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May I See Your Wine List?

Oenophile Event Planners Offer Advice in Knowland Survey

Salisbury, MD, August 24, 2009 — Businesses and associations have been wining and dining important customers, prospective clients and top employees for centuries – or more. There is nothing like a world-class meal paired with the perfect wine to make someone feel important and appreciated. Business plans may be made in the boardroom or conference room, but business relationships can be grown and nurtured over a glass of wine.

In the current economy, everyone from bankers to brides is cutting their event budgets. The Knowland Group, a worldwide provider of hospitality sales and marketing products and services, questioned several event planners and found that the key to good wine service – whether for 4, 40 or 400 – is not budget, but planning and communication. 

“Even if a host is an oenophile, the quality of the wines will be lost on the guests if they are not on the same wavelength,” says Damaris Johnson, a principle at PLANit Event Solutions, Long Beach, California, who specializes in business development through catering and events. She says that it is typically small groups who request the services of an onsite sommelier or pre-order specific wines by the case. For large or small groups, Johnson recommends setting a per-bottle price and attending a tasting to choose wines that will fit your event and your budget.

Dannie Goddu, wine manager at Total Wine & More and owner of Raffine Events, Hampton, Virginia, advises planners to “go for the venues that provide excellent service, but look for more off-the-beaten path wines. If you are looking for the feeling of an expensive Bordeaux Blend, you will probably be just as happy with a California Claret or Virginia Meritage Blend. If you like Sauvignon Blanc, try a fresh and fruity one from South Africa,” she says. “Remember; just because a wine isn’t super expensive, doesn’t mean it isn’t fabulous.”

Here are some tips to save on wine service at your next event:

  • Get wine from up-and-coming regions like Spain, South Africa or Chile.
  • Don’t butler wine; you’ll save on both wine and service.
  • Ask to bring your own wine to a venue. Many venues are willing to do this to ensure business. Some may not, but might offer to upgrade the wine service for you.
  • If you can bring wine, buy in bulk.
  • If you order from a U.S. winery, call them directly. They may be willing to negotiate.
  • Better yet, go to a local winery and speak with the owner or manager.
  • Ask an expert. Wine lovers love to talk shop and share their knowledge of all wines – even the ones that won’t break the bank. 
Is your property short sales staff?  The Knowland Group has an event booking center with highly trained staff who literally speak to hundreds of meeting planners every day.  They do nothing but cold calls, all day, and every day, doing everything from research and sales assistance phone calls, to scheduling sales meetings and full blown sales outsourcing or staff augmentation. 

About The Knowland Group 
The Knowland Group is a premier provider of sales and marketing products and services to the hospitality industry worldwide. The company, headquartered in Salisbury, MD, serves over 90 markets within the United States, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean and United Arab Emirates. The Knowland Group is a proven innovator, developing intuitive marketing products and services that streamline and support event and group sales. For more information, visit or call 410-860-2270.


Phylicia Roberts 
The Knowland Group 
(443) 366-1108


Also See: Knowland is 2nd Fastest Growing Company in the Travel Industry According to Inc. Magazine; Innovative company is ranked 222nd overall fastest growing company in the U.S. / August 2009



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