French oak barrels, 97% malolactic, and aged 9 months.

According the company literature, this wine should be enjoyed over the next 1-3 years.  It’s near the end of April, 2010 right now, so I believe we are reaching the end of this window, let’s see what it has left shall we?

On the Nose: Pear Pineapple butter and toast, not necessarily in that order, and it’s not abundantly obvious.  The nose is subtle.

On the Palate: The Palate is a lot nicer than the nose lets on.  The fruit is riper than the nose would suggest.  With 97% malolactic fermentation the fruit is predominantly green apple with a little hint of pineapple sweetness interwoven in the oak.

Starmont Merryvale, 2007 Napa Valley

What is it?  100% Chardonnay

Where from?  Napa Valley

How much?  About $20… as tested $9.97 at Costco

Alcohol: 13.5%

Production: 25,517 cases

How was it made? 50% barrel, 50% stainless steel fermentation, 60% malolactic, with 8 months in 15% new French oak

I took a trip down to my local Costco to search for markdowns.  I have enjoyed Starmont Merryvale Cabernet’s so I was interested in trying out the Chardonnay, especially at the reduced price.

On the nose, crushed pineapple in heavy syrup.  I can say this with certainty because I was making a pineapple marinade for pork tenderloin yesterday and the aroma is very fresh in my mind.  Though it is not a very strong aroma, it is definitely present.  There is also a citric aspect to it, a slight lemon.

On the palate, medium bodied, maybe just a little bit on the light side of medium.  The fruit on the palate is Citrus, predominately lemon.   It’s smooth, the acidity is quite subdued.

The finish is nice, and fairly long.  Surprisingly long, tingly, tart and there’s a hint of creamy oak nestled in there as well.

My first impression was that I was not wowed by this wine, but I gave it a bit of time to open up and warm up and it really made a big difference.  It’s a nice, fairly light, crisp simple straight forward Chardonnay.  If you are tired of over oaked over buttery monster California Chardonnay, you will be pleasantly surprised with this effort.

The Chef’s Loft, Scottsdale Arizona

I recently was introduced to The Chef’s Loft by my friend “The Sassy Sommelier” Lizbeth Congiusti. She also introduced me to Chef’s Loft principal Michael Murray. What is Chef’s Loft? Take a look at the video and see! In the beginning of this video I show you how to find the Chef’s Loft

Part two:

Chef’s Loft Website Here

How to have a wine tweetup

If you are on twitter you might be familiar with the term “tweetup”.  Just to recap:  A tweetup is when fellow twitterers meet up in real life, usually after work at a wine bar, pub or restaurant.  There are two basic points of view or categories of the tweetup

1. You are a twitterer, a social person, looking to host a tweetup at a location where you can meet people with common interests.  You might be a blogger writing about local restaurants, or even a wine blogger!

2. You are a business  looking to host a tweetup at your location in order to promote your business through social media.   You might be a restaurant, wine bar or winery.

My focus will be on category #1 because I am a blogger and twitterer.

The first thing you need to do is check your twitter follower strategy.  There is no sense tweeting about a #wine #tweetup in #scottsdale Arizona, when most of your followers are from Washington State, Vancouver British Columbia and New York City.  I learned this the hard way.

Before you start doing anything you need to ask yourself a few questions:

1. What is the purpose of this tweetup?

Is it to meet as many people who share a common interest as possible? Is is it to meet as many of your followers as possible?  Is it to meet specific followers of interest and influence? All of the above?

If you have a strong local following finding people to attend shouldn’t be too difficult, just send out a tweet.  If you don’t have a lot of local followers and want to meet as many people who share your interest in wine  send your tweets with the following hashtags: #wine #tweetup and #the-name-of-your-city.

Does anyone respond? Send out the tweet in the morning then again before lunch and maybe another one in the late afternoon.  Do this at least several days before the tweetup to give people time to plan ahead.  Don’t be too surprised if no one responds right away.

If you are looking to target specific followers and people of influence you should look thru your Direct Messages and contact those people via DM …

“Just a quick note, thinking of having a wine tweetup, you interested?”  Something like that. You might want to include foodies, food critics, writer’s, artists, an eclectic group.  Or you might want to include just the most influential PR people in your area.  It’s up to you what the mix is, but you need to be aware of it.  You need to think about the dynamic between quantity vs. quality.  My first tweetup was a small group of quality connections.  In the future I plan on hosting a larger group to experience that dynamic as well.

While you are waiting for responses you can start to choose a venue for your wine tweetup.  Your best bet is a restaurant with a decent wine list, or a wine bar.  How do you choose the venue?  Google “wine bar” and your city.  You will come up with a list.  Quickly go through the list and visit each place’s website.  Check the wine list, check the location.  Make a list of about 3 to  5 places. Make notes and write down contact information.

Next, make contact.  Should you call, or write an email, or use twitter?  You should do all the above if you want to make sure they get your message.  Leave a message if you get voice mail.  You need to make contact with the manager or prefferably the owner.  You don’t want to be making plans with whoever answers the phone at the front desk.  Nothing against people who work in that position but you are going to be making a business proposition not a reservation.  When you talk with the manager or owner you should explain that you are a twitterer, a blogger and what you blog or tweet about and that you are looking for a venue to host a meeting of people who follow you.  If you are just starting out with your food or wine blog don’t expect anything in return for hosting this event.  The restaurant wine bar winery might not know who you are, you will probably have to prove something first.

However, if you have a decent blog and can point to site stats like how many hits a day you get, how many subscribers you have, how many local twitterer followers you have you should probably make them aware of that.  You need to let them know that hosting this event will bring their business a lot of “free” press.  In return for this free press, you would like to know what they are prepared to offer you.  Don’t be pushy, snooty or demanding about it, you just need to ask.  It doesn’t hurt to ask.  If you are emailing them you might want to include a link to an article extolling the benefits of hosting a tweetup at your place of business.  Barbara Evans @Seattlewinegal has a good one here. Josh Wade @nectarwine also has a good article on it here

Okay so where are we?

1.You’ve sent out  tweets  letting everyone that follows or everyone in your area interested in wine, or specific followers  know that you are thinking about putting together a wine tweetup.

2.You’ve Direct Messaged people on your DM radar about your plans

3. You’ve contacted possible venues.

Next, you are going to need to make some decisions about which venue to choose.  For me, in my first wine tweetup the choice was pretty simple:  I chose the only place that responded!  Next, choose a day and time.  I chose Thursday night at 7:30.  A lot of people have other plans on Friday and Saturday nights and unless your wine tweetup is the talk of the town it might be difficult to pry them away from their other plans.  Also give people enough time to get home from work and change, or at least to grab a quick inexpensive bite to eat before meeting up.  That way people can have more $$ to spend on wine, but it’s also not too late to eat at the tweetup if they are hungry.

So lets say you’ve decided where to have the tweetup. The venue will need to know how many seats to reserve.  Now you are going to need to do some quick juggling.  Tell them based on your initial guesstimate that you will need a reservation for X amount of people but that you will get back to them by a specific time  with a more definitive answer.  Ask your contact what is their preferred method of communication, and make sure you communicate with them like you said you would.  If you said you will get back to them by 4pm, then get back to them by 4pm, even if you have no new news.  It is important to do what you say and do it by the time you say you’ll do it in order to build credibility.  That goes for all aspects of life.

Now you need to move quickly and with a sense of urgency.  Tweet, Direct Message and get people to commit.  Get back the the venue with a concrete number.  It’s very important to keep in constant contact with the venue about the number of guests you are planning on bringing.  That was one of the mistakes I made.  I made a reservation for 5 people, and on the day of the tweetup I learned that there were now going to be 10 people, I left a twitter message, but did not follow up with a phone call.  A restaurant manager or owner is a very busy person.  They do not have time to check twitter all day long.  But when the phone rings, they answer it.  Luckily for my tweetup the owner and staff were top notch problem solvers and managed to make a table for 10—in a restaurant that seats less than 40!  But you might not be so lucky.

So now you’ve got the venue, you’ve got X amount of people committed to coming at 7:30pm or whatever time you chose.  It’s very important for you as the host to arrive early.  I suggest no less than 15 minutes prior to the reservation time.  This way you can greet the guests as they arrive.  You can introduce yourself to the owner/manager.  You can observe the facilities, make some notes, maybe do a little tweeting on your smartphone.  You can also grab a big glass of water.

The guests arrive, you’ve got your table…you’re on your own now!

Any Questions?  Leave a comment or email me:  weeklywinejournal at gmail do com