One of the things I miss most about the freedom to leave my house — don’t get me wrong, I’m deeply grateful to be able to safely shelter-in-place — is my weekly visits to wineries in Napa and Sonoma. But many creative folks in the wine industry have figured out how to replicate tasting room experiences in the comfort of your own home. Here are three wineries to help you get your party started.
Belden Barns, the hot newcomer on Sonoma Mountain already getting a buzz for its elegant, affordable Grüner Veltliner, Syrah, and Pinot Noir, is holding the first of nine virtual tastings tomorrow, March 29th at 5pm Pacific Time. Sign up here for “Wine & Wishes, “ a free virtual tasting of one wine per week, starting with the estate-grown Sauvignon Blanc. Talk with owners Nate and Lauren Hirschfield Belden about possible food pairings, how food and wine transform each other in various ways, and even play a little trivia game for a chance to win a 12-bottle wine suitcase from VinGarde Valise valued at $350. The virtual tasting will be held on the easy-to-use Zoom platform — have you bought Zoom stock yet?
The Wine Foundry & Anarchist Wine Co.
Want a virtual tasting of wines you hand-select? Just purchase four wines from The Wine Foundry (usually allocated, but now open to all) or Anarchist Wine Co. (the retail cousin of the custom winemaking operation), and you can schedule a 45-minute tasting session with Stuart Ake, a wine educator with a down-t0-earth style and deep wine knowledge. To purchase wine and schedule a tasting, email firstname.lastname@example.org (This is an ongoing program available year ’round, but especially apropros during a pandemic.)
Classic Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon producer Far Niente, in Napa Valley’s Oakville, is now offering one-on-one private virtual tastings with a host from the storied property. Simply go to the Virtual Tastings link or contact Kelly Denny at 707-302-3627 or send an email to Denny at email@example.com) to select your wines, and they’ll be shipped free of charge directly to your home within 2-3 days. Then you’ll schedule a Zoom meeting with your host and settle in for a conversation about the wines you’re tasting. You can, of course, invite others in your quarantine to join you!
Watch this space — I’ll report on virtual tastings on an ongoing basis. If you have one to recommend, find me @throughtraveler. Meanwhile, please support your local winemakers and their winery staff!