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Strong support for return of physical tastings

Published:  13 July, 2020

Some 85% of wine professionals have said “yes” to wine tastings in response to a survey organised by leading UK wine PR agencies and generic bodies.

Asked about general attendance and travel, 44% of the 660 respondents said they ‘strongly agreed’ with the statement ‘I will attend trade tastings if organisers provide adequate safety measures’, with a further 42% stating ‘agree’, and 9% falling into a ‘neither agree or disagree’ camp.

On the style of venue, just shy of 80% agreed or strongly agreed that open air or open sided venues (such as an open-soded marquee) would be a good idea.

On travel, a near even number, at around 50%, of those that live both in cities and outside cities said they would travel for tastings.

However, the survey also found that 29% of those that live in cities and 36% of those that live outside cities ‘neither agreed or disagreed’ that they would travel, with a further 19% and 16% opting for ‘disagree’ or disagree strongly’ respectively.

The research found 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.”

Social distancing was, unsurprisingly, given as a must, and 92% would agree to having a temperature test ahead of admittance, with 89% agreeing ort strongly agreeing that they would provide track and trace details.

Around 82% believed staggered entry would be a good idea, though with only 52% interested in pre-booked appointments, and slightly higher number, at 60%, said they would be happy to receive a digital tasting booklet ahead of the event.

Meanwhile, 72% would be happy with the use of one sanitised glass provided by the venue, with the same number agreeing that they would accept an individual spittoon that they would empty themselves.

Carefully calculated numbers allowed in to the tasting at any one time, along with one-way systems, plus socially distanced seating areas, were also cited as important aspects by a majority.