Mid 30s. My first trip overseas starts in one month and a bit.

Restaurants

Glass on the MurrayReally?!? Are you serious?!? This is the usual reaction to me telling people I’ve never been overseas. I’m 34. I’ll be 35 by the time I head overseas for the first time next month.

Why haven’t I been overseas? So many reasons/excuses. I’ve loved my life up to this point and wouldn’t change a thing. Have I sacrificed overseas travel to change careers at regular intervals? Sure thing. But am I ludicrously excited to head to DC, NYC, New Orleans, Memphis and Chicago? Damn straight.

I’m going to watch the Yankees. I’m going to watch the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome. I’m going to eat and drink at places I’ve only dreamed of. I’m visiting Sun Studios. The birthplace of Jazz. Travelling the same route Louis Armstrong took bringing a new art form to the world. Would I have done these things at 21? No. Have I missed out on some of the amazing experiences I would have had when younger? Sure. But that’s cool. For every missed experience I could name three that I’ve had experiencing the people and the places across this amazing land.

September 8, 2014. On a big jet plane. Look forward to sharing a little of my excitement.

Need to get back into it

Restaurants

Need to get back into it

Time to resurrect this bad boy.

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July.

Restaurants

A few photos. A few words.

Photography
Killer pho & riesling.

Killer pho & riesling.

Syrah

Funky fresh.

Scary colour, damn tasty pickles.

Intriguing & entertaining Melbourne band.

10 William Street. Lardo. Sardines.

Love this vineyard, anyone want to chip in to buy it with me?

The (smoked out chilli bomb) goodness.

Can’t argue with Bondi on a day like this.

You can get it working.

Love at first taste. Like at second. Bored by third.

Simply great wine. Totally underrated winery.

My life is all I have. My rhymes, my pen, my pad.

Proceed with caution.

Vintage Blue // Boutique Aussie wine specialists.

Restaurants

Vintage Blue // Boutique Aussie wine specialists.

Love this place in the Sydney CBD, stocks loads of great small Aussie producers.

Wines I’ve loved lately

Wine Reviews

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Delicious cool climate gear from a great Canberra winery. Cabernet, Shiraz, Merlot and a wee bit more. Drinking well now but years ahead of it.

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A surprise find from the Riverlution dinner I attended. Truly exciting emerging variety for the Riverland.

Sharing the wines I love (and hate)

Wine Reviews

I love wine. And I love sharing good wine with friends and family. So I’ve decided to share the wines I love and hate more often via this blog. No lengthy reviews, no wanking on about minerality, extended maceration, malolactic fermentation or oak regimes. Just a picture, a few words and whether or not I think the wine is worth seeking out. Simple. If you wonder why I’ll also mention the wines I don’t like, this wonderful quote is the reason. It comes from someone who has inspired me, the recently departed art critic Robert Hughes. “You can’t be a critic & not have a harsh side… otherwise you become this total arsehole who thinks every sprig of clover is a rose.”

Social media :: Thoughts on talking and listening in the wine industry

Social Media

A version of this article appeared in the Winter 2012 edition of Winescope. Winescope is the official newsletter of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, ‘produced twice a year and distributed in hard copy to all Australian wineries and other stakeholders.’ I thought it would be fun to share a bit of my work life, as Online Communications Advisor for Wine Australia. If you have any questions, comments or criticism chuck them in comments and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Social media has been creating a great buzz in the wine industry in the last couple of years. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube are rapidly becoming standard tools of the trade for getting key messages to an online audience.

In response, as part of my role with Wine Australia I developed and implemented a corporate social media strategy in early 2011. This strategy was designed to:

  • ensure stakeholders are aware of our activities and announcements, both domestically and internationally
  • communicate the story of the quality, value and diversity of Australian wine to trade, media, influencers and consumers.
  • enable us to monitor general sentiment and “chatter” around Australian wine and gain greater insight into key topics affecting the industry
  • provide a platform to collect and analyse data on social media activity relating to the Australian wine industry, including audience demographics and sentiment analysis.

The strategy focused on using appropriate social media platforms to increase engagement and ensure the message reached the appropriate audience. One of the key outcomes of this was the deletion of the Wine Australia ‘branded’ Facebook fan page. This was done as research showed that Facebook isn’t the location that people are searching for industry news and announcements. To complement more traditional communication channels the Wine Australia Twitter account is used for key announcements, updates on market programs/international visitors and to spread positive news about Australian wine from influencers and media. In the coming months, we will also expand Wine Australia’s presence on LinkedIn as this has been identified as a useful tool for networking and sharing knowledge with people within the wine industry.

For our consumer/trade/media directed engagement and communication under the A+ Australian Wine banner, the strategy initially focused on spending an equal amount of time utilising Facebook and Twitter. Over the past year, as a result of the research detailed later, we’ve adjusted our focus to ensure we are using the right platforms for the audience we are targeting. The result is that we have moved our focus to Facebook and YouTube for consumer engagement while utilising Twitter for the majority of our trade, media and influencer engagement.

Another key focus of the strategy is to listen to the online chatter about Australian wine. From a consumer, trade, media and influencer perspective this allows Wine Australia to identify and spread positive messages about Australian wine quickly and efficiently. Examples of this include sharing the recent increase in positive press about Australian wine in North America and the great reaction online to the renewed Australian wine industry presence at Prowein. This message was shared to our audience, many then shared this positive messaging to their audiences.

Listening to online chatter allows Wine Australia to gauge industry and stakeholder reaction to announcements, and this feedback is reviewed and taken on board. Before, during and after the recent changes to the Wine Export Approval Panel process we were able to listen to what was being said and respond to questions or queries as required. Key media, trade and influencers discussing the issues around the changes were identified and directly responded to with correct information about the changes to the process. An example of this was a wine writer in the UK, who initially expressed reservations about the changes. After engaging with him on Twitter and providing with detail he was fully supportive and ended up writing two articles which implored similar organisations in other countries to follow Wine Australia’s lead.

As result of implementing the social media strategy, we’ve learnt a lot about the value and relevance of social media for the wine industry. For Wine Australia social media has become an effective tool for communicating news, engaging with wineries/industry partners/stakeholders, listening to what the wine industry has to say about important issues and spreading positive messages about Australian wine. For the industry generally, we’ve learnt that using the appropriate platform for the appropriate audience can bring great results in engaging with your target audience. These learning’s were supported by research completed  over the past twelve months

For Wine Australia, Twitter is the most widely used corporate social media platform. Analysis of the Wine Australia Twitter account shows that followers are mainly confined to industry/Trade/media, with more than half in Australia and the rest in our traditional export markets, the US and the UK.

Wine Australia Twitter followers by location

Wine AustraliaTwitter Demographics

What did surprise us, however, was that despite efforts to obtain a strong consumer audience with the @apluswines account, the picture is similar. As the chartss below illustrate, while geographic spread is wider for this account, the vast majority of the audience could still be classified as industry/trade/media.

A+ Australian Wine Twitter followers by location

Demographics of the A+ Australian Wine Twitter account

 

So does this just mean that we are just “talking amongst ourselves” on Twitter in the wine industry? At the very least, it’s impossible to deny that there is an element of this occurring on Twitter, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The research shows that Twitter is a great platform for networking, engaging with wine media/influencers/buyers/suppliers and discussing the pertinent issues for the industry. If that is what you are using Twitter for then it is an elegant, powerful and highly recommended tool.

However, if you are attempting to use Twitter as an online platform to engage and attract new consumers then right now then your efforts may be best directed elsewhere. Facebook offers a larger potential audience of consumers, as well as the tools (video/images/apps) to attract them to your brand/business and engage with them.

So what can we take away from this analysis? Simply, defining your target audience and focusing on how to communicate with that audience is more important than ever.

Many in the industry have achieved great success over many years by using the right tools to get the right message to the right people. Social media is here to help all of us do what we’ve always been doing, albeit in a more targeted, focused and cost effective manner.

[photos] food. wine. good.

Favourite Cellar Doors

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Back to my roots: Any [downtempo] DJ set requests?

Music

Putting together a little mix to put up on Soundcloud, anyone got anything they’s like to add? Theme is a little bit recovery, a little bit pretentious Eastern suburbs cafe with a sprinkling of alternahippy hipster. Let me know via comment or on the tweet @benmoroney if you’d like to see anything included. Cheers!

Here’s a few things that may get thrown into the mix:

Goldie: TImeless [Inner City Life]
Radiohead: Everything in it’s right place
Bjork: Joga
Talvin Singh: Traveller [kid loco remix]
Nitin Sawhney: Homelands
A.R Rahman: Mimbai Theme Tune
Georges Delerue: Camille
Radiohead: Exit Music [from a film]
Portishead: It Could Be Sweet
Underworld: Second Hand
Air: Playground Love
Jimi Hendrix: Little Wing
Angus and Julia Stone: Just a Boy
DJ Shadow: What does your soul look like? [Part 4]
Sabers of Paradise: smoke belch 2
Daft Punk: something about us
Emiliani Torrini: Sunnyroad
Truby Trio: prima Vera
Vim de Santana: Quartet Novo