By Caroline Helper
Last Thursday was Languedoc Day. Just as the marketing powers-that-be have managed to successfully transform nearly every day of the calendar into a holiday celebrating certain foods and ingredients, these same days are being gobbled up by various wines and regions, too.
Many of these wine days are really only celebrated virtually – via hash tags on Facebook and Twitter. Too often they are too obviously marketing schemes aimed solely at generating impressions and playing the numbers games for clients. However, as I learned last week, these kinds of days can also offer an invaluable opportunity for education– if they’re done right.
This brings me back to last Thursday. A friend of mine who happens to be a fellow wine obsessive who loves putting parties and events together managed to convince about 20 other bloggers, wine industry professionals, and otherwise curious millenials to head up to the Upper East Side for a night of wine education and imbibing.
The occasion, we were told, was Languedoc Day and we’d be spending the night celebrating with three different wines from the region, pizza, and a promise to post using the day’s hash tag via various channels of social media (our choice of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram) over the course of the evening.
It wasn’t the first “wine day” I’d been “invited to” – my Twitter feed occasionally gets clogged up with hash-tagged tweets from fellow wine bloggers and professionals. However, it was the first wine day that I’d spent in the company of others all joined to celebrate and learn together. And learn is the key word – the idea of using these wine days as opportunities for education is part of their whole appeal.
I had a great time sipping with others while discussing the wine in person and sharing my thoughts and impressions virtually. It was fun, natural, dynamic, and exciting. The experience really encouraged me to rethink the way I’ve approached the whole idea of tweet chats and to reconsider their value.
As a millennial, I’m supposed to be a consumer who is, if not dependent on technology, at least unprecedentedly comfortable with it. However, I think that we, as marketers, sometimes underestimate the power of good old fashioned one-on-one socializing. If last week’s experience showed me anything, it was that perhaps, especially when it comes to wine, there might be more to gain by actually getting out there and drinking and engaging with one another in real life than by logging into a social network and participating via hash tags and key words.