Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wine Events - Reinvented

Even after having participated in or been at the helm of planning and executing over 40 wine events and seminars in the last 5 years of my career with the likes of Women for WineSense, Divas Uncorked and the erstwhile Vintage New York, as well as in my own entrepreneurial shoes with Illchef Productions and now wineLIFE, I find that the notion continuously evolves. I mean, one can just open some wine and invite some friends over, then you have a what - wine tasting? wine party? wine event? Or you can put the bottles in paper bags for blind tasting, or open up games like Wine Smarts to get the mental juices flowing. While it is true that it depends on who is attending, the main idea is that fun is had by all, barring the unforseen (spills of red wine on gorgeous white clothing - yes, I’ve been the perpetrator of such a snafu!)

At wineLIFE, we have, in the short time we have been doing events, evolved as well. At first we resisted calling them wine classes, even though the neighborhood asked us for wine classes every day at Van Duzer Summer Streets! Nay, these were “Wine Tasting Sessions” - with handouts and pencils and seats and spit cups - that reaks of class, not in a good way! Now, our handouts have become note papers to be used at your whim, there are not seats at a table, and you make your own tasting experience unique in the context of the theme we set up. This past Tuesday was wine for food for YOU Part Two, and I think the new format was fantastic! I have honed the branding - no longer is it the wineLIFE Discover Wine Series, it is now wineLIFE taste! - and used that branding to make cute hand written signs to identify the food and wines laid out. We did sort of a swap half way through, moving bottles around so that they weren’t next to the same foods all the time. We wanted our guests to discover what pairings they liked and what they didn’t like, to take whatever notes they wanted or none at all, to taste what they wished and bypass anything that didn’t intrigue.

Our philosophy: in wine, the rules are, there are no rules. You know what you like! Also, we don’t think you should have to take a class to learn about wine. Tasting on as many occasions as possible, bringing wine home to drink and enjoy at your leisure, visiting wine venues, wineries, etc on your travels, that’s what builds a connoisseur and thus a wine lifestyle!

All things considered, I like what we have created, and the evolution continues. See you Sunday!