Archive for the ‘Looking ahead’ Category

Team Awesome

June 25, 2010
Advertisements

Tasting Tonight on Twitter: Chilean Pinot Noir

April 12, 2010

A fairly young Pinot Noir from Chile, and the bottle I’m taking home tonight. I’m yet to taste this wine, but will be doing so in an hour or two’s time. When I do, I’ll be tweeting my thoughts live (follow me here), and cranking out a blog entry with my full tasting notes later on. If you’re feeling bold, join in on Twitter with any bottle you might have at home, and we can compare our Pinots as we taste them.

Live Tastings on Twitter

April 9, 2010

When tasting wines properly, it’s often a good idea to note down your initial impressions as soon as possible, as they will never be as clear if you try to recall them later. Flavours that immediately jump out at you can quickly be forgotten again, and each sip can change your feelings and interpretations of the wine you are tasting.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been tweeting my very first impressions of wines I’m trying that we’re tasting over the weekend, as I taste them myself. I’ve found this useful in a couple of ways personally, as it collects my thoughts into an accessible online location that I can look back at as I write up notes for this blog, and it also forces me to think more carefully about the aromas and flavours I’m perceiving. When scribbling a hasty word or two with pen & paper, I know in the back of my mind that I’ll be able to expand on the notes from memory, lazy as this is. But when I’m publishing my first impressions for the world at large to read and critique, I find myself far more focused on identifying precise flavours where possible, and much more thoroughly engaging with the wine I’m tasting with the hope of being more accurate and informative with what I have to say.

With this in mind, I will be tweeting my tasting notes as I taste, live to Twitter whenever possible, and always with the #wineyardtasting link in the tweet to make them easy to find. If you’re new to Twitter, you can find me here. I love getting comments, questions and suggestions from the folks already on there, so feel free to join in any time.

Even better still would be if I could get some of you trying some wines at the same time as me, so we can exchange thoughts as we try things together. If you’re interested in taking part, get in touch on Twitter and let me know, and we can organise something between us. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an expert, and it’s all good fun at the end of the day.

foursquare and Gowalla

March 30, 2010

For the last few weeks I’ve been playing around with a couple of location-based services, foursquare and Gowalla. The basic premise behind these websites is that they both have apps that can be installed on web-friendly mobiles like the iPhone and Android-based handsets. As you travel about visiting different locations, you “check in” to each venue, which posts your location into your Twitter and/or Facebook streams, letting people know where you are and what you’re up to. If your friends have checked in nearby, it will let you know, encouraging you to meet up with people, and discover new places by rewarding you with points and badges for doing different things. Whilst it’s all good fun collecting these, I’ve been having a think about how to better make use of them for The Wineyard.

Initially, I was “checking in” to pretty much everywhere I went and generally getting a bit carried away with it all. The main result was a lot of annoying messages clogging up our feeds. When I was checking in to places like supplier tastings, it was pretty popular, but more day-to-day local locations weren’t exactly interesting. So I had a think (in the shower of course, where all the best things are thought of!) and decided to change my approach. I’ll still be using these services to check-in at different places, but in a more restrained and hopefully useful way for the rest of you.

The main places I’ll be checking-in will be wherever I’m working each day (be that from home, at the shop, or at our head office) so that anyone who fancies a face-to-face chat can find me easily (I’m not using my actual home address, simply a nearby generic location). I’ll also be checking-in at any tastings or other exciting events that we’re at, so that people know where they’re happening, and can see what we’re up to. I may also check-in if I’m in town, or at a restaurant, so anyone who’s interested can find me, or ask me about somewhere they’ve not visited and are curious about. If you’re ever nearby, I love to meet new people who follow my antics on Twitter and the blog, so do please come and say hello, and introduce yourself! I’m very friendly, and whenever possible love an excuse to grab a cup of coffee or a bite to eat, and will happily talk about almost anything with you. And yes, I’m single so ladies form an orderly queue please! We don’t want anyone getting hurt now. 😉

Once we have our website up and running (project start meeting coming up soon – most exciting stuff which will no doubt be tweeted about with much passion!), I’m thinking about integrating my foursquare/Gowalla activities in some way too, and also potentially rewarding our most regular visitors on each service in some way (if you start checking in now, you’ve a good chance of entrenching yourself at the top of the list). If you have any thoughts on either platform, or on what I’m doing with them, or even just want a friendly chat, do please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.


Tasting: Central/Eastern Europe

March 14, 2010

On the 1st April 2010, we’re having a fascinating tasting of wines from the lesser-known parts of Europe at The Wineyard & Deli. Nothing from France, Italy and Spain; think instead of places like Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Germany for example. Some of these are countries long known for crafting some of the world’s best wines (Germany’s Rieslings in particular are widely regarded as world-class), and we’ll be taking you on a whirlwind tour of some of our favourites from our current range. Others are still up-and-coming, but offer great value for money, such as a couple of Bulgarian wines that sell very well week-in-week-out.

We will also be having a special guest speaker with us, Kerstin Hammes who will be presenting 1 or 2 of her family’s own wines from the Mosel Valley in Germany. This is a rare and fantastic opportunity to hear from someone with first-hand knowledge of wine production.

If you’re interested in joining us in trying some of these interesting and delicious wines, along with a range of samples from our Deli food section, you can book your tickets by coming and seeing us in the shop, getting in touch via Twitter or Facebook, or giving us a call on 01524 400011. You can also drop us an e-mail (Ben@thewineyard.co.uk – Please make the subject “Tasting Tickets” and specify within your e-mail which tasting you are interested in).

Tickets are £10 each and are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment. They are sold on a strictly first-come first-served.

Deli of the Year 2010 – We need your help!

February 4, 2010

Your favourite local food and drink shop, The Wineyard & Deli, is officially competing to be named Deli of the Year 2010, and we need your help! If you think we deserve to crowned Deli of the Year (and if not, get in touch ASAP and tell me why so we can step up our game before the contest is over), you can vote in one of two ways. First, and easiest, is to pop over to the following web-site:

http://www.purplelove.co.uk/nominate/vote/

Everything is explained there, and there’s a few boxes to fill out your details, and why you think we are a cracking Deli (again, if you don’t I really want to hear from you, pronto). In the coming days, we should also have a nice little stack of old fashioned voting slips you can fill out and post off, or give to us to send off. Voting has its perks by the way; a lucky winner drawn at random during the summer will get a trip for 2 to Spain to see the olive harvest, expenses paid courtesy of the competition organisers! Take a look around the website for more info.

The second stage of our candidacy requires us to submit as much top-notch evidence of our brilliance as we can get our paws on, such as photos of the shop, our stock & displays, press releases and quotes, customer comments, etc. Rather than just send in a bland batch of pictures of the shelves, I want as many of you to get involved as possible and get lots of snaps of yourselves and our produce.

If you’re eating and drinking stuff from the Wineyard, take a quick picture, preferably with yourself and a nice big cheesy grin and thumbs up, and get them in to us ASAP (email, Facebook, Twitter, or a print given in person – whatever’s easiest for you). It doesn’t have to be just yourselves or everyday stuff either – the more unusual or outrageous you can make it, the better! Just some quick and simple ideas: take pictures of us or your friends around the shop and out and about with our goods, take some of our food on a picnic, organise a party and get us to kit you out with all you need, climb a mountain and have a toast at the summit, go camping & cook our sausages over a stove with a few beers to wash them down; I’m sure you can think of more and better things yourselves.

Any tributes you can make to The Wineyard would also be absolutely wonderful; the more creative the better! Stuff like a nice big poster proclaiming your love for our shop, or perhaps a message written in the snow since it’s coming down thick and fast again at the moment. We’ve got until June to organise the supporting material we’re going to submit, and for votes to be collected, so there’s no immediate rush, but do get in contact if you’re thinking of doing anything – it’s bound to warm our hearts and earn you some discount in-store if nothing else! 😉

As an extra incentive, my favourite customer-contribution will win themselves a prize of some sort (I’ll be working on this in the weeks to come, more details to follow at a later date – At the moment I’m thinking a quality bottle of wine, a selection of our food, or a mixed case of beers for example). I’ll be deciding the winner based purely on my own personal favourite – anything that makes me laugh is bound to be in with a good chance, as is anything demonstrating some serious effort and love for what we do here. Just make sure you give us your name, and contact info, when you send anything in.

And if you want us to do something different or better at the shop, I’m 100% serious about you getting in touch and telling me. As well as being a lot of fun to get involved with, this contest also gives us a great chance to really evaluate what you all think of The Wineyard & Deli, and what you’d like to see us change or do more of. After all, each and every one of you is why we’re here, so I want to be absolutely certain each and every one of you is as happy as possible with us. I’m actually out of the shop all next week (6-14th Feb) but I’ll be checking my emails and the blog to see who’s been in touch, and I’ll be on Twitter and Facebook regularly as usual. I’ll also be writing up notes on recent tastings for the blog so keep an eye out for that.

Lastly, I’m thinking of putting together some new mixed cases of wines for special offers later this month, primarily to offer online via Facebook & Twitter, but I’ll also be letting subscribers to our emails know about them. If there’s any particular themes you’d like to see in a mixed case (e.g. Italian whites, Spain other than Rioja, all Red/White/Rose, etc – anything at all) get in touch via the usual methods and let me know. Suggestions for what you’d be willing to spend on a mixed case of 6 or 12 bottles would also be useful.

If you’ve read this far, thanks for taking the time to do so, and for having such an interest in what we’re up to – we love you ever so much for it and we’ll do our very best to keep things fresh and interesting whenever we see you.

All the very best,

Ben.

Next tasting: New wines just in – 4/2/2010

January 30, 2010

The next tasting at The Wineyard & Deli will be held on Thursday 4th February, and will feature some of the best new wines to arrive on our fine shelves in recent weeks. We’ll be covering both red and white, old and new world wines. There’s some fantastic stuff lined up for you all, as the following provisional wine list* demonstrates:

  • Chateau Nicot Bordeaux Blanc 2008 (Bordeaux, France) – £9.99
  • Kendall-Jackson Sauvignon Blanc 2005 (California, USA) – £11.99
  • Peter Lehman Margaret Semillon 2004 (Barossa Valley, Australia) – £13.49
  • Lawson Dry Hills Gewurztraminer 2007 (Marlborough, New Zealand) – £13.49
  • Azpilicueta Reserva Rioja 2003 (Rioja, Spain) – £11.99
  • Trinity Hills Pinot Noir 2008 (Martinborough, New Zealand) – £12.99
  • Peter Lehman Mudflat Ebenezer Shiraz 2004 (Barossa Valley, Australia) – £13.49
  • Cecchi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2006 (Montepulciano, Italy) – £15.99

If this has suitably whet your appetite for more, get in touch with us pronto to book your tickets. Places cost £10 each, and are in limited supply, and all tickets must be bought in advance. You can contact us in one of the following ways:

  • Email: Barry@thewineyard.co.uk
  • Telephone: 01524 400011
  • Visit us: 23 Princes Crescent, Bare, Morecambe.
  • Twitter: http://twitter.com/thewineyard
  • Facebook: Search “The Wineyard & Deli”

*Wines named are subject to change dependent on stock availability and attendance – the more people attend, the more we can spend on the wines. Encourage your friends to join you and we can show you nicer wines, it’s that simple! 🙂

Things to come

November 23, 2009

Hoping to put in some late nights this week to get this blogging business kick-started properly. The main focus of this blog will be to discuss things related to our shop, such as events we’re organising/have had, new stock we’re getting in, and so on. However, I also intend to write up my own tasting notes on as many of our wines as possible as I work my way through them all (I’ve been working for The Wineyard for about 3.5 months so plenty to be written about already). In addition, I’m thinking of posting some educational stuff as I develop my wine-world knowledge, so I may do themed posts on different regions or grapes, which should provide an ideal introduction to a topic for the wine novices out there such as myself.

If there is anything you would like to see being blogged/written about in relation to The Wineyard and my journey into the world of wine, or you have any questions at all, I’d love to hear from you so please get in touch and I’ll respond personally ASAP.

Email: Ben@thewineyard.co.uk
Twitter: http://twitter.com/thewineyard
Facebook: Search “The Wineyard & Deli”