Autumn Press Tasting
When: Tuesday 30th October
Where: Dartmouth House, Mayfair, London
I’d been looking forward to Asda’s Autumn Press Tasting ever since I started working in the wine team 2 months ago. It would be my first opportunity to mingle with wine experts, writers and bloggers, some of whom are extremely influential in the world of wine as well as introducing them to our brand new Wine Selection range.
I knew setting up for the event would be a lot of work but I was prepared to carry boxes, open wines and lay them out ready for the journalists to taste.
The tasting took place at Dartmouth House in Mayfair, a spectacular venue used for weddings, corporate events and banquets. With its marble staircases, intricately decorated ceilings and air of sophistication, it was the perfect place to hold the tasting.
We arrived at the venue at 4pm and between the 7 of us we managed to complete the set-up in record time. Un-boxing over 350 wines, finding their correct location on the table and tasting them to check the quality is no easy task, but we kept our spirits up- and the thought of food afterwards was definitely a reason to be efficient!
We left Dartmouth House at about 8pm and headed into London for some food. It was after 11pm when we got back to the hotel- and I think I was asleep by 11 15pm!
The morning of the press tasting arrived and we met at the venue bright and early to taste the Champagne and take the white wines out of the fridges. Last minute changes were made, flowers were arranged and finally we were ready for the journalists.
The rest of the day consisted of welcoming members of the press, keeping the wines topped up and ensuring everything went smoothly. Philippa Carr, our Master of Wine mingled with the guests throughout the day whilst Tracy Ford (our Category Director) took part in interviews.
We had a great turnout with guests including: Matthew Jukes from the Daily Mail, Peter Richards from Saturday Kitchen, Jane MacQuitty from The Times and well known TV presenter and wine writer Oz Clarke as well as many other prestigious wine writers.
The day was a great success and I enjoyed my first experience of a press tasting. As we sat in the taxi on the way back to the train station we were all tired and ready to get back- but we all felt satisfied we had done a good job, and we look forward to hearing what the journalists thought of our wines.