The Grapevine

Retail Wine Marketing: Improving the In-Shop Wine Tasting

October 9th, 2013

Looking for an event that might draw more interest than the usual weekend wine tasting? Here’s an idea. [level-members]

A wine smelling.

OK, the name could use some work, but even if you call it a wine smelling, it’s still likely to get more attention than your average, everyday “wine tasting” will.

The truth of the matter is that our sense of smell has a tremendous influence over our sense of taste. So how a wine smells matters. This is something that those new to wine aren’t necessarily aware of, and even those who are fairly dedicated wine lovers aren’t terribly clear on.

So there’s a bit of a gimmicky angle to a “smelling” rather than a tasting – especially since they’ll amount to the same thing on some level – your audience will put the wines you’re pouring in their mouths – but there’s real value in looking at how wines smell and how their nose affects your enjoyment.

There are many ways you can go with this: compare how varietals are produced in different regions. (Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand vs. from the Loire, perhaps.) Or compare different varietals and their signature aromas. Reisling and kerosene, Cab Franc and bell pepper, etc. Or you can even demonstrate the interaction of aroma and flavor – buttery Chardonnays that are also oaky tasting, for example. (Or vanilla and oak.)

Whatever direction you take it, you’ll certainly get more interest standing out from the crowd of tastings with a “smelling.”