Charlotte Hey reports on the findings of The Future of Wine Tastings survey held by various communications teams in the wine industry.
The Future of Wine Tastings research, carried out by a collection of the UK’s leading wine PR agencies and generic wine bodies surveyed 1500+ wine trade professionals, buyers, press and influencers in the UK and abroad over period of a month from the 11th June- 7th July.
660 people responded and it is clear from the research that industry professionals and media are in favour of continuing to attend tastings, they like being at a tasting and interacting. That being said, the current climate dictates that hygiene and safety are paramount – ensuring the highest standards of cleanliness and ease with which people can self-sanitise, will dictate the success of an event.
Similarly, social distancing is a must. Whilst participants in the survey are willing to attend tastings and master classes the way in which the wines are served and the distance between tasting stations is a key concern.
Organisers must pay special attention to safety measures to ensure a successful event – potential attendees will be open to printing off their own tasting materials and name badges, whether they remember them is a different matter… 92% of respondents said they would bring their own pen, though.
The tastings of the future will take on a very different guise with more open-spacing at events and better ventilation/open-air options. Money could be saved however, with the idea of putting multiple, different tastings in one venue to maximise travel. The provision of food will also be a saving as nearly 70% of respondents said that they felt it was unnecessary.
General Attendance and Travel
- 43.5% strongly agreed, and almost 42%, agreed that they would attend tastings where organisers provide adequate safety measures.
- Open air/ open sided marquees scored over 78%+ for popularity (strongly agreed/agreed)
- The concept of travelling to a tasting within a city scored just over 50% but nearly 30% were impartial. Those living outside a city agreed they would travel (49% either strongly agreed or agreed) and 35% neither agreed nor disagreed.
- Holding a tasting by a mainline station was neither a popular option nor an unpopular one (22% strongly agreed, 34% agreed, 34% neither agreed nor disagreed).
- 55% of respondents wanted tasting sheets provided prior to event to print out at home.
Registration and arrival
- 92% of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed to have temperature testing at the door and 89% to provide full details should a track and trace procedure be necessary.
- 82% strongly/agreed to a staggered entry, although 52% only were interested in pre-booked appointments.
- 45% strongly agreed/agreed to supermarket style queuing to enter an event
- Pre-registering, and no walk-ins, was a popular option with nearly 89% of participants strongly agreeing/agreeing to the idea.
- In terms of tasting notes and name badges – 60% agreed that they would be happy to receive the tasting booklet digitally in advance, with no physical booklets available at the tasting, whilst 74% agreed to printing their own name badges.
- 51% disagreed for the need to bring their own glass. Just over 30% said they would bring their own.
- 78% responded that they would want to be supplied with one properly sanitised glass to be used throughout the event however 69% agreed that they would require some kind of glass marker to ensure they could identify their own glass easily.
- 78% agreed to having an individual spittoon which could be emptied by themselves when full (74%). 62% said that they would not be willing to provide their own spittoon.
- In answer to the question about bringing your own water or being given an unopened one people were indifferent. Neither were participants bothered about/did not see the necessity for water biscuits or crackers.
Hygiene and toilets
- Disposable gloves; the supply and wearing of both by attendees and pourers of the wines, was greeted with indifference with respondents neither agreeing nor disagreeing. 32% of respondents said they would like to see pourers wearing them.
- 58% preferred toilets to be cleaned after every use, but, 30% neither agreed nor disagreed. 51% either strongly agreed/agreed to the provision of disposable seat covers, but 35% neither agreed nor disagreed.
- 92% of respondents said they would bring their own pen.
- The supply of food was not seen as necessary, with 66% agreeing that it was not essential. That being said 61% did agree, that if provided, food should be pre-booked and supplied in a sealed box.
- 80% of respondents appreciated that water did not need to be supplied on the tasting tables for general use.
Social distancing methods
- 65% of people agreed that they liked the idea of a pre-booked station, but only 39% thought that Perspex screens were necessary.
- 68% agreed with the proposal of a one-way route through the tasting.
- 92% agreed that numbers should be carefully calculated in relation to the size and capacity of the venue. 88% agreed with having socially distanced seating areas.
- However, the offer of individual ‘safe pods’ to carry out pre-booked tastings, were greeted with indifference with people neither strongly agreeing nor disagreeing to the idea. 46% either strongly agreed/agreed, 24 % neither agreed nor disagreed and 29% neither disagreed/strongly disagreed.
Masterclasses & Seminars
- 84% of respondents said that they would attend socially distanced master classes and the same amount of people agreed that they would have the wines pre-poured, and covered, for them but that they would also be happy to get their own wine from a dispenser machine.
- 62% said they would attend a masterclass if the winemakers or speaker where shown on a large screen live via Zoom/Skype Pro etc.
- 43% responded that they would prefer wines to be sent to them and have a Zoom tasting rather than go to a venue.
- 65% of people agreed that the organisers should look to organise tastings in the same day to ensure travel was most effective.
- Nearly 70% said that holding different tastings in the same venue would be effective and a good idea.