Sunday, May 21, 2017

Who cares what wine bottle you post on Instagram?

PTI – ME!

"It’s all about your brand!"

"Why be a follower, when you can be an influencer?"

"Make your mark (BIG!) for enhanced career opportunities!"

As a visual junky, I have a confession to make – I love looking at pictures on Instagram. Call it an introvert’s tendency to stand in the corner and observe. Or the realization, that at a certain age, you (ALL OF YOU!) will become invisible to the ascending generation that is full of energy and spunk – they want the world and they want it NOW! Whatever. There are millions of images flooding the site and young professionals are now being told that being active on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and, yes, even LinkedIn, is a strategy to strengthen your professional career! Funny, I was suggesting this to the executives (where I work) almost ten (10!) years ago. The teenagers (then) are now in the work force, and they are a force (ASK THEM! Ask their media coach!). And it is now de rigueur to lather up one’s bandwidth with a plethora of visual droppings to mark one’s fire hydrant in the race for influence and relevance. After all, you’re BUILDING YOUR BRAND!

Wow, all those exclamation points (AND UPPERCASE WORDS!) are so exhausting! But we live, now, in a world where so many people are clamoring for attention. And unless you climb over that HUGE wall and get your advanced certification (and maybe even become some kind of MASTER!) how can one differentiate who they are, and how influential they can be, in the short term? Hey, how about posting AWESOME pictures of unobtainable (to the rest of us) bottles of AWESOME wines? Sounds like a plan!


[At this point, most of those in the ascendant generation have scanned through the above 300 words and have surfed on. Which makes breathing in this padded cell much easier, although the experience might seem less like a party and more like undue exposure to (SAD!) mutterings?]

PTII – YOU!

Look, you can find any number of souls looking to “build their brand” on Instagram, posting pictures of cats, dogs, young lovers in various stages of undress and foreplay, eggplant, exotic cars, faraway places, impossible mountain climbs and whatever anyone thinks will get them to the top of their mountain of influence. So why all these pictures of AMAZING bottles of wine?

For one, to someone, it’s something NEW. And sometimes it’s NEW & OLD at the same time. It might be something IMPOSSIBLE to find unless one has friends who are COLLECTORS. At which time, all of that implies STATUS, getting past the rope line into their very own Studio 54 of wine. WOW!

It could be you are a visual person, not one who takes notes. There are those who can look at a bottle of wine that they posted on their S/M site and can tell you all about it. I’ve been around masters who have waxed, authoritatively, about a bottle of, you name it, from the heralded vintage of, insert here, and wasn’t it so much better than listening to a sexist (or racist) joke? Oh, count me in.

But those little pictures sit there, wordless, save for the emoticons friends and followers leave in appreciation of you having just bestowed their feeds with that EPIC picture of Paleokeristo. I can see it now, sitting in the back of an Uber (or now, JUNO!) going from midtown to the LES and seeing a snap of Derthona, wondering if The Ten Bells might still have it in stock when you get there. Hey, that’s informative, and it also suggests a sense of urgency. Get there before it’s all gone, you never know when you’ll get to taste that wine, EVER AGAIN!

And what about the elephant in the room? You know the desire to be like @jaymcinerney, or @nathankunzman, and revel in all the great wines that come across their tables? Sure, why not? Who wouldn’t want to taste those wines once (or in the case of Jay, regularly) in their life? And we can wish to emulate their experiences, or even want to be like them. Or even be BETTER, more INFLUENTIAL, with more FOLLOWERS. Yes we can!

Look, @kat_in_nyc has a MILLION followers, armchair scopophiliacs, who are enraptured by her sensual posts (now in VIDEO format, as well!). Hey, if a BIRD! (@birdbee0705) can muster up 38.7k followers (200 more than when I first started writing this post a few hours ago!), or a Japanese CAT! (@rinne172) dressed up in front of all manner of prepared food dishes at a tableside setting can have 104k followers, why shouldn’t the everyday, garden-variety wine professional in search of their BRAND? Why not INDEED?

Seeing as we also know some “surprising connection between cosmology and quantum mechanics could unveil the secrets of space and time,” and all things being RELATIVE, insert this greater reality outside our own personal universe that is active and dynamic and ongoing. I’m just saying – all things in perspective.


PTIII – WE!

We are still creatures of free will. If you want to follow a cat or a bird or a sexy voyeur photographer, that’s a personal decision. And if you want to photograph every iteration of your wine drinking (or eggplant growing) life, who’s going to stop you? If I get something from your many pictures of DRC wines that you have been so LUCKY to have experienced, even if it makes me just a tiny, little bit JEALOUS, is that your problem? No, it’s MINE!

But there is a WE to this meandering, and we have arrived to it. We are social creatures, even the most introverted of us (some of which are MOST INFLUENTIAL, by the way). Some of us struggle with expression, with identity, with just plain BEING! And if these are little 400 grit sandpaper measures to smooth out rough patches in the tabletop of our life, so be it. If it helps you explain yourself to me, who is hurt in the process? And if you say, “My feelings, he didn’t open that ICONIC bottle of wine around me!” or “She’s just a showboat, a grandstander!” don’t we have bigger fish to fry, HUGE! examples of people acting in ways which we disagree, but live in our world and we must find ways to co-exist?

So, go ahead and post your twin vintages of ’28 and ’29 Haut Brion (or your BOOBS! Or your PORN ‘STACHE!) at sunrise in some fabulous place with all your BFF’s! And if we don’t like them, well, we can turn the phone off (or MUTE!) and read a damn book!

Move along now – there's nothing more to see here.








wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

1 comment:

Marco Magma said...

Fun to read and look at, amico. There's a whole Instagram account devoted to chicken wing bones found on the streets of ATL!! https://www.instagram.com/p/BS6QzXnl8rg/. Kat_ in_ NYC has better content though.

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