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Twitter Taste Live

Twitter Wine Tasting

I was invited to a very interesting event recently, a wine tasting organised by the fantastic host and wine blogger Rob, who was aided superbly by fellow wine blogger Andrew, from Spittoon. This was no normal wine tasting, it was multinational, and we would share our thoughts on the wines via twitter. The wines were supplied by Bin Ends, all from the Alsace region, and we would be tasting them with fellow twitterers in the US, Spain, South America, and one in China!

Our Twitter Usernames

Our Twitter Usernames

If you don’t know twitter it’s a microblogging application, where you send your thoughts out into the world in 140 characters or less. It’s community focussed, so those twitterers that are connected to you see those updates, and you can send replies and direct personal messages that only the people involved see. So, it’s like online shared texting, or status updates on facebook. If you’re on there, I am eatlikeagirl, come join me. I really enjoy it and use it as a means of communication with friends and other food bloggers e.g. Helen of World Foodie Guide, Su Lin of Tamarind & Thyme and Helen of Food Stories.

There’s the background, now: back to the tasting.

Now that’s a number of different locations, and clearly timing was going to be an issue, so we started early and planned to twitter with everyone else from midnight. Rob and Andrew prepared a wonderful 5 course meal and matched the food to the wines.

Twittering and blogging the evening

Twittering and blogging the evening

I am guessing you are a little curious about the wines and the food. Now, I don’t blog about wine, and it’s not because I don’t like it, it’s my tipple of choice, I just don’t have anything approaching the level of expertise that wine bloggers have and it’s, well, intimidating. I do want to know more, and I see a wine tasting course looming on my horizon, but for now, I surf the part of the wine list that I know and I try to learn more by breaking out of this occasionally. I’ll get there. This evening all 5 wines were white wines from Alsace, which would prove to be interesting as I am generally more of a fan of red.

scallops starter
So, we started with a delicous starter of scallops accompanied by Hugel Tradition Gentil (aka Les Fleurs d’Alsace) 2006. The scallops pan fried with white wine, ginger, garlic and chilli, the spices added to compliment the spice in the wine. The scallops were fantastic, large, juicy and perfectly cooked and the wine was a very pleasant accompaniment, light with gentle spicy flavours.

asparagus tart

Next up was red onion or asparagus tarts with baby leaf salad accompanied by Hugel Tradition Pinot Blanc 2006. The tarts were great, light and quite eggy, the wine cut through this quite well. I wasn’t a huge fan of this wine, on first taste I was underwhelmed, putting it mildly, but the food was a good match and it improved. It was quite rich and acidic, heavier than the first.

hugel pinot blanc

At this point, we were all starting to feel really spoiled, with our two wine blogging friends slaving in the kitchen, and us chattering, sampling and generally having a very good night. It was time for the next course and our most decadent yet, with fois gras mi cuit with toast and fig chutney matched with Hugel Tradition Gewürztraminer 2006. The foie gras and fig chutney were well matched even before the wine got involved, but the wine was a wonderful match and brought the best out in everything. It was rich and golden with hints of honeysuckle and quite an oily texture, which amplified the flavours in the meal. Delicious.

foie gras with fig chutney

hugel wines

Next up was pork medallions with mustard mash, apples and cider reduction accompanied by Hugel Riesling Jubilee 2004. The dish as all previous was perfectly executed and the wine, for me, was sharp, acidic and spicy with background syrupy sweetness. It was a good match for the food.

pork tenderloin with mustard mash apples and cider reduction.Our last wine was awaiting us, unfortunately so was the last train, so we had to rush. We had coconut macaroons with Hugel Gewürztraminer Vendage Tardive 2001. Now this wine was delicious, and was great with the coconut. It had a honey fragrance, intense sweet syrupy honey flavours, rich and gorgeous.

coconut macaroons

It was truly a wonderful evening, I learned alot, and am determined to expand my wine tasting experiences. The company was great and it was a very fun evening. Thanks to uber host Rob and Andrew, for organising and serving up such a wonderful meal,Bin Ends Wine and Hugel & Fils for the wines and setting up the event and Annie Mole, Lea, Kai, Sandrine, Jeremy, Lolly & James.

There’s lots of photos, you can take a look on the flickr group – Twitter Taste Live.

Flickr Group

Flickr Group




  1. Andrew says

    Glad you enjoyed it – I think we were down the better end of the table by the way!

    We must do it again only this time a bit more leisurely as I really didn’t have time to chat to everyone fully.

  2. Glad you were able to come in the end. Love the review of the food too as I had no idea what the chutney was made from – apart from deliciousness.

  3. You are too kind to me and too harsh on yourself. These are great descriptions of the wines, and I’m so glad you tried them despite being a red wine fan normally. I really like your approach of experimenting from time to time

    I look forward to doing something like this again in future – I have several ideas I’ll share with you very soon


  4. Lolly says

    Nice post Niamh and lovely photos! Lovely meeting you the other night and sharing this interesting experience. See you soon ;)

  5. Kitchen Goddess says

    What a lovely event to be a part of Niamh, great post and lovely photos.

  6. I love the concept. What a genious idea. I wish I was there to taste that wonderful meal. Thanks for blogging about this event.

  7. This looks like great fun although I’m not at all knowledgable when it comes to wine. I do know one thing though, the mention of Gewürztraminer always gets me excited!

  8. Andrew – I had a great time, it was a lovely evening. Of course we were down at the better end of the table ;)

    Annie – thanks & thanks again for inviting me. Great night, the food had to be written about, it was excellent. I am craving the scallops and the pork since!

    Rob – not atall! Future events sounds like a great plan! Drop me an email.

    Lolly – thanks & likewise :)

    George – it was a lovely night, thanks for the kind words.

    Hélène – agreed, it was a great idea. The meal was superb. Thanks for your comment!

    Helen – it was fun and I could do with an education when it comes to wine. The Gewürztraminer was delicious, I am now a fan and shall be seeking it out.

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  10. Have already berated Andrew for not inviting me ;-) Erm, possibly because I’m not on Twitter?! Sounds like a fantastic evening. I’ve actually been to the Hugel cave in Alsace and have somd of their wine (the Gewurz, methinks) stashed somewhere under the stairs. Wonderful stuff.

  11. I’m more of a red fan myself, but I love trying new wines.

    Don’t be afraid to talk about wine or you’ll miss out on a lot of fun.

    You don’t need to be serious when talking about it (my blog for example).

    Anyway, good stuff, keep it up.

  12. Oh – so late replying! Too busy at the moment. Jeanne, we’ll have plenty more events. You should get on twitter too – it’s fun!

    Vino Newbie – thanks for the support :-) I will keep trying and try and learn lots of new adjectives!

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