Getting The Tough Questions At Tasting Sessions


Last week I ran a wine tasting for a group of guys and girls that were out on a works-do. One of them team building thingies. To me I think you’re struggling to do better in terms of team building than having a wine tasting. Ok the alcohol helps to open everyone up, but it’s also something that (with a gentle nudge) people actually like talking about.

Doesn’t matter whether they’re new to it or seasoned wine-o’s. I see it as the most important part of running one of these events. Making sure that as soon as possible everyone there has the confidence to just say what they think. And once that happens the day kind of runs itself. I just keep pouring!

So these guys and girls last week were great to chat with. They were wine drinkers rather than wine geeks (like me). That helps a lot in that once you make it clear to them there is no wrong answer to “what do you think?” then they’re off!

Thing that makes me chuckle, but also keeps it really interesting for me, is the questions they ask. They don’t ask questions like they think they’re meant to. You know, things that come from a wine article they read in the paper. No, these guys ask the questions that pop into their heads naturally from just having a couple of sips. Things that people want to know about, not what all us wine geeks think they should know.

You get questions like “What’s your favourite wine?”, which is impossible to answer. Or some like “What does ‘oaked’ mean?” for example. It’s a lot harder than it sounds. Even if you know what ‘oaked’ means, the challenge is to explain to a room full of wine novices in a succinct and easy going manner. If you can do that, I’d like to think that you really know your stuff and your audience!

As I said, very good fun and very challenging.

Bring on the next one!


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