The European Wine Bloggers Conference 2012 (EWBC) was three days with an all access pass to hang with the European rock stars of wine communication, with Izmir, Turkey as the backdrop, and local Turkey wines as the beverage sponsor.
Some of the most influential wine bloggers, wine authors, and wine communicators were on hand to talk and discuss the impact of social media in the wine sector, consumer engagement and the future of wine communications. The atmosphere at this year’s EWBC was one of community; it was welcoming, not at all intimidating and the willingness to share and learn from one another, actually gave hope that the wine industry is not the elitist monster, I always feared.
Social media is diffusing the power of the critics and allowing everyday wine drinkers to find their “tribe”(this is a coined phrase by Sarah Abott MW- great word); writing and sharing with other “kindred spirits” who cultivate a willingness to explore wine. The theme of sharing is exactly what went down at the EWBC.
People exchanged different wines, different cultures and different ideas. People discussed and shared their wine stories, but these stories lead inevitably to personal tales and experiences. The BYOB event was the perfect way to kick it off the EWBC in style, an entire event centered on sharing a wine that is personal interesting to you. There were wines that survived hurricane Sandy, Turkish wines, Lebanese wine, Swedish wine- the wines, like all the people, had stories.
The second night was an adventure in unchartered territory, with more new people, and a mystery destination winery in the Turkish hills. There was some incredible food, an amazing winery, some great Turkish wines thanks to URLA the host winery, and some great music. We all shared/ survived the experience of some really killer dance movies. WOW!
The final evening of the EWBC culminated at the Gala dinner. I had the pleasure of joining the generous people who adopted me through the course of the EWBC, my tribe. We liberated copious amounts of wine (some highlighted on Jamie Goodes blog- reference him); we shared stories, laughed, danced and sang. I am not an expert in wine by any stretch and these are the rock stars of the digital wine world. They weren’t interested in my tasting notes, although we discussed the wines as well; I think they were more interested in knowing me, and my story. A passion for wine and learning more about it in the digital age just happened to be a very large common thread that brought us together and a great social lubricant (bonus).
But like all great music tours, after three incredible days, filled with amazing speakers, hysterical laughs, some deeply personal stories, and the exploration of Turkish wines, we all had to pack up and move on to whatever and wherever was next. Reality. It was a whirlwind, it was a party, I started a love affair with Turkish wines and most importantly, for me, I found some of my tribe. All this was made possible by wine and my love of it. I am a wine groupie and proud.