Social media - let's not over-sell it
You can't go to a big tasting these days without someone plugging social media.
Now don't get me wrong: I'm a huge fan of Twitter and Facebook (and of course blogging, if that counts - I was one of the first wine bloggers in the UK, starting in 2001), and I think you are borderline nuts if you don't use these incredibly useful communication tools.
But I worry that social media is being over-sold to the UK wine trade, most of whom are still trying to get to grips with the internet itself.
Although it may seem to those of us on Twitter and Facebook that we are at the centre of the universe and that the whole world is watching, that simply isn't true.
If you are in the business of selling wine, don't expect social media to save you. [Yet.] Most of your potential customers aren't there. They won't be listening.
I think this will change in the future, however. But it may take five or ten years.
And the other thing to remember is that these are just tools, and tools can be used well or badly. I worry that wine companies will rush to social media, do it clumsily, find it has no effect, and then abandon it. A measured approach is called for, and I reckon that unless you have someone who is prepared to learn (and understand) the medium, and who is a gifted communicator, then perhaps now is not the right time for your company.