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  • Writer's pictureClaire @ fromthegrapevine

Tasting in the time of Covid

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

Cartoon picture of man wearing wine glass as a face mask
Wine glass face mask

Our wine tasting events planned for spring 2020 were put on hold and - like the rest of the world - we have been waiting and watching, wondering when is the right time to put the wine tasting events back on.

The pubs are open and households can mix together, so as our venues are "Covid secure", we have made the decision to put our toes back in the water and introduce a couple of events in October.

We did deliberate long and hard. The essence of the wine tasting events is for guests to get relaxed and friendly with strangers over glasses of wine, whilst maybe learning something in the process. The biggest difference will be that our 'new normal' will be to socially distance each "bubble" so we'll have more tables with fewer people on each. And Boris says we can only have a maximum of six people in a bubble. We know from experience though, that some groups of six can still have a raucous time!

We've reduced overall numbers at each event. To allow for the new distancing, the capacity of rooms at each venue has more than halved, which unfortunately means less opportunity to raise funds for charity.

To reduce the time you all spend in each other's presence, we've had to slash the duration of the events to 90 minutes (rather than two and a half hours), which of course means cutting down the number of wines tasted from six to four. We wouldn't be so cruel as to charge our normal price for fewer wines, so the price of tickets is now £15 rather than £20.

We will pre-pour the wines and deliver to your table on a tray. This mirrors the action at many pubs now, where the drinks are delivered and the bubble removes them from the tray. This cuts down the contact time touching glasses and getting too close to non-bubble members.

By pre-pouring wines, we'll have a fresh glass for each sample, and due to the washing up logistics, we are resorting to using plastic glasses for the bigger events. Whilst the glasses are disposable, we've taken care to source glasses that are recyclable plastic, and come from an eco-conscious company.

The cheese buffet will have to undergo change. We will make individual plates of cheese and biscuits for the guests and again, this will be on disposable (but recyclable) paper plates.

The popular quiz will remain, although if you can use your own pen, that'll be safer.

You probably realise that you'll have to "check in" for the Track and Trace system - we'll have the Government's QR code for you to scan and register. If you are coming, you'll have to wear a face mask when you are moving around the building. You are allowed to remove the mask when seated, otherwise it'll be very hard to eat and drink.

Boris says we must throw you out the building by 10pm, but we plan to finish by 9pm, so if you're quick you can hoof it into Old Town for one quick one before last orders.

Fingers crossed we can still create a warm and relaxed evening, and our Covid changes won't disrupt the enjoyment. We hope to see you there, but if you don't feel ready, we understand. We'll see you when you do.

Upcoming Events -

Italian wine and cheese - The RED wines - 10th October 2020 (Ticket sales close 3rd October)

Sauvignon Blanc from around the world - 23rd October 2020 (Ticket sales close 16th October)

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