A few months ago, wine tastings via platforms like Zoom or Facebook Live would have been laughable. These days with the onset of the global pandemic, we are seeing more and more wine tasting experiences move to the virtual setting. While most of us can't visit our favorite regional vineyards right now in person, we can explore a collective experience from home.
While virtual wine tasting continues to evolve every day, there are some incredible opportunities to be part of right now. We suspect that this trend will continue to be a major platform for wine tasting and sales for months (if not years) to come.
The way it works is pretty simple. You can order a tasting kit from a wide variety of wineries and they will deliver wine and sometimes a few goodies right to your door.
Looking for a fun virtual wine tasting to experience? Find the best wineries that bring the wine country lifestyle right to your living room.
Schramsberg, Napa Valley
Schramsberg is well known for its beautiful line of sophisticated Napa Valley sparkling wines. A few days before the tasting, we received six wines, four sparkling, and two reds. They had recommended several cheeses which we were able to pick up from our local market beforehand. For future virtual tastings at Schramsberg, you can either buy the wines in the tasting or enjoy your favorite wine, tune in and listen through Facebook Live.
Trinitas Cellars, Napa Valley
Trinitas Cellars has put together some excellent virtual programming. The next tasting will take place August 15th for the Snake River Farms Virtual Tasting With Garrett Busch. The evening will include steaks shipped separately from Snake River Farms. Trinitas proprietor, Garrett Busch will lead the tasting with two of the most beautiful red wines Trinitas has to offer - 2015 Petit Verdot and 2015 Old Vine Petite Sirah. After you order your kit, you can sit back and relax until the event when you will get access to the Zoom session.
Bridlewood Estate Winery, Santa Ynez
Bridlewood Estate Winery has created a mystery game out of the virtual tasting experience. Unlike other wineries, at Bridlewood there is a fun twist. The virtual experience is called the Bridlewood Challenge. In this forum, you will receive three unmarked bottles of Bridlewood wine and guess the mystery wines.
Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville, CA
Robert Mondavi Winery was one of the first wineries to pivot into virtual tasting. It's no surprise when you consider that they were voted the #5 vineyard in the world and the best winery in North America. The Mondavi team has built a wine and culinary series that is wildly popular and followed. Not only can you cook and taste wine with the estate executive chef or staff, but you can explore the bud break in the vineyards and some of the action in production. These educational experiences are both inspiring and free. If that isn't enough, Mondavi Winery also has an outstanding Sunday Summer Series that includes food, wine, conversation (behind the scenes) and the performing arts. From the comfort of your home, every other Sunday, you can expand your horizons. Wine and merchandise packages are available for purchase.
Clif Family Winery, St. Helena, CA
Clif Family Winery has an excellent selection of food and wine virtual tasting kits to choose from. Both the King of the Mountain Kit ($160) and the Aperitivo Food and Wine Kit ($100) are unique and the tastings are engaging. Each wine is paired with a delicious and organic, Clif family product. You can pick up the kits or have them shipped to you for an extra $20. In the summer when it can be triple digits, tasting from your air-conditioned home is a great option.
The Wine Militia (online)
The Wine Militia is an edgy (almost hipster) alternative to the virtual wine experience. The company (founded in 2008) takes pride in revolutionizing the way we see and experience wine. Mastermind behind the concept is Canadian born musician, Lamar Engel. Lamar has drawn from his array of experiences in Napa, Sonoma and San Francisco and pulled together a great team. Probably some of the most creative programming that we have ever seen, the Wine Militia deliver experiences that will shape the way you see wine forever. You can book a Private Virtual Tasting Event ($25/BYOB), a Virtual Wine Tasting Class ($70), a Virtual Blind Tasting ($75) or a Virtual Wine Game (starting at $65).
The Virtual wine Game option has three or four different packages to choose from. Each will include wine, trivia, game cards, prizes and a sommelier host that will challenge the participants in an exciting way. This can be a fun virtual corporate event or entertainment for friends, both near and far. Varying levels of difficulty are available. Most of the sessions are held on private Zoom meetings. If you are looking for something different, definitely check out the Wine Militia.