Waikikis new angle on wine-tasting

HONOLULU -- Wine: The Experience, a venture launched in Waikiki last spring, is wine-tasting with a twist.

The company, which caters to small affairs such as bachelor and bachelorette parties and corporate retreats, not only offers tastings of different varietals, it invites partygoers to pick one wine and, at a later date, return to bottle it and take it home.

Its only a matter of time before the concierges start recommending us and the tourism market starts booking parties here, said Shannon Ball, founder and president. We have events booked for the next four months. 

A five-minute ride from downtown hotels, the Experience takes place in a room that holds up to 75 guests and is designed in the vein of a Napa Valley wine-tasting room. Guests taste any number of reds and whites, from a Chilean cabernet to a German riesling or Italian valpolicella. After the tasting and selecting process, the staff prepares a glass barrel, in which 30 bottles of the chosen wine will ferment for two months.  

The price per barrel ranges from $275 to $360. Included is the room rental (hosts can bring their own caterers, music or entertainment); the bottles; labels (which guests can design or pick from a template of computer- generated labels, then personalize); and a two-hour return visit, when bottles are labeled, filled and corked. Shipping is extra.

For more, call (808) 738-0738.

To contact reporter Brian Berusch, send e-mail to [email protected].

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