Corporate wine tastings are very popular these days. If you plan a successful wine tasting for your clients or team, you’ll be leaving a lasting impression. But, how do you know you’ve successfully planned a corporate wine tasting event? It’s easy. Check out our list of the most important things to consider when planning a corporate wine tasting event.
How to Host A Successful Corporate Wine Tasting.
1. Know Your Clientele’s Preferences.
The kind of wine you and your peers like is what determines it all. You might want to plan your visit around a certain type of wine, with so many choices. It is possible to research which wineries make you want to drink more. If you are new to the wine-tasting circuit, it is best to try all of them and then go on a wine tour to see which one suits you the best. It’s also important to consider that not everyone will like wine.
Similar to our Grapes, Hops, and Good Spirits tour, we suggest doing a mix of spirits, wine, and beer for this situation. The best way to take the guesswork out of your guests’ preferences is to use this method.
You simply make sure all of your attendees leave with a better understanding of wine and a much stronger desire to drink more of it. This is accomplished by having each attendee fill out a very simple form that will ask them a few questions about their wine preferences, and then have an employee of yours randomly select a few of those attendees and send them a different wine (at no charge) along with a short note telling them something interesting about the wine and giving them a very simple suggestion on how they can drink more of that wine. This is a great way to generate lots of word-of-mouth publicity for your company. And it’s easy to do.
You can start thinking about your event if you know the types of wines your guests like. It will make the experience much more enjoyable. You can ask your attendees to rank their favorite wines from 1-10. Tell them that they can choose as many or as few types of wine as they want and put a check next to each type of wine they would like to try. Tell them if they like reds, whites, or blush wines.
Your server can ask each guest which ones they like best. After the survey is over, have your server give you a big platter of different kinds of wine. Your server can ask each guest which ones they like best. You should pour them into large crystal wine glasses.
2. Research the Basics.
Make a list of wineries, figure out their hours of operation, when their tours will start, and the best season or time of the year to visit. Also, consider how much the tour or tasting costs so you can plan accordingly. You don’t want to go over your budget. Things to consider when calculating your budget are; transportation, food (often the most expensive part of the tour), wine tastings, and any gifts for your guests. Having a plan of action will make your corporate wine tasting party truly successful.
Arrange for Transportation and Accommodations Call your local taxi company and ask them about their specials. If you have a large group, call several different companies and see who offers the best deal. Also, if you are having a destination wedding or a vacation rental, check with the hotel or resort to see if they offer special packages for out-of-towners. We got a huge discount when we made our Vegas wine trip because we were “vacationing” rather than just attending a business meeting. Arrange for Food Service If you are catering the event yourself, do your research and find the best caterer in the area.
3. Variety is the Key.
To make your corporate wine tasting party a success, you’ll have to offer them variety by planning three to five stops. When creating your itinerary, give them something that should take up at least half a day to cover all the stops. Also, consider travel time to and from each stop (especially to be in town for your reservations at each winery). Be sure to include a little extra time for shopping for some bottles. Surely, one or two of your peers will be tempted to take home a bottle or six.
Next, you’ll need to provide your attendees with some sort of “something” to help them get through their trip. Here’s one idea: You could give each attendee a little, portable, electronic device about the size of a pack of cigarettes. This little gizmo would be useful for checking hotel availability, getting answers to travel questions, using it as a guide to finding their way around town, and so on.
Another possibility is to provide each attendee with an information packet similar to the ones you’ve put together for your personal use. These little packets could contain facts such as the address and phone numbers of the most visited wineries in the area, maps, suggested routes, local attractions, restaurants, things to do, how to get around town, and even a list of things to avoid like nightclubs, strip clubs, and other “fun” locales. Whatever you give them to help them get through their trip will, of course, depend on what you think they will need. 4.
Provide Proactive Follow-Up You know, it’s not enough to just send out an announcement about a wine tasting party and then expect everyone to show up. You’ve got to keep them engaged somehow. And the way you do that is by providing follow-up.
4. Off-Season and Peak Season.
Most wineries in Denver are busiest during the summer and fall. If you’re going with a large group, it’s a good idea to schedule your wine tasting for the off-season, say April or May. Or else during the winter and early spring months, which is usually a quieter time of year.
You’ll get more personal attention and less competition for the attention of the staff. Plus, you’ll be able to sample some truly great wines at bargain-basement prices. Don’t be afraid of the “Big Boys.” Gain confidence, and you don’t need to compete with the big boys. Instead, you should be courting them.
After all, they’re the ones with deep pockets and big marketing budgets. If you’ve got something special and unique to offer, go after them. You might be surprised by how receptive they will be.
5. Take an Empty Box with You.
Each vineyard or winery stop surely has the perfect bottle of wine waiting for you. Probably, you’ll have the urge to take home a bottle or two of the wine you tasted. Make sure the bottles don’t roll around in your trunk and create a mess, take a box before you go.
Many wineries will give you a little baggie to put your empty wine bottle in. That way, it will be easy to throw your bottle away when you get home and not create a problem for you or the environment. Don’t feel guilty about taking bottles, either.
Most wineries give them away freely. Many of them will even insist you take at least one bottle with you whether you buy anything or not. It’s good karma.
Tell the owner how much you appreciate him giving up his time to talk with you and answer your questions. If the owner has a sense of humor, he will appreciate your appreciation. If he doesn’t, he will still appreciate your courtesy. Either way, you will both be a little happier for having met each other.
6. Elect a Designated Driver.
If you are going to rent chauffeured transportation, you need to know who will be the driver before you start. The majority of tours start and end with a bit of fun. Some of the wineries you will visit will give you more than a taste, and others will open their entire tasting list for you. That is a huge amount of wine. It is important to consider your safety before doing anything. If you know your limits, don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation.
Moreover, using a Tour Operator is also an option. Many tour operators specialize in the wine touring industry. They can help you arrange everything from hotels to transportation and even provide you with a personal concierge to ensure nothing gets overlooked. You should check with your local chamber of commerce and see if they have a listing of reputable operators in your area. You can also do an internet search for “winery tours near me.”
Lastly, you may consider a Self-Guided Tour. If you don’t like the idea of being on a guided tour, you should think about doing a self-guided tour. A self-guided tour is just like a guided tour, except the tour guide (the person giving the tour) doesn’t tell you what to do step by step. Instead, he or she points out the things you need to look at, and then you decide when it’s time to move on to the next stop.