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. Even in the context of the wine economy, the pandemic has favoured the emergence of new practices like digital wine tasting.

After shipping bottles, they arranged online wine tastings using platforms like Zoom to keep in touch with their clients, especially foreign ones. Indeed, because of the lockdown restrictions, organising face-to-face wine tasting was impossible. Nevertheless, managing this new digital experience of wine tasting 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 wine stakeholders to make them ready to grasp the new opportunities offered by digital.

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 common to many other wine companies in Europe. Consequently, i-strategies started looking for international partners to implement the project, 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 wine-tasting skills such as creating digital wine-tasting formats, video conferences management, digital netiquette etc.

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.

In short, thanks to the D-Tasting project, European wine companies will learn how to use digital tools to become more resilient; trainers and university students in wine marketing and culinary studies will upskill with close-to-work capabilities increasing their job opportunities.

The word of education changed after the pandemic and we need to adapt to the “new normal”. Through the D-Tasting project, we want 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).