Tastings. Heaven for culinary explorer types, and a unique way to educate your palate, expand your taste horizon, and entertain your tastebuds. They used to be somewhat intimate affairs in restaurants, wine cellars and distilleries, usually led by a gastro pro, like a seasoned Chef, Sommelier, or Chocolatier.
The pandemic has, as with so many things, changed how we can discover new tastes. While we cannot visit distilleries, farms, vineyards or restaurants, anyone can join a tasting from the comfort of their home. The solution: Hybrid experiences. The food & drink samples or ingredients are shipped to your home ahead of time, and an expert guides you through the interactive food tasting on a live stream, advising on food pairings, ideal drinks temperatures, how to chew or sip, the history and origin of the produce, and so on.
Online tastings are a relatively new phenomenon that popped up in response to stay-at-home guidance by the government in March. Online attendance figures first peaked during lockdown 1.0 earlier this year when so many Britons looked for some diversion to keep them mentally healthy. Some may have also looked for a cultured excuse to sip on five different gins on a Friday afternoon. We’re not judging.
And now that we are back in lockdown in the UK, we are noticing ticket sales for all kinds of tastings rise to record levels once again. What’s more, they are each attended by more guests on average than before: Compared to April, the number of British tasting events has almost quadrupled, and attendee figures are around six times higher than they used to be.
There are more – and more diverse – online tastings on Eventbrite than ever before, offering palate pleasers from bubbly wines, exclusive chocolates, warming whiskeys, crafty beers by women and artisan cheeses through to soothing tea and Italian gins.
What will your next taste trip be?