Does Twitter offer anything for wine drinkers and wine fans? The internet is all a-twitter about Twitter, a social networking platform that has been described as multi-player instant-messenger, IRC for people with short attention spans, and quite a bit worse. Most discussions about Twitter are focused on what good it is, so what good is twitter if you're interested in wine, wine drinking, and the wine industry? There's quite a bit to tweet about wine, fact, if you use Twitter right.
Just in case you don't know anything about the Twitter phenomenon, here are some basics to help you familiarize yourself with what's going on:
- Twitter is the platform for sending and receiving messages; many different software titles are available for using the Twitter platform.
- A message sent via Twitter is called a "tweet."
- Each tweet must be 140 characters or less.
- You can send tweets out generally to the world, you can address it to someone in particular, or you can make it a private message seen only by the recipient.
- When you "follow" someone, you'll automatically see their tweets.
- When someone "follows" you, they'll automatically see your tweets.
- The more followers a person has, the more influential they may be.
Use Twitter to Get Wine Recommendations
Perhaps the most basic and obvious use of Twitter to wine drinkers is to get wine recommendations. Are you looking for a wine that works well with your favorite dish? Then ask in Twitter. Did you purchase a wine that looks really interesting, but have no idea what sort of meal to eat with it? Then ask on Twitter. Your requests for wine and food recommendation will be going out to a huge community and chances are that there are a few people out there with just the information you need.
You can, of course, ask more complex and interesting questions about wine as well — so long as you can fit your question into just 140 characters. You can ask who makes a better French Riesling, Helfric or Hugel. You can ask which is likely to be a better Chardonnay: one from France or one from California. You can even ask people about their best wine experiences so you an benefit from their stories.
Use Twitter to Ask Wine Questions
There are naturally many more wine topics you can ask about on Twitter besides recommendations for wines to go with foods or foods to go with wine. You can ask about anything having to do with wine and be optimistic that someone out there will be able to help. You can ask the twittering wine community about books to read for education about wine, good videos for learning about wine, and enjoyable movies where wine plays some sort of role.
Everyone who wants to learn about wine has to start somewhere. No one is born with an encyclopedic knowledge of wine and grapes. There are of course plenty of books and magazines you can read, but at some point you're going to ask questions — questions that need to be directed at other wine drinkers who know more because they're farther down the path of wine education than you currently are. Twitter is a great place to find lots of such people, all of whom have something to offer. Soon, you may be one of those people answering questions yourself.
Use Twitter to Connect with Wine Drinkers
The best means for understanding how Twitter can be useful is to remember that Twitter is an example of "social media" and "social networking." What this means is that Twitter is a means for connecting people — for making social connections between large numbers of people based on common interests. Thus for wine drinkers and wine aficionados, Twitter is a useful means for developing online contacts with people all around the world based on shared interests in wine.
With Twitter, you can connect not just with people interested in wine generally, but with people interested specifically in Zinfandels or Pinotages, Chilean or Oregon wines, etc. Whatever you wine passion happens to be, there are probably others out there who share that passion to some extent. Connecting with them may help you all explore those passions in greater depth than is possible alone and that's how helpful social networking platforms like Twitter can be.
If you want to start getting connected on Twitter with other wine drinkers, one place to start is the Wine Twitter list maintained by dhonig. You can also follow me on Twitter to keep up-to-date on new material as it's added to this site.