The Grapevine

How to Taste Wine: Educating Your Consumers

February 8th, 2017

The more your wine shop customers know about wine, the easier your job is in stoking their enthusiasm. Teaching your customer how to taste wine will help them help you find what they love most. [level-members]

Your typical Friday and Saturday afternoon tastings are a terrible time to educate. Too many distractions, and too little control over your attention – and theirs. Better to run tasting that are meant to be critical in a non-sales encounter.

You can also guide your customers without actually setting up an event, with a series of emails or web content or social media posts that outline the various aspects of properly evaluating wines.

Not sure how to proceed? This Mr. Porter article is a good place to start for an overview of steps to follow. Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser offers another approach.

Our recommendation is to use these and a handful of other approaches to create an approach that you are comfortable with and that fits the comfort level and knowledge of your audience. This might require two separate tracks that you include together in a single post/email, or could even be two separate tracks for those who self-identify as either beginners or more knowledgeable wine drinkers.

In either case, the goal is to create a conversation around wine that helps your wine shop customers understand what they prefer and gives them the vocabulary to discuss their tastes with you, with restaurant sommeliers, and with anyone they might have a wine-related conversation.