The email advertisement below is a great example of doing wine tastings right. The temptation may be to open a few bottles of whatever you’re trying to move most on Friday and Saturday afternoons, but you can do much better than that. [level-members]
As the ad shows, this isn’t really about in-shop tastings for folks casually walking by or stopping in for something else as they run their weekly errands. It’s about events – team building, corporate parties, networking events, and so on.
But the ideas behind it – that is should be an engaging, interactive, guided event – are what’s crucial here. There’s still a place for the traditional weekend tastings in your shop, but you should also consider more structured tastings during quieter periods. These tastings should be focused on education rather than sales.(though sales will surely result.) You might provide a guided tour of a particular region, offering wines at various price points. Or a look at how a particular varietal comes to life in different parts of the world. Even wines that work well with different kinds of foods. (Wine and chocolate, anyone? Valentines Day is coming …)
The goal is to give your customers a reason to come into the shop at a time they might not otherwise show up. Or, failing that, at least getting them to think about you without just thinking about what it’s going to cost them. Offer them fun, offer them information, offer them a reason to look at you as a shop that has a purpose higher than simply ringing the cash register.