A few weeks ago I got invited to a wine tasting arranged by ANA (All Nippon Airlines). I signed up since I was interested to see what wines they would have to offer and what kind of event they created, and anyway, it was on my way home from work.
When the day was finally here, I felt tired and had some cold symptoms so I figured I should just go straight home from work. At the end, I decided to stop by quickly just to see what kind of event it was and try out the wines. I was pleasantly surprised to see some of my co-workers at the venue and ended up having a great time with them. And of course, we all know about Japanese hospitality and that they know how to take care of their guests. Tasting was organized so nicely, I couldn't just leave right away.
All Nippon Airlines is a Japanese airline which is known for it's Starwars themed airplanes. The tasting was at a car storage facility called Auto-Vino which was an interesting place. This is where people store their vintage cars and they are set up almost like in a museum. They combined the storage with a wine tasting room, which makes it an excellent venue for hosting an event like this. As you can imagine, in Silicon Valley there is no limit to with how much people will pay for their cars. We saw some old treasures as well as some new sports cars costing a fortune.
ANA treated us with some sushi and other treats together with Woodside wines. We tasted Woodside Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel as well as Kings Mountain Cabernet. After tasting the wines we were invited to a Japanese Mochi pounding ceremony. Mochis are Japanese rice cakes which are first pounded into a paste. They are especially eaten during New Years. Everyone was also invited to try mochi pounding but I was happy to take pictures for my friends and record a little video of the ceremony. Fresh mochis are delicious!
The highlight of the evening was a bingo game. The first prize was business class tickets to Tokyo for two. The bingo row would be created by the names of the cities where Nippon Airlines currently flies to, and suddenly I noticed that one row on my bingo sheet was full. I could not believe it and I showed it to my co-workers twice before I dared to shout: "Bingo!" There it was! Unbelievable! I won! I was almost in a shock and still am. Winning such a prize feels surreal.
Even without winning bingo the night was a success. Everyone had so much fun and we were treated so well. I loved it! We also got a little goodie bag to take home with us. I think this event was one of the best customer events I have ever been to and we truly got to enjoy Japanese hospitality. I will invite you all to enjoy it with me thru my blog when I am able to travel to Japan!