Friday, June 11, 2010

Yesterday, from 5:30 to 7:00, at a houseboat house party with bloggers, somms, winemakers, PR folks, and the lovely and talented Mrs. G, I took a walk through the past with the tools of the future. Back in the day, I worked for a number of years in radio, then television – long before they were backwater competitors to digital media in all its splendor.

For a time I produced a daily morning talk show on Seattle’s ABC affiliate, with the mandatory sofa, chipper and chatty host and hostess, and a revolving door of guests. I was becoming fascinated with wine at the time, and on several occasions I even managed to include a brief wine tasting segment with Seattle Times columnist Tom Stockley.

That was some 25 years ago, and wine-related television has not come very far since then. You can still turn on Good Morning America and see some wine “celebrity” standing in front of a lineup of cheap and cheerful chardonnays and blathering on about mangoes and malolactic fermentation. But yesterday, thanks to the creative planning of Lori Randall and her talented staff, the technical and video expertise of Mrs. G, and a boat-full of bloggers, winemakers and sommeliers, I was privileged to host a live, wine-tasting house party that incorporated the best features of live television, along with a full platter of online and social media features. It felt like it just might be the best way to orchestrate fully interactive wine coverage.

Since I was the host for this event, I didn’t actually see it online. But I know that there was a lot going on, with tweets, e-mails, winemakers taking questions from distant sites, links to winery tasting rooms and a dazzling array of information available in real time, online, for free.

While all this was going on, Lori and I tasted our way through eight dry Washington rosés, engaged in some fun party chat, and interviewed three of the winemakers live on the spot. The talk got a little (but not too) technical, and in true live tv style we shared the event with a room full of bloggers, sommeliers, visitors and friends who tasted along with us.

I think the concept works, although there are some technical wrinkles to be worked out. Sean Sullivan (WAWineReport) was in the house and saved our bacon when the system crashed just ahead of broadcast (and again when it went down briefly a couple of times during the show).

There will be more follow-up and hopefully a chance to see the whole show again via the Randall PR website (and I’ll link to it here as soon as possible).

My thanks to Barbara Evans (Seattle Wine Gal), Clive Pursehouse (OR Wine Blog), Shona Milne (Woodinville Wine Update), Margot Savell (WriteforWine), Kori Voorhees (WinePeeps), Bean Fairbanks (Wine Beer WA), Yashar Shayan (SeaStar), Jake Kosseff (Wild Ginger/Triple Door), Ryan Pennington (WA Wine Commission), Trey Busch (Sleight of Hand), Kay Simon (Chinook Wines), Virginia Bourgue (lullaby) and everyone who helped pull this together and make it a rockin’ good time.

Photo credit: Yashar Shizzle Shayan


Sean P. Sullivan said...

Paul, a great event and thanks for asking me to be a part of it. Personally, my level of excitement for spring and summer has been, how shall we say, low? given the unending May showers. But nothing like some Washington rose to announce that sunny days are ahead. Thanks again to you and the folks at Randall. Fun, informative, and frivolous. Everything a good event - and rose - should be.

Anonymous said...

PG, is there a website to see the going on's from last night? Merlotman

PaulG said...

Merlotman, I believe that a vid of the whole she-bang will be posted on YouTube. I'll put a link up as soon as it's there. Or check Randall PR website (linked above).

Charlotte said...

Sounds like a great event! Was there a favorite rose of the evening?

Kori said...

Paul, thanks for including me in this event. It was a fun evening. It is great to be able to get winemakers, writers, sommeliers, and PR folks all together for a tasting and then we able to share it with others all over the world for free. I agree that the concept works, and I hope that there are more events like this in the future. Cheers!

Margot said...

Paul, it was a great event and fun to watch you do the show from a front row seat. Thanks for including me. My background is in print and broadcast journalism too, and I never would have believed, back in the day, that we could reach such a wide audience and build such solid relationships this way. Like Sean, the rose' gives me hope for sunny days - and it looks like this weekend will be perfect to crack open one of those great Washington wines! Cheers!

Andy Plymale said...

Love a dry rose' (or a sweet one) with taco truck fare , year round. Jim at Katya's in Richland the other day was showing me a $30 bottle from a Yakima Valley producer (can't remember the name). I think he's pouring rose' flights at the moment.

wild walla walla wine woman said...

I had my own little #WARose party at home - me and the dog. We listened to you on TasteLive UStream and tried to Twitter, video and taste at the same time. Talk about multi-tasking. Finishing up the roses in a blind tasting tonight with a few friends, because the dog can't drink wine, yet. She's still under 21 - yes, even in dog years. Cheers!

Lori Randall said...

I'll get that video link to you Paul. So great to have you on the boat with Seattle's A list of bloggers! And can't thank Mrs. G enough for her help with video. A pro! And for those winemakers that joined us in-person and online Mucho Gracias! Let's do another!

Shona Milne said...

The warm company and the delicious wines made up for the dismal weather. We were on a boat after all so it all worked for me. I hope we can do more of these events. I really enjoyed all the wines but Lullaby and Waters stood out. Thanks to you and Randall PR.

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