At this point we’re all sick of staying home, right? Normally I relish a few quiet days at home, having dinner with my husband and binge-watching Netflix. But these aren’t normal times. I want to walk on the beach, enjoying the balmy sea breeze; I’d like to meet friends for an al fresco meal downtown. I want things to go back to “normal.” Or whatever normal will look like post COVID-19.
That’s going to take a while.
In the meantime, we video chat with family members and stay active on social media. I’m sure you’ve witnessed the explosion of Facebook Live events over the past few months. Twitter chats, Zoom conferences, and other virtual tools help us stay connected with each other when we can’t actually be with each other.
It’s what we’ve got, so we’re working with it.
The wine world is no different: since early March I’ve participated in numerous virtual tastings hosted by wineries, PR companies, and enterprising oenophiles. Each one boosted my spirits, reminding me I’m part of a caring and generous community. And, of course, there’s wine!
Wine Tasting Events for Everyone
Most of the tasting events I’ve described are geared to wine professionals: sommeliers, wine students, brand ambassadors, and the like. I’m always grateful to be invited and never fail to learn something useful. We usually have a few laughs, too, and that helps.
But what about all the other wine lovers out there? Wouldn’t they appreciate the opportunity to participate in a personalized, wine tasting experience? How fun would it be to interact with friends and family living in different places, connecting over a delicious glass of wine?
That’s the genius of Lifetime Vintage. They bring the wine tasting party to you (and your guests) wherever they might be.*
About Lifetime Vintage and Blind Tasting
Lifetime Vintage CEO Dylan Robbins fell in love with wine when he moved to New York City five years ago. Since then he has achieved the WSET Advanced certification and is on his way to conquering the Level 4 Diploma, that organization’s highest accreditation. Developing critical tasting skills is essential to success in that program.
Blind tasting plays a huge part in honing those skills.
What is blind tasting? Let’s start with what it’s not: a party trick whereby one magically divines the origin of the wine in the glass. Sorry, it’s way harder than that!
Blind tasting is a discipline, one based on deductive reasoning applied to educated observations. Using a wine’s depth of color, intensity of aromas and flavors, and structure, it’s quite possible to determine (or narrow down) a wine’s principal grape variety and place of origin. Perhaps even its price!
If you’re studying with the WSET or Court of Master Sommeliers, you’ll follow the grids developed especially for this purpose. They walk you through possible descriptors, encouraging you to think through every aspect of the wine, without knowing what it is.
This is a lot more fun in a group!
Blind Tasting with Friends
Last week, Dylan and Lifetime Vintage invited five wine enthusiasts/students/geeks (including yours truly) to a blind tasting of four wines. Most of us knew each other from social media but had never “met” – we made the most of the experience and had a great time.
NOTE: If you’d like to watch the recording of our tasting experience, here are the links:
Here’s the coolest part – the six of us were spread all over the place: Dylan and Noelle were in California; Jeff chimed in from Minneapolis and Kendeigh from Ohio. I repped the east coast from my home in Miami, and Amber, our Lead Detective, peppered us with questions from Paris.
Lifetime Vintage selected the four wines we evaluated, had them wrapped to keep their identities secret, and shipped them to each of us. All we had to do was show up with a few glasses and get ready to taste!
They can do the same for you. How fun would it be to invite your wine-loving friends to a virtual tasting party, without any of the hassle of shopping, packing, and shipping? (Or trying to wrangle everyone into buying the specified wines. Yeah, I have friends like that, too.) Lifetime Vintage can customize the experience according to your wants and needs. Take a look at the website for more information.
Attention, Wine Students . . .
If you’re studying for a wine certification and want to sharpen your blind tasting skills, Dylan and his team can curate a selection of wines to suit your needs. Having trouble discerning Grüner-Veltliner from Riesling? (I just raised my hand.) How about cool-climate versus warm-climate Syrah? There’s a wine pack for that!
Because packs are composed of half-bottles, they’re perfect for those of us studying on our own. Our wine budgets go further, allowing us to sample a wider range of wines at the same price. What’s not to like?
National Blind Tasting Competition June 6th – Sign Up Now!
Curious to try it out for yourself? Lifetime Vintage is hosting a national blind tasting challenge on June 6th. Why not get a team together and have some fun? Teams can be one person or as many as four. Wine tasting packs for the nationwide competition ($95) include four half-bottles; they can be sent to most states.*
Sound like a good time? Enter the competition here. Maybe I’ll “see” you there.
* Lifetime Vintage’s Licensed Retailers DO NOT ship to Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Alabama, and Utah. Product availability and limitations on orders vary by state.
This was such a great way to connect long distance and I loved blind tasting with you! Wouldn’t mind revisiting this as we get closer to D3 exams (hint! hint!)
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Let’s plan another round of blind tasting fun as we continue our studies. It was fun and so much less intimidating than sitting here alone, wondering if I’m getting all the right notes!
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[…] also use this for non-study fun. As Lauren noted in her write up, these are perfect for hosting a kick-ass, hassle-free tasting party. If you want to do something with friends and family from across the country, you […]
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