In non-pandemic times, California’s wineries and breweries were hot destinations for weekend tastings and general frolic. But even now, in our shutdown state, we can still enjoy a bit of that fun via virtual wine tastings, beer festivals and online mixology classes. Here’s just a sampling.
Aperture Cellars Virtual Tastings: Join us for a virtual tasting in the comfort of your home. Please purchase your tasting kit in advance of your virtual tasting. https://aperture-cellars.com/virtual-tastings/
Bouchaine Vineyards: Order a Bouchaine Winemaker Tasting Kit delivered to your home, then book a virtual wine tasting appointment online. Each kit provides tasting notes and vintage summaries, so you’ll be all set for your private tasting with a host — seated before the panoramic view of Bouchaine Vineyards — who will lead you and your guests through a discussion of the wines. www.bouchaine.com
CA Craft Beer Week: Feb. 12-21. SF Beer Week is going virtual and joining brewers and beer lovers across the state for a virtual CA Craft Beer Week that will include a variety of beer-centric events, activities and tastings. Details: https://cacraftbeerweek.com/
Cakebread Cellars Virtual Wine and Food Festival: 10-11:30 a.m. Jan. 23. Resident chefs will offer live culinary demos, as Cakebread staff lead wine tastings of a 2017 Chardonnay Reserve, 2017 Annahala Pinot Noir, 2017 Syrah, 2017 Vaca, 2017 Guajolote and 2008 Benchland Select. Order the wines ahead of time to taste along, check out the recipes and look for upcoming virtual events, including a Jan. 29 Super Bowl seafood spread, on the winery’s “culinary page” at www.cakebread.com.
Center of Effort Virtual Wine Dinner: Edna Valley-based Center of Effort winery is launching virtual cooking classes with wine pairings. Up first: Chef Chris Shackelford of Trelio Restaurant and COE winemaker Nathan Carlson on Jan. 28. Tickets ($95) include two bottles of wine, recipes and a 60-minute virtual cooking and wine-pairing class. Up next: A decadent wine and chocolate pairing ($120) with Carlson and Mama Ganache owner Ben Taylor at 4 p.m. Feb. 18. www.centerofeffortwine.com
Chateau St. Jean Virtual Tastings: Order a tasting kit and enjoy a virtual tasting with Chateau St. Jean’s wine educators. Available 12 to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. Contact Ryan at 707-345-6735; www.chateaustjean.com
Cheese O’Clock Virtual Tastings: Join Laura Werlin and Janet Fletcher for this virtual 5 p.m. cheese and wine pairing series with cheesemaker and winemaker guests. Feb. 18 explores Europe Off the Beaten Path with WillaKenzie Estate, Feb. 25 is Italian All Stars, March 4 showcases Wonder Women of American Cheese and March 11 is dubbed Aged to Perfection. Register and order cheeses and wines at www.janetfletcher.com/cheeseoclock.
Clos Du Val “Tasting at your Table”: Purchase four bottles ($55 and up) of wine and make an appointment for a live virtual tasting tailored around your choices of wine. www.closduval.com/Visit-Us
Cuvaison Estate Wines: Offering a virtual wine tasting experience to taste through the new wines. Email email@example.com to schedule a virtual Cuvaison wine tasting. www.cuvaison.com
DuMol Winery Five-Course Dinner, 7 p.m. Feb. 6. Enjoy a five-course dinner and a guided pairing from the DuMol team. $150. 555 California St., San Francisco. www.exploretock.com/thevault/
Far Niente Family of Wineries: Guests have the opportunity to ask pressing wine-related questions, while learning more about the wines and winery. Book a date and select a wine package that will be shipped directly to your door. www.exploretock.com/farnientewinery/
Flowers Vineyards & Winery’s Indefinite Virtual Tasting Experiences: Offering 30-minute daily virtual tastings of pinot noir or estate flights, or you can customize a tasting with your favorite Flowers wines. www.flowerswinery.com/virtual-tastings/
Gloria Ferrer Virtual Tastings: This Sonoma Valley winery offers private, virtual tasting experiences with wine educators, who sip along with you through a selection of Gloria Ferrer wines. You can taste with just your household or invite friends to join in via Zoom. The Trio of Sparkling Wine & Chocolate Pairing experience ($115), for example, includes three bottles of sparkling wine and a 12-piece box of chocolate truffles. Details: www.gloriaferrer.com.
Hess Collection Virtual Happy Hour: Join chief winemaker Dave Guffy and his colleagues on Facebook Live at 4 p.m. on select Thursdays as they chat about winemaking, wine tasting and vineyards. www.hesscollection.com
Inglenook, Corison & Ridge Vineyards Virtual Tasting: 3 p.m. Jan. 19. Join Francis Ford Coppola, Cathy Corison, Paul Draper, Eric Asimov and Elaine Chukan Brown as they discuss the 2011 vintage and taste wines, including Inglenook’s Rubicon and more, from a distinctive NorCal growing season. Register here.
Inman Family Wines: Choose one of four three-packs ($84 and up) of Sonoma pinot noirs, chardonnay, rosés, and sparklers, then join a scheduled “Meet the Maker” happy hour tasting with winemaker Kathleen Inman via Facebook Video Chat, where you can enjoy the wines with fellow wine lovers. www.inmanfamilywines.com/Visit-Us/Events
J. Lohr Vineyards Virtual Tastings: This San Jose and Paso Robles winery has launched private virtual tastings for J. Lohr aficionados. Order a four-pack of wine ($130 and up), then pop the cork for the one-hour tasting session held Wednesday through Sunday. Order the wines and make reservations via jlohr.com/virtual-tastings.
J Vineyards & Winery: Virtual tastings noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Choose your favorites for a custom flight, explore a new collection or take a deep look at a single wine through the years. www.jwine.com/bespoke-virtual-tastings
JCB Live Happy Hour: Jean-Charles Boisset’s online JCB Live Happy Hour sessions air through September at 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, and at 4 p.m. Saturday with varying themes. https://jcbcollection.com/jcb-live-happy-hour.
‘Taste at Home with Justin’: An educational tasting experience with Certified Wine Educator and Sommelier, Jim Gerakaris. Consumers can enjoy wines from their cellar or a custom flight can be put together for you. Find more details on the Paso Robles winery’s tastings at www.justinwine.com.
Longevity Private Virtual Tastings: Book a private virtual wine tasting experience for you and your group. Phil Long, owner and winemaker, will take you on a personalized journey where you will sip, chat, and learn about our award-winning wines and the Longevity story. www.longevitywines.com/private-virtual-tastings.html
Markham Napa Valley Vineyards Virtual Party: Host a virtual party, happy hour or wine tasting and let Markham do the work. A private guide will select options like the District Series Appellation Tasting including three wines ($113 plus shipping), or a combination of wines you choose. Book a date and schedule wine delivery for a fun, fact-filled virtual tasting from home. Details: https://markhamvineyards.com/visit/virtual-tastings/
Monochrome Tasting Kit: This Paso Robles winery is hosting complimentary virtual wine tastings during the shutdown, with the option of shipping wines of your choice or a wine tasting sampler kit ($25) ahead of time, so you’re ready for a Zoom sipping session with Monochrome’s winemaker. Details: https://monochromewines.com
Newsome Harlow Wines: Join the virtual tastings with this Sierra Foothills winery every Wednesday, alternating between happy hour with winemaker Scott Klannour and a guest and virtual tastings. www.nhvino.com/visit/
ONX Virtual Tasting Kit: Enjoy a tasting session with this Paso Robles winery by ordering a tasting kit ($30 for five 2-ounce pours) shipped to your home before your virtual sipping time. Details: www.onxwines.com
Page Mill Winery: Livermore winemaker Dane Stark is offering Virtual Twilight Tastings on Facebook every Thursday at 6 p.m. Each week, the tasting benefits a different charity, with 10 percent of gross sales from the start of the virtual tasting to close of business on Friday going to that week’s organization. www.pagemillwinery.com/twilight-tastings
Parallel Napa Valley: Schedule a guided tasting ($95) with the winery’s general manager Adrienne Capps, which covers Russian River Valley Chardonnay, Napa Valley Cabernet and Black Diamond Reserve Napa Cabernet. www.parallelwines.com/tastings
Passalacqua Winery’s Virtual Wine Tasting: Enjoy unique personalized wine tasting flights, delivered in three individually selected 2-ounce glass vials and accompanied by a private, guided one-on-one virtual wine tasting appointment. https://passalacquawinery.com/virtual-tastings
Pinot Noir Specialists Virtual Tasting — Cuvaison, Chappellet & Goldeneye: 4:30 p.m. Feb. 11. Taste three wines presented by the winemakers who crafted them, discover the secrets of each region, learn what makes each label so exceptional for Pinot Noir, and then participate in a Q and A session moderated by wine writer and educator Anthony Giglio. Participants may purchase the featured wines in advance. Free admission. http://bit.ly/363uqKB
Pizza and Wine Master Class: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11. Learn about the history of pizza, differences in pizza styles and how and why to pair wine with your favorite pizza with advanced sommelier Mike Guerra and master pizzaiolo John Arena. Taste along with a tasting kit or a sampler of wines from Due Terre. Tasting kit includes five 4-ounce bottles ($22), bottle set includes five 750ml bottles ($90). http://bit.ly/2YfxHSX
Priority Wine Pass Virtual Wine Tasting: Order curated wine selections for delivery, then schedule online video-tastings with winemakers from Bridgette/Courtesan, Boeschen Vineyards, Prime Solum and more. The virtual tasting experiences include a “Learn How to Wine Taste” experience with sommelier Victor Orozco. https://prioritywinepass.com/virtual-wine-tasting/
Quilt Virtual Tastings: Napa Valley’s Quilt Wines hosts virtual wine tastings at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays that showcase a wine, discuss food pairings and often include a recipe from Avow, the winery’s sister restaurant. Purchase six wines and you can schedule your own private virtual tasting. Details: https://quiltandco.com
Rombauer Hour, Virtual Wine Tasting: Schedule your own privately-hosted Rombauer hour with one of the tasting room hosts. Free. www.rombauer.com/virtual-tasting-experiences/
Silver Trident Winery’s Potato Chip Extravaganza: Here’s something a tad unexpected from a Napa Valley winery — five wines paired with five different artisanal potato chips. You can sample the Symphony No. 9 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, for example, with Route 11 Sour Cream & Chives chips, and Benevolent Dictator Russian River Pinot Noir with Zapp’s Cajun Dill “Gator-Tators.” At-home Potato Chip Experience tasting kits are $347.50 and include a video hosted by winemaker Kari Auringer and enough wine and chips for four tasters. www.silvertridentwinery.com
Sonoma Valley goes virtual: Some 14 Sonoma Valley wineries are offering virtual wine tastings and wine experiences. Take a look at the offerings and pre-order wines at https://sonomavalleywine.com/sonoma-valley-virtual-tastings/
Takara Sake Virtual Sake Tasting: Takara tasting room manager Mika Tsuchiiwa will lead a Zoom class from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursdays. Tasting kits ($50) include five bottles of various types of sake, detailed charts and descriptive sheets. Register in advance for home delivery or pick up at Takara Sake, 708 Addison St., Berkeley. www.takarasake.com
The Vault Garden: Kentucky Bourbon Dinner, Feb. 6. Featuring exclusive bourbons and ryes and a five-course menu including caviar, smoked pork pate, ricotta gnudi, roasted dry aged beef and slow roasted pineapple bread pudding. Guests can choose between drink and reservation time options. 5:30 p.m. wheated bourbon ($165), 7 p.m. straight rye and high rye mashbill ($195), 7:45 p.m. low rye mashbill ($150). Each pairing includes one cocktail and four one-ounce tastings.
Valentines Mixology: 4, 5:15, 6:30 or 7:45 p.m. Feb. 14. CityOfCocktail will host a special, Valentine-themed workshop featuring three cocktails. Order two weeks ahead so materials kits can be sent out in advance, then enjoy a fun, hour-long bartender skills training online. Early bird rate $99. https://cityofcocktail.com/upcoming-classes/
Wine and Cheese Virtual Trivia Night: 6 p.m. Jan. 29. Play wine trivia with wine director and sommelier Serena Harkey, as you taste three wines from Left Bank’s LB Cru Wine Club, along with cheese pairings. Wine and cheese packages are available for pickup from noon to 5 p.m. Jan. 29 at Left Bank Brasserie, 377 Santana Row, Suite 1100, San Jose. Proceeds benefit the Junior League of San Jose. www.leftbank.com
Wine.com Experiences: Experience wine edu-tainment as you taste wines and talk to top winemakers and wine-loving celebrities, chefs and critics. Buy the wines ahead of time to get the full tasting experience. www.wine.com/content/landing/virtual-tastings?s
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