No doubt you’ve had conversations similar to this:
Friend: So, you use Twitter?
Friend: I don’t get it. [Derisory laugh]. Telling people what you had for lunch! “Had cheese sandwich for lunch at Pret.” [Further mocking laughter]. Why do I care what you ate for lunch?
When I was first introduced to Twitter, I mocked it too. Why would I care what my friends ate for lunch? I thought that Twitter was a bit like other people’s dreams: interesting to the person involved, but mostly dull to the rest of us. Not that my friends are dull… [oh dear, should probably have added some sort of get out clause here before posting!]
However, once I understood Twitter and, more importantly, realized how it could be useful to me, I was a convert. In relation to wine, Twitter is an superb application. It enables you to know what the experts are tasting. You can get up-to-the minute news when new vintages are being released (think Bordeaux’s annual en primeur campaign). It enables you to have additional information on how ready wines that you own are for drinking (such as knowing whether your 1995 Chateau Giscours is ready to drink, past its best or needs further ageing). It also introduces you to wines that your peers are enjoying that you might not have heard of. A personal favourite is The Sampler’s Matt (aka @samplerwine) telling me when a new wine is available to taste.
And that’s the crux of the matter: finding how Twitter can be useful to you. Ryan Opaz offered some sound advice for newcomers to Twitter: “register, then leave it for 6 months… then come back to it”. This is good advice. But I’d also add “and don’t be tempted to tweet rubbish” – which brings us full circle back to your lunch.
It seems obvious, right? As most people start from the premise that Twitter is ridiculous because it’s full of people tweeting about what they’re eating for lunch, you’d have to be an idiot to post such tweets. And it’s true, it’s quite rare to see lunch-based tweets on Twitter any more.
Unfortunately, while “eating today…” is rare, it’s not uncommon to learn what people are “Drinking tonight..”.
Don’t get me wrong, constructive tweets about wines you’re drinking are great. It is a great use of Twitter to report tasting notes, comments on the ageing of wines, etc. I appreciate tweets such as “Drinking Chateau Petrus ’00 tonight – can’t believe my luck”. Although it’s not going to add anything to my life, I get that (a) you are doing something that most of us aren’t/can’t, and (b) you’re thankful for the opportunity. But what I do object to are tweets such as “Drinking Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir 2007 tonight”? What does that tell me? How different is that from “eating a cheese sandwich for lunch”?
I implore you, for the sake of Twitter’s reputation, for the education of us all, and for my blood pressure, if you are going to tell us about your current tipple, add some value. Tell us about the raspberry notes of the Pinot. Tell us that you’re drinking it with Michael Caine. Tell us that it’s good and that you’re drinking it in a particular bar so that we can go and drink it too. Tell us that you like it or hate it. Tell us that it is a great match for your grilled lamb. Tell us that you prefer it to Lafite.
Just tell me something other than what it is…