If you’re like us, you’re missing the fun and excitement of joining an in-person wine tasting. Trying new wines. Meeting fellow wine lovers. But as COVID-19 prevention measures were put in place last year, and continue to be in effect, event have moved into the virtual world — you’ve probably joined a few E-numan sessions over the last few months, so why not take this a step further and join, or even host, a virtual wine tasting. All you need is a curiosity about wine and an internet connection.
Continue reading for some of our quick tips on how to easily host a virtual wine tasting or wine pairing seminar. Whether it’s for a birthday party, a wedding celebration, a team building event, or a corporate event — these tips will help you make your online wine tasting event a success.
If we’re going by exact definitions, a wine tasting is the process of analyzing the wine in your glass through your 5 senses. The goal is to understand how and where the wine is made and its quality. But in simpler terms, in a wine tasting you'll be picking out the flavors and aromas of the wine and learning about how it was made. Usually these occur at a vineyard or at a private event but as events moved over into the virtual world, so did wine tastings.
So what is a virtual wine tasting? A virtual wine tasting has all of the same benefits as an in-person event but with some added benefits as well: you can create a distraction-free environment in the comfort of your own home plus wear whatever you’re comfortable in. This is what makes them great options for team bonding activities, a fun birthday event, an engaging corporate party, or just virtually hanging out with friends. So how do you host a virtual wine tasting?
Whilst all you really need to host a virtual wine tasting is a reliable internet connection (if you’ve been able to attend online meetings or Zoom workout classes, then you shouldn’t have any issues), there are a few extra things to consider to really make it stand out. Here are a few of our suggestions:
It may seem obvious, but one of the first things to figure out is who will be joining your virtual wine tasting seminar. Do they already have some knowledge about wines or are they complete beginners? Do they all have wine glasses or will you need to supply them with some for the tasting? You’ll also have to consider how many people will be attending. We recommend sticking to around 12 people as this way you can make sure that everyone gets the most out of the tasting and everyone can be seen on the screen at the same time.
Once you know how many people you’ll be inviting, the next step is to figure out your budget per person. This is going to help you when it comes to picking what wines — and what size bottles of wine — you’ll be tasting as well as if you want to have any add-ons like snacks or stemware.
Now that you know how much you’re willing to spend per person, you can move on to the wines. There are several options when it comes to choosing the wines. We think mini wine bottles are a great option if you purely want to taste different wines and keep the budget at a minimum. However, full-sized bottles are another option. Just keep in mind that once you’ve opened the bottles, you’ll have to store them properly and consume them within 3-5 days.
You might also want to consider providing your guests with snacks such as crackers and pâtê. Not only can these act as a palate cleanser but they’ll also be a good way for your guests to experience how drinking food and wine together can enhance their flavors (or even how they can clash). If you really want to go all out, you can consider providing them with all the ingredients for a great pasta dish that they can either prepare for the tasting or enjoy on their own time. Although, we do recommend to save the meals for when you're done with the tasting to avoid any flavors from the dish altering your perception of the wine.
Another thing to consider when hosting a virtual wine tasting is the platform. Whether you opt to use platforms such as Google Meet or Zoom, make sure that all of your guests will have easy access, or have downloaded the necessary app ahead of time. You should also make sure that you have the appropriate plan to avoid your tasting getting cut-off midway. You might also want to choose the platform based on how your event will look: whether you want to view all your guests on one screen, or if you want to have a virtual background to really set the mood of your tasting.
Once you have all the key details figured out, you’ll also have to think of the logistics. Will you have the wines delivered to your guests, or will your guests have to order the wines themselves? You’ll also have to consider when the wines will be delivered. Whether they are delivered the day of the event or a day before, make sure that your attendees have the right information on how to properly store the wines before the tasting.
Now that you have all of the details figured out, it’s time to have your wine tasting. You can host these yourself, but we think to give it that extra boost, have an experienced sommelier guide the event. They can help explain the different aromas and flavors from each wine, how those happen, and any other information you might want to know. You could even go the extra step and offer tasting note templates for your guests to fill out as they taste the wines. This way, if there was a wine that they really loved, they can look back and buy it again in the future.
However you choose to host your virtual wine tasting event, we guarantee it'll be a unique, fun, and mutual learning experience. To make it as seamless as possible, get in touch with our experienced team at email@example.com. We can help you choose the right wines, provide snack options, deliver the wines to your guests, and our Chief Sommelier can guide you through the wines during your event, all within your budget.