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Austrian Wine launches ‘hybrid’ wine tasting sessions

The Austrian Wine Marketing Board has launched a new series of Covid-safe tastings using a ‘hybrid’ format to ensure the safety of participants; with the first session having already taken place in Moscow and the next scheduled for London in 2021.

The Moscow tasting took place on 23 November, with each of the 160 trade and press participants (over two time slots) seated at their own table and able to taste over 190 different wines.

The wines could be ordered from the staff and using an online app, the tasters could contact any one of 32 growers via chat or video call.

In addition, short videos and further supplementary information about the wines and estates were available.

Chris Yorke, CEO of AWMB, said: “We have been working day and night on innovative tasting formats since March, to keep our marvellous wines in front of the international opinion leaders.

“Working in cooperation with Advantage Austria, we were able to plant a significant milestone in international wine marketing with the hybrid tasting in Moscow – and this was also confirmed by the attendees!”

Roman Sosnovsky, president of the Moscow Sommelier Association, added: “One could calmly and comfortably taste his or her own selection of wines, and then decide when to contact which winegrower. I can only hope that there will now be more events of this nature. Twelve points out of 10 for the organisation.”

With uncertainty surrounding possible restrictions around events such as tastings going into next year, proven initiatives that allow such things to continue ‘as normal’ are positive news.

Given the strong reaction to the Moscow tasting experience, the AWMB has said it will take its new hybrid approach to other cities, starting with London in 2021.

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