Team building is often about bonding and there is no better way of bonding with others than over a shared meal. It may be a cliché to say so, but the simplest pleasures in life are indeed the best: good food, fine wine and a relaxed atmosphere are the keys to a memorable evening. Of course, wine tasting is hardly a “simple” pleasure: learning to appreciate and understand wine is a complex and fascinating journey, that can open up new horizons of sensory experiences. Which of course makes it particularly suitable as a team building activity: it is enjoyable but also challenging, it is a purely hedonistic experience, in which everyone can concentrate on their senses, but also a learning one, in which participants are guided by an expert towards the shared discovery of of new and sophisticated pleasures. This is why we introduced several wine tasting and food tasting experiences into our range of corporate team building services. Would you like to try one? Here’s what you need to know.
It’s about team spirit
Pun intended. A wine tasting is an excellent morale booster that never fails to relax tensions and create a friendly mood, ideal for solving conflicts and working through issues. Are we suggesting that your employees should get drunk together in order to get along with each other? Of course not. First and foremost because nobody gets drunk during a professional wine tasting and secondly because real conflicts must be addressed by sober people. The point of a wine tasting team building experience is to communicate to each and everyone of your team members that they are allowed to concentrate exclusively on themselves and their sensory experience for the space of that exercise. The prospect of drinking good wine is already something most people will look forward too, but tasting it under the guidance of an expert sommelier is an altogether different way of enjoying it. During a wine tasting, everyone is encouraged to focus on the signals their senses are capturing, to listen to their own body and their own brain and to savour every sensation that goes with each different glass. The act of concentrating on one’s own personal experience temporarily lifts all the constraints of professional relationships, loosening the kind of rigid structures that kindle and feed conflict. And yes, the minimum alcohol intake that is inevitably imbibed does help get everyone in the right headspace.
A good team building activity requires some form of challenge, a phase in which participants are called upon to prove themselves and compete, in a friendly and non-confrontational way, against each other. When it comes to wine tasting, the challenge comes after the “educational” session with a professional sommelier and it is usually a blind tasting. It may be an individual challenge or participants may be split into teams and it is designed to be attainable even by those who have no previous knowledge in this particular field. The final part of the whole experience, right after the challenge, is generally devoted to socialising and it involves enjoying the good wine on offer – now with a better understanding of its qualities and of the hard work that goes into making it – usually paired with local food. It is increasingly common, for instance, to organise a cheese & wine tasting or to book restaurants that offer a fixed menu with specific wines to go with each course.
Wine tasting and incentive gifts
Wine tasting can be an effective and fun team building activity, but it doesn’t have to be. It can just be about the pleasure of enjoying an outstanding product with no ulterior educational motives. This is why wine tasting experiences are also a popular choice when planning incentive gifts. Since incentive travel is about offering employees the kind of luxury experience that they would probably not book for themselves, it is increasingly common for companies that buy incentive travel packages to include wine tasting, as well as cultural excursions, sporting activities or shopping experiences in their offer.
Booking a wine tasting experience in Italy
Good wine and good food have their seasons, their rhythms and their needs. While we are used to having virtually any product we might want at our disposal at any given time, the best food&wine experiences are to be had when the time and place are right for the ingredients and products we wish to consume. When you book your wine tasting experience in Italy, choose one region and pick the best time to enjoy its local wines and the food that goes with them. Fall is a popular season for wine tastings, but there are grapes that mature at different times of year and wines that are better suited to accompany traditional recipes associated with different seasons. Make sure to research the best season for each experience, or the most fitting experience for a specific season.Book this experience for your team today!