Covid-19: Waitrose wine tastings go virtual

UK grocer Waitrose has this week started running its 'Wine Tasting At Home' service virtually, in light of the continued social distancing restrictions prompted by Covid-19.

Virtual Wine or Gin Tasting at Home is now available for consumers, who can pay for a Waitrose drinks expert to take them through an introduction to wine or how to make “the perfect G&T” via Zoom videoconferencing technology.

Customers can either pick a session and ask friends and family to join online, or they can join the online experience alongside like-minded individuals who they do not already know. Both types of virtual tasting come with a £10 per household fee, and they last between 45 and 60 minutes.

Anne Jones, drinks category manager at Waitrose, commented: “The Waitrose Wine Tasting at Home experiences have been incredibly popular with our customers, so we are thrilled to be able to offer them online.”

The new service is part of a wider initiative from both Waitrose and sister department store chain John Lewis. Every Friday, the two John Lewis Partnership retailers will run a series of virtual experiences, including the drink tastings and style talks, with experts from the businesses bringing their knowledge directly to customers via Zoom. 

Drinks specialists Majestic Wine and Naked Wines have also been running online wine tastings since the coronavirus took hold in the UK.

Retailers across the UK have been creative, pivoting their propositions after the government ordered ‘non-essential’ retail stores to temporarily close and consumers to avoid unnecessary journeys in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus.