Welcome to tonight’s LIVE virtual Rioja tasting.
If you’re taking part tonight, congratulations - you’ll be participating in our biggest tasting ever!
It’s going to be busy, and I know for many of you this will be your first event on The Community, so here’s some advice to help things run smoothly:
Firstly, while some of you are die-hard Rioja aficionados, many of us aren’t as knowledgeable (me included!) so here’s our buyer’s guide to Rioja:
It includes a really handy infographic which will help if you’re unsure about some of the terminology - such as the difference between ‘crianza’, ‘reserva’ and ‘gran reserva’.
I’ll try to lead things, but there’s plenty of Society staff around to help if you need a hand (especially if you’re new here), so don’t hesitate to tag us using the following usernames:
@Kelly: Community Co-ordinator
@Ewan: one of our original Community crew (and also our PR Manager)
@Freddy - one of our buyers (for regions including Australia, New Zealand and Austria)
@hugofount - from our Brand and Content Marketing Team
@MrLaura - from Member Services
A big welcome to @PierreM!
We’re also chuffed to have our Director of Wine and buyer for Spain popping by to join us - so feel free to ask him anything about Rioja!
I know many of you would like to take part in the #clapforNHS event taking place, and we wholeheartedly encourage you to do so:
We can get started a few minutes after eight and I think we’ll all be glad to raise a glass of Rioja to the hard-working NHS who are working so hard to care for us.
I’m about to post @tom’s brilliant WIKI (editable list) of who’s tasting what tonight. Have a look and, if you’re not on there, feel free to add yourself! You can do that by clicking the ‘Edit’ button in the bottom right of the post.
I’ll also post a poll to see who’s here - please let us know, and feel free to say hi and start chatting before we start.
We’re all drinking different Riojas, so it’s going to be hard to keep track. So whenever you post tonight, please start your post with the name of the wine you’re drinking.
To begin, I’ll invite us all to pour a glass, have a swirl and take in the aromas, and post your thoughts and first impressions. As there’s so many of us, it would probably be easier if you limit this to one post, so feel free to take your time and have a good swirl and sniff.
We’ll then taste the wines together and ask you to share your own tasting note. Again, ideally as there’s well over 50 of us taking part (!), it’ll be easier if you take your time and write your tasting note up in one post to help us keep track. Feel free to add any food matches and/or your thoughts on how well the wine is drinking now, and how much longer it might age. Anything goes, and there are no wrong answers!
After this, we’ll possibly have time to ask for your mark out of 10, or final thoughts.
Don’t worry if we overrun - I’m happy to stay as long as you want to continue the tasting.
It’s going to be a fun event - I can’t wait!