Further Down the TikTok Rabbit Hole

I dipped my (red and black varnished) toes into the TikTok world for real this time. Last month I batted my (pathetically thin but mascara’d) lashes at the app. I mention the physical because TikTok is a visual medium. The first dip into the app was in writing though, trying the trend of putting jalapeños in rosé, and recounting it here . But this month, I went a little deeper, plunged in head first, and posted a couple of actual videos. They are irreverent bits—a screwcap trick, plus my jalapeño frosé invention. Who knows where it goes. We’ll see. Um if you want to see it, the handle is @ellenclifford11 - don’t hate me. TikTok is a different world. It’s a younger demographic, or so it seems. The TikTok crowd likes dances, making duet videos where they respond to/narrate someone else’s video, and stitches, where they include other users’ posts with theirs. They also like lip-syncing, and making butter boards, the latter of which was covered by the New York Times and unleashed a torrent of comments online, the like of which delayed me about two hours from finishing this article. Heretofore, I got on TikTok mostly to review the (mostly) cat TikToks an ex sends me. There’s a reason he’s still a pal. I occasionally logged on, waded through the TikToks he had sent, and called it a day. It is an app to visit every couple weeks to be polite—and so I wouldn’t have toooo many shared posts to get through. But now, everyone is doing the TikTok thing—even the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, aka the WSETs, from whom I achieved my beloved Diploma (not even a humble brag, just a brag), is doing it. The WSET newsletter, announcing their TikTok debut, made note of the app’s billion monthly users, and that the majority of the audience was 18-24—almost as if to say “don’t judge us, this is an important tool for the up-and-coming wine audience”. All obnoxiousness on my part aside, TikTok could be a way to bring wine to the people who don’t care about Insta or Facebook or, I dunno, books? Who reads? Besides you. My dear darling reader. ‘Preciate you! So what the heck, I ripped the band-aid. My first post, a screwcap technique tutorial, was uploaded late at night. Within a couple hours it had 20-something views. In 24 hours, 208. Was that good? Before posting more, I thought I should investigate wine topics and challenges that were trending. The first trending wine posts I found were “challenges”. One such challenge involved one person sitting in front of the other, between their legs, facing the same way. The one in front holds the base of a full glass of wine in their mouth and leans backwards until they can tip the wineglass behind them, into their fellow challenger’s mouth. Seems tricky. But even the celebs were getting in. Next time I lure an unsuspecting friend to my lair, I’ll give this one a whirl. Then there is the “whole bottle in a glass” challenge. I’ve tried this on my Zaltos, which was perilous—the fear of the stem snapping was too much—but yes, you can put an entire bottle of wine in a Zalto Burgundy glass. If I hadn’t broken my last one mayyyybe I’d try it again? For TikTok? What have I become. So which challenge to tackle next? Given that my first post was not connected to any current trend, I don’t know why it took so long for the obvious to occur to me: TikTok needed to be introduced to the jalapeño frosé I invented. It was late at night. I was jet-lagged from scampering around Italy for the last week and not feeling like my face was in a good place to be seen but what the heck! I posted a very quick video of how to make the frosé (which you can check out here ). The next morning? 642 views. By the time I went to bed, 1,133 views. Right now, it sits a little over 1,200. There are other wine themes I’ve seen popping up, which I may put my spin on. Like, SO many montages of “what wine to get at the grocery store” which ranged from users only endorsing top-shelf picks (which I would), to people singing the praises of Stella Rosa (which, if I am being honest, I’d possibly pour for my sweet-toothed friends who want a sweet treat more than they want wine). Grocery store wine advice is the sort of advice I give my friends, family, neighbors, randos who follow me on Instagram for free, so maybe I’ll see if I can throw my hat in that ring. I also found a decent amount of geeky wine posts of things like orange wine and carbonic maceration popping up when I searched for wine videos. I was surprised at the variety. I was seriously expecting it to be all silliness, and while that does exist, I realized a lot of the truly wine-centric accounts actually did offer more wine education bits and bobs. I may try to do that too. It's early. We’ll see. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Want to read more from Ellen? Check out her recent articles: Riesling Part Two: Prädikats-Fine-Wine Down the TikTok Rabbit Hole: Jalapeño Rosé, Why Not? The Cans of 2022: All That Sparkles Lake Effects: Making New Friends + Keeping the Old You can also listen to Ellen's podcast , The Wine Situation here . Check out her recent transcripts of the Final Five questions: Wine Situation Final Five! Agnes Hewitt Wine Situation Final Five! Meaghan Odum

Le Morette di Valerio Zenato

Bardolino Chiaretto Classico Rosé 2021

Wet stone, saline, tart and tingly. Chiaretto di Bardolino is unnnnnnderrated — a year ago

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MaJ CappS

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Such a great wine house!


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Honestly anything would taste good right now, I'm so starving. I've been moving furniture and taking TikTok videos for my girlfriend all day. Is this my talk therapy app? Alexa where is the closest Fuddruckers? — 2 years ago

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G.D. Vajra

Claré J.C. Langhe Nebbiolo 2020


I have seen this a bunch on posts lately. It’s like the TikTok leggings. I think my bottle lost its fizz. Very interesting wine none the less. Real fruity. Watermelon, cherry. Awesome color. I bought a few bottles so hopefully one will have a little fizz going on. — 2 years ago

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