Raise your hand if you’ve been drinking more wine since COVID-19 hit the U.S.? You’re not alone—in-store wine sales nationwide have been booming since March. As summer winds down and fall ramps up, many of the annual wine and food festivals we look forward to each year are on hold. But when there’s a
will wine, there’s a way! Check out these innovative ways to host or attend a virtual wine tasting from the comfort of your own home.
Throw an Exclusive Party for Your Friends
To celebrate a birthday, anniversary, retirement or other special occasion, host a virtual wine tasting amongst your family and friends. Bottles Nation lets you select a date and time and consults you on the style of wine you’d like your party to taste. You can order the wine through a local retailer, then gather your group and have a sommelier guide you through the tasting.
Take a Virtual Trip to Napa Valley
The world-renowned wineries of Napa Valley are now just a click away from Chapel Hill. Wineries throughout the valley are offering frequent virtual events and tastings to bring the California winery experience to your home. Check out Napa Vintners for the upcoming schedule and to sign up to participate.
Taste on a Budget
Eventbrite has aggregated virtual wine tastings and webinars from across the world. Find a time that works for your schedule and home in on a style you’re eager to learn more about. A range of price points is available for these events, including free sessions, plus the cost of the wines.
Support Local NC Wines
Just two hours west of Chapel Hill, some of the best North Carolina wines are grown in the Yadkin Valley. Piccione Vineyards in Rhonda, NC has previously offered a virtual tasting where guests ordered a bundle of North Carolina-produced wines, joined a Zoom call, and talked through tasting notes, the winemaking processes and the Piccione team’s favorite pairings. Check their website for any future events. You can also reach out to your favorite NC winery and request a virtual tasting for your group.
Create a DIY Tasting
Local wine stores are very knowledgeable and can help you plan your own tasting around a theme, region or style. Visit the website of each wine to print out tasting notes and pairing recommendations. Encourage your guests to download a wine tasting sheet to record their thoughts. For a more playful atmosphere, you can structure the tasting to incorporate games for your guests.
Deepen Your Wine Knowledge
For wine drinkers looking to dive deep on enology-related topics, the University of California Davis offers the free online course “Wine Tasting: Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis.” Throughout the class, students will build sensory vocabulary to describe wine, learn to identify various faults in different varietals, discover classic wine types of the world and delve into food pairings.
Put in the 14 hours to complete this in-depth course, and you’ll dazzle all your friends at your next virtual wine tasting.