Christmas came early for me this year when I was fortunate enough to be invited to a wine tasting event with the American Air Social media and marketing team and AA’s Wine sommerlier Ken Chase. The event was held at II Cielo in Beverly Hills and included Frequent Flyers, Bloggers, and other people who are well known frequent flyers and tweeters/facebookers (is there a term for someone who facebooks a lot) or as I like to call them Social Media American Airline Cheerleaders!
The event was considerably more fun than I ever imagined and it showed a side of American Airlines that I’d never seen before. As the airline introduces new airplanes and new on board products, the airline is trying desperately to reinvent itself. American Airline is no longer your grandfather’s Airline and this week at the wine tasting social, American Airline proved it!
The event start with a social hour, featuring American Air’s famous champagne and a number of appetizers that would make anyone’s pallet water. During this social hour, I was fortunate to meet a number of American Airline Social Media experts and other bloggers. As the hour continued we all slowly became happier and more Social thanks to the champagne. Tweets went from coherent to making less sense as the night progressed!
Being Naked was a quote from Ken
Although the first hour was fun, the highlight of the night started when we were directed into a smaller side room and greeted with 6 different glasses of wine and a cheese and meat plate. Ken then took over the show and had us all laughing within minutes. We made silly noises, learn to slurp wine for 20-30 seconds, aerating the wine with our tongues without chocking (many of us chocked several times); and we learned the proper way to hold a glass of wine. Ken made us not only look silly, but also assured us that we would learn the true way to drink wine and we would appreciate it.
I think I’ have had to much to dirnk by the time I tweeted this, I can’t even spell @AmericanAir
Through all the laughs, he was right, and based on his instruction wine changed flavors and I learned how to drink wine the proper way—and to think I thought I had known what I was doing the last 6 years!
Our wine Tasting Glasses
Ken Chase “Playing it Cool” – sorry bad camera phone shot
Due to the timing of the event and my flight to Asia, I had to leave early and Ken made sure to give me a hard time about it. I felt bad leaving before the end of the night, but I did learn a lot and got to taste a number of wines and learn how to roll the wine over my tongue while making silly noises, allowing the wine to open up so I could taste every aspect the grape had to offer. Ken was a ton of fun, and he probably has one of the best jobs on the planet! I’m looking forward to boarding my next American Air flight and tasting the wine the way he taught me. I’m sure I’ll get some interesting looks, but when I tell them what I’m doing, I’ll hope the Flight Attendants and other passengers won’t look at me like I’m loony!
I left the event in a rushed and made sure everyone would remember me as I made my way hastily to the airport, I was the last person to check in for my flight (they were closing check-in) and I barely made it to my plane in time for Departure. In fact I was running so late, when I got to LAX traffic was backed up all the way to Terminal 2 and wasn’t moving! I jumped out of the car and ran like a mad man to TBIT. Like I said, I made it, but I was so late I was given a personal escort through security and TBIT by a gate agent who assured that I made my plane (Thanks China Southern!). It was a Hollywood finish to an evening that could have only been made possible by an amazing group of people!
Again, I would like to say thanks to American Airlines & the Social Media team for the invite. I had a fantastic time, enjoyed a number of laughs, and loved meeting the faces behind the scenes at AA. Keep up the Tweeting and I look forward to seeing both in the air and in the cyberspace!