Last week, under my other Twitter username (@JoannaSchaff), my family and I took part in the blind wine tasting event organised through the social network.
The Twitter blind tasting was orignally set up in November of last year. A short history of the event can be found here on Brian Clayton's blog. As you can see this last event was the third such blind tasting through Twitter. The previous event's wine was provided by Bubble Brothers and Curious Wines.
I first became aware of the event back in February during the second tasting. I decided that I had to take part in the next one as it seemed like everyone involved was having such fun. Plus you learn stuff!
The first step to taking part was to order the bottle from Karwig Wines, this event's supplier. The price was €19 including cost of couriering the bottle. However, if you could pick it up from their shop in Cork, it was only €15. I ordered my bottle on the Tueday evening and it arrived nicely parcelled up on Thursday morning to my parents' house.
The event itself was to start on Sunday at 9pm. But in the days and the hours coming up to the start time, more and more posts appeared on Twitter with the hash tag for the evening: #twebt. This hash tag allowed you to more easily search for posts relating to it. On the Saturday the Karwig Wines accounts, posted a message letting us know when to open the wine, which was about 2 hours before the tasting started. I enquired whether the wine should be decanted or not and was told that if possible it should be.
Our household got a little overexcited and ended up opening our bottle at about 3.30pm rather than 7pm like everyone else, though we did then decant it at 7.
Then we had the impatient wait for the tasting to start at 9 o'clock. Luckily we had dinner to keep us occupied. Promptly at 9 o'clock, fisrt glasses were dutifully being poured and reported to the Twitter stream. For extra helpfulness, @kevatfennsquay or Kevin Crowley had created a list of all the people taking part in the tasting, which is what we used to keep up with what was being posted. Kevin and Brian (@brianclayton) were the facilitators for the tasting and kept us line with what we should be trying to guess at each stage of the tasting.
Again, we were a little on the enthusiastic side and kept skipping ahead a little. I'm going to blame my dad for this, as he was a bit impatient to being with, that is until he got into the swing of the online banter.
The first thing that has to be determined is whether the wine is Old World or New World. Next up is the year, then the country. Finally, you have to work out the grape variety and the region that the wine is from.
There were a couple of surprises with this wine; while it was easy to determine that it was an Old World wine, that it was fairly young (it was from 2005) and that it came from Fance (though there were a couple of people who were convinced it was from Portugal), the tricky bit came with the grape variety. Most of us were convinced that it was a Syrrah (Shiraz) variety mixed with something else. However, it actually turned out to be an equal mix of Grenache and Carignan. The region again, was fairly easy to work out, we managed to get it down to the Langueduc, though we didn't get the exact part, Corbieres.
Finally the mystery wine was revealled at about 10:30pm to be Domaine Aonghusa Cuvee | Laval 2005 about which more information can be found on the Karwig Wines blog.
All in all we had a very enjoyable evening and we will definitely be taking part again. I only hope that it's happening sooner rather than later.