What is a virtual wine tasting?

We still get a lot of people asking us what is a virtual wine tasting. It is still quite a new phenomenon that’s really taken off in the wake of COVID-19 with many wineries being closed. That said, we wanted to cover some of the basics of what a virtual tasting is and explain what makes Priority Wine Pass unique in the market. We’ve noticed that a lot of the “best wine tasting experiences” lists out there fail to mention some of the main things to consider when finding the right experience.

Introduction to virtual tasting

First off, let’s cover the basics. What is a Virtual wine tasting? Well, virtual tastings follow a lot of the basics of a regular wine tasting, that is you get to taste and learn about several wines from a winery. The difference is that instead of you visiting the winery, the winery comes to you. They do this by coordinating a wine shipment, sending it to your address, and then arranging an online meeting where someone can explain the wine. The experience is often accompanied with tasting notes, stories, images, videos and other add-ons to enhance the experience.

Not all tastings are the same

The one thing that people don’t often talk about is that there are a few formats when it comes to virtual wine tasting. All are great because they often give you access to the winemakers and/or winery owners or introduce you to new wines. That being said, there is a huge difference between the virtual wine tastings out there that we’d like to clear up.

Private virtual wine tastings

The first type is a private group virtual wine tasting (This is what we focus on). A customer purchases a wine shipment in order to partake in the experience. Our wine tasting packages range between $70 a shipment to $500+ a shipment. The price typically includes the wine, the shipping, and the virtual tastings.

Depending on the package the wine may come in small 2 or 4 oz pours or include full bottles. In terms of the virtual tasting, it typically lasts about an hour and is hosted over zoom by the winery owner and/or the winemaker.

The main difference with private virtual tastings is that they are way more flexible. Customers can coordinate the time they’d like to schedule the tasting directly with wineries. They also allow you to customize shipments with add-ons like food pairings, non-alcoholic shipments, marketing materials, etc. Basically you can adapt just about any aspect of the tasting for your needs.

Another big difference is that it’s only you, your party, and the winery. Unlike webinar-style virtual tastings you won’t have any other of the wineries customers tasting with you. Also, it’s much more interactive experience overall.

O'Brien Virtual Tasting

This is what Priority Wine Pass specializes in. Check out and learn more about our virtual wine tasting experiences here.

Webinar-style virtual tastings

The second type of virtual wine tasting is what we like to call a webinar-style tasting. How it works is a winery usually sells wine and the virtual tasting in a package. Many times they will add a deadline or incentive to buy within a given timeframe. They then post a link or bookable time slots when customers that purchased the wine can log on an learn about the wine.

Many times these bookable timeslots happen on a weekly or monthly basis depending on the popularity of the winery. This type of virtual wine tasting is used by larger wineries since it lets them maximize efficiency, profits, and maintain a strict schedule.

What this means for you is that when you are doing the tasting you might have other customers who purchased the same shipment doing it with you. Depending on the size of the tasting it may limit interactivity. We’ve seen that some wineries give a presentation over the wine and then take questions at the end.

One of our favorite webinar-style virtual tastings is by Modus Operandi in Napa. You can also save on this experience by using coupon code PWP at checkout!

“You bring the wine” virtual tasting experiences

This last format is what we call the “You bring the wine” tasting experience. With these virtual tastings you often work hand-in-hand with a sommelier to pick wines available in your area. Once you’ve selected the wines you and the somm will schedule a time to have the tasting. During the tasting you will get to taste multiple wines and learn the tricks to taste wine like a pro. This too offers a great way to discover new wines through a fun online format.

Wrapping things up

As we mentioned, we love all virtual wine tasting experiences since they all get people learning, sharing and talking about wine. The main thing we wanted to demonstrate is that the style and format range quite a bit. Make sure you do your research and discover what type of tasting works best for you. If you’re interested in learning more about our Private Virtual Wine Tastings

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