A survey launched by a number of UK PR agencies, generic bodies and wine logistics companies to explore the future of trade tastings in the aftermath of the coronavirus lockdown, found that industry professionals are keen for wine tastings to return
Some 660 wine trade professionals, including buyers, journalists and influencers took part in the survey, which was conducted over the length of a month, between 11 June and 7 July 2020.
Although industry professionals and media responded in favour of continuing to attend tastings, the research found that hygiene and safety were their major concerns, with 85.5% of all respondents saying that they would attend a tasting if organisers provided adequate safety measures.
Social distancing appeared to be a further key element. Among the measures explored to help people social distancing, 82% strongly agreed or agreed to a staggered entry, 89% supported the idea of pre-registering and no walk-ins, and an overwhelming majority (92%) said that the number of visitors should be based on the venue's size and capacity. Other safety measures supported by the respondents include disposable gloves for pourers (32%) and toilets cleaned after very use (58%).
To minimise the potential spread of the virus, 60% of respondents agreed on the use of a digital tasting booklet instead of paper ones, 74% supported printing their own name badges, and 78% agreed on being provided with a personal spittoon. However, 62% said that they would not be willing to provide a spittoon themselves, and 51% weren't keen on the idea of bringing their own tasting glass either. On the other hand, 92% of respondents said they would bring their own pen... Catering food was deemed not essential (66%) and neither was water (80%).
Respondents voted in favour of socially distanced masterclasses and seminars (84%) saying that they would be happy to get their own sample from a dispensing machine to avoid contact. However, 43% said that they would prefer to attend a Zoom tasting at home instead.
Lastly, the survey suggested that events organisers should aim to hold tastings in the same day to make visitors' travels more effective, and nearly 70% claimed that multiple tastings could be held in the same venue.