The #WaMerlot Twitter Tasting And You
March 23, 2010 by Doug Haugen
Recently, Josh Wade over at DrinkNectar.com had a big idea. Using the power of Twitter (which just celebrated its fourth birthday and has already taken over the world…twice), he decided to hold a simultaneous, nationwide tasting of Washington Merlot. Along with ten other prominent writers/bloggers (Seattle Wine Gal, Washington Wine Report, WineChatr and more), he put together the Washington Merlot Twitter Tasting, to be held across the nation on March 25.
Here’s the idea: people everywhere will sip on glasses of Washington Merlot–in their homes, in tasting rooms, in wine bars and restaurants, wherever), and publicly discuss what they’re drinking via Twitter, using the hashtag #WaMerlot. As of today, seventy-nine wineries have officially signed on to participate, many having events in their tasting rooms, or offering special discounts on their Merlot for winos to enjoy during the event.
The #WaMerlot event has become somewhat of a sensation already. Even Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV fame did an episode on three Washington Merlots last week, and the Wine Library ran specials on those three wines so that wine drinkers around the country could access some Washington Merlot for the tasting.
It’s an exciting time for Washington Merlot, which has been making a comeback over recent years since it took a hit in 2004 upon the release of Sideways and that infamous line, “I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!”
So, how do you participate? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
1. Buy your favorite bottle of Merlot from Washington State, or a bottle you’ve been meaning to try. We at WINO Magazine encourage you to support your local wineries and retailers by buying local, but if you can’t, visit your favorite online wine retailer.
2. Drink it.
3. Share your thoughts on the wine on Thursday, March 25 from 5-7 PST, and read about what others are drinking. You may learn something about the wine in your glass, or about wines you haven’t tried yet. Hell, you may even make some new friends.
While it’s perfectly acceptable to pop a bottle of Washington Merlot from your desk at home (I do it all the time) for this taste-and-tweet, it may be more fun to head out to one of the scads of events taking place around the state. Here are just a few of them.
Sommelier Cole Sisson has put together a lineup of Washington Merlots to try during the event. Joining in will be several highly respected Washington wine bloggers including Bean Fairbanks of Wine and Beer of Washington State and Sean Sullivan of the Washington Wine Report. People from around the country will be tasting and tweeting about some of Washington’s best wines. Join the celebration at TLV where the event will feature the wines of Dusted Valley, which was just named Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest and several other top Washington Merlot producers with glass and flight specials availabe all night. The #WaMerlot Twitter conversation will be projected up on the big screen, so you can follow along while you’re tweeting away.
The Tasting Room will be holding a Washington Merlot Twitter Tasting party at their Post Alley location in Pike Place Market. Voted “Best Tasting Room in the West” by Sunset Magazine, you’ll be able to try Merlots from Camaraderie Cellars, Latitude 46 N, and Wilridge. They’ll be opening up their wi-fi for the event so you can tweet away on any of your mobile devices. We at WINO Magazine will be stopping by, so come say hello.
Otis Kenyon is hosting a #WaMerlot party in their Walla Walla location, and other wineries in the area will be converging on the Otis Kenyon tasting room. From the looks of it, L’Ecole No. 41, Woodward Canyon, and Pepperbridge will be among them. If you’re in the Walla Walla area, this is a must-stop on Thursday night.
Lone Canary winery in Spokane will be offering fee samples of their 2006 Merlot and 2005 DuBrul Vineyard Reserve (66% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon) for discussion via Twitter. Bring in your cell phone or laptop and follow the live Twitter feed projected onto a big screen. Josh Wade of DrinkNectar.com will be in attendance, so stop by and say hello.
Full Pull will be having an invitation-only event in honor of #WaMerlot, and we at WINO Magazine will be stopping by. While it may seem silly to plug a private event here, I wanted to give Full Pull a shoutout, because they’re a fantastic way to get your hands on great Washington wines at a great price, and they’re super cool people. If Full Pull isn’t on your radar, they should be.
There are countless other events going on around the state (and around the country, for that matter), so check your local wine listings for places where you can participate. Or, if you prefer, snatch up as much Washington Merlot as you can, and chill at home with the interwebs, and follow along. We’ll be seeing you on Twitter.