Many wineries have created virtual tasting experiences that can be shared with friends, fellow wine lovers, co-workers and clients. Wine is meant to be shared with others, and luckily we can still have an experience together, online, while we remain physically apart. Enter the home wine tasting kit.
One local producer, Voluptuary Wine (who also bottles under the Lucid Wine label), was quick to pivot and started offering tasting kits within a couple of weeks of the original stay-at-home order. Kits included a selection of wines, repackaged in sample-sized bottles, that were shipped via common carrier or hand–delivered to customers just in time to tune in to a live broadcast with Kevin Luther, the winemaker and owner of the winery. During this broadcast, Luther led participating viewers through a tasting of the featured wines along with some pairing suggestions. It is normal to expect wineries to suggest wine and food pairings. Voluptuary takes it one step further and integrates wine into daily life by pairing it with literature, recreational activities and music, too.
In the beginning, the Voluptuary virtual tasting kits were sold mostly to individuals who lived in California. However, now professionals and corporations from around the country have taken a greater share of the available kits. In fact, these tastings have become so popular with businesses as team building exercises that Luther and his team are currently hosting five to 10 tastings and fielding another 20 to 40 inquiries per week.
Why so popular with business clients? Luther suggests the following: Voluptuary has always focused on organic and naturally produced wines, and there is a growing interest in those categories. Additionally, as one of the first wineries to begin offering their wines in tasting kit form and pair it with a virtual tasting with the winemaker, they were able to perfect their offering by improving packaging and streamlining the process. Early exposure and use of social media to amplify Voluptuary’s message and brand helped spread the word and garner referrals. Some of the early videos (which you can still view via Voluptuary’s Facebook page) had extraordinary reach, ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 views. Finally, the tasting kits are affordable, starting at $29 per set.
To learn more about Voluptuary Wine and its virtual tastings, visit https://www.voluptuarywine.com/virtual-tasting.