I wanted this post’s title to be positive, so I chose the word “Pivot.” The only other words that represent 2020 I could think of was “sucked and shitshow.” And that it did and was. But because of that, I, we, many of us, if not all of us, had to pivot. You may have had to homeschool your kids, work from home, or both. I can not imagine how hard that must have been or still is. While we all had our own personal obstacles to overcome in 2020, there were also some valuable lessons. This post is a look at the pivots I’ve taken this past year.
2020 Pivot One: Making our Wine Tastings Virtual
In late 2018, I expanded my wine blogging and tasting business to include local, private, invitation-only wine tastings from some of my favorite direct to consumer wineries. 2020 looked to be a banner first full year for these tastings. There were only two – one in January. And the last one was on March 1, 2020. Two weeks later, Covid locked us down. I like most of us, was in a state of shock.
No longer allowed to gather in groups, I had to go virtual. I had reached out to Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards about an in-person tasting. They asked if I could do a virtual one. Neither of us had done one before, so I went to work. From my research and collaboration with Acquience, I created the tasting protocols. My first virtual tasting was in June with Acquience, followed by a second Acquience tasting in September. At the very first tasting, we had 25 Zoom screens with 75 people on the calls. In between tastings, I spent a lot of time looking for other wineries willing to pivot to virtual tasting. Lenné Estate came forward, and we had another incredible tasting in October.
So much for a banner year.
As wildfires ripped through Northern California and southern Oregon wine country, my search for additional wineries had to take a backseat.
So the banner year was not, but I now have folks around the country willing to virtually taste wine and hopefully then purchase these wines directly from the wineries with whom we partnered.
For the record, I was able to do a few private, small group tastings. I was able to do three small 6 person tastings with Utopia Vineyards & Winery in June and a family “pod” tasting with Alloro Vineyard in early October. While I hope that in-person tastings come back in mid to late 2021, we will continue to do virtual tastings to stay in contact with our new friends and wine tasters around the country.
Pivot Two: Concierge Wine Buying Service
My second pivot happened when I was asked to buy wine for a couple of friends. Time is precious. Buying the same old wine is boring. And finding a new wine involves kissing a lot of frogs (metaphorically speaking). So I took that burden off of a few plates and have created a business out of it. Each month, I reach out to find out if one is ready for something new. Knowing their wine preferences and price points, I head out and buy what they need. Perhaps it is a new “Tuesday” wine (a wine that is at the low end of the wine spend budget), or a replenishment of the special wines with which you celebrate (it’s Saturday! Yay!!!).
Yes, you pay me. But at the end of the day, you spend no more than if you had done it yourself. Not bad for saving you hours in your day with wine that you love.
Want More Info? 2021 SC2RW Concierge & Consultation Services.
I am Resilient and Willful.
I have reinvented myself from a career perspective several times in my life. Each time there were barriers, but I seemed to always land on my feet through sheer will and persistence. Starting a new business at the onset of a pandemic puts an all-new sheen on will and persistence. That said, all the persistence in the world may not have mattered without the unwavering support and guidance from my husband Gary and my eldest and youngest sisters.
Please stick with me as we lean into a brighter and more hopeful 2021.
But in the meantime…
- Continue to order takeout from your favorite restaurants.
- Also, look for caterers in your area that are doing “heat and serve” family meals.
- Buy wine locally for sure, but also remember your favorite DTC wineries.
- Continue washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, and wearing a mask indoors and outdoors in close quarters.
- Cheers everyone. And as soon as it is safe to do so, invite your neighbor over for a glass of wine.
- Keep reading my blog. I truly appreciate you, and I will work especially hard to bring you valuable content as we dive into 2021.
- Join us for a virtual tasting. Sign up for notifications here.
- Try out my Concierge Service. Give yourself more time in your day.
That is all for now.
Rick & Gary