How to go Wine Tasting during ‘Shelter in Place’

Wine tasting weekends are off limits during Shelter in Place, but many wineries have pivoted the traditional on-site tasting sessions to online offerings. Now you can swirl, sip and discuss wines, all from the comfort of your own home. Some wineries have scheduled tastings each week. You purchase the wine in advance, log in during the designated time, and are led through an educational tasting. Others are private sessions, where you can taste with a brand ambassador. It’s an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon during COVID and supports the winery and its employees.
Here are some notables:
Clos du Val: Purchase four bottles ($55 and up) of wine and make an appointment for a live virtual tasting tailored around your choices of wine.
Frog’s Leap: Producers John and Rory Williams share stories, methods and intentions behind each Rutherford wine during an Interactive Tasting Series every Saturday at 3 p.m. via Zoom and Instagram Live. Wines for each tasting are available for sale on the winery’s web site, which is offering $5 shipping (use code FLATRATE5) on all orders. Order by Wednesdays at 10 a.m. via 2-day service to receive it in time for the Saturday tasting experiences.
JUSTIN: Founder Justin Baldwin will host an interactive tasting from 5 to 6 p.m. on April 17 with his 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Right Angle and Savant wines via the JUSTIN Vineyards Instagram @JUSTINWine. Find more details on the Paso Robles winery’s tastings at
Malene: Join Malene winemaker Fintan du Fresne and Tasting Room Manager Brooke Serafine for a virtual tasting of the 2019 Malene Rosé! They will be discussing the vintage, vineyards, and some new winemaking techniques in the cellar. Fin will have tasting notes and some of his favorite pairing ideas for the new vintage of Malene Rosé.
PlumpJack: Hosts on Facebook Live, these virtual tastings showcase different estates and winemakers, including Odette’s Jeff Owens, CADE’s Danielle Cyrot and PlumpJack’s Aaron Miller.
Reverie II: Purchase a line up of wine to be delivered at a discount, then set up a virtual tasting with one of their very knowledgeable brand ambassadors to drink through the line up with the rolling hills of Napa as the backdrop.
Wente Vineyards: Meet up with Aly and Niki Wente on Instagram to talk about wine and walk through some fun Livermore Valley pairings. Each Wednesday evening will feature a new topic and occasionally special guests, including Wente family members and other Wente team members.
Other Resources:
Mercury News Napa publishes a full list of Napa based wineries offering online tastings here.
Sonoma Valley Wine publishes a calendar of Sonoma based wineries offering online tastings here.
Visit California publishes an ongoing list of select wineries in California offering virtual tastings here.
Stay Safe. Stay Home. Drink Well.