Wine tasting at hospital: a plea for donations


The only project of its kind in France, and perhaps in the world: wine tastings organized in the palliative care unit at Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital. At iDealwine, we really want to be involved with this project since we think it’s an absolutely marvellous idea and we hope it will catch on in many other hospitals …

In autumn 2014, Dr Virginie Guastella, Head of the Palliative Care Centre at Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital set up a project which is original at the very least: wine tastings for her patients. And for the past two years this project has been running very successfully: the hospital has received many donations which patients have been able to enjoy whenever they wish to complement their meal with a glass of wine.

The tastings are of course fully supervised, and the whole care unit team is completely committed to the project. In fact the Head of Unit jokes about how this project is almost like having “a second job”. The patients in the unit are offered wine every day if they would like to have a glass with their meals, at lunch and at dinner, but also from time to time whenever there are cookery workshops or something to celebrate. Of course the idea is to maximize the quality of life for these patients who are reaching the end of theirs because according to Dr Guastella of our five human senses, taste is the one which remains operational the longest. This means that patients are able to enjoy the pleasures of tasting good wines right until the end and can share special times together while making their daily lives a little easier to bear.

The way this project works is from donations, which come from families, private individuals and in particular from winemakers who have been moved by this initiative. Having received a lot of media coverage, it has gone very well up until now and at first donations of bottles kept arriving at the hospital in Clermont-Ferrand. However, their stocks are beginning to dwindle and for this wonderful initiative to carry on, the word needs to be spread and of course please do think about sending a few bottles! This is what we’ve just done at iDealwine – we selected some wines which we particularly enjoy, with a special thought for these patients who we hope will take great pleasure in getting to know them too. The wine world and in particular the French magazine “La Revue du Vin de France” have honoured Doctor Guastella for her wonderful initiative by naming her as one of the 200 most influential personalities in wine (December 2015 edition).

So don’t hold back, be generous! Whether a winemaker or individual wine enthusiast, you can send your bottles to the address below, Dr Guastella has told us she’d be delighted to be able to keep on with this wonderful experiment.

Dr Guastella
Unité de Soins Palliatifs
Hôpital NORD
ROUTE DE Chateauguay



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