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Online Wine Tastings & Honest Grapes
Few could have anticipated just how much the world would change after Covid, and we experienced a surge in demand for virtual forms of entertainment such as online wine tastings. During the height of lockdown we would sometimes have more than 100 people online with us! And what a pleasure it is to bring together Honest Grapes' club members and wine lovers from around the world, clinking a glass across a screen.
For that reason we called our virtual wine tastings “Wine Therapy” – when social distancing makes it hard to stay in touch, we offered a place where friends & family could get together over a glass of wine, meet other wine lovers and relax whilst learning (and tasting!) about the wonderful world of wine. In one session our wine experts (wine gurus, as we call them) would guide everyone through some fascinating, under the radar Portuguese wines, whilst in another we might bring attendees face to face with some of the most exciting winemakers in the world.
Since our first Wine Therapy Session with the charming Filippo Chia of Tuscan trailblazers Castello di Romitorio, we’ve hosted some truly wonderful winemakers over the last six months. Names like PerSe, Frerejean Frères, Jonathan Maltus, ClemensBusch and Domaine de Montille, and it’s been a real pleasure to introduce these legendary winemakers to Club Members and beyond.
What the world thinks about our virtual wine tastings
We’ve developed a range of new formats, themes and virtual wine tastings, and have received some amazing press as industry leaders for our online “Wine Therapy” Sessions (including FT How to Spend It, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, Scottish Field, The Metro, Condé Nast Traveller, The Telegraph – “Top Five Online Wine Tastings” and Square Mile “Ten Ways to Upgrade your Lockdown”), and the feedback from Club Members has likewise been extremely positive. More recently we were awarded the IndyBest Online Wine Shop for the third year running, and a few weeks ago we won Decanter's Best Wine Subscription Club and their most prestigious award of all - Outstanding Wine Retailer of the Year!
What we and our winemakers offer
From online corporate events, private tastings and Wine Therapy sessions, we’ve been hard at work coming up with new and creative ways to keep club members, clients and the general public entertained from the comfort of their own home. You can always see our upcoming tastings on our events page, and we’re also happy to host something more bespoke for special occasions and corporate clients.
Recent examples of bespoke tastings include “Perfectly Tailored Wines” and “Investing in Pleasure”, and we’d be delighted to hear from you if you are interested – we can organise something based on a theme, like New World vs Old World, and English Sparkling wine vs Champagne events. We can even host a masterclass with the winemakers themselves.
We'd be delighted to offer a personalised experience for you. Download our corporate brochure here, and if you’d like to find out more do get in touch.
How our online wine tastings work
We send out the wines as bottles or, where possible, as tasting samples to each participant a few days ahead with instructions and pairing suggestions. We normally use Zoom but are flexible with other platforms (Webex, Teams etc.) if there is a particular requirement.
In our first series, Around the World in 48 Wines, each tasting session would focus on particular grape varieties, regions or themes, like South Africa or Bordeaux blends from around the world, and each ticket provided three bottles of wine, joining instructions and a link to the recording after the session. People could dip in and out if they had a particular interest, but we were delighted to see the same faces at each online tasting, with some club members even describing it as a highlight of their week.
More recently, and as part of our 6th Birthday Celebrations, we’ve been hosting a series of really exciting tastings using 100ml tasting kits after a fabulous trial run with the amazing Argentinian Malbec growers PerSe. This offers a more varied tasting experience and wider selection of wines in each session, whilst also giving members the opportunity to try some very special fine wines, like Sena, Le Dome and Domaine du Frantin Clos Vougeot, which would otherwise carry a hefty price tag.
Our wine tasting events are vital to the lifeblood and club atmosphere of Honest Grapes and even when the world returns to some semblance of normality, we strongly believe these online tasting formats will remain a great, innovative way of bringing together wine lovers and winemakers from around the world. If you haven't joined one of our tastings yet then please do come along, they're always great fun! But don't take our word for it, here's what some of our club members have to say.
"Thanks for a great evening last night and for an excellent choice of wines, which everyone seemed to enjoy. The format was great, once I managed to get on-line, and seemed to work very well. I'm not sure the technology of a couple of years ago would have allowed such an event to take place. We wrapped up at about 10.30, so managed to have a good discussion after you dropped off, therefore this was a great way to re-connect with our clients. Once again, thanks for all your help", Cameron S
"I just wanted to mention how much we enjoyed the wine tasting session last night - it was great", Wendy
"Thank you and the HG team for organising the virtual event last night - a great way to end the day and take our minds off all the craziness!", Anna
"What a lovely evening ... what connoiseurs and lovers of life you all are", Tom
Published on: September 30, 2020