Virtual wine tastings you can do from home

Kristine Tarbert
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

We know some of you may have been reaching for the wine bottle already, but if you want to make things a little more interesting - and try something new this week - a virtual wine tasting might be right up your alley.

Wineries around the country have adapted amid the coronavirus pandemic and steered their cellar doors online.

More and more virtual tastings are popping up so wine lovers (and beer and cocktail connoisseurs) around the country can order sampling kits and learn about their favourite tipple at home.

Here we’ve rounded up some of the wineries offering awesome ‘at-home’ tasting experiences.

Have you tried a virtual wine tasting? Photo: Getty

Tractorless Vineyard, Southern Highlands

Jeff Aston of Tractorless Vineyard says the best thing about wine is how it brings people together. “I always love hosting tastings at our cellar door in Bowral. They’re a chance for people to try a selection of different wines, learn about how we’ve created them, and share their reactions.”

Order the tasting package of 50ml samples of 10 wines - the ideal size for two people to try each wine. Watch the tasting guide on YouTube or join one of Jeff’s fun tasting sessions on Facebook Live. Visit tractorlessvineyard.rezdy.com

Printhie Wines, Orange

Brothers Ed and Dave Swift are showcasing their delicious cool climate wines in virtual tasting sessions on Facebook and Instagram. “We’ll be hosting a live wine tasting event each week. A schedule of wines we’re going to taste will be loaded onto our socials. This will give customers an opportunity to order the wine in advance so they can watch the tasting and interact with us in real time, ” says Ed. Order your Printhie Virtual Wine Pack now and watch the boys live streaming their wine expertise every Friday at 4pm. Visit @printhiewines

Golden Gully, Sydney

The edgy bar in Sydney’s inner west has flipped its offering completely online, open 5-9pm Wednesday to Sunday. As well as delivering bespoke cocktails and offering a Netflix + Wine pick-up pack (for Sydneysiders) you can enjoy a private one-hour session: Dan and Rach’s Virtual Happy Hour. You’ll learn mixology tips from these two bar professionals, be able to ask questions about wine, beer and spirits — and have lots of laughs too. Visit goldengullybar.com.au

Young Gun Wine Awards, Australia-wide

Young Gun of Wine Awards (YGOW) will host a series of experiential events in place of its annual in real life Top 50 tasting events. Throughout May, YGOW will host seven virtual wine tastings with the Top 50 winemakers of 2020 and other experts. 'Attendees’ will be able to ask questions to the makers and experts via the live online broadcast. The events will include a session on specific regions including Margaret River, Adelaide Hills and Yarra Valley, as well as a session on topics such as pinot noir, skin contact whites, alternative varieties and pet-nats.   

Wine tastings don’t work without the ‘tasting’, so participants will be able to purchase the wines in advance. YGOW has partnered with Australia's leading fine wine retailer Langton's to curate a selection of mixed six-packs and mixed dozen wines, with two wines from the mixed packs featured in each of the topics at the events. These packs can be purchased here.

You can order wine in advance and taste test from your couch. Photo: Getty

Ben Ean Winery, Hunter Valley

The folks at Ben Ean in Pokolbin will be offering virtual wine tastings on Skype from next week. Their operations manager, Joe Spagnolo, says the digital concept came out of a brainstorming session with the team, on how to keep their winery alive through the current situation. Order wine online and you’ll be able to Skype with Ben Ean cellar door staff.
Visit benean.com.au

M&J Becker Wines, Hunter Valley

Get to know winemaker couple Meagan and James at M&J Becker Wines with their live tasting sessions. Learn all about the character of their popular wines and ask questions. Their new cellar door is located on the Roche Estate, and while it’s closed currently, order wine for their upcoming tastings and enjoy the live sessions every Saturday at 6.30pm. Visit @beckerwines

Contentious Character, Wamboin

A sense of fun prevails at this single vineyard winery with witty wine labels and fresh, inventive blends built on the original Lambert estate’s award-winning reputation. Buy a swag of cool climate wines such as It Takes Time to Reach Your Prime Merlot; along with Sip Sip Hooray sparkling. They deliver all over Australia. Visit contentiouscharacter.com.au

Wyflo at-home tasting kits

This Sydney-based business brings cellar door experiences into people’s homes. They host special virtual events on Zoom and have an online shop of tasting kits from boutique wineries such as Rosnay Organic Vineyard, Canowindra. Choose your winery, order a tasting kit then follow the tasting notes as you sip through the selection. Visit wyflo.com.au/event

Support local businesses by still using their online services. Photo: Getty

Winery Walkabout festival, Rutherglen

The Winemakers of Rutherglen - a collective of wineries from North-East Victoria - are reinventing (not cancelling or postponing) their wine festival and will host it virtually as Winery Walkabout the House on Saturday 6 June 2020 to showcase the very best of North-East Victoria’s celebrated wines with online wine chats, masterclasses and live entertainment. Instead of purchasing a ticket, participants purchase a wine pack for $85 – a delivery (free before May 15) of four bottles of Rutherglen wines direct to your door. Visit: winemakers.com.au/winery-walkabout

Talits Estate, Hunter Valley 

This French Provincial inspired estate located in the Broke Fordwich wine trail is set to launch their cellar door once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, in the interim they have decided to 'launch' with virtual wine tastings. They will include live virtual sessions to give consumers an opportunity to learn about the wines, their story and to ask questions. You get wine delivered to your door, a video call with Cellar Door Manager, wine tasting note pack, access to purchase additional wine, and an invitation to join the Talits' Estate wine club. Visit talitsestate.com

Centennial Vineyards, Bowral

Order wine handcrafted on site at Centennial Vineyards in Bowral in the Southern Highlands. You will receive $50 off each dozen wines you order. Try the Reserve Riesling or the Autumn Sauvignon Blanc. Visit centennial.net.au

Stone + Wood, North Coast

If beer is more your taste, the team at Stone and Wood will deliver fresh craft beer to your doorstep. They are also offering a daily cyber ‘cheers’ with after-work beers every day at 4pm on @stoneandwood

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