Several months ago, my friend Rob contacted me with an idea: a live, video-conference, interactive tasting with winemakers in Chile. At the time Rob worked with Wines of Chile, doing PR work. I thought it sounded like a blast, gave a few suggestions, and couldn’t wait to see what came of it. I loved the idea–I can’t go to Chile, but through the web-based conference, the winemakers could be brought to me. Add a chat room and twitter in and it makes for a live conversation while you taste the wines.
So we had the tasting a little over a week ago. Over the course of about an hour, we tasted through 8 wines from different wineries while each winemaker joined us live in Chile. About a week earlier, the Wines of Chile folks sent a whole box of wine. A wooden crate, full of 8 bottles of wines, 2 glasses, a spittoon, and a corkscrew. Awesome set up.
My overall impressions of the tasting. We should have had fewer wines in a longer period of time. I felt as if the moderator moved things along a bit too fast and we didn’t have enough time to interact with each wine maker. Not to mention, there was a time delay in the video feed, so by the time I asked some questions we had already moved onto the next wine and winemaker. So yeah, fewer wines, and a longer time period. I also restate my original opinion…make it on a Friday or a Saturday night. Even spitting, it was hard to get through 8 wines in this format on a Wednesday night…on a Friday or Saturday I would have had an easier time gathering people together to help me consume all these bottles….which ended up mostly going to waste since there’s only so much wine two people can drink, even over a few days!
Now the good. It was awesome to be able to see and interact with the winemakers all the way in Chile. They even tolerated us as we asked, a little later into the evening, who was single…hey, I’m keeping an eye out for my girl Thea! And the wines, not a dog among them. I preferred some to others, obviously, but there wasn’t a one I wouldn’t drink again if someone offered and there were several I would specifically hunt down! Generally, I am giving mad congrats to the Wines of Chile folks for going out on a limb with this format and trying something really new in the wine tasting realm. It certainly got my attention and I’d love to participate in the future!
Over the next week or so, look for individual reviews of the wines here.