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Virtual Wine Tasting: The New Way to Wine Taste While Social Distancing

Sienna Serrao

Looking to have some distanced social interaction, learn something new, and help keep an industry afloat?

Just because a shelter in place is in order doesn’t mean the wine tasting experience has to end! If you’re wondering how you can join in on the latest wine trend of virtual tasting here’s everything you need to know. The easy-to-use platform Zoom is on the rise for all virtual meetings, whether it be for class meetings, workout classes, or virtual wine tasting—have you bought the Zoom stock yet?

There are multiple ways to go about virtual wine tasting.

Option 1: Create your own Virtual Tasting!

The first step is to organize a guest list with as many or few friends as you prefer — a slight warning since the available platforms are great but not perfect, too many guests can lead to talking over each other and some guests feeling left out.

The next step is to pick the platform you wish to use. The most commonly used platforms are Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Skype. Make sure all virtual wine tasting participants are familiar with the platform being used and are able to access them from either their computer, laptop, or cellular devices. For example, you wouldn’t want to choose FaceTime if you are planning to meet with Android users whose devices don’t have that same function. People that have used Zoom say it works brilliantly with few glitches or connection issues, but requires a little bit of setting up, since each member has to create their own account and form an organized “meeting room” link that must be sent out to everyone partaking.

The following step is to set the tone. Encourage all your friends to go pick up the same selection of wine bottles and try picking a similar array of snacks, or have everyone cook the same meal and talk about how great, terrible, or different each persons' turned out. To make it even easier, everyone can order a few of the same bottles from our online Wine Store and have them delivered, so you don't need to venture out of the house. Plus, right now we're offering free shipping on 6 or more bottle orders!

The final step is to have fun—and maybe even plan the next event! In times like this it is important to step away from the gloomy news and indulge in some fun social interaction even if it has to be done from a distance.

Option 2: Sign up for a virtual tasting through specific winery websites.

In this option, one can research which wineries are participating or reach out to their favorite winery to see if they have any interest in hosting one. Some currently participating wineries methods are to deliver one bottle of wine per week and host a weekly meeting typically over Zoom. This option is best for those that want their wines to be hand selected for them by a specific, participating winery and be involved in a tasting with multiple individuals. You can potentially join in with random participants or encourage your friends to sign up with you!

Option 3: Hand select your own wine and Zoom with a wine educator.

Another option offered by specific wineries is to pick usually four bottles of wine from their winery and sign up for a 45-minute to an hour Zoom tasting session. The highly knowledgeable wine educator will go about describing the wines you have hand selected and conduct your virtual wine tasting. This option is best for a family or small group quarantining together that want a more formal and personal wine tasting experience. If you have a particular preference of wine varietals you are also a great candidate for this option compared to the option in which the wines are chosen for you.

All of these offered options are great opportunities to have some fun during the quarantine, all while supporting your local wineries and small businesses. Stay safe and don’t just quarantine, but quarant-WINE!