Covid-19: Majestic and Naked conduct online video wine tastings

UK wine retailers are running wine tasting sessions via online video platforms to engage with consumers during the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis.

Naked Wines started broadcasting a new series of online tastings at the end of March, with its global winemakers taking a weekly slot on teleconferencing platform Zoom and social media site Facebook Live to present to customers and host Q&A sessions.

And Majestic Wine – which until last year’s demerger to take it under private ownership was part of the same retail family as Naked – has this week rolled out a series of its own video tastings from store staff.

Dubbed as offering wine expertise, “from phones to homes”, the ‘Majestic At Home’ videos comprise short tasting notes recorded by store staff on their smartphones. The broadcasts are either from locked-down Majestic stores – which are being used for online fulfilment during the crisis – or from staff members' own homes.

Unlike the hour-long Naked video-based wine tastings, Majestic’s are short form; each video is less than two minutes long, featuring information around a specific wine and a tasting note.

Jack Merrylees, head of communications at Majestic Wine, blogged: “We’ve always been proud of the product training we offer our colleagues, and that shared experience customers get when they visit our tasting counters, so we were incredibly keen to find a way to bring that experience and expertise to our customers, even in lockdown.”

Majestic said it has put almost 3,000 colleagues through their Wine & Spirit Education Trust qualifications over the last 20 years, and in the early days of life under the ownership of US investment group Fortress the retailer has committed to continuing high levels of training and development.

The Majestic At Home videos are published through the retailer’s social media accounts. Initially, the tastings will focus on its Definition range, but Merrylees said new arrivals and ‘Majestic classics’ are also in the pipeline for later tasting episodes.