Karen MacNeil is one of the most dynamic
wine presenters in the country.
Karen builds events around wine to engage, entertain, and educate audiences of all kinds. She has an A+ reputation among corporations, law firms and professional organizations.
We create and execute wine events for partner retreats, board meetings, celebration dinners, incentive trips to wine country and more. The wine part of your event can be as short and entertaining as an hour-long tasting—or as long as an unforgettable multi-day program that includes private visits and tastings at exceptional wine estates.
Karen MacNeil & Company is known for its attention to detail. For many of our corporate clients, Karen not only presents but, with her team, also plans the event, chooses the wines, acquires the wines, finds the right venues, creates and executes the flow and operations, strategizes the visuals and amenities, organizes the transportation, works with chefs on the menus, and creates collateral—in short, takes care of every detail so that our clients can simply arrive and enjoy the wines.
Types of Events
Interactive tasting seminars focused around a theme, one of those listed below under Seminar Topics or created especially for the audience. Guests are seated and taste 6 to 10 wines. Karen’s approach is high-energy, participatory, informative, and as technical (or not) as the participants prefer. Seminars may be conducted in private homes, hotels, educational centers, and sometimes wineries.
Usually 1.5 hours. Participants: from two to 500.
A wine-and-food experience over dinner. Karen MacNeil works with the chef in advance to create an extraordinary dinner of three to six courses with wines paired to each course. Karen gives a 15-minute talk when guests are seated, and speaks about each wine and pairing throughout the evening. Dinners can take place at a hotel or in a restaurant. In special circumstances, Karen can arrange for private dinners at wineries and in wine cellars and barrel rooms.
Usually about 2.5 hours. Participants: limited only by the venue.
Wine Region Experiences
With Karen as a personal wine tutor and guide, the group will experience a wine region as few others ever will. Karen works with exclusive small estates, most not open to the public, giving the group a rare glimpse into a private world. The wines are A++ unforgettable tasting experiences. Karen also brings the history and culture of the region to life, and explains what makes the wines of that region unique. In between estate visits, usually three per day, wine country lunches and dinners can be arranged.
Clients can choose almost any wine region in the world—from Napa to Tuscany and Oregon to Australia. Recently, Karen took a family of four with businesses in the U.S. and Asia on a private experience in the Napa Valley, and took a corporate group of 40 to Piedmont, Italy, to taste the great Italian Barolos and hunt truffles.
One day to one week, for private or business groups. For corporate retreats, wine experiences can be arranged around the schedule of business meetings.
Participants: ideally, fewer than 40, but larger groups can be accommodated in some regions; private groups as small as two.
Private Wine Classes
For both individuals and small groups, Karen conducts private wine classes. The class can focus on an area of special interest to the individual/or the group such as Burgundy, Bordeaux, Sonoma, or Tuscany or focus on a conceptual theme such as How to Expand One’s Sensory Tasting Skills or How to Describe Wine. Classes can be held as single sessions or as a series of related sessions. A private wine class is a good way to start a trip to a wine region.
Usually 1.5 hours to one day, depending on the theme. Participants: ideally fewer than 70, but larger groups can occasionally be accommodated
Karen gives keynote speeches to wine industry and other business groups, often as part of large events, conventions, and symposia.
Usually 30 to 45 minutes. Participants: unlimited.
Among the tasting topics Karen is known for:
What Makes Great Wine Great?
Drinking great wine is what we all aspire to. But how do you know if a wine is actually great? In this exciting tasting, Karen shares her eight attributes that all great wines around the world possess, with tastings to match.
How Wine Pros Do It—The Inside Sensory Secrets to Wine Tasting
Karen teaches in an hour and a half the insider sensory secrets it took her five years to learn on her own. After learning these concepts, participants will never taste wine the same way again.
The Business Person’s Guide to Wine
From how to decipher a wine list to how to get the most from a sommelier to the wine styles any business pro should know, a complete guide enabling business people to get up to speed on wine … fast.
Pinot Noir Around the World
Pinot noir, considered the holy grail of wine varieties, is one of the most entrancing types of wine any of us will ever experience. From its mysterious flavors to its sensual textures, this is a wine for hedonists. In this tasting, we explore pinots from all over the world.
Cabernet Sauvignon Around the World
Often called the king of grapes, cabernet sauvignon makes some of the most majestic, sought after, and expensive wines in the world. From Bordeaux to Tuscany, Napa Valley to Australia, and Spain to South Africa, we explore the world’s greatest cabernets to understand why they are so compelling.
The Champagne Challenge
Could you blind taste six wines with bubbles, then line those wines up from least expensive to most expensive? It’s fun to try! In this super exciting tasting, everyone gets in on the action and at the end, Karen explains why some sparklings cost 10 times more than others.
Mastering the Art of Tasting
There’s a reason for tasting wine in a time-honored way—when you taste wine correctly, the flavors are actually magnified. So tasting right has a big pay off when it comes to the pleasure you get from any wine. Learn how to do it.
Bordeaux and Napa Valley—The Two Greats: How Do They Compare?
The two great cabernet powerhouses are often compared. But would you know which was which if you tasted them blind? In this seminar, we explore the sensational flavors that have made each region great.