We went wine tasting the other day, and the difference between the tasting room experiences was significant. Both had friendly, knowledgeable staff. One had descriptions of the wines written on the tasting menu, the other had no written descriptions, but the man behind the counter described each one himself.
Which was the more enriching experience? The one with the stories.
At the second winery, Wolff Vineyards, the person who served us was a member of the family who owns the winery. It was clear he is passionate about wine, as he is directly involved with growing, processing and selling it.
As we moved on to each wine, he would hold up the bottle, show us the label, and describe the grape, its history, its farming method (they use integrated pest management and dry farming, among other sustainable methods), and its flavor profile.
I'm not a wine expert, so I need people to speak plain English to me when I go wine tasting. Clint, the man behind the counter, used images and examples to explain how "even though this wine is made with petite sirah grapes, there's nothing petite about it."
He described the smaller grape's gelatinous, rather than juicy, texture. He talked about the high ratio of skin to pulp. He talked about the difference between cold weather and warm weather crops.
The stories engaged me with the growing and processing of the grapes, and when I'm engaged and understand what I'm tasting, I'm more likely to buy!
Clint was passionate about his topic and found a way to make it interesting and engaging for the "average Joe."
How about you? Are you reaching out to the average Joe, or are you a wine snob?