Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Tasting times for some

Published:  18 January, 2007

What constitutes innovation?

Take this week, beginning April 21. There are two Wine Challenge tastings; a Wines of South Africa tasting in Edinburgh; Morrison supermarket's spring tasting; an English Wine Tasting; and Bibendum's Bordeaux event. And that's just by the end of Wednesday, in the quiet-before-the-storm part of the year just prior to the London Wine Fair. Is there really no other way of telling people about your product?

Forget a discussion of the wines at a tasting. That's apparently far too ambitious for anyone. Just a themed table, targeting the actual person who might buy your wine, would be a start.

Or maybe consider the idea of an event that doesn't involve sipping and swilling? You could bring to life the effect that your drink has on the senses with a series of photographs at an exciting new venue. That's what Glenmorangie are about to do at Proud Camden in London in May. It might work; it might not. But it's a new idea at least.

Yet it always amazes us, when we ask what suppliers have got out of a tasting, how few serious facts and figures they have at their disposal. Events organisers recommend you record visitors to your stand, follow up the serious ones with a phone call, and then log which ones count as new business eight months-to-a-year down the line. In our experience, that rarely happens.

But if you spend most of your time and budget planning a certain activity throughout the year, surely you'd want to know if it helps your business? Amazing really that the tasting continues to dominate the industry's calendar without being under any serious scrutiny as to whether it works or not.

James Aufenast is deputy editor of Harpers