Twitter Taste Live #5

This is my first Twitter Taste Live!, #5 The Bloggers Take Over!  TTL was started by the man behind the online wine savings outfit Bin Ends Wine, Craig Drollet (Twitter). TTL is an exceptionally innovative integration of the new social media and wine tasting, taking wine to an even greater level of consumer-directed interaction.

Twitter Taste Live

At it’s base, TTL is a means to actively engage wine producers and industry players while simultaneously drinking the spirit that they have helped to produce.  It takes advantage of Twitter’s cross-platform social network capabilities and utilizes that function to provide a virtual maelstrom of scheduled and themed wine chat discussion and a compendium of wine experience. Participants drink the wine that is being featured for that particular session and tweet their thoughts about the wine as they all taste roughly the same selections during the allotted time.

Hahn EstatesAs a whole, the experience becomes a wonderfully interactive and invigorating tasting session for wine enthusiasts from around the entire globe (but mainly the US) and a phenomenal way for a winemaker, wine region or even a wine retailer (well done Craig!) to reach some articulate fans who are more than happy to spread the word about the respective wines that are being evaluated. This doesn’t mean that it becomes a multi-platform advertisement that can instantly rachet a wine up to the number one most tagged trend on Twitter (although it certainly can, if the wine merits the tweets!), indeed in our our session we were critical of a  few of the Hahn selections that were very kindly provided by Lisa de Bruin (Twitter) of Hahn Estates.

Brix ChicksTTL #5 took place at 3pm PST last Saturday and I opened the session by tweeting to my fellow local participants that I was stuck waiting for a late train connection at MacArthur BART in Oakland, CA.  ARGH!  Fortunately, my fellow amiable wine commandos were very patient with my predicament, Vinquire.comdespite the fact that I was carrying the first wine of our selections, the ’07 Hahn SLH Pinot Gris.  Being the cunning (and thirsty!) wine aficionados that they are, they quickly devised a scheme whereby James (Twitter) and home host Brix Chick Xandria (Twitter) drove down from X’s Kensington pad and picked me up from El Cerrito Plaza station and sped me back up into the heighths of the East Bay hills.  Meanwhile, our fearless leader for this TTL, Vinquire and Luscious Lush Thea (Twitter) and fellow Brix Chick quill queen Liza (Twitter) were setting up our tasting session, replete with fromage and other nibbles.

Hahn EstatesAfter the initial sake and wine selections courtesy of @RichardPF, @BinEndsWine himself, @SaltLineStudio, and @Bloviatrix, we were up with our Hahn wines! Hahn Estates originated when Nicolaus (“Nicky”) Hahn began converting his Smith horse ranch in the Santa Lucia Highlands into a vineyard site during the ’80s. Along with the neighboring Hook ranch, Smith & Hook released their maiden Cab in 1980.  Nicky decided to take his wine adventure to a complementary level in 1991 and created Hahn Estates as a vehicle to produce affordable, yet always high-value driven wines from their Monterey vineyards.  I have found numerous Hahn wines to be very quaffable and surprising high in Quality to Price ratio (QPR) over the years and I was excited to try this new line of higher end Hahn wines, their SLH estate productions from their 650 acres of Santa Lucia Highlands vineyards.

Hahn EstatesThough I had already uploaded our TTL #5 Hahn wines into my WineLog in order to be ready for my quickly typed wine reviews, I still found the tasting session almost as hectic (and frickin’ rad!) as the Live Wine Blogging event at the Wine Bloggers Conference. We did manage to get all of our wines reviewed and tweeted and in a somewhat organized fashion (thanks Thea!), despite my sudden realization in the middle of things that I was tasting the Hahn Meritage when I thought that I was tasting the Pinot (no wonder I was so confused as to why it seemed counter-varietal!).

My favorite wine of the afternoon ended up being the late-arriving ’07 SLH Pinot Gris.  This was a resoundingly successful effort in the French style of this grape variety (also known as Pinot Grigio when grown in Italy).  It featured some sensational spice and crisp minerality and fruit on the nose, followed by some great food-friendly acidity in the mouth, yet warmed by some slight creaminess in the great mouthfeel and finishing with more spice and pear.  Great stuff!
All in all, I found it a very novel and invigorating tasting session and one that is truly unlike any wine experience that I’ve ever partaken.  Next time, you too should join us!  You don’t need to be a blogger to participate, just quickly signup a Twitter account and join the wonderful community at Twitter Taste Live!

Please see all of my reviews from our happy and hectic TTL #5 tasting session below.  All of them have been tagged with “TTL5” if you would like to list them in your WineLog.  All future TTL wine selections that I taste will be conveniently tagged with “TTL“.  If you too, participated in this TTL, please leave a comment below with your own experiences and enjoy!

Hahn selections tasted during TTL #5:

Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands SLH Estate Pinot Gris 2007

Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands SLH Estate Chardonnay 2006

Hahn Estates Monterey Pinot Noir 2006

Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands SLH Estate Syrah 2006

Hahn Estates Central Coast Meritage 2006

Hahn Estates Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Wines tasted after TTL #5:

Bin 36 California Bin 31 Merlot 2005

Four Wines California Four Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Vinopanion: Ward Kadel - @drXeNo

View posts by Vinopanion: Ward Kadel - @drXeNo
Ward Kadel - @drXeNo is the founder of Vinopanion wine blog, former West Coast Ambassador & Staff Blogger for and former Le Wine Buff for (CIVB). He will try any and all wines and tends to write about the parts of his life that include virtually all of it! He and his wife grew up in Napa and Sonoma and they still live in the Napa Valley. Check out the wines he's recommended with his WKBadges. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Like #Vinopanion on Facebook. Contact him: "Ward at". Ward happily accepts samples but does not guarantee a review, positive or negative.


  1. […] The day’s wine tasting, while held at Hahn’s headquarters and centered around their family of wines, was intended to begin an intimate discussion between wine bloggers and the industry they follow. Much of the Hahn background was given in my post about TTL #5 and so I won’t go into it here.  In some ways the tasting could be considered as a continuation of some of the discussions that took place at the first Wine Bloggers Conference back in October.  Namely, how can wine bloggers and the wine industry work together for mutual benefit?  What makes a good wine blog?  How can the wine industry utilize wine bloggers better and how can they themselves, move into the the new social media space effectively?  Lastly (and most vociferously) how can these interactions take place in an ethical manner so that both sides are satisfied? […]

  2. […] by Craig Drollett (Twitter) founder and proprietor of Bin Ends Wine.  I’ve participated in a previous TTL with the same suspects earlier last year, and had a blast.  Basically, Twitter (Follow me!) “Tweeps” around the US and the […]

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