“They did not pick the yeast that I normally use,” winemaker Tom Johnson says. “It’s a new experience for me.”
The “they” refers to Silversmith’s Facebook fans, 797 of them, who are voting on winemaking decisions for the 2011 vintage. “I thought Matt was crazy when he came up with this idea,” says Tom. “I thought no one would be interested and no one would participate. Boy was I wrong.”
Matt Johnson is Tom’s son and sales and marketing director for Silversmith Vineyards. His idea: crowd source all the decisions in the winemaking process to the winery’s Facebook fans who “like” the winery’s page.
This may be the best use of social media in the wine world. Read more
Last week I was a judge at the Mendocino Crab & Wine Days. For the past 11 years, local chefs have entered their crab cakes in a cook-off to be chosen best of the best. In a separate contest, local wineries enter the bottling they think pairs best with pure crab meat (look for this in a later post). It’s all Dungeness crab, caught locally off the coast of Mendocino. We blind tasted our way (chef, restaurant and ingredients not identified) through 15 crab cakes and awarded scores for taste, presentation and originality. The best cakes really honored the crab — nice chunks of crab meat, simple preparation with no one ingredient overpowering the crab. The judges for the most part were in agreement on which crab cakes worked and which ones didn’t. We preferred the less fussy presentations, and the cakes that had more crab than filler. The winners…