SIX-FOOT SOCIAL LAUNCHED BY FOOD & VINE TIME PRODUCTIONS
Well-known large scale culinary, wine and craft beer event producers pivot to intimate wine concept during COVID-19
In the current era of social distancing and large-scale events being grounded for now, Constance and Clifton McDerby, founders of Food & Vine Time Productions, saw a need for intimate social gatherings and made the decision to make an entrepreneurial pivot, creating the Six-Foot Social, an opportunity for friends and neighbors to gather at home with a wine expert delivered directly to their door.
“People may be sheltered at home but their desire to socialize and enjoy a good glass of wine or discover craft spirits has not been stemmed,” commented Constance McDerby.
Food & Vine Time is best known for Wine & Food Week, Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival, Katy Sip N Strolls, Wine Fair Cy-Fair and many other long-standing consumer culinary, wine and craft beer events.
“We’ve been in constant contact with our many extraordinary partners who are eager, like we are, to get out and share their expertise. The Six-Foot Social is a natural extension for our company, and we are grateful that we can do something that allows people to raise a glass even at 6-feet. We felt that physical distancing and socializing can safely occupy the same space. That is why we created the Six-Foot Social with a Wine Class and a Glass,” added McDerby.
The Six-Foot Social brings many of the popular educational elements of the Food & Vine Time festivals directly to small group gatherings in private driveways, cul-de-sacs, backyards, and indoor spaces with lots of room. Wine industry and craft spirits experts conduct classes and portfolio tastings, teaching about the many aspects of wines as attendees enjoy the fruits of the vine.
FVTP Team members visit the host location to measure how many people can be accommodated with 6-foot spacing between couples or groups who have been quarantining together. Once the space is determined, the host knows how many guests it can accommodate to comply with current CDC and Harris County mandates.
Upon arrival, guests receive gloves and a sanitized glass. Participants are required to bring their own lawn chairs. Following all the CDC and health safety guidelines, guests are served beverages from an industry expert that they have preselected.
The host has the option to order food pairings or dinner to be delivered, supporting the many restaurants that have participated in Food & Vine Time Productions events in the past or who were booked for events scheduled in 2020.
For those who would rather enjoy their wines in air-conditioned comfort, Food & Vine Time Productions has identified several current locations where safe social distancing can be observed, and wines or craft spirits are served by staff wearing face shields and gloves.
There is a growing list of presenters being offered at the Six-Foot Social – from winery representatives to Master Sommelier, and entry level wines to award-winning boutique selections for collectors.
“With the market being flooded by virtual everything, screen fatigue is a reality. Human nature craves community and the Six-Foot Social allows the communal experience safely,” said McDerby.
“I will admit that this is quite a different experience from hundreds of wines and dozens of restaurants being offered in large festival environments with live music and pop-up entertainment. But, the core of the Food & Vine Time Productions’ mission is making wine approachable while helping people enjoy the learning journey and broaden their knowledge in the process. While we wait for large group events to return, and return they shall,” added McDerby, “we will continue our commitment to discovery.”
McDerby announced that Wine & Food Week in the Woodlands will be hosted this year but may look a little different with smaller events launching first with a staggered event roll-out in various locations. “In the interim, we invite you to raise a glass, meet a new friend, and share a laugh,” McDerby added.
Photos courtesy of Food & Vine Time Productions