Andrew Azzopardi of No 12 Fine Wines, the wine and provisioning service for superyachts primarily in Malta and Spain, talked to Monique Chambers about how his life changed through the Covid-19 ‘lockdown’.
“Our business has a slower than usual period from March things are usually quiet till the crews start ordering for their charters with April to October being our busiest months. In autumn and winter it generally slows and a few orders trickle through. We generally use this period to see what’s on the market and what boats are where and of course catch up with crews after the summer season.
I had some thinking time and had wanted to go online and spread the word a bit more and be able to use my skills and expand on them and quite quickly decided that doing a ‘video tasting’ series, could be quite fun. Of course, this is something usually done in real life at fairs, but there had to be a way to do it online though it would mean a less complex tasting.
I did my first video and it started to get traction quite quickly, I was sharing on facebook and linkedin. My aim is to always do premium wines, and importantly, not be sponsored or tied to a house. I soon got into a rhythm whereby I start with a technical description and set a theme per video and tell a story, not to be too jargon orientated or fall into the wine snob category.
Today my video quality is much better than at the beginning. I bought some photography gear, downloaded Power director and so now I can edit the videos and add a bit of text. A new skill!
I went one step further and decided to create storyboards and have a flow, I hope I am talking to people and not at them. Imparting knowledge having done research, the actual filming, editing and then pushing out all has to be done quite quickly as I have small children and my wife works from home – so their bath time is my filming time. This actually focused the mind as if I was at the office, I would be distracted by something else, or be able to push it back and back and back.
I aim to deliver 1 to 2 a week and I share on facebook, Linkedin, YouTube and instagram, and some groups that are specific to my profession.
Through the process I managed to gain the attention from both Superyacht Radio and Yachting International Radio and had interviews on IGTV, and this grew to being noticed by ACREW, a crew training company, and since we have collaborated to do online training sessions. These are slightly different to being in the room with the team, but feedback was fantastic!
This new route was something that was on the backburner, but now we have the opportunity to train crews while they are anywhere rather than only at shows.
Locally, I collaborated with Vistage, the CEO group and sent ‘test tubes’ of wines to members and ran a light-hearted tasting session on Zoom. Being a #ZOOMELIER is the new, new thing!
I am able to remain impartial and honest but do partner with food and wine suppliers to teach those interested. My advice for a good buy this year? Look at 2019 as a good year for Bordeaux … maybe you should book an online tasting?