I LOVE social media. Yes, there’s lots of silly twittering in more ways than one. But I love the content I find about wine.
Did you know I like wine?
On Twitter I follow the hashtag #wine, on Instagram the same; on both #winelovers throws up good content. Or be more precise with a grape hashtag such as #pinot
I’ve found several blogs I like; one of my favourites is Please Bring Me My Wine. Billed as a “wine novice’s guide to getting stuck into grape juice”, its creator, Mike Turner, explores a grape each week.
Mike tells me: “This whole thing of wine bloggers, journalists, and enthusiasts? It is not an exclusive club. If you drink wine and like it then we all love to hear what you think. You’re the only person in the world with your tastebuds, so your opinion matters as much as the next one. Just enjoy it!”
Perfectly true. I so agree with Mike. One of the bloggers I have been happiest to find is Winebird, in “real life” Helena Nicklin.
This week Helena launched a book which took her lovely descriptions of wine (vinalogies, where she gives wines human traits and personalities) to an audience outside the Net.
Helena equates wines to things that we can relate to. It’s not standoffish; not geeky. Her descriptions make you go “oh yes, I can imagine that”.
I asked Helena what makes her approach to wine writing so different.
She tells me: “It’s ‘edu-tainment’. An awful word, but it sums up what I do. Instead of dry winemaking facts, I tell stories and paint pictures about wine which makes it easier to remember.
“I felt there was a niche that needed to be filled, between the fabulously detailed wine writers out there and normal people who just wanted some basics in memorable, bite-size chunks.
“I hope my ‘vinalogies’ do this, making learning about wine more fun.”
To people nervous about trying out new wines, she says: “Often people think they know about a wine, but are surprised when they blind taste. So, my advice is stop worrying and explore different wines.
“Go along to a tasting – it’s a great way to try wine without committing to a bottle and they are fun too.
“I always say: Aim to get to know the personalities of the 10 most famous red and white grapes and learn which regions around the world are famous for them. This will give you an amazing base to enjoy great wines.”
Winebird (www.winebird.co.uk) has shared exclusive thoughts on a couple of wines for you (and me) to enjoy this summer.
Taste the Difference Chablis (Sainsbury, £10) “Not your classic, steely Chablis as it actually tastes of the grape it’s made from: chardonnay, but it is a lovely pure, melony wine. Buxom blonde, this is not! Think of it as your fresh-faced girl next door amidst a sea of glamour models.”
Three word #vinalogy: Girl Next Door
A red. Santa Julia Seleccion Cabernet Sauvignon. (Waitrose £9.99) “Cabernet Sauvignon is the rugby player of wine grapes and in this version from Chile, he’s packed full of smoky blackcurrant fruit and crunchy mint leaves.
“Get it open early so it can air and be sure to eat something with it. He packs a punch!”
Three word #vinalogy: Brooding Rugby Player
Winebird’s VINALOGY: Wine basics with a twist! is in paperback at £8.99 and for Kindle £3.99 on Amazon.
You can see Winebird’s own pictures of the event here
This wine column first appeared in the saturday extra magazine May 10 2014
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