Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wine Pouring and Wine Tasting: Elements of an Integrated Wine Education Strategy

B21 gets it.

In an earlier post, I characterized wine tastings versus wine pourings and provided advice on who should be attending one or the other.  In my treatment, these were separate events and the customer made a choice as to which type to attend based on how well a specific event type met his/her needs.

B21, a Tarpon Springs (FL) full-service wine and spirits retailer, has shown that wine pourings and tastings can complement each other as key elements of an integrated, sales-driven, wine education strategy.  The elements of the B21 strategy are as follows: (i) Organize and publicize a large, region-based (Bordeaux, Burgundy, etc.) tasting; (ii) gain the commitment of high-profile winemakers and wine consultants to support you with their participation in the event; (iii) hold a wine dinner at Currents Restaurant in Tarpon Springs on the night before the event, said dinner to be led by the celebrity winemaker/consultant (wine tasting element); (iv) wines poured by the celebrity winemaker/consultant, among others, in the B21 facility during a 3-hour mega event (wine pouring element); and (v) three or four 45-minute seminars, to include theory and tastings, on selected wines from the relevant region (wine tasting element) occurring simultaneously with the pouring.

At every step along the way, the customer is reminded of the purpose of the event.  The mats on which the tasting glasses rest during the seminar has the name of the wine as well as its price.  Every one of the bottles being poured within the facility has the bottle price prominently displayed in front of it.

The actual workings of this strategy was on display for B21s Bordeaux Grand Tasting and Sale, held on Sunday April 18th.  The invited guests included Stephane Derenoncourt (proprietor of Domaine de L'A, noted wine consultant), Coralie De Bouard (part-owner Chateau Angelus), Jean-Philippe Janoueix (owner Chateau La Confession), and Jeffrey Davies (Bordeaux negociant) among others, but the full complement of attendees did not attend due to trip cancellations resulting from the Icelandic volcano.  Because of these travel disruptions, Jeffrey Davies led the Currents dinner as well as his and Stephane Derononcourt's seminar sessions.

By tying the varying elements into an overarching strategy, B21 exposes the customer to wine education at his/her level of interest and provided by the leading lights of the wine industry.  The customer has two solid opportunities for wine tastings (seminars and wine dinner) within the construct of the larger wine pouring and can choose, in real-time, the appropriate path.

1 comment:

  1. Jean-Philippe Janoueix, drank his 2005 20mille bordeaux, 100% merlot. Absolutely the most backward, tannic and structured wine I have ever experienced. I swore I would not open another for at least 30 years, not joking.