Marketing Featured Global

This wine tasting event merges meetups and wine-tasting in a ‘phygital’ setup

Hong Kong – Despite being postponed in 2020 due to health concerns, French wine-growing area Vins d’Alsace is returning this year with its biannual wine-tasting event Millésimes Alsace, with a twist added: integrating technology to explore the full potential of the wine-makers drink lineup.

The event, called ‘Millésimes Alsace DigiTasting®’ combines real-life tastings and virtual meet-ups made possible by collaborations of local winemakers, alongside 100 exhibitors that will be presenting 4 wines each.

The said event, which is slated for the 7th and 9th of June this year, is an initiative launched by the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins d’Alsace (CIVA), an interprofessional organization for the wine industry in the Alsace region in France. CIVA houses more than 950 winemaker operators including private cellars, cooperatives, merchants to help revive the traditional wine-making industry in the region.

By registering on the event’s dedicated platform, visitors can discover all the wineries and access the wines’ technical sheets. A filter system allows visitors to select the wines that best match their criteria from among the 100 wineries and 400 wines listed. There are wine-related filters (color, sweetness level, vintage, grape variety, appellation) and winery-specific (distribution circuit, environmental practice, country of export, importer search).

When ordering the wine samples that they can taste simultaneous the event, each visitor can choose between 2 options to suit their needs and receive them free of charge at the address of their choice:

  • 5 boxes = 4 selected boxes + 1 ‘discovery’ box (i.e. 5 wineries, 20 wines)
  • 10 boxes = 8 selected boxes + 2 ‘discovery’ boxes (i.e. 10 wineries, 40 wines)

Visitors will also be able to receive ‘discovery’ samples added by Millésimes Alsace DigiTasting® to their wine orders. 

“The wines are bottled in their region of origin in a small glass shaped like a traditional Rhine flute. A unique technological process guarantees the wines’ integrity: bottled in an inert atmosphere, they retain their most subtle qualities and aromas. By staying as close as possible to the original product, this process respects Alsace wines’ very essence,” the event organizers said in a press statement.

During the virtual event, winemakers will be able to share their know-how with the visitors, discuss grape varieties and Alsatian terroirs while tasting the wines together. Naturally, visitors will be able to chat virtually with any of the producers, even if they did not order a tasting box. 

“Having been the first vineyard to put together a major response to the current situation right from the first lockdown, Alsace is once again the first to innovate in the strategic field of trade shows! We remain a small vineyard globally, but we are ambitious and determined to achieve our goals. Alsace has a strong history and is resolutely turned towards the future,” said Didier Pettermann, chairman of the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins d’Alsace (CIVA).

‘Millésimes Alsace DigiTasting®’ also showcases a real large-scale trade show with conferences, workshops, and themed events about wine, terroirs, the economy, and consumer trends. Visitors will also be able to share their experiences thanks to integrated networking features on the platform and social media.

According to Philippe Bouvet, marketing director at CIVA, the event was launched in response to not having the current global state as an ‘excuse’ to forego the event. He also noted that the event aims at wanting to combine century-old know-how with cutting-edge technologies.

“Digital technology is not an end in itself: its primary purpose is to bring people together and make the virtual and physical worlds work together. Wine is not a product like any other. It is both intangible because of the emotions it evokes and very real thanks to its terroirs and the men and women who produce it,” Bouvet stated.

He added, “Millésimes Alsace DigiTasting® aims to generate synergy between the real and the virtual worlds and create a relevant and successful exhibition designed to provide a quality experience for visitors and exhibitors alike.”

The event will take place on 7 and 9 of June this year, with a dedicated website to be launched on 29 March, where wine-tasting professionals can register for free. Wine-tasting orders from the 100 exhibitors will be made available from 29 March to 2 May.

Platforms Featured East Asia

HK Tourism Board steps up gastronomic festival with hybrid ‘online+offline’ format

Hong Kong – The Hong Kong Tourism Board is launching its Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival by means of offering an “offline + online format” to local and international audiences and will run from November 11 to December 15.

The Wine and Dine Festival will feature four notable events, which range from cooking masterclass and wine tasting discussions.

The first of these events would be 34 online masterclasses, catered directly to global audiences. Topics ranging from wine tasting, food plating, and fine dining will be tackled and can be accessed directly from the festival’s official website during live streams by the organizers of the festival.

Second of these events would be livestream cook-along lessons, which will include mentorship from Executive Chef Adam Wong of Forum Restaurant, Shane Osborn of Arcane and Cornerstone, and Vicky Cheng of VEA Restaurant & Lounge.

For wine lovers, audiences can tune to wine talks presented by critic James Suckling and Master of Wine Debra Meiburg, wherein they will share new wine recommendations.

Lastly, five masterclasses will be hosted by influencers that shaped the local food and beverage industry, under the theme Lady’s Talk. The classes will be hosted by Shirley Kwok of The Cakery, Head Chef Vicky Lau of TATE Dining Room, sake sommelier Jamie Lo, Master of Wine Sarah Heller, and actress-turned-winemaker Bernice Liu. 

“Although the HKTB’s mega events have been suspended for some time, we are drawing on our ingenuity and resources to optimize and adapt promotions against the backdrop of a pandemic. That’s why we have decided to resume the staging of mega events, and adopt a new ‘online + offline’ format for the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2020. It is a new venture designed for the new normal in which we find ourselves. The HKTB is doing this to ensure people can join this annual event in spite of the pandemic, and to help our hard-hit businesses to promote their products and open up new business opportunities in these challenging times,” HKTB Chairman Dr. YK Pang stated.