The launch of Real Time Wine...

Real Time Wine is a pet project that has really been simmering around for almost 2 years now. It started as very simple cataloguing of the wine I drank using Wine Notes, an iPhone App. This expanded into Twitter postings - and that's when the feedback started coming in. I think the metaphorical and far out descriptions were a contributor.

Two apples running through a field and embracing on my tongue...
Smells like the inside of a dive bag...
Like sticking your tongue in molehill and finding a mulberry...

People really seemed to like the idea of super short, simple, direct wine reviews. Especially when they called a crap-bottle-of-wine a crap-bottle-of-wine!

Those initial waves of feedback led me to start thinking about the culture of the wine review. And how much it needed to change. And that thinking, led to the formal launch of Real Time Wine today. I'm chuffed. You could say this is a mini startup. You could also say this is an attempt at monetising a hobby. Vaynerchuk style - do what you love, because you work 80% of your life.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy Real Time Wine. It's witty, irreverent, and hopefully fills a gap in the South African wine industry. Hop along to the site and have a look. Especially browse around the scores - that's where the fun is. Like us, poke us, share us and tell your friends! All the links are below...

Visit Real Time Wine (the site)
Visit Real Time Wine Reviews scored 7/10 (the site)
Visit Real Time Wine Reviews scored 2/10 (the site)
Visit Real Time Wine (on FaceBook)
Visit Real Time Wine (on Twitter)

Thanks to Grant from Harukami for a really excellent design. I think we both learned a lot about Posterous during this process!

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And here's the launch post:

Circa 17 February 2010
A year and a half of Twitter wine reviews (a casual sharing of my drinking hobby with the world), a couple of months design, a DNS problem that we couldn't spell (let alone solve without multiple tech support calls) and a soft launch period to make sure everything ticking on nicely... we're finally ready to launch Real Time Wine. Declare it open.

More than simple, humorous and helpful wine reviews - we're trying to start a culture here. A culture that fights the snob wine drinker, and celebrates the pleb. A culture that understands the joy of wine as an experience, a memory. And a culture that allows anyone to be a wine reviewer. Lofty dreams? We think not.

Here's an excerpt from the Credo of the Real Time Winos (think of it as a staff policy for the lovely lads and lasses who will also be reviewing wine on the site). Hopefully this tells the story and makes our intentions clear. Join us... it'll be tasty! We'll be creating a bit of noise over the next couple of weeks, including a competition to win some awesome wine prizes. Stay tuned!

The story of Real Time Wine is a simple one. Its founder, and original digital Wino, was confused and irritated by the whole wine review scene. He just didn’t (and mostly still doesn’t) understand words like bouquet, tannin, elegant, nose and other such dictionary inducing literary puzzles. But he did like wine. Oh, did he like wine!

One day, he read a Platter’s review (see below) of a fine, chunky, middle-of-the-road bottle of Alto Rouge 2007… and didn’t understand a single word. Especially the word “gush”, which he thought was horrid and should be reserved for certain medical conditions shared only between patient and doctor.

That experience galvanized him, moved him, activated him (especially after he polished off the bottle). South Africa, and the world, needed a better review system. One that spoke to the people. The winos who just knew they liked wine, and didn’t feel like decoding a freakin’ puzzle each time they desired an outside opinion.

And thus, 140 character wine reviews were born in mid 2009. Reviews for the digital generation (who’s attention span declines with each bottle they drink). Reviews for the common man. Reviews for us.


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