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Great Western hails success of "spur of the moment" pop-up tasting

Published:  25 February, 2016

Bath-based national wine merchant Great Western Wines has successfully launched its first consumer-focused pop-up tasting.

The event was held on Monday, February 22 at the Old Trumans' Brewery in London's East End.

It attracted over 450 visitors who met with some 80 producers and sampled around 400 wines.

The decision to hold the event -  which was delivered on the back of a major trade tasting the following day - was made "on the spur of the moment" and was only publicised less than two weeks ahead of time through a focused digital and social media campaign.

The choice of venue enabled visitors to experience wine tasting in a bright, modern environment with wooden market stall-style high tables.

Canapés and street food - including salt beef bagels, fajitas, satay and fried chicken - were also available at the event, and the venue's resident DJ was also on hand to ensure the mood stayed relaxed and informal.

Richard Lecoche, general manager of Great Western Wine, said: "We have dispelled the myth that wine tastings are stuffy and formal. The audience are young; they are interested; they are having fun exploring.

"There is a vast swathe of UK wine drinkers who are engaged, enthusiastic, and eager to learn more.

"People are hungry for this type of event; they also challenged us in terms of the information they wanted about the wines.

"It was an incredible event, and one which we will look to repeat and develop."

Producers were also delighted with the success of the tasting.

"Guests were curious, engaged and with high levels of knowledge," said Francesca Planeta, from Planeta Wine Estates.

Greg Berti, export director of Peller Wine Estates, said: The UK consumers are so open-minded. They know their stuff, they want to learn more and this event is like live, old-school social networking, where people talk to each other."

Great Western Wine operates a rapidly growing online retail service to complement its regional bricks-and-mortar operations in the south west.

Nearly half of the visitors to the pop-up tasting were existing London-based online customers.