I have never really liked the term “networking” because it sounds so — well, like the only reason I’m talking to you or you’re talking to me is so we can use each other to meet other people. I loathe going to these events where I don’t know anyone, and everyone is trying to make a sale. I find it crass, even though I am pretty good at it. And I am amused at all the buzz about on-line sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter; and how everyone from politicians and Realtors to lawyers and students, entrepremoms and life coaches, foodies, wine lovers, and guys that like — well beer — are all being told that they need to be using the next big thing: “social media.” I almost spit out my coffee this morning when I heard “and follow me on twitter at…” coming from the NPR news anchor.
Electronic “social media” isn’t really new at all, at least not the “social” part (telephone, anyone?) In the 1980s (before most of the social media “gurus” were out of diapers) some of us spent hours on “talkers,” BBS, in chat rooms, and typing on a Minitel “box”. Some of us took it further, and arranged elaborate “meetups” (called, um, “parties”) where those of us using a “PSE” (pseudonym) got together to meet face to face. Some of us even became friends, dated, and married people we’d met through these “social media.”
But back then most people thought connecting to others via telnet, FTP, or the minitel, was for losers, nerds, geeks, and 30-plus year old guys that lived in their mom’s basement. Heck I even got fired from a job in the 80s when a supervisor found out I’d been meeting these people “in person” (not that it was any of her business), and she was “concerned about my lifestyle.” (Hey Cynthia — who’s laughing now?)
What is new, however, is the almost frenetic way the business community is jumping on the social media bandwagon to establish, build, market and sell its “brand” by gathering what really amounts to a huge electronic Rolodex of prospects and targets. Where the disconnect lies; and what successful businesses have known all along, it that the success of your venture depends on the relationships you build, not just the contacts you make and names you collect.
Politics + Twitter + Wine = MOM2.0Summit
So follow me on my recent “social media” journey that starts in politics and ends in wine.
Working on a political campaign, I met my friend Julie. Julie is a writer, and I discovered she writes on a number of blogs, including MOMocratsTM Julie couldn’t attend an election night event in Chicago, so I offered to cover it for her as a guest blogger. To get my temporary press credentials, I connected with other bloggers for MOMocratsTM. After the election, I added these MOMocratsTM bloggers to people I follow on twitter. On twitter I heard about a Wine Tasting to kick off a conference planned for Houston, called the Mom2.0Summit. The wine tasting was around the corner from my office, and well, it was a WINE tasting, so I went and met more bloggers. And since wine sometimes makes us do things we might not otherwise do — really, it does — I registered to attend an event where I probably would only know one person — Julie.
While I hate networking — I love meeting new people! But not really to sell them anything — although that’s sometimes how I justify the registration fees — but to get to know different types of people I might otherwise never meet. So at 5:00 p.m. Thursday night, I arrived at the registration desk, where, thankfully, Julie was stationed; to pick up my name tag and goody bag for the Mom2.0 Summit! And technically, I am a mom, albeit to two teenagers who call me “Amy,” because “wicked stepmother” probably wouldn’t get many points when it came time for needed intercession with their Dad.
Lo and behold, at the opening reception at Massa’s Seafood Grill, I got to meet some of the MOMocratsTM bloggers that I had been chatting with on twitter! And cooler still, was that the reception included wine poured by Richard Shaffer from Israeli Wine Direct (also on twitter).
The Wine – 2006 Tzora Vineyards Giv’at Hachalukim Cabernet Sauvignon
The Israeli Wine Direct team hand-selects boutique Israeli wines from the land where wine was born and brings them Direct to You….from the winemaker’s house to your house! And Richard treated us red wine lovers to the 2006 Giv’at Hachalukim Cabernet Sauvignon from Tzora Vineyards.
Giv’at Hachalukim (River Stone Knoll) vineyard is located on the north bank of the biblical Sorek Valley. The vineyard’s location is an ideal site for growing wine grapes. The soil is rich with river bed stones, which were washed down from the Judean Hills over centuries. The vines thrive in the aerated soil and the warm spring climate; the roots awaken early, and with them, the first buds. Tapping nourishment and water deep in the soil, the vines give of their bounty, and the resulting wines flourish in elegance with unique tastes and textures.
This was only the second Israeli wine that I have sampled — but it was definitely enjoyable. Produced from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon this wine offers wonderful perfumed aromas and enhanced minerality. The kosher wine was drawn into French oak barrels soon after it was pressed and remained in barrels for the aging process of 15 months. Medium- to full-bodied, with generous currant wild berry fruits, those matched nicely by hints of anise and white pepper. Finishes moderately long with a note of minted chocolate.
While most of the hors d’oeuvres served at Massa’s for the event were clearly offered to pair with white wines, the Tzora Cab paired remarkably well with artichoke drizzled with herbed olive oil. Cheddar cheese and parmesan stuffed mushroom caps served, also brought out the bold fruit.
Kosher Wines from Israel
I’ve had only three Kosher wines to date (one was not from Israel, but Iowa!). But before I’d had Kosher wine at my friend Meryl’s house, I, being shiksa, just assumed that the wine would taste “different.” But I couldn’t really taste the difference.
Here’s what Israeli Wine Direct says about Kosher Wines:
1) Kosher wine can be GOOD, real good in fact. There’s nothing about basic “kosher” that makes a wine taste any different from any other premium wines. So get all those scary memories of cough-syrup-flavored wines out of your mind!
2) Wine from Israel AIN’T NECESSARILY KOSHER!
We will continue to grow an exclusive kosher portfolio for you over time. We’re in active discussions now with some very small production kosher wineries whose wines are not yet available in the US. Stay tuned for some surprises in this part of our portfolio.
We likely won’t ever buy Mevushal wines (i.e., wines that have been boiled so pagans can’t use them for idol worship) since we haven’t seen any pagans walking around worshipping idols in a long, long time (and wouldn’t drink with pagans if we did find a few) AND because we recognize that BOILING wine tends to knock off the great fruit flavors that we all enjoy in good wine!
So what did we learn?
- Social Media is not new.
- 1980s Geeks are the 21st Century Gurus
- You can lead a Mom to politics, but you cannot make her drink. (or can you?)
- Wine makes it easier to meet new people.
- Kosher Wine can be Good.
And I’d be remiss if I failed to mention “you can follow me on twitter at” @WineWonkette!