A picture of a winery event I organized years ago got me thinking about how things could be altered to make it work during the current restrictions. Some of this might sound far-fetched, but dreams (and vino) are going to get us through these days, am I right? So, here are my ideas on what wineries could do to transform release and wine club parties into reimagined virtual wine events.
The thing about winery events is that most people don’t realize that it takes a lot of combined efforts and collaboration to pull them off. This pictured open house, for example, took a small army of caterers, party rental services, florists, a DJ, a photographer, and a magician. However, in a virtual format each could offer a focused theme on their own.
A big cheers to wineries, such as Avennia, that have included virtual music performances as part of their release events!
How about something a little different? I mentioned a magician previously. It happens that the same talented magician, Nash Fung (as seen on Penn and Teller’s Fool Us), has adapted his performances for virtual events. I’ve yet to see another winery event include a magician. What a special way to surprise and delight people during a virtual event!
Couldn’t we all use a little colorful cheer in the form of flowers right now? Let’s have a virtual floral design class. Perhaps even tie it into a wine theme, such as using wine glasses as a vase.
Party Rental Services
There is something about setting a table with classy linens, the good china, and all the wine glasses that makes my heart happy. I remember when I gave the nice folks at Cort Party Rentals my wish list for table décor, lighting, and furniture and they were able to provide it all! These days, I know party décor has taken a backseat while wineries line up to rent tents in order to provide outdoor service. However, what if a winery partnered up with a party rental firm to demonstrate how to glam up our tables at home this holiday season? This could be a nice tie in for the release events that offer to go meals. Count me in!
To Go Meals
Wineries have been joining forces with restaurants and caterers by adding on special to go meal options with wine release pickups. Hooray, a night off from cooking! That kind of partnership is a win for the businesses as well as those of us at home. Let’s keep this coming.
Just for Fun
I’m not the only one dreaming up new event ideas! A holiday party kit is an inspired option offered as a partnership between Elsom Cellars, Seattle Made, and the Seattle Good Business Network. Brilliant!
Getting to chat with the winemaker and/or winery owners at events is usually a highlight of release parties. I’ve seen winery owners such as Alex and Samuel of Aluel Cellars indicate they are receptive to working with large groups to develop some custom virtual tasting events. How cool is that?
Cooking classes have also gone virtual and it would be fantastic to see those providers partner with wineries.
If any of you wine lovers out there have participated in a virtual winery event, or have your own idea for an event with a unique spin, do tell! Share it on Twitter or Instagram.
I am incredibly grateful for all the people who have partnered with me throughout my wine career. The following were particularly helpful in my success with the event pictured in this post.
International Live Events Association (ILEA)
Cort Party Rentals
Nash Fung Magician
Photographer Jackie Donnelly