The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2016

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48  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2016 TECHNOLOGY I t's a simple concept: you can go to and book a hotel and you can go to and buy a book, so why can't you do the same with wineries? This was the question that Babak Motamedi and Peter Kasperski posed when they came up with the idea of Kazzit two years ago. The name Kazzit was derived from Kazimierz, Kasperski's wine bar in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he and Motamedi first met. "We wanted a name that would pay tribute to where our friendship began." The duo were originally going to open an online wine store, but during their research phase they realized that while there were upward of six million searches for "win- eries" on Google, there was no centralized resource for wineries. "We decided to build Kazzit and build the first comprehensive collection of wineries," Motamedi explains. "Right now we have 9,100 wineries on the website, with more being added every day." Although the site originally started with English-speaking countries for ease, they are expanding the wineries offered to include other countries as well. Laura Williamson, MS, CWE, a member of Kazzit's Advisory Board and the Wine Director for the Mandarin Oriental in New York, believes this expansion will be beneficial to "link small, less-known wineries to suppliers and distributors in America, expanding their access to the U.S. and widening their visibility within the wine world." It's not just the wineries who will benefit from Kazzit either. "As a somm, this is a great resource to educate con- sumers," Williamson explains. "It has uses in-house, where if a customer likes a certain wine, somms can use the website to show them what other wines are available from that win- ery, schedule a tour if it's local or look for wineries that are similar. It allows curiosity to take them further." In addition, Motamedi has plans to have sections where consumers can ask somms questions, as well as "Text a Somm," where they can text a sommelier with their questions. Sommeliers always have more to learn too. Kazzit can aid aspiring somms and link them directly to wineries that they can visit and tour. As Williamson puts it, "It provides tools for learning, and allows both consumers and somms to connect with a wealth of knowledge, take the mystery out of it and break down barriers in the wine world." KAZZIT CREATES THE FIRST COMPREHENSIVE WINERY WEBSITE A World (Wide Web) of Wines by Jesse Hom-Dawson / photos courtesy of Kazzit Laura Williamson, MS, CWE is a member of Kazzit's Advisory Board and Wine Director for the Mandarin Oriental in New York. Founder and CEO Babak Motamedi. Co-founder Peter Kasperski.

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