About Last Night: #NCWineChat brings together bloggers, wineries

By: Jen Primrose

So, about last night. Can we talk? Yeah, you! You know who you are! Following #NCWineChat on Twitter. Looking for that new relationship with wine. Oh, but not just any wine. NC Wine. North Carolina Wine. Born and raised in the Carolinas (and no, not Pepsi). From mouthwatering sweet Muscadines, to dry and earthy reds. A local mead even found its way into the mix! We caught you looking for just the right wine to spend the night with. After all, September is #NCWineMonth.

If you were one of those followers or one of those blogger/influencers or wine industry experts who participated in #NCWineChat on Twitter, Monday, Sept. 9, you know what I’m talking about.  Sixteen bloggers/influencers, 12 wines/wineries and one-and-a-half hours –  it was sure an evening to remember! Each blogger/influencer who officially took part were granted three wishes … I mean, three bottles of wine from participating wineries for this virtual tasting.  So, imagine this, speed dating 1995, but in this case virtual wine tasting 2019. Same concept. Find a suitable love (mate) versus find a suitable love (wine).

Before the event was even set to begin, tweet after tweet, Facebook post after Facebook post started flooding our screens with participants filled with the excitement to sit down at their dining room tables to partake in this fast paced tasting event. Questions ready to roll about our now potential new favorite wines from the winemakers themselves. We were ready. MacBook Pro open. Wines chilled and/or uncorked. Appropriate glassware ready to be filled. Camera loaded to capture the moment. Are you ready? It’s 7:50 p.m. and everyone starts checking in via Twitter. 7:55 p.m. 8:00 p.m. and GO …

Wine No. 1 was a Blanc du Bois from Hinnant Vineyards out of Pine Level, being tasted by local bloggers Winery Escapades, Food and Wine Chronicles and Weddings by the Vine. The questions start pouring in as do the wine reviews. Being new to Twitter myself, I’m already trying to keep up asking questions to the better half of Triangle Around Town. As the pace slowly starts to find its groove in tonight’s activities and as we move from Hinnant Vineyards over to the 2018 Rkatisteli from Daveste' Vineyards, and then the 2016 Muscat Blanc from McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks, I slowly start to get fidgety and decide to be that over-achiever classmate everyone hates, and open up our first of the night, a Fig Orange Mead from Honeygirl Meadery. While the others are on wine No. 3, I’m already starting our first wine, which happens to be the fifth wine on the list. Are you following me? No? Well, welcome to my Monday night!

Finally our turn has arrived as we sat across from our first of the night, the Fig Orange Mead from Honeygirl. We just love Honeygirl and love Diane, so this should be easy-peasy for us! While I took advantage of this event to learn more about Twitter on my personal account (@JenKazsuk), I was taking photos, getting the cats engaged in the activities while Dathan took the reigns on our official twitter account, @TriangleAT, should you wish to follow us, and did the question asking.  Or did he? Followed by cursing at the laptop as the all important question did not post, the next thing we knew we were on to wine No. 6.  We only had one wine between our first and second wines, so we needed to stay focused. I poured the next, the 2016 Côte Soliel from Elkin Creek Vineyard and did my photoshoot to get ready for our next “meetup.” While Waffles was being difficult and refusing to even sniff the wine, we were off to taste once more.

I cannot lie. This Elkin Creek Syrah was reminiscent of that speed dater sitting across from you that you clearly have nothing in common with. You sit and stare and try to think of something witty to say but alas, it is lost. I’m just not a big fan of Syrah and found myself at a loss for words on describing the wine. I looked to Waffles once again for guidance. She gave me none. I paired it with our cheese and salami tray and decided, you know what, this guy isn’t so bad after all. And gave him another shot!

By this time in the evening, perhaps a little too much wine being consumed, and my focus is lost somewhere in looking for my Magic Mike and praying for no “Duckie” Dale to show up in my next glass. As No. 10, and our third and final wine rolled around, I realized I missed out on the Twitter conversation on Junius Lindsay and Windsor Run Cellars. Wait, what?  What is one to do but move on. This time around we were treated to the Reserve Malbec from Grove Winery. Malbec has always been a favorite varietal for me, so I had high hopes. After my last photo shoot of the evening, and exposing our 10 month old kitten to wine (yes, we start them early), it was time to sniff, sip and savor.  A little shocked, I truly did enjoy this wine. Shocked because you don’t typically see desirable Malbec’s grown in the state. Was he my Magic Mike? Not quite. But nor was he a “Duckie” Dale. We gave Grove Winery a thumbs up!

Down to the last two wines of the evening, a 2017 Petit Verdot from Shelton Vineyards and a 2017 Grande Riserva from Raffaldini. Again, I lost my place in Twitterland! Seriously!!! Everyone is tweeting questions, thoughts, conversations. It was great. I just couldn’t keep up the pace!

As the evening was wrapping up, Dathan jumped up from his chair proclaiming “Oh my God, I forgot! It’s Monday Night Football!!!” And with that, we finished up our first Twitter Chat – #NCWineChat. It was fun. It was fast. We made some new friends. We found some new favorites. So, when someone asks you “About Last Night,” hopefully, you too, have found a new #NCWine mate.