Gag the Winemaker! Let the clients do the talking?

December 28, 2008
By winepleasures


anthonySpeaker: Anthony Swift – Wine Pleasures

The purpose of this talk is threefold. Firstly it will demonstrate the different discourse structures used in a wine tasting activity. Secondly, it will get people who lead wine tasting activities to reflect on the discourse structure they often adopt and thirdly it will help buyers of winery visits and tasting activities to make better purchase decision s for their clients.gag1

Over the past 6 years or so I have witnessed hundreds of wine tastings at wineries and I would say that easily 80% of them adopt the IRF (Initiation, Response and Feedback) discourse structure and 18% do not even create a discourse opportunity for the customer to respond to ie a monologue. The remaining 2% are what I like to call ringmasters, not necessarily cracking a whip but certainly directing and controlling a real tasting performance. To clarify, here’s an example of the first two:

Example 1:

What colour is this wine? (Winery Initiation)

Pale yellow (Tourist Response)

Good! I agree. (Winery Feedback)

Example 2:

As you can see this wine is pale yellow (Winery Initiation)

In this talk I will practically demonstrate three discourse models using wines and wine tasting note sheets which are/can be used in the tasting room and at the end of the talk the audience can give their views on each one and decide on which should be using with customers.

Want to know more? Feel free to contact me via the Wine Pleasures Social Network hosted by the Open Wine Consortium or send ma an email to

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Come back tomorrow for an new post!


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