Coronavirus has forced us to find new ways to socialise, enjoy hobbies and take part in communal events. And that includes wine tastings. Since lockdown became prevalent in most countries around the world, wine-lovers have begun turning to online wine tastings.
Thankfully, lockdown may mean you’re confined to your home but as long as you have an internet connection, it doesn’t preclude socialising online. Wine tasting is a serious hobby for some, and a bit of fun for others, and now all wine lovers can continue their practice throughout lockdown and quarantine.
Tips and advice on holding a virtual wine tasting
Here are some tips from Lu Yang MS, the first Master Sommelier in China on how to have a virtual wine tasting event.
- Choose the right time
Lu Yang MS is also the founder of Grapea Wine Education and has been hosting online virtual wine tastings every week during the China lockdown. He says that most important thing to consider is when to host the event. He told decanter.com that after dinner works best, as people often find more time at the end of the day to sit down and focus on wine tastings.
- Use the best software
In China, the most popular software for video calls is WeChat, but in the UK anything from WhatsApp, Zoom or Skype can easily be used too. The only real consideration is whether everyone in the group has access to it and knows how to use it.
- Choose your tasters carefully
If this is the first time you’ve held a virtual tasting, start with friends and people you know well. You’ll be more relaxed and can then expand your wine tastings to professionals if it goes well.
- Select a theme
A theme helps to keep the group focused. Whether it’s tasting the same vintage from different regions, or different wines from the same producer, a theme helps to concentrate discussion around a singular topic.
- Be creative
Avoid the temptation to just tell participants about each wine. Instead, try to make it interactive. For example, you could play blind tasting games. A simple example is to ask everyone to pour out the same wines. One person then tastes a wine and describes it, challenging the others to find the same wine from their selection.
Above all, have fun! While a virtual wine tasting isn’t ideal and we’d always rather be in person, it’s a great way to socialise while keeping up with your wine knowledge during these challenging times.