This Tasting Experience Can Reassure Even the Most Concerned Customer

Last year, MAWBY Sparkling Wines implemented an experience for customers that is coming in handy this summer during the pandemic. The team wanted to offer something unique that no one else was doing. 

“Larry Mawby, our founder … he’s always been a big proponent of wine and food,” Claire Lepine said, MAWBY Direct-to-Consumer Manager. “Since we exclusively make sparkling wine — and sparkling wine is just amazing and natural with food — so we’ve always offered little nibbles, but we knew we wanted to expand that.”

That’s when Table Four2 was created, something completely opposite of the norm for the Traverse City, Michigan winery. Usually customers were offered a stand-up wine tasting experience with three complimentary pours and then had the option to purchase a flight with cheese and crackers or a glass of wine.

“On a busy Saturday, we could have a 1,000 people come through the doors,” Lepine said. “That was great and fun and had a certain energy that invited you to it. And this Table Four2, when we launched it last year … it was something that was quiet and still and slow. Then Coronavirus happened, and we said, ‘well, we kind of have the perfect tasting experience that we can offer that’s already been vetted, that we already know how to do, and how to get off the ground,’ and so we continued with it this year.”
Table Four2 is an experience that guests must book in advance. When they arrive, they are given a complimentary splash of a rotating wine, and then they meet their server and are taken to a little table for two in the vineyard nestled between two apple trees. 

“We only do one a day, so you’re never rushed,” Lepine added. “So that was part of it too, making it very slow, and then we use our best judgement to just go down, give a course, and then let people dictate — it can be as informative or as hands-off on our end as the guests really want it to be.”

The goal is to get guests to try wines they may not normally gravitate to, with small plates crafted around the flavor profile of each wine.

Table Four2 was perfect for this summer because the table is so remote. Though not far from the winery, guests are seated in a private space. Guests even get to take home their wine glasses as an added safety precaution. 

“We felt fortunate because we’ve already done it, and we already had that base,” Lepine said. “It was really easy to roll out, and people have been so appreciative. We’ve heard from a lot of people that they haven’t been anywhere, that we’re the only place that they have come to because it is clearly so safe and remote and protected.”

Priced at $95, which includes both guests, and the tip, Lepine said she knew it would be a little more expensive because of the local ingredients, but it would be worth it.

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