Last Updated on 1 March 2017

Last Wednesday I participated in the Wines of Chile Blogger Tasting: A Chilean Terroir Master Class, a virtual tasting sponsored by Wines of Chile and organized by their agency, the thomas collective.

This genius marketing event was a two hour virtual event featuring 12 bottles of four distinct grape varietals lead by Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer live from Santiago, Chile with 12 winemakers from Chile’s most prestigious regions. With 25+ wine writers and bloggers online and a few in person in Santiago with the group, a word of mouth fleet was created that evening.

Many virtual tastings are done regularly, but this one was different than others I’ve participated in. Here’s why…

The Planning

Over a month in advance, the agency reached out for interest in participating. Then a few weeks out, a thorough kit arrived with all the tools we needed. The week prior to the event, we received a detailed instruction email on how to participate and to ensure we received our kits. Keys to success!

The Tools

An incredible toolkit arrived at our door a week in advance…a full case of Chilean wine! Who doesn’t love to receive that in the mail!

It wasn’t just a box of wine. It was a surprise when you opened it…designed just for us…the Live from Santiago Terroir Master Class kit. Twelve bottles of wine nicely packed, and a kit for the evening with tasting sheets for each round of the four tastings and a one pager on each wine.

The Event

Most virtual tastings are simply a gathering on Twitter. This one was held on Adobe Connect with video…thus the LIVE from Santiago. In addition to the Master Sommelier lead, they had ALL 12 winemakers in attendance to speak to their wine. Thus two hours was needed. Those who read the pre-instructions were all ready to participate with wines chilled, glasses, tasting sheets, etc…

The set up in Santiago was very cool. From a hotel with a tasting bar, host Fred sat on one side and invited each the winemakers up in groups of three during their wine round…Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Fred introduced each wine and the winemaker shared with us the tasting of the wine, details about it and specifics about their winery and region. We followed along via our tasting sheet, the video, the spec sheet and chatting with other participants.

Having done the tasting solo, I was left with LOTS of wine to share with friends. Word of mouth at work, I gave a friend 4 bottles to share with her friends. Then I went to a friends’ house for dinner the next evening and shared all remaining 8 bottles with 6 more friends. That’s lots of additional exposure and tasting ambassadors.

Cheers to Wines of Chile and the thomas collective for creating a best in class virtual marketing event.

Have you hosted or participated in any best in class virtual events?