6 Ways to Blow Your First Date

Every time a new guest walks into your tasting room, you are on the equivalent of a first date. Think about it.

You aren’t yet going steady—and perhaps you never will if you blow it on this date. In other words, you haven’t made a sale or created a fan of your winery yet and you have only this “first date” to make a good impression, make a sale, add a wine club member, and—hopefully—make them fall in love.

Here are six things you shouldn’t do on the first date:

  1. Talk over or for your date. Let there be moments where you aren’t doing all the talking—ask some questions and let your guest answer.
  2. Forget to ask questions—their favorite hobbies, sports, where they grew up, where they went to school.… (Have you ever been to a wine tasting where the server neglected to try to understand your preferences? If so, I’ll bet you walked out empty-handed.)
  3. Talk throughout the entire meal, droning on about how the chef prepared the dishes, what ingredients were used, what your date should be tasting. This is akin to your babbling throughout the entire wine tasting, detailing the aspects of the wine production and what aromas and flavors your guest should be experiencing.
  4. Check your phone. Your focus has to be on your date—the guest.
  5. Comment on what your date is or isn’t eating. At the winery, don’t assume a person dumping doesn’t like the wine.
  6. Forget your manners. ’Nuf said.

When we think about increasing sales, we need to remember that our guests want the equivalent of candlelight, soft music, and romance. They’re looking for a polite, engaged companion who wants to get to know them better. So make an effort. Show up like you care. Ask questions and listen. Then ask follow-up questions that show you listened. Relax, be positive, smile, and have fun. And be sure to ask for another date—the sale and a wine club membership—before they go!

Not 100% sure what’s really happening in your tasting room? Capiche offers secret shopping and can tell you where your staff is getting it right and where there’s room for improvement. For more information, email or call Chris at 541.601.0114.
Every time a new guest walks into your tasting room, you are on the equivalent of a first date. Click To Tweet


  1. Excellent, as always, Chris.

    These tips can apply to multiple retail settings, too!

    I was on Vancouver Island earlier this week and went to a craft brewery in Victoria where the server needed to be coaxed to talk. He was so intent on serving me something that he never asked me why I was there, then asked if I expected him to be more talkative. “It’s fine,” I replied. “Everyone’s different.”

    I was at the craft brewery in Tofino on the island’s west coast a couple of days earlier, and the staff were engaged. My group had a couple of glasses, and when I bought another bottle for the road, the server threw in a branded key chain with a bottle opener so I wouldn’t be caught out if I was heading to the beach!

    Keep up these posts. I love reading them, and maybe people will take the hint!

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