If you want to have an undoubtedly fun time with friends and/or family that you are not seeing on a regular basis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one fabulous way to visit and catch up is to do a virtual recorded wine tasting.

How do we know? Well, in the course of social distancing and limiting our interaction with people outside our nuclear family, we've done four tastings.

Our first was a "live" tasting with vinters who are Rutgers University Alumni Association members. We tried four New Jersey wines in 90 minutes, including an amazing blueberry, and for the most part, enjoyed the commentary from our hosts. The conversation did drag a bit at times; we needed to stay alert for each new bottle in the discussion. That was the only drawback.

Our next few tastings were done via Wine.com recordings on YouTube on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Each of these tastings were 60 minutes, featuring as many as four bottles and as few as one. What we discovered was that we didn't need to stick to the schedule of the recording. If we wanted to linger a bit longer with a glass, we could simply pause and restart when we were ready.

Since those last three tastings, I've been wondering how the three of us - my wife, daughter, and I - could get family and friends involved. And I think it's simple to do.

Everyone orders their own bottles and gathers in an online meeting room for some icebreaking chit chat and for the schedule of the event (nothing more than knowing the timing of each new bottle in the video).

Attendees watch each segment in their own little groups, returning to the main gathering space between bottles to discuss the wine and anything they've learned. (You could try to watch together from your preferred meeting space, but the video quality and volume can lag or be choppy.)

You'll end up with a nice little 90- to 120-minute gathering in which you interact with many more people than your closest family and you get many more points of view on each bottle.

How Does it Work?

  • At wine.com, check out the virtual tastings. There will be a list with the opportunity to buy the bottles needed for each one.

  • Coordinate with family and/or friends and share the links for the purchase, the YouTube video, and your gathering place.

  • On the day of your event, get together and have some fun.

Wine Tastings We've Done

Title YouTube Link Wine Link
Biodynamic Wines Watch Order
Copolla Wines Watch Order
Rock on with Bon Jovi's Hampton Water Rose Watch Order


Credits