Wine tasting with a hashtag

tongue‘So what do you think the wine tastes of?’ is one of the one of the most frightening questions to be asked during an evening class in wine appreciation. Because not only is your ability to pronounce waffle being judged but also how well you’ve got the whole body language thing under control. Because bum shuffling and mumbling gets ‘nul points’ when you’re face-to-face with teacher. But what if all that could be avoided? It can if your wine class meets online through Twitter.

Twitter logoTwitter is a way for a bunch of people to talk to one another online. And if they have a shared interest even better. So wine enthusiasts can interact and type messages discussing what a wine tastes like and whether it matches certain foods – all without setting eyes on each other and from the comfort of the front room.

Which should reduce the pressure a bit if your last experience of learning was a draughty classroom and a chalk-chucking teacher.

So how do you go about organising a wine class on Twitter?

Twitter accountFirst you’ll need to create a Twitter account (just go to Twitter.com and fill in the online form) and convince several like-minded friends to do the same. Then encourage everyone to ‘follow’ each other (that’s Twitter language for reading messages from the people you chose) and announce with your first ‘tweet’ when the first tasting takes place.

Twitter messageUse your second 140-character tweet (time and messages are short on Twitter) to announce the particular wine to taste during the first ‘class’. Suggest a wine that’ll be easy to get – a well-known brand available from supermarkets and corner shops is a good choice.

And on the night of the tasting make sure all your tweets, and everyone else’s, contains a keyword preceded by the # symbol so that the #tasteclass tweets are tagged and don’t get lost among the rest of the Twitter traffic.

The following wines make good choices for a Twitter tasting.

Then let me know how it goes through Twitter @huxelrebe.

PG Twitter Wine Tips

Vergelegen South African Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc 2009

£9.99 Majestic

Find the wine on the Majestic website and click on the Tweet link to the right of the bottle image to share your taste thoughts – did you get smoky blackcurrant and apple?

Garnacha vine root labelProjecto Garnacha de Espana La Garnacha Salvaje del Moncayo 2011

£9.99 Majestic

The label on this wine bottle - an image of a vine planted in the ground with the roots showing through the soil – reminds me of the 1980s ‘singing spuds’ Smiths crisps ad. But hey that’s me. But the wine inside tastes of redcurrant with an edge of dark treacle and a hint of treacle. Complex.

Spar Italian Barolo 2007

£10 Spar (down from £14.99 until April 3)

It may be light-bodied but it doesn’t half pack in a lot of flavours: damson, coffee and very high cocoa-content chocolate. Very nice.

PoggioargentierraPoggioargentiera Italian Morellino di Scansano 2011

£11.99 Majestic

It’s easier to point at this wine rather than get your tongue around trying to pronounce it – you can’t miss the label with its bright yellow text on a black background. Oh and it tastes like Battenburg cake with a dollop of cherry.

Les Grandes Costes French Pic Saint Loup 2009

£12.99 Co-op

A recent and very interested addition to the Co-op’s fine wine range. Because you don’t see much of this southern France blend from the Languedoc over here, and for the Co-op to bag a bundle is a quite a coup. The blend of Syrah and Grenache feels light to medium bodied but contains some richly flavoured components which strangely result in a really subtle wine: cherry, cocoa and blackcurrant with a bite.

Albarino Spanish Fillaboa 2011

£15.99 The General Wine Co

Creamy apple, lemon and pear drop flavours are made to make your mouth water.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk