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Toronto-based entrepreneur launches virtual wine tasting kits

November 8, 2021

Since the pandemic hit almost two years ago, in-person events and classes were essentially non-existent and many moved to an online platform – wine events included. We all had to get familiar with online virtual technology very quickly (zoom fatigue anyone?).

The pandemic forced us all to change the way we do things, including tasting wine, and one Toronto-based entrepreneur definitely ‘understood the assignment’ when she launched Vini Ventures, a virtual wine tasting company that delivers wine sample tasting kits for corporate and private events.

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Launched by Michelle Paris, DipWSET and owner of Adventure in Wine – which offers the prestigious WSET education programs as well as interactive wine tastings for beginners to connoisseurs – Vini Ventures came from a need to continue her educational lessons.

Vini Ventures

Michelle Paris is the founder of Vini Ventures.

“When I first started studying for the Masters of Wine designation, we had a small tasting group,” says Paris. “After the weekly tastings, we divided the wine into mini bottles so we could each take some home to revisit. At the pandemic outset, we pivoted and instead of meeting in person, we each took turns buying wine, then dividing and delivering it to the group so we could continue to meet virtually yet still taste twelve wines per week. It was here that the idea was born.”

Paris has quite the professional portfolio. Not only is she a wine educator and Master of Wine (MW) candidate, she is also a Certified Sommelier through both the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS), a graduate of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma Program, a Certified WSET Educator and Sherry Educator, and has a Professional Fromager Certificate.

The Vini Ventures wine kits are fully customizable, offering three to six bottles per box with bottle sizes ranging from two ounces – ideal for wine classes, study and tasting groups – to four ounces, containing more wine to enjoy or re-taste later. Other sizes can be custom ordered. A QR code in each box directs recipients to a website where they can access tasting notes for each wine, which are sourced either by the client or hand selected by Vini Ventures.

As a one-stop shop, the company also provides expertise and counsel on the planning and execution of show-stopping wine tasting events, fully or self-guided, large, or small. Clients have ranged from wine associations and producers, to corporate, consumer and private tasting events.

Vini Ventures

The Vini Ventures wine kits are fully customizable, ranging from two ounce bottles to four ounces.

The Vini Ventures vacuum bottle filler system ensures the wines arrives at their destination fresh and stable, given they’ve had minimal exposure to oxygen, with all bottles topped with ArT Wine Preserver® for further protection. And, by only using glass bottles, the contents are fully protected from oxygen ingress, unlike ubiquitous plastic containers. All Vini Ventures packing, boxes and wine labels feature the company’s original, bold and eye-catching labels, or can be custom designed and branded. Most important, all materials are 100 per cent recyclable.

“Quite simply, the earth doesn’t need more plastic,” explains Paris. “The world of events has changed, and people’s desires, priorities and expectations are now different. We created Vini Ventures to address these issues and meet the needs of discerning customers who want to taste quality wine, privately and safely, while upholding a genuine commitment to the planet. The response has been overwhelmingly positive from both the industry and from individuals who relate to our mission.”

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