Give and Take Teambuilding

Take a Sip
Who says teambuilding can’t be relaxing? Food-and beverage-centered teambuilding activities are becoming more popular becausethey allow employees to connect with their senses and each other. And you’re never too old to play with your food. Cooking competitions are a lot of fun, as are wine tastings. T’Anne Butcher, a lifelong oenophile based in the Napa Valley, runs a Wine Sensory Experience program for groups. Think of it as a scavenger hunt for the senses!
 
Team members are divided into groups and given cards on which to record their impressions of flavors. They'll begin with a round of "blind" sniffing of single smells divided into flights. This gets the nose and palate ready for wine tasting and gets the conversation flowing.  Butcher thenleads groups through several tasting exercises, challenging them to correctly identify notes and flavors based on taste and smell. 
 
Wine tasting (and smelling) is really a unique talent, and it’s almost impossible to predict who will be the big winner when thescorecards are tallied up. It’s also funny to learn how one person’s “burnt caramel” might be another’s “light sweetness.” 
 
Give Back
If you’re looking to engage your participants with a meaningful, responsible teambuilding activity you might consider working with the local community surrounding your resort. The Ritz-Carlton Community Footprints program is a good example of suppliers’ increasing commitment to connecting groups with those in need. In January the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel partnered with the Lestonnac Free Clinic and the attendees at the 2001 Luxury Meetings Forum worked to paint murals for the clinic. 
 
The painting clinic was organized so that small groupsworked on sections of the mural, which were later touched up by experts andassembled at the clinic. The work itself was as simple as paint-by-numbers, if slow going for perfectionists. One afternoon of painting resulted in a beautifulmural of trees and tropical birds to brighten the walls of the Lestonnac Free Clinic.