What it is:
A virtual wine tasting experience presented as a 45-minute (time approximate) live tasting hosted on Zoom. For the first 30 minutes or so, as host, I’ll chat with a winery owner, winemaker, wine enthusiast, restauranteur, hotelier, tourism representative, or some other food/wine-related guest.
How it works:
The chat will vary, based on the specific guest. By way of example, a chat with a winemaker might include a brief history of the winery, what’s happening in the vineyards, food pairing recommendations, tips on tasting wine, and tasting notes. Guests with other backgrounds could discuss a topic like wine gadgets, how to plan a wine tasting, tips on wine tourism, how to find wines that you love, the WSET exams, how to have a good restaurant wine experience, wine pairing dinners, etc.
We’ll tailor the topic to showcase our guest’s expertise. And, we’ll do it all while tasting a few wines together with our virtual guests. Each show will be structured to be both informational and fun. If there isn’t a relevant wine pairing for an episode, we’ll structure it as a BYOB, inviting participants to choose their own wine and join us.
The 45-minute session will to allow for questions and answers replicating, as much as possible, an in-person visit. We’ll keep the live audience small and intimate – we don’t go wine tasting with 100 friends – and then have the replay available on video on the site, on YouTube, and on audio platforms. We’re currently on Spotify, Google Podcast, Radio Public, Breaker, Anchor FM, Apple Podcasts, with others coming soon.
The tasting will take place on Zoom, an easy-to-use video conferencing and webinar platform. Virtual allows everyone to participate while Staying Home, Staying Healthy, yet allows everyone to keep connected in a way that substitutes for in-person get-togethers. Even though parts of the country are starting to open up, not everyone is yet ready to jump in and travel. Having this content available in a variety of formats allows the audience to read, watch, listen – and save – what they’re most interested in right now.
Thursday evenings, from 7-7:45 pm, Pacific Time. There is no perfect time to schedule this, and there will be people for whom this time will never work. We are on hiatus right now as I finish up a book, but we are booking again for when that’s off to the publisher.
We’ve always written about and included wine in our content – editorial, branded campaigns, on social media, and in our newsletter. This is an extension of what we offer to our core readers and followers (Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers) who are interested in value luxury destinations, experiences, and products. Wine – tasting and learning about it – is an integral part of value luxury. We are in the beginning stages of building our wine cellar/lounge and we will be including information about that on social media as well as talking about how to start building a wine collection (we’re building to fit about 500-600 bottles).
Participants are not wine experts, however. Our goal is to have them learn something and fall in love with our guests. People want to do business with people they like, and that’s the best way to connect for future visits, business, and sales.
What we need from the featured guest/business:
- One hour of time for the tasting, along with some additional preparation time to determine a suitable angle, wine selection, submit promotional materials, etc. We have a form that covers most of this information.
- Promotional information about the business, wine, winery, wine tourism information, ordering information, etc. This likely exists online, but anything additional that will add to a discussion.
- One to four bottles of wine provided to us to taste during the virtual tasting. This is the maximum we can accommodate in the time frame we have. In lieu of shipping, we would be happy to source locally with reimbursement.
- A special offer for attendees. This would be something offered to all interested attendees, such as a discount offer, special pricing, or free shipping. If you can’t think of anything, let us know; we have lots of low and no-cost ideas. Some people will order pre-event, some will follow up after they learn more.
- Optional: A giveaway prize to one person attending the virtual tasting. This could be something such as a complimentary wine tasting (for at least two people) at the winery (because we know people will visit and taste in person when this crisis ends), product, gift basket, a bottle of wine, meal, t-shirt, etc. The recipient of the giveaway will be determined by a random drawing done following the conclusion of the show. Reasonable expiration dates should be set to recognize current social distancing and isolation requirements.
- Photo(s) suitable for promoting the event on our website(s), newsletter, and social media.
What’s in it for the guest/business:
- Creating brand recognition among people who attend and, by extension, from the word of mouth that follows. It’s an opportunity to meet customers and potential customers in an easy way.
- Editorial content that includes a blog post, YouTube replay video, audio content syndicated on numerous podcast platforms.
- Promotion of the guest, guest’s business, and the event via numerous social media accounts on various platforms. We would hope that the guest would also share the event and their participation via their social media channels.
- The opportunity to provide a short branded message (no more than 300 words) and/or a promotional brochure to be included with our thank your message following the tasting.
- Potential sales from attendees, either in advance of the show or following. Those businesses that have been the most successful with sales are those who have created a tasting package that is easy to purchase and have promoted it on their social channels as well. To be clear, however, the focus of the show is on information and brand positioning, not on sales. Although all of our tastings have resulted in sales, including some after, we make no sales guarantee.
We’re trying to create a win-win-win scenario. A win for our guests/businesses that can connect with a new audience, a win for participants as they learn while having fun, and a win for us as we extend our expertise to attract new readers and followers.
We reserve the right to secure paid sponsorships for the show that includes promotion and deliverables beyond those mentioned here. Any sponsorship decision will be discussed in advance with the guest and will never be a competing brand or business.
There is no cost of participation for the guest other than the previously mentioned time commitment and the wine provided to us for tasting during the show. While a giveaway is always appreciated and well-received, it is optional.
More information about our upcoming and past shows, as well as links to blog posts, video replays, and audio podcast episodes can be found here.