Showing posts with label Twitter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Twitter. Show all posts

Sunday, November 23, 2014

SBA Urges US to #DineSmall on Small Business Saturday

I was asked to reprint an article about the #DineSmall effort for Small Business Saturday Night, which is coming up on November 29, 2014.  Many people will be out doing some holiday shopping that weekend, and hopefully helping their local economies by patronizing small business.  The Small Business Association is jumping on social media with the #DineSmall campaign.  They are asking shoppers who dine out to keep the thinking behind #SmallBizSat in mind when selecting a dining option.

The article,by SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet - actually a blog post published on on November 20, 2014 - makes the appeal very well and is republished here in its entirety.

#DineSmall on Small Business Saturday November 29 
"November 29th is Small Business Saturday – a day circled on the calendar of savvy entrepreneurs across America. 
"Small businesses are the engine of our economy and create two out of three new jobs. Seven in 10 Americans are now aware that the day after Black Friday is a time to shop small and support local economic growth. This year, the SBA is helping to expand this important day into the evening to support entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry. 
"This year, America’s bars and restaurants are extending the hours on the daylong festivities by promoting Small Business Saturday Night. The SBA is partnering with the National Restaurant Association to encourage families who shop small to #DineSmall at local restaurants and watering holes in the evening. We’re also encouraging small business merchants to extend their hours so they can take advantage of increased nighttime foot traffic. 
"Nine out of 10 restaurants have less than 50 employees, and 80 percent of restaurant owners start their careers in entry-level positions. So the #DineSmall movement is this year’s important new way to support the proprietors who give Main Street its unique flavor. 
"Now in its fifth year, Small Business Saturday has become a time for small businesses to harness the power of social media to attract new customers into their shops and restaurants. Last year, two out of every three holiday shoppers purchased a gift they found on social media. Half of all holiday sales now are influenced by digital interactions. Purchases may still be happening predominately in person, but the influencing is happening online. Social marketing is virtualizing what has always happened on the soccer field and over the backyard fence. 
"To grow momentum this year, I’m inviting restaurants to promote #DineSmall by sharing their special menus for Small Business Saturday Night. Owners and chefs are invited to share their menus on social media using the #ShowUsYourMenu tag. It’s a great way to promote what your restaurant is doing to cater to America’s small shoppers.  
"We all have a stake in seeing foot traffic increase on Main Street; local spending means local jobs and local growth. Holiday shoppers shouldn’t let Nov. 29 pass without investing in your local economy, and entrepreneurs should have a multi-pronged strategy to use this day to drive food and beverage sales and showcase your local business. 
"Join the conversation today on Twitter (#SmallBizSat, #DineSmall and #ShowUsYourMenu) and spread the word about Nov. 29 and what a big difference shopping and dining small can make."

Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Finger Lakes Rieslings To Be Celebrated

The group in charge of marketing New York’s Finger Lakes wine region - the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance - will host a virtual tasting event on Twitter this month.  The event - not that they need an excuse, they’ll talk about wine at the drop of a corkscrew - is the launch of the 2013 vintage of Finger Lakes Rieslings. The #FLXRiesling Hour is coming up on Saturday September 27, 2014, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. ET.

Wine writers are receiving samples and will hop online to tweet up the '13 Rieslings with Finger Lakes winemakers and fans. You can also check in through the Ustream video channel. All of September, by the way, is dedicated to the Finger Lakes Riesling Launch.

To take part, just get a Finger Lakes Riesling or two and jump in with your tasting notes. Even if you don't have a bottle handy, it's a fun way to connect with other Riesling fans. During the event, use the hashtag #FLXWineVT or direct comments to the FLWA at @FLXWine.

The FLWA bills the Finger Lakes as North America's premier cool-climate winegrowing region.  Located in the east-central part of New York, south of Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes AVA is recognized - by most who offer their opinion - as the best source for Rieslings in America.  The slate soil and microclimates near the three main Finger Lakes make for the good growing of Riesling grapes.
Finger Lakes winemakers say that young Finger Lakes Rieslings show lots of fruit, while more complex notes appear over time.  They also noted that wines from cooler vintages age better than those of warm vintages.
Minerals and citrus are the hallmark notes of Finger Lakes Riesling wines, which can range from very dry to very sweet.  How do you know which are which?  Sometimes, the label will explain the sweetness level in the wine’s name.  There is some help for the consumer, though, when that doesn’t happen.
The International Riesling Foundation has created a "Riesling Taste Profile," which appears on the label of all Finger Lakes Rieslings.  It’s a drawing of a meter, showing the sweetness level of the wine.  It is a concept which might well be adopted by makers of Syrah wines, since that grape shows quite differently from cool and warm climate designations.  It’s a great way to help consumers know what to expect in the bottle.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Virtual Wine Tasting: Charles Krug

A May virtual tasting event under the BrandLive banner featured Charles Krug Wine proprietor Peter Mondavi, Jr. tasting and tweeting about his family’s stake in the Napa Valley.  The Charles Krug winery and vineyards have been around since 1861.  The Mondavi family bought it in the 1940s and have run it since.  Within a decade they cemented the Mondavi name as a Napa Valley synonym.  Charles Krug is the oldest winery in California and Peter Mondavi, Sr. is perhaps the state's oldest vintner.  He is within swirling, sipping and spitting distance of the century mark.

2011 was the 150th vintage for the Charles Krug label, and three of the wines on the tasting list for the event are from that vintage, their Napa Valley Merlot, Family Reserve "Generations" blend and Family Reserve "Howell Mountain" Cabernet Sauvignon.  See the video of the tasting here.

Twitter came alive for the event.  I heard that the Twitterverse was trending with the hashtag #CharlesKrugLive, at least for a bit. During the virtual tasting, @WineJulia commented on the wine’s drinkability, messaging that "the lower alcohol keeps these elegant, while the complexity & tannins bring them to life!"  @WineFashionista tweeted, "Interesting that of these four wines Merlot is Charles Krug's best seller!"  While on topic, @WineHarlots mentioned of the Merlot, "Miles has left the building."  @JamestheWineGuy found the Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon to show "rose petal, violet, bay leaf, blackberry; profound nose"  while @martindredmond discovered that wine to be "killer with grilled lamb!"

Today we cover the Charles Krug 2013 Limited Release Estate Sauvignon Blanc.

This is the third vintage of the wine, which is crafted by winemaker Stacy Clark entirely from Sauvignon Blanc grapes.  The fruit is grown on a 45-acre plot of estate vineyard which was planted in 2005.  On the Charles Krug website, the '13 vintage was proclaimed to have been nearly perfect, much like 2012.  The quality of the fruit certainly shows in the wine.

This wine is fermented in stainless steel and aged in contact with the spent yeast cells - sur lie, it's called - for seven months.  This imparts a rich, creamy texture to the wine while maintaining the snappy acidity that defines good Sauvignon Blanc.  The wine sports a moderate 13.6% abv alcohol level and retails for $35.

The light, straw color is just a notch above pale in the glass.  The wine's nose is grassy and full of peaches and tropical fruit - it really grabs me.  On the palate, peach flavors come on a bit stronger than those aromas did, and the citrus takes a prominent role, too.  Acidity is quite fresh and food-friendly, while the finish leaves a lemon-lime-grapefruit taste behind.

Follow Randy Fuller on Twitter

Monday, June 10, 2013

Finger Lakes Wine Month Celebrated On Twitter

The Finger Lakes Wine Alliance continued their series of virtual wine tasting events on May 25, 2013, with a wine tweet-up in honor of Finger Lakes Wine Month.  Dubbed the Finger Lakes Wine Hour - really four-hours - the FLWA encouraged all to grab a bottle of their favorite wine produced in New York’s Finger Lakes region, taste it and get social about it.

The FLWA made it pretty easy on me - I was one of nearly two dozen media representatives supplied with samples.  Hundreds of other folks participated with wines which they bought with their own hard-earned money - money well spent.

New York’s Finger Lakes are a collection of long, deep, narrow lakes that were clawed out of the earth by glaciers.  Those lakes now provide the moderating influence needed to balance the cold winters in upstate New York for the growing of grapes.

Established as an AVA in 1982, the Finger Lakes region really got started in the 1950s, when Dr. Konstantin Frank set out to prove the skeptics wrong.  He figured it couldn’t be any harder to grow European vinifera grapes in New York than it was in the Ukraine.  His perseverance paved the way for all the other Finger Lakes growers to follow in his successful footsteps.

Best known for their distinctive and delightful Riesling wines, the winemakers of the Finger Lakes region also like to grow and make Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Merlot - in addition to native and French hybrid varieties.

Wagner Vineyards Reserve Pinot Noir 2010 

The folks at Wagner say they only produce this wine in top growing seasons, and they say 2010 was one of those seasons.  A lot of folks say that around the Finger Lakes, in fact.  Some say the 2010 vintage was God’s way of making up for the 2009 vintage.

The grapes for this Pinot Noir are grown in a single vineyard overlooking Seneca Lake from the eastern shore.  On Twitter, Katie Roller - @PR4Wagner - told me that “most of the wineries in the Finger Lakes region are so small that all their wines are single vineyard.”

Wagner was founded in 1979, and is one of the older wineries in the region.  There is no residual sugar in this wine, and the alcohol hits 12.8% abv.  Winemaker Ann Raffetto ages it in French and American oak for a year.

This is a spicy little number.  Notes of cinnamon, allspice, pepper, and anise join the raspberry aromas and flavors.  Hints of tea come forth on the palate, along with a ripping acidity.  It would no doubt leave a fairly delicate remembrance if it were not for its incredibly zippy freshness.

Thirsty Owl Wine Company Dry Riesling 2012 

The grapes for this varietal wine come mostly from newer estate vineyards on the western shore of Cayuga Lake, but there is fruit from some 30-year-old vines as well.  The tech numbers show alcohol at 11.2% abv and residual sugar at 0.4% - so it’s very dry.  Shawn Kime is the winemaker and vineyard manager for Thirsty Owl.

The wine is very pale in the glass and its nose smells of pears and tart apples.  In the mouth, it’s an austere Riesling, with green apple and a citrus zing on the palate and a freshness that’s bracing.  The clean, angular feel is steely and nervy.

On Twitter, @wild4wawine noticed a nice note of apple cinnamon that appeared on the finish.  The winery’s twitter feed - @TheThirstyOwl - told me, “This was bottled not too long ago. I expect the fruit to come up more over the next few months.”

Standing Stone Vineyards Gewürztraminer 2010 

Minerality is expected here, since the Standing Stone vineyards are planted shallow over a solid bed of slate on the eastern side of Seneca lake.  This Gewürz has only 1.0% residual sugar and 13.3% abv.

The huge, expressive nose trumpets not minerals but honeysuckle, jasmine, fresh peaches, pears and oranges.  Those notes repeat on the palate, which is abetted by some of that great Finger Lakes acidity.  The finish leaves a trace of tropical fruit behind.

Lakewood Vineyards Chardonnay 2011

Established in 1988, some of the Lakewood vines actually date back to 1952.  Winemaker Chris Stamp uses a mixture of American, French, Hungarian and 65% New York oak in the aging program for this Chardonnay, while the alcohol clocks in at 13.4% abv and there is no residual sugar.  It retails for $13.

The wine is undeniably oaky, with spiciness crawling all over it.  In addition to a creamy texture in the mouth, there is a racy acidity that doesn’t give up until well past the finish.  This is not a Chardonnay that just lets itself be sipped away.  This is a Chardonnay that takes umbrage it’s not paired with brisket and slaps the taste buds silly.

One Twitter user who seemed to wander into the Finger Lakes fray unaware - @maria_fulmer - commented, “Not a big wine drinker, but I am apparently missing out on this #FLXWine.”  That’s right, Maria.  If you are not already on the Finger Lakes bandwagon, it’s never too late to jump on.  There are plenty of hands to help you climb aboard.  Start with @FLXWine.

Monday, May 23, 2011


South Coast Winery

Now And Zin has the pleasure of participating in South Coast Winery's second live-streamed Group Therapy session for 2011. 

Wednesday May 25th at 6:00 p.m. PDT, the tasting and fun will get underway in person at the Temecula, California winery or online through Twitter.

Watch online and tweet about the wines as they are tasted.  Simply go to and click the Group Therapy button to join the video feed, and use the Twitter hashtag #SCWGroupTherapy to channel your comments into the stream of those participating.

The first time around was a lot of fun, and this venture should be illuminating as well.  You can join South Coast Winery on Facebookand follow them on Twitter.  The latter is how Now And Zin's Randy Fuller will be participating in the Group Therapy session.

Here are the wines which will be tasted in the Group Therapy session for May:

South Coast Winery Sauvignon Blanc Musqué Clone 2009 Temecula Valley Carter Estate Vineyard

South Coast Winery Brut Temecula Valley Sparkling Wine 2007

South Coast Winery Tempranillo Rosé 2010 Temecula Valley Carter Estate Vineyard

South Coast Winery Syrah 2005 Temecula Valley Rolling Hills Estate Vineyard

Monday, November 15, 2010



Two Twitter-based wine tastings will occur on Wednesday November 17, 2010.  Unfortunately for taste'n'tweet fans, they both are set to happen at the same time, meaning tasters will either have to choose one in which to participate or try to keep a hand in both at the same time.  The latter choice could get confusing.

Whole Foods Market invites wine enthusiasts to join their first-ever Twitter Tasting, when national wine buyers Doug Bell and Geof Ryan will taste six wines from the grocery chain's Top 10 Holiday Wine list.  The featured wines for the Twitter Tasting include: De Chanceny Crémant LoireRömerhof Riesling,Simonette-Febvre Saint-BrisDievole Dievolino Sangiovese di ToscanaValley of the Moon Syrah, andPaso A Paso Organically Grown Tempranillo.  You can follow along by using the @WFMWine handle or the hashtag #WFMWine.

The Four Seasons hotel group presents three of its top sommeliers to lead their tasting event on Twitter.  Dana Farner of the Beverley Wilshire in Los Angeles, James Tidwell of the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, Texas and Mark Sayre of the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas will taste and tweet about Dr. L Riesling by the Loosen Brothers, Paraiso Syrah andChappellet's Mountain Cuvee.  All three wines will be discussed by the experts and questions will be invited.  Follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #FSWine. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Twitter Icon

If you like wine, and you like Twitter, you might like to find out about a few wine people who are very active in the social media.  The website WeFollow has listed the most followed wine industry people.

Number one on the list is @garyvee. That's the Twitter handle used by popular wine videocaster Gary Vaynerchuk.  His tweets are followed by over 850,000 people, making him the most-followed wine person in Twitterland.  Be forewarned: he's a very active Tweeter.  You'll be kept apprised of nearly every thought that pops into his head.

Next on the list is @ablegrape, at just over 295,000 followers.  Doug Cook is his real name, and he says he's a computer geek turned wine geek, and that he's building the world's most comprehensive wine information search engine.  He’s the head of Twitter’s search initiative.  

After those top two, the numbers really fall off the cliff.  The third most followed wine Tweeter is@winerecipes with just under 68,000 followers.

@crushpad, "a state-of-the-art winery where you are the winemaker," is in fourth place followed by a little over 65,000 Twiiter users.

In fifth place with about 54,000 followers is @WineTwits, promising insider information and wine for sale.

Foodie and sommelier @RickBakas is number six, with followers numbering some 46,000.  Seventh on the list is @magillamax - otherwise known as Aussie John Newell - serving up tweets about wine, food, music, travel and marketing to 43,000 or so faithful.  Esteemed wine writer@JancisRobinson has 42,000 followers, @GetYourWineNews delivers messages to 41.000 and@winedinetv - the mother-daughter team of Judit and Corina celebrate wine, food, travel and lifestyle for 39,000 fans.

WeFollow also offers a listing that ranks wine tweeters in order of their influence, which does shake things up a bit.  On that list, @WineTwits knocks @garyvee out of first place, while @JancisRobinson moves up to third.  @WineEnthusiast magazine moves from #22 to fourth place and @GetYourWineNews rounds out the top five most influential Twitter users in the wine biz.

I scanned down both lists, but didn’t see my handle anywhere.  If you’d like to follow me anyway, send me a tweet at @randyfuller1.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Holiday Wines

Whole Foods Market has compiled a listing of their top wine suggestions for the holidays.  Their choices are designed to target the $20-and-under price range.  That's fine with us - who doesn't want to find good wine which doesn't cost a lot?  I've been happy with my wine purchases at the Whole Foods Markets locations in the Los Angeles area.  I just wish one of them near me conducted wine tastings!

The food chain also has announced its first-ever Twitter Tasting for those who like to taste and tweet.  The Whole Foods Market Twitter Tasting is scheduled for Wednesday November 17th, 2010 beginning at 7:00 p.m. EST.  National wine buyers Doug Bell and Geof Ryan will taste six wines from the holiday list and you can join to give your tasting notes along with theirs.  Bell says, "The holiday wine Twitter Tasting is designed to be a fun evening where friends can get together to taste wines and share their thoughts with other wine lovers."

Whole Foods Market is also partnering with on a contest to win a VIP trip to California wine country.

Here are Whole Foods Market’s Top 10 Holiday Wines, with Whole Foods' descriptions, suggested cheese pairings and recipes for dishes they feel are well suited to the wines:
De Chanceny Crémant Loire – Made for Whole Foods Market by a group of 30 families in France’s Loire Valley, this sparkler can be easily compared to Champagne costing two to three times the price.  This fresh bubbly is best shared with friends or paired with our Isigny Ste. Mere Brie.   Baked Apple and Brie Canapés

Römerhof Riesling – Made by the Heinz Eifel family that has been producing wines in the heart of the Mosel Valley for more than 400 years, this gorgeous Riesling is true to terroir, with apple and pear notes and a crisp finish.  Pair with Fourme D’Ambert blue cheese.    Sage Butter Turkey with Rice Rapini Stuffing

Chalone Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc – A perfect wine to share with friends over good conversation and appetizers, this wine offers mouthwatering tropical fruit notes, mingled with a hint of lemon zest and grapefruit.  Pair with Whole Foods Market Organic Goat Cheese.   Savory Fig and Goat Cheese Tart with Arugula

Simonette-Febvre Saint-Bris – Splash this Sauvignon into shrimp scampi and then pour yourself a glass.  Pair its minerality and citrus zest with Cypress Grove Lil’ Ziggycheese.   Easy Shrimp and Grits 

Earthstone Chardonnay* – Sustainably grown by Rodney Strong, whose winery is Sonoma County’s first carbon neutral winery, this Chardonnay has a spicy vanilla touch and bright apple notes, perfect to enjoy with rotisserie chicken, roasted duck or Cowgirl Creamery Organic Buckaroo cheese.   Roasted Duck with Pomegranate Glaze

Louis Latour Pouilly-Fuisse – This scrumptious green-gold beauty is Whole Foods Market’s "Cellar Selection" for the holidays, offering seductive aromas and round, full herbal fruitiness on the palate that complements its crisp acidity.  Enjoy with lobster tails, creamy Hervé Mons Camembert.   Salmon Chowder

Dievole Dievolino Sangiovese Di Toscana – When Italian favorites like osso bucco and ragù are on the menu, tuck this one under your arm for the host.  This centuries-old winery produces this lively, ruby red with a hint of juniper, ideal forRobusto cheese.   Spaghetti Bolognese

Estancia Pinot Noir – This estate-grown, handcrafted Pinot Noir offers soft, luscious aromas of dark berries and ripe blueberry, black cherry and plum flavor, balanced by creamy vanilla to provide a rich finish.  Enjoy with Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor.  Cranberry and Apple-Stuffed Roasted Pork

Bubo Old Vine Zinfandel – Made from 30+-year-old vineyards, this Zinfandel has rich aromas and flavors of plum, blackberry, pepper and chocolate.  Enjoy with steak, roast beef and piquant Fourme D’Ambert cheese.   Vegetarian Chipotle Chili

Paso A Paso Tempranillo* – Making its second appearance in our Top 10 Holiday Wines, this floral, deeply colored Tempranillo offers huge flavor that pairs perfectly with slices of chorizo and Le Gruyère cheese.   Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Bodegas Castaño Hécula Monastrell* – Like winter’s best comfort foods, this bold, elegant red wine takes off the chill.  Made from Spain’s Monastrell grape, the pleasant tannins are vibrant with Manchego cheese while you warm by the fireplace.   Classic Butternut Squash Soup
Valley of the Moon Syrah – Enjoy this soft, silky California Syrah with smoky pulled pork, roasted root vegetables or Rogue Anniversary Blue cheese.  Made from Sonoma and Russian River Valley fruit, this Syrah features concentrated dark berry fruit with earth and spice notes.   Roasted Ham with Maple and Orange Marmalade Glaze

*Produced by vineyards with organic and/or sustainable farming methods

The featured wines for the November 17 Twitter Tasting are:
De Chanceny Crémant Loire
Römerhof Riesling
Simonette-Febvre Saint-Bris
Dievole Dievolino Sangiovese di Toscana
Valley of the Moon Syrah
Paso A Paso Organically Grown Tempranillo

To join the Twitter Tasting, pick up one or more of the featured wines to open during the tasting.  Sign up for a free Twitter account at, if you don't already have an account.  Go to the TweetChat room set up for this event to tweet directly.  Taste, tweet and follow along with Whole Foods Market wine buyers and other wine enthusiasts at @WFMWineGuys and #WFMWine.

For more information about the Twitter Tasting and contest, go