Wine 2.0 and the Technological Evolution of the Spirit World

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The day was Oct 10, 2007, and indie rockers Radiohead made a move to turn the music industry upside down. They released their album “In Rainbows” via their own website, digitally, and marketed the release using Web 2.0 tools. Game on!

This move sums up the major shift in our way of living in the Web 2.0 universe. Web 2.0 is the Internet in its daily evolving form. It is the combination of social networking, blogs, pod casts, Youtube, Twitter and IM. Web 2.0 is the transformation of the web and our technology from one-sided, isolated and static to ready-to-wear, decentralized, creative, collaborative and associative. It is a conversation instead of a monologue. It is a pastiche, a sampled remix from a cut chemist. It is indie and do-it-yourself, like punk rock, and is as much a part of our modern culture as wine is for the dinner table in Italy.

And with this progression of media and music we again see the crossover and daily revolution taking place in the wine world. We call it Wine 2.0.

Democratization is the key element that keeps moving the web, media, music, culture and wine forward. And so, we live in the Wine 2.0 universe. But this universe is not just about access to special wines or wine clubs, the information about producers and their techniques, history and pricing, or the wine and spirits blogs, the unlimited modes of communication with and about winemakers and the world they inspire, or the ability to buy wines and spirits online.

Wine 2.0 embodies an attitude about wine that music and film culture and technology keep feeding like a ravenous teenage boy. Everyone has an opportunity to learn, contribute, taste and experiment. In short, wine is life – participate, jump in, get on the train.

There are two caveats to this whole address on Wine 2.0: First, it fulfills a niche in the wine world and the wine- and-spirits dialogue, but it is best when it augments, fuels and builds personal exchange, both real and virtual. Secondly, the popularity of self-publishing on the web and the donning of self-proclaimed “experts” is prolific, so buyers beware! However, there is a wealth of information and great experiences out there. Below is a list of some of my best recommendations. So grab a glass of Mas de la Dame, a lovely rose from the south of France that’s the perfect “surfing” wine, and get online and make it good.

WINE and SPIRITS WEB TV:

http://tv.winelibrary.com/

(This site features the opinions of Gary Vaynerchuk. He is as much loved as hated, and some say the Ryan Seacrest of the wine industry, but he is the most watched wine man on the web.)

www.thewinerychannel.tv

(This site offers a less controversial look at the wine and spirits world.)

www.onnetworks.com/videos/cocktails-on-the- fly

(For cocktails and mixing, I love this site. You can also get these recipes from iTunes and sign up for the pod cast downloads.)

WINE and SPIRITS ONLINE RADIO:

www.graperadio.com www.winebizradio.com

WINE and SPIRITS EDUCATION:

www.appellationamerica.com

(Alan Goldfarb’s most comprehensive site for all things in North American wine also offers links to blogs, reviews, wineries and online retailers, and provides a great bit of education.)

www.rumuniversity.com

(All things rum. Check out info on the hardest-to-find rums and explore the history, lore and life of this great spirit.)

www.ardentspirits.com

(Gary Regan, writer, author, cocktilian and storyteller brings all things in the world of spirits together on this site.)

OTHER RELATED SITES THAT COMPLETE THE CHAIN:

www.Snooth.com

(Social networking sites situated around food and wine culture are just starting to grow and this site is a good start.)

www.Delicious.com

www.StumbleUpon.com

www.Technorati.com

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