As everyone knows, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a new wave of digitalisation in every field of society.
At the social level, digital media use tremendously increased as people spent more time at home due to coronavirus lockdowns. Concerning the educational level, universities and schools have provided online courses like never before. At the cultural level, UNESCO is mobilising the international community to increase online access to culture and heritage. At the economic and commercial level, the pandemic has favoured the emergence of new practices: for example, digital wine tasting.
Indeed, because of the lockdown, organising face-to-face wine tasting was impossible. So, companies started creating digital wine tastings to maintain contact with clients, especially foreign ones. After shipping bottles, they arranged online wine tastings using platforms like Zoom. Nevertheless, organizing this new digital experience was challenging for most of them.
i-strategies is based in a region, Marche (Italy), where the wine sector is a relevant part of the local economy. We work closely with wine companies, like Ciù Ciù Tenimenti, developing for them R&I projects related to wine and food heritage. For these reasons, we quickly realized it was necessary to upskill students and workers to allow them to take the opportunity offered by digital wine tasting.
It was precisely starting from this concrete educational need that i-strategies developed the concept of the D-Tasting Project.
A concrete need that, even if born in a specific context, was shared with many other companies at the European level. Consequently, we started looking for international partners to implement it, coordinating, at the same time, the project writing process. In 2021 the Slovenian Erasmus+ National Agency founded the project.
The D-Tasting project aims to train a certified new professional figure: the digital wine taster. The digital wine taster will be able to combine traditional wine-tasting skills like wine knowledge, wine presentation skills, wine storytelling, language skills, and wine marketing; with new digital skills such as creating digital wine-tasting formats, video conferences management, digital netiquette etc.
In this way, European wine companies will learn how to use digital tools to become more resilient, trainers and university students will upskill with close-to-work capabilities increasing their job opportunities and VET and academies will enrich their learning offer.
Thanks to Blended Training Services, the technical partner, the digital wine-tasting course is provided using microlearning, a smart and work-based knowledge transfer solution. Indeed, microlearning characteristics are: a) short duration (pills of knowledge); b) focus on a single learning objective; c) independent use; d) interactive elements; e) digital badge certificate.
The word of education changed after the pandemic. We need to adapt to it. Through the D-Tasting project, we hope to contribute to transforming challenges into social and economic development opportunities.
D-Tastin project is implemented by Biotechnical Educational Centre Ljubljana (Slovenia, lead partner), Mediterraneo Culinary Center (Spain), Amico del Vino (Nederland), i-strategies (Italy), Intercollege (Cyprus), Blended Training Services (Portugal), Ciù Ciù Tenimenti Bartolomei (Associate partner).