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Dublin, Ireland
Hi, I'm a Master of Wine (MW) having passed in 1997. I opened a wine shop in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, called The Wine Library and this is my personal wine blog. There should be no conflict of interest between my work with The Wine Library and the opinions expressed herein but I will do my utmost to be fair and responsible in my posts – please read my Who Pays article in re the ethics of wine trips and writing. I have worked in wine education, retail, and consultancy since 1990. From June 2013 until May 2017 I was the Retail Manager for The Wicklow Wine Company. I was a member of the Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) from 2008 to 2014 and was also a member of the Events, Trips, and Governance Committees. Having had problems with potentially libellous comments from unidentifiable posters, I now require that if you post a comment, you must identify yourself properly or it won't be published. Please note that I do not review products or services on request so kindly don't ask. I value my independence and I believe my readers (few that they may be) do so also.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Symposium starts…

After a lovely morning exploring the streets and sights of Florence the Symposium started with a tasting of sparkling wines from Trento in the gardens of the Palazzo dei Congressi. Our first full session was about the role of different media in communicating with consumers.

A good discussion followed but I felt afterwards that the topic “Reaching tomorrow’s audiences”, moderated by Sarah Jane Evans MW, was possibly the wrong one. It developed into a discussion about old-fashioned print versus new-fangled social media rather than perhaps the better topic of which medium to use when trying to reach an audience.
The panel was impressive – Alessandro Torcoli, an Italian publisher; Jancis Robinson MW, probably the best known wine journalist in the world; and Daniel Alegre, President of Worldwide Partnerships in Google. All three contributed well, giving a wide range of opinions. Obviously, Daniel’s contribution was the most interesting given that he is far closer to the social-media cutting edge. Some of the ideas he mentioned were of real interest to the audience – for example, he mentioned about the fashion designer Diane von Furstenburg using Google hangouts to talk with ordinary consumers about her new designs.
All in all, it highlighted a number of areas but time is far too limited and I would love to see a more in-depth seminar on this topic combining the wine industry with more people from the digital media world.

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