Video offlines...could they become a thing?

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Brandon R
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Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#1 Post by Brandon R » March 16th, 2020, 10:55 am

I think we can all universally agree that the best part about offlines is the people: the conversation, the discussion wines, the friendships formed, the generosity...all that and more. The wine, while so often amazing, is secondary. So, in this time of social distancing and avoidance of crowds, what about doing offlines with something like Zoom video conferencing? Would you participate? I know it wouldn't be possible to share wines, but theoretically, a group could all purchase the same wine and discuss it via video conference. I think it would be weird and wouldn't likely participate, but who knows? Could it become a thing?
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#2 Post by GregT » March 16th, 2020, 12:25 pm

.
. .the best part about offlines is the people: the conversation, the discussion wines, the friendships formed, the generosity
Might be a thing for some people but of those four things, the only thing you'd get with video is the least important of all. You don't really form many friendships through video although I suppose it's possible in theory. There's clearly no generosity since you're not sharing anything. And the least interesting part of the conversation is discussing the wines. I really couldn't care less if someone found gooseberries, cast iron pan, graphite, or whatever. And once you've had that conversation, if you ever do, there's nothing further to say about it. So you're back to general conversation, which is really hard to do with videoconferencing. This board is actually better for that sort of thing.

But that's just me. Maybe there will be some newer type of affair that people enjoy participating in. I know that some people have done virtual tastings and they've tried to get some conversation going. There's usually a leader and they haven't been very interesting for the most part, but who knows. I may be an outlier.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#3 Post by Chris Seiber » March 16th, 2020, 2:22 pm

I think Greg sums it up pretty well. I like the idea, and the spirit behind the idea, but I don't think wine tastings are ever going to be fertile ground for teleconferencing.

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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#4 Post by c fu » March 16th, 2020, 2:31 pm

my favorite conversations at wine dinners is when we don't talk about wine.

I text plenty with the guys in my group. All day long as they aren't just wine friends, but some of my closest friends now because of wine.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#5 Post by GregT » March 16th, 2020, 7:14 pm

Exactly. And those are the conversations that video doesn't lend itself to.

But I wouldn't count it out as an idea - it may be that it becomes a new and different kind of experience for people.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#6 Post by larry schaffer » March 16th, 2020, 7:20 pm

I think we are now in the age of the 'virtual' tasting - some wineries like Modus Operandi have been doing this for quite some time; others like Hardy will be doing this weekend (along with a couple of other wineries, like Byron Blatty wines. I too will be offering up a 'virtual tasting' of a few of my wines.

Nope, it's not an offline, but if folks have the same bottle in front of them, they can 'discuss' it - and ask direct questions of those who make it. It's not quite as 'personal' as 'being there', but the hope of the industry as a whole is that it will 'bridge the gap' for now.

Would love to hear more thoughts on this.

Cheers.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#7 Post by Randy Bowman » March 16th, 2020, 7:28 pm

I get a creepy feeling about it. Maybe I've watched too much Sci-Fi.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#8 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » March 16th, 2020, 7:55 pm

Meh.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#9 Post by H Wallace Jr » March 16th, 2020, 9:45 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
March 16th, 2020, 7:20 pm
I think we are now in the age of the 'virtual' tasting - some wineries like Modus Operandi have been doing this for quite some time; others like Hardy will be doing this weekend (along with a couple of other wineries, like Byron Blatty wines. I too will be offering up a 'virtual tasting' of a few of my wines.

Nope, it's not an offline, but if folks have the same bottle in front of them, they can 'discuss' it - and ask direct questions of those who make it. It's not quite as 'personal' as 'being there', but the hope of the industry as a whole is that it will 'bridge the gap' for now.

Would love to hear more thoughts on this.

Cheers.
Offlines and online tastings (at least the online tastings we've done before) are really different things. I think people would be disappointed and miss the point if they expected a similar experience from such different events.
Last edited by H Wallace Jr on March 17th, 2020, 3:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#10 Post by Tim Heaton » March 17th, 2020, 2:13 am

If a thing so small it can't be seen by the naked eye shuts down (just using one example) Las Vegas/all MGM properties, then yes, I suppose anything is possible.

Would I like to see it happen? No, I'm spoiled. We're spoiled. But, it's ultimately about choices, and for that wheelchair bound (or other non/low mobility) person that's curious, this could be a very real thing, a wonderful thing. We base our preferences on our past experiences; there's a lot of people out there that have never had a chance to form experiences similar to ours. It's easy to throw rocks at all the things that will be missing. First world, healthy person problems/criticisms.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#11 Post by Travis @llen » March 17th, 2020, 6:01 am

Just did this for the first time last night. Theme was Rhonely Together. All grabbed a bottle of rhone from the cellar which surprisingly wound up including 2 Gangloffs(serene noir Côte Rôtie and Condrieu) and 2 pegau (Laurence and reserve). We had friends from Seattle, Bellevue, newberg Oregon, walla walla and San Diego on the line. The Tech (zoom) worked perfectly. We scheduled 1 hour, and wound up on the call for 3hours. Very little talk about wine actually. During the meet, one of my buddies texted and said ‘this feels like we are sitting around your dining table.’ I would agree, and I think it is good to stay connected. We don’t know how many people are going to get sick from this, so it is a good opportunity to ‘share’ a tasty bottle with friends.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#12 Post by Todd F r e n c h » March 17th, 2020, 7:20 am

Travis @llen wrote:
March 17th, 2020, 6:01 am
Just did this for the first time last night. Theme was Rhonely Together. All grabbed a bottle of rhone from the cellar which surprisingly wound up including 2 Gangloffs(serene noir Côte Rôtie and Condrieu) and 2 pegau (Laurence and reserve). We had friends from Seattle, Bellevue, newberg Oregon, walla walla and San Diego on the line. The Tech (zoom) worked perfectly. We scheduled 1 hour, and wound up on the call for 3hours. Very little talk about wine actually. During the meet, one of my buddies texted and said ‘this feels like we are sitting around your dining table.’ I would agree, and I think it is good to stay connected. We don’t know how many people are going to get sick from this, so it is a good opportunity to ‘share’ a tasty bottle with friends.
Sounds like fun to me!

Maybe I should setup some Zoom rooms for the week or weekend?
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#13 Post by Brandon R » March 17th, 2020, 8:41 am

Cool report, Travis. That's exactly what I imagined in my mind and, after reading about your experience, perhaps I'm more open to the idea. Cheers!
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#14 Post by Frank Murray III » March 17th, 2020, 8:52 am

I'm down for hosting one if you set up the tech, Frenchie.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#15 Post by Brandon R » March 17th, 2020, 9:21 am

I've got Zoom! Let's do it!
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#16 Post by Frank Murray III » March 17th, 2020, 9:36 am

Brandon, we've done virtual offline before on this Board, and we've had participation so we know there is interest. How about we start another thread, let's test the waters to see who would join and then we can get a date/time/theme together. I'd also suggest we not overthink it or get spun up on whether it's a good idea or not. ln this time, we need community so I'd be honored to do it, even if it was just you and I, brother. [drinkers.gif]
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#17 Post by Michael O'Brien » March 17th, 2020, 9:51 am

Absolutely not! The joy of an offline is getting together with other collectors and discussing whatever subject comes up over a great meal. I am not ready to resign myself to the virtual world.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#18 Post by Frank Murray III » March 17th, 2020, 9:55 am

Michael, we cannot do that right now so why not contribute to something temporary and meet some new people? If you don't want to join, that's fine but the offer is open to everyone.

I've done Zoom/Web-Ex sessions in my leadership role for a long time. They're not like meeting in person, which can never be replaced, but we can create some additional form of community, beyond a keyboard and avatar right now, in a safe and reinforcing manner that's good for us.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#19 Post by Todd F r e n c h » March 17th, 2020, 10:16 am

Those who have iPhones can easily do a larger number on FaceTime, though through different apps, as the default FaceTime limit is 8, I think?

Would Zoom work with 10-20 people? Could schedule several, or just have one running with drop ins throughout. Those who have Zoom, can you let us know?
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#20 Post by Chris Seiber » March 17th, 2020, 10:21 am

Dumb question - if you set up a Zoom meeting, can any invitees who have a computer, speaker, mic and camera attend, or so they need some kind of Zoom install or license on their computer to be able to participate?

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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#21 Post by H Wallace Jr » March 17th, 2020, 10:31 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
March 17th, 2020, 10:21 am
Dumb question - if you set up a Zoom meeting, can any invitees who have a computer, speaker, mic and camera attend, or so they need some kind of Zoom install or license on their computer to be able to participate?
Invitees do not need to pay for a license, but they do need to have zoom installed and they need a camera, mic, speakers. Most use the internal ones on their devices.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#22 Post by Peter C. » March 17th, 2020, 11:12 am

I'd be interested. Is there a theme?
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#23 Post by cjsavino » March 17th, 2020, 11:26 am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
March 17th, 2020, 10:16 am
Those who have iPhones can easily do a larger number on FaceTime, though through different apps, as the default FaceTime limit is 8, I think?

Would Zoom work with 10-20 people? Could schedule several, or just have one running with drop ins throughout. Those who have Zoom, can you let us know?
We have been using Microsoft Teams quite successfully for video meetings
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#24 Post by Todd F r e n c h » March 17th, 2020, 11:31 am

Anyone who has a system that works, please put something together and post it. We can do any number of different options (Zoom, Microsoft, Google, etc) and see what works best! We're all cooped up at home, so let's post some virtual offlines and 'meet' others!
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#25 Post by Kyle S chaffer » March 17th, 2020, 6:45 pm

I’ve zoomed with 20 people. It’s actually pretty fun. No, not the same as being in a room, but it was a social experience

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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#26 Post by Frank Murray III » March 17th, 2020, 7:09 pm

My wife and I just cancelled dinner plans for both Friday and Saturday night, when we planned to get together with others, which in fact were just two couples in one instance and in the other, just another couple. Orange County here is getting very close to (or aligned with San Francisco now) in terms of shutting down all restaurant dining and public gatherings.

Virtual offline may be all many of us have for a while.
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2014 Marie Courtin Champagne Efflorescence Extra Brut
2012 Minière F & R Champagne Influence Brut
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2017 Rivers-Marie PN Platt SC
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut

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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#27 Post by Todd F r e n c h » March 17th, 2020, 7:36 pm

Frank Murray III wrote:
March 17th, 2020, 7:09 pm
My wife and I just cancelled dinner plans for both Friday and Saturday night, when we planned to get together with others, which in fact were just two couples in one instance and in the other, just another couple. Orange County here is getting very close to (or aligned with San Francisco now) in terms of shutting down all restaurant dining and public gatherings.

Virtual offline may be all many of us have for a while.
It's official now. No seating in restaurants, takeout only (in OC)
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#28 Post by Todd F r e n c h » March 17th, 2020, 7:37 pm

Kyle S chaffer wrote:
March 17th, 2020, 6:45 pm
I’ve zoomed with 20 people. It’s actually pretty fun. No, not the same as being in a room, but it was a social experience
Let's do it! Often!
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#29 Post by Victor Hong » March 17th, 2020, 7:49 pm

A video offline is an oxymoron.......being online.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#30 Post by Ian S » March 17th, 2020, 7:58 pm

This is the beginning of the end.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#31 Post by T@ntina A » March 18th, 2020, 6:25 am

This is a great idea. Even though we are social distancing, it does not mean we should be isolated. Being open to any creative ways to stay connected is great.
I have been a part of online communities all my life, and some of my good friends I have never even met in person. I find that connecting online makes me way more open to meeting people I wouldn't have met in my day to day. If you are open to it you can connect in creative ways. In this situation we don't have much of a choice.

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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#32 Post by Jeff Wiltse » March 18th, 2020, 7:33 am

I am doing this tonight with a close friend who needs to take social distancing seriously. He is pouring half a bottle into a decanter and driving the other half of the bottle to put on my front porch. We'll get together on Skype tonight and talk about the wine and anything else we would normally talk about. it obviously is not the same as sitting down together, but I am looking forward to it. We may make it a blind tasting just to add one more element of interest.

I am not a known contributor on this site, but I would be interested in participating in an online tasting. It would surely be awkward first interacting with others in this way, but social awkwardness is not a big concern for me right now.

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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#33 Post by Todd F r e n c h » March 18th, 2020, 7:41 am

Jeff Wiltse wrote:
March 18th, 2020, 7:33 am
I am doing this tonight with a close friend who needs to take social distancing seriously. He is pouring half a bottle into a decanter and driving the other half of the bottle to put on my front porch. We'll get together on Skype tonight and talk about the wine and anything else we would normally talk about. it obviously is not the same as sitting down together, but I am looking forward to it. We may make it a blind tasting just to add one more element of interest.

I am not a known contributor on this site, but I would be interested in participating in an online tasting. It would surely be awkward first interacting with others in this way, but social awkwardness is not a big concern for me right now.
I like this idea even better...good work. How was it?
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#34 Post by Jeff Wiltse » March 18th, 2020, 7:49 am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
March 18th, 2020, 7:41 am
Jeff Wiltse wrote:
March 18th, 2020, 7:33 am
I am doing this tonight with a close friend who needs to take social distancing seriously. He is pouring half a bottle into a decanter and driving the other half of the bottle to put on my front porch. We'll get together on Skype tonight and talk about the wine and anything else we would normally talk about. it obviously is not the same as sitting down together, but I am looking forward to it. We may make it a blind tasting just to add one more element of interest.

I am not a known contributor on this site, but I would be interested in participating in an online tasting. It would surely be awkward first interacting with others in this way, but social awkwardness is not a big concern for me right now.
I like this idea even better...good work. How was it?
We're doing it tonight, so I'll let you know tomorrow morning. He says he's going to open something special.

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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#35 Post by robert creth » March 18th, 2020, 8:32 am

Michael O'Brien wrote:
March 17th, 2020, 9:51 am
Absolutely not! The joy of an offline is getting together with other collectors and discussing whatever subject comes up over a great meal. I am not ready to resign myself to the virtual world.
This!

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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#36 Post by Shay h arnoy » March 18th, 2020, 8:33 am

Jeff Wiltse wrote:
March 18th, 2020, 7:49 am
Todd F r e n c h wrote:
March 18th, 2020, 7:41 am
Jeff Wiltse wrote:
March 18th, 2020, 7:33 am
I am doing this tonight with a close friend who needs to take social distancing seriously. He is pouring half a bottle into a decanter and driving the other half of the bottle to put on my front porch. We'll get together on Skype tonight and talk about the wine and anything else we would normally talk about. it obviously is not the same as sitting down together, but I am looking forward to it. We may make it a blind tasting just to add one more element of interest.

I am not a known contributor on this site, but I would be interested in participating in an online tasting. It would surely be awkward first interacting with others in this way, but social awkwardness is not a big concern for me right now.
I like this idea even better...good work. How was it?
We're doing it tonight, so I'll let you know tomorrow morning. He says he's going to open something special.
Sounds awesome! Can I join? What are you drinking?

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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#37 Post by Gerhard P. » March 18th, 2020, 8:38 am

I agree with Greg ... and moreover:

>> a group could all purchase the same wine and discuss it via video conference.<<

... a wine which could be purchased by the whole group (10-20 people?) would most probably not be very interesting ...
still less interesting when it´s about several wines:
a Bourgogne PN? a Cru Bourgeois? a Cote-du-Rhone?
Most probably a (too) young vintage?

When I do my tastings it´s about comparing different wines in regard of a certain theme ...
and usually with more or less rare and/or expensive bottles ... some matures ones among them ...
bottles which are not easy to find ... or quite expensive ... often stored for decades ...

People are coming to my tastings for experiencing wines they (most probably) won´t get to drink ever again, at least most of them.
Impossible to imagine that everybody owns or buys a certain wine - just to compare via skype (or whatever) ...

Sorry, doesn´t work here ...
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#38 Post by Steve Eisenhauer » March 18th, 2020, 8:53 am

Mike Pobega might remember exactly when, but at a SLONYC dinner many years ago, we attempted to stream the event. As I recall, there were some technical difficulties. But we were ahead of the curve, apparently.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#39 Post by John Glas » March 18th, 2020, 10:25 am

Yes. If you had the same wine and were using this as an educational opportunity it could work. Could be very educational if members were committed.

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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#40 Post by Brandon R » March 18th, 2020, 11:35 am

I agree that everyone buying the same wine would likely mean pretty boring wines, generally speaking. I could see the potential in what Travis described: a general theme is chosen and each participant opens their contribution. I don't think any of us are asserting that a video offline (funny point about the oxymoron, Victor!!) is in any way going to be ask good as a true in-person offline. In times like these, however, what alternative do we have? I'm not sure about you all, but the relative isolation is difficult for me. I crave human interaction, even if it's via video conference.

I just had this thought: a significant difference would be that only one person is ever going to be talking at any given time, unlike the many simultaneous conversations going on at most offlines. That might be a little strange...
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#41 Post by Mel Hill » March 18th, 2020, 11:46 am

Streaming from offline is nothing new...
back in Sept of 2009!
Tex_1.jpg

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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#42 Post by scamhi » March 18th, 2020, 11:59 am

Mel Hill wrote:
March 18th, 2020, 11:46 am
Streaming from offline is nothing new...
back in Sept of 2009!
Tex_1.jpg
topless no less
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#43 Post by mike pobega » March 18th, 2020, 12:03 pm

Steve Eisenhauer wrote:
March 18th, 2020, 8:53 am
Mike Pobega might remember exactly when, but at a SLONYC dinner many years ago, we attempted to stream the event. As I recall, there were some technical difficulties. But we were ahead of the curve, apparently.
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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#44 Post by John Glas » March 18th, 2020, 12:07 pm

I think Greg sums it up pretty well. I like the idea, and the spirit behind the idea, but I don't think wine tastings are ever going to be fertile ground for teleconferencing.
Depends on the purpose. If social is the goal then no I agree with you. If learning about different wine regions then yes as long as the same wines are being drunk at the events. Could be very educational along with members coming up with some facts about the wineries and talking vineyard differences, etc.

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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#45 Post by Todd F r e n c h » March 18th, 2020, 12:39 pm

if we run them similar to most offlines, there's rarely one specific theme - just bring something, and talk about it. Normally we share it, but obviously that's not possible.

The goal on these is simply to socialize a bit as we're all locked up!
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#46 Post by Todd F r e n c h » March 18th, 2020, 2:23 pm

I setup a 30-minute session on Zoom tonight - see if this works out. Not sure what I'll open, and while we can have up to 100 people in it (wow!) it's limited to 40 minutes with the free account. Pop in and say hi! I'll find some Berserker wine to open

Todd French is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Wine Berserkers Quarantine Video Offline
Time: Mar 18, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/210141011

Meeting ID: 210 141 011

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,,210141011# US Toll

Dial by your location
US Toll

Meeting ID: 210 141 011
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/anwwDvQf6

Was thinking I could set one up earlier also, like 5pm pacific, so the East Coasters aren't left out! Not sure I can stay for the whole time at 5pm Pacific, as I have to prepare dinner for the family, but others could join in?
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#47 Post by Frank Murray III » March 18th, 2020, 2:52 pm

Frenchie, THANK YOU! Good leadership here to get this off the ground. I'm attending. If you do one for ET, I'll attend that one, too.

I'd suggest a new thread, for those who want to attend and to allow some posts about it. My concern is that without the separate thread, you're diluting attention. I'd even sticky it, too. Given the common situation we're all in here, keep the thread at the top of Page 1.
My best wines for 2020:
2014 Marie Courtin Champagne Efflorescence Extra Brut
2012 Minière F & R Champagne Influence Brut
2008 Rhys Skyline PN SCM

My best wines for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence BdB Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie PN Platt SC
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut

Kindness matters.

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Re: Video offlines...could they become a thing?

#48 Post by John Glas » March 18th, 2020, 3:01 pm

I setup a 30-minute session on Zoom tonight - see if this works out. Not sure what I'll open, and while we can have up to 100 people in it (wow!) it's limited to 40 minutes with the free account. Pop in and say hi! I'll find some Berserker wine to open
Sounds interesting. I will check it out! Better than the meeting for my school district today where all I could drink was coffee!

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