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- Although states have begun phased reopenings following lockdowns due to the novel coronavirus, some states are experiencing an uptick in cases now and many people are still turning to online experiences for socializing.
- Wineries, winemakers, and wine connoisseurs are bringing the vineyards and tasting rooms straight to living rooms with virtual wine tastings.
- Many of the virtual tastings are free to join, and some ship wine right to your door as part of the package.
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Although states have begun phased reopenings and outdoor dining is an option in many places, most people still aren’t gathering in groups. And with an uptick in cases happening in several states, many people still aren’t comfortable or allowed to travel to vineyards or sit inside tasting rooms. But that doesn’t mean you can’t virtually gather with family, friends, or coworkers and enjoy uncorking a favorite bottle of wine.
While in-person tasting rooms may not be an option for everyone right now, many places are bringing tastings, classes, and events directly to living rooms instead.
Virtual wine tastings are a fun way to connect, learn something new, and discover new wines. It’s also an ideal way to take your tastebuds on a mini-vacation without putting on real pants. Sip a fruity Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand or relish a Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley — you might even get some inspiration for your next post-COVID trip.
Many of the tastings are free to join, and some will send wine directly to your door as part of the package. For those that require buying your own bottles, it’s easier than ever to order wines directly from vineyards or from a local alcohol delivery service.
I recently tried a virtual wine tasting myself on Coursehorse. I’m no stranger to in-person tastings thanks to my background as a travel editor, and I remember the days of drinking Chianti in Tuscany, throwing back cava in Catalonia, and sipping Chardonnay in Sonoma. I was hesitant at first about doing a virtual class since wine tastings are such sensorial experiences. A huge part of the fun for me has always been looking out at a stunning vineyard view, chatting with whoever is pouring the wine, and sometimes even getting a chance to tour the cellars and learn about the winemaking process.
Enjoy more great virtual experiences:
However, when a couple of friends from college I haven’t been able to see in person for months suggested taking a Wine Tasting 101 class, it sounded like a fun way to reconnect with them. Plus, I was also eager to take a break from my usual quarantine activities of bread baking and puzzles to try something new.
We ordered our wines on Drizly and joined the class via Zoom. While the particular class we did was geared towards beginners, I still picked up quite a bit of new wine knowledge. My fiancé, who’s typically more of a craft brew guy than a gentleman of fine wines, also enjoyed the introductory level and the interactive aspect to the class since he was able to ask questions as we went.
We opted for a group class so we didn’t know who was joining in. If you really want the experience of having it just be your group, I suggest booking a private tasting, which many of the below options offer. We chose to connect more privately after instead, hopping on our own Zoom call over the last glass of our favorite wine from the class to discuss the tidbits we’d picked up.
Despite my initial misgivings, it ended up making for a fun evening and I discovered a new favorite Sauvignon Blanc I’ll definitely be drinking again in the future.