First an important point: I’m always grateful when someone chooses to send me a sample. Thank you for thinking of me and being generous enough to send over the results of your hard work.
Having said that, there are some practical things to consider. Also, sometimes it’s best to make the arrangement between us clear. It is in this spirit that I’ve written the following notes for PR companies and drinks producers.
I’m generally happy to accept samples, and will do my best to taste them and provide feedback in a timely manner. However, it is always best to get in touch before sending anything.
Please avoid using plastic packaging and keep in mind that everything you send will end up in my home recycling.
Here are some reasons I might decline samples:
Space: I live in a small house, not a warehouse. I can only accept so much at any one time.
Time: I prioritise my own projects first, and I aim to have at least three alcohol-free days a week, which limits the time I can devote to tasting samples. It may be that I have enough samples to keep me busy for a while already, and accepting any more would mean an unreasonable wait before I get around to tasting them.
Not relevant: I sometimes decline a sample because the likelihood of me ever writing about it is just too low. I don’t write about wine, so that’s always a non-starter.
I do not guarantee coverage in return for samples. If I like something, I might write about it or post something on my social media. If I do post on social media, I will always make it clear that I received a free sample, usually in the hashtags.
I try my best to provide feedback on every sample I receive, but I can’t guarantee it every time. It might be that work or life got in the way rather than me simply forgetting about you, but if you haven’t heard back after a couple of weeks do feel free to follow up.
If you want to increase the chance of getting timely feedback send me one thing at a time.
I will usually tell you if I don’t like something, and try to be constructive about it.
I recognise that it’s not always about feedback. Sometimes a PR or producer just want me to taste something so they don’t drop off my radar. That’s fine, too. Just include a quick note to let me know.
Get in touch
Email me at email@example.com or use the form below: