Wine Tour

Wine Tour is the name for the Cuculo in-house wine tasting.

Upcoming Wine Tours & Tastings

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About Wine Tour

You can read the history below. But if you want to skip that, fast-forward to 2021, and Wine Tour is still going strong. It’s changed a bit, though. Covid pushed our wine tastings online via Zoom, and we now ship Tasting Packs out to our customers.

The Tasting Pack includes:

Although we can and do welcome customers into the shop for wine tastings, we have decided to continue the online aspect as well. There are a number of reasons for that. First, it really is very convenient to collect or receive a pack, and enjoy the presentation in your own home. Second, it has proved a great way for family and friends to get together around the country. Third, a Cuculo Wine Tour is a unique collection of features which you simply won’t find anywhere else. Fourth, from our point of view, it’s a fantastic way to really get into the detail of the wines, yet keeping things interesting and entertaining.

Just one last word – remote wine tastings are quite popular these days. But we didn’t take our inspiration from anybody – James already had the germ of the idea before Covid came along. And as far as we know, our first Wine Tour was the first online, participatory presentation of wine and food with miniature samples that anybody had ever done. Ah yes, and one other last word – the customers who are, by now, experienced online wine tasters, say that the Cuculo Wine Tour is the best of all.

Past Wine Tours & Tastings

A potted history

The name comes from James’s and Cinzia’s early days in the wine industry, when Cuculo was still Heathfield Deli and they didn’t know where Heathfield was.

At the time, we were importing wine and other produce from Italy. Not having a shop or customer base, the way we chose to sell it was through exhibitions and large wine fairs. They were great days of early starts and long hours, and we look back on them fondly… not that we can claim to have made any money!

We have always been very good at product selection, and very good at presenting and explaining the products to our customers. After all, we first met when we were working as Italian walking tour guides.

Cinzia Long

Cinzia and James quickly found that their presentations were very popular. They would look around to find they had a large crowd, while their neighbouring exhibitors had just one or two people. The presentation had become an attraction in itself.

Sales were great, but the amount of wine they were pouring as samples threatened to run away with itself. Yet the very last thing Cinzia and James wanted was to turn customers away – that would be crazy – and they were clearly on to something with the tastings. So they hit on the idea of charging for a full tasting, which they called Wine Tour. It was just £5 a pop, and it covered fifteen wines, but it helped with the costs, kept out the tyre-kickers, and the punters loved it.

I remember hearing for the first time, a customer saying to another who was undecided, “It’s the best £5 you’ll spend all day”. After that we heard it again, and again, and again. It was incredibly heartening for us, at the beginning of our business career, when we couldn’t be sure whether we were making the right choices.

James MacNay

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