ideal wine company - virtual wine tasting

Ideal Wine Company’s recommendations for twenty virtual wine tasting experiences

Virtual wine tastings have become immensely popular in the post-pandemic world. As people continue to avoid public gatherings, many wineries, retailers, and sommeliers are now offering virtual experiences that bring some of the elements of a vineyard event to the comfort and safety of our homes. Think wines delivered to your doorstep, online guides, learning about new wines, games and quizzes, and raising a virtual toast with the other participants.

If you are a wine lover who misses spending a day out at a local vineyard sampling new wines and food pairings, you might enjoy hosting an online wine tasting or joining one of these handpicked virtual wine tastings:-

  1. Bolney Wine Estate

The Sussex estate offers virtual wine tasting experiences for their award-winning English wines. Priced at £45, the Classic Tasting includes a virtual tour of the Bolney Wine Estate, a bottle of their Lychgate Red and Lychgate Bacchus along with two kinds of cheese delivered to your home, and an hour-long virtual tasting hosted by an in-house expert.  

  1. Brixton Wine Club  

A wine club experience with a twist, Brixton Wine Club is all about premium wines in cans. Choose from their three, four, or six-can packs and either opt for a single box or a monthly subscription.  All boxes come with tasting notes and they can include a private tasting session with their founder Louisa on request.

  1. Caviste

An independent wine merchant in Hampshire, Caviste started wine deliveries across the UK and virtual tasting events last year for customers dealing with the pandemic. They send you a collection of wines carefully decanted into 50ml or 100ml glass bottles with tasting sheets and instructions for chilling and pairing the wines with food. Recent themes for tasting events include Drappier Champagne and Brocard Chablis. 

  1. Enjoy Discovering Wine

The team of wine educators behind the WSET award trainings at Enjoy Discovering Wine also offers wine tasting events that can be tailor-made for occasions and groups with different levels of wine appreciation. Themes for tasting sessions range from introduction to wine tasting, food and wine pairings, and English wines, to wine regions of the world and grapes from around the world.

  1. FORTIFY

Independent London beverage school FORTIFY hosts in-home drinking experiences like virtual tastings and group masterclasses that combine sommelier insight and hospitality. The introductory package includes four wine samples and guided tasting videos. Prices start at £40.

  1. Huxley’s Bar

The Huxley’s Bar tastings are designed to be interactive. You can either opt for the V.I.P. experience with an expert to guide your online session or for the professional videos that you can follow at your own pace. Prices start at £34.50 for an experience of five specially selected wines.

  1. Manchester Wine School

You can choose from different styles of tasting events from the Manchester Wine School. Some of these are held in partnership with independent wine merchants who will deliver the wines to your door. Others are designed to be ‘bring your own’ events where you purchase the wines in advance. Prices start at £30.

  1. Newcastle Wine School

The Newcastle Wine School’s tastings are a premium experience. An experienced sommelier selects three wines for you, as per the theme and budget you pick, then hosts a virtual tasting party for you and your guests. The minimum cost is £150.00 for up to six households, plus the cost of the wines which you will need to purchase from a retailer.

  1. Online Wine Tasting Club

A promising new venture, the Online Wine Tasting Club sends you five wine samples once a month in lightweight, low-carbon packaging that fits through your letterbox. You can join a single tasting or save by subscribing to one of their two regular series: The Discoverer Series (Beginners) or The Adventurer Series (Advanced). Prices start at £29.95 for the Discoverer Series.

  1. Plonk Wine 

Another lockdown venture by vintners for home experiences and deliveries, Plonk hosts ready-themed and bespoke virtual wine tasting events. They’ll deliver three (or more) half or full-size bottles of wine to you and other participants, and will host a lively session with questions and expert answers. You can even select the video conferencing platform of your choice.

  1. Rose Murray Brown MW

One of the world’s only 418 Masters of Wine, Rose Murray Brown now hosts online wine tastings with classics like Tuscan Reds, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Small French Growers, etc. Some of the tastings have another wine expert or a winemaker as a guest host. You can book an experience from the calendar of events on the site.

  1. Tasting Online

One of the bigger and pricier platforms, Tasting Online organises customised tasting experiences for all types of alcoholic beverages. They will devise a full programme according to your requirements, source the samples and send them to you, host the event with games and prizes, field questions, and follow up. The typical charges are £250 for a group for an hour but can be tailored as per need.

  1. The English Vine

For fun and easygoing wine tastings with some incredible conversation, The English Vine is your best bet. At prices starting from £50, they include a wine tasting box of six samples with some extra bits and pieces, an in-house expert for guidance, and a 10% discount on subsequent orders. Ask and they will tailor the session to your preference.

  1. The Vine Untangled

WSET certified wine & spirit educator Tim Haslam hosts guided tastings on The Vine Untangled. These are informal yet informative events that can be themed as per your requirements. Haslam takes you behind the scenes on a virtual tour of what goes into the professional wine trade.

  1. ThirtyFifty

The ThirtyFifty team is hosting a virtual series of wine tastings that are designed to be educational yet fun. The two-hour session led by a WSET wine expert takes you through eight wines. These include 50ml samples of wines from around the world – three whites, four reds, and a dessert wine, sent to you a week before the tasting. Prices start at £39.

  1. Tipple Talk

The Tipple Talk wine club works like any other wine club but in a virtual setting from the comfort of your home. You receive a pack of six wine samples and a guided online tasting tutorial with Katrina, their WSET certified award-winning founder. The wine club runs on the first Thursday of every month, and you can choose any one or multiple months if you prefer not to subscribe. Prices start from £27.50.

  1. Unicorn & The Vine 

Highly experienced wine educator Luisa Salussolia hosts interactive wine tastings for households. Choose one of the themes on offer like ‘La Dolce Vita’ for Italian wines or ‘La Vie est Belle’ for French wines, or request a bespoke package. Each Unicorn & The Vine package includes three bottles of premium wine. Price per household for at least three households is £90, and decreases with increase in the number of participating households.

  1. VineDrops

VineDrops hosts interactive virtual wine tasting experiences that are led by independent vineyards. The kit includes a parcel of wine, tasting cards, and a Zoom call invitation sent to your home. What sets it apart is that besides the tasting experience, you get to accompany the winemakers as they lead you on a 45-minute exploration of their wines, history, and local heritage.

  1. VINGIN

Take your pick from a range of virtual wine parties for six or more participants. Each VINGIN tasting is hosted in a fun and engaging virtual environment, guided by an expert with games, quizzes, videos, voting, and lots of wine information and tips. The tasting packs also include tasting mats, score sheets, and tasting notes. You can either choose from themes like organic, fair trade, old world versus new world, specific countries, or go for a non-themed party.

  1. Virtual Tastings

Wine retailer Novel Wines launched Virtual Tastings during the pandemic to offer guided wine tastings online to wine lovers and customers. They have curated wine packages starting at £30 for a minimum of three households in a session. Choose from Wine in Cans, Quality Value Wines, Premium Wines, and Sparkling Wines for your tasting event. Remember that you need to book the tasting at least a week in advance.

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