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Pandemic Wine Tasting Opportunities

by Tim Leiwig

During these different and sometimes difficult times, it is likely the place(s) you were going for wine tastings are currently not offering them. We need to explore alternatives.

This is a great time to seek out wines from other regions in the USA or countries or other regions in other countries that perhaps you have little or no knowledge. You can do some research online about the area of which you have interest and learn about the wines they make and if they are available where you live, or can be shipped to you.

While you certainly can try an international grape variety from somewhere else (international grape varieties are grown in numerous places throughout the world, i.e. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir); consider venturing out and try a grape that is indigenous to that region or country and not found elsewhere. It is easy to fall back to grapes and regions of which you are familiar. It can also be fun to expand your horizons by trying something different. What better way to know if you might like a wine than having the opportunity to taste it?

Once you have selected the Country or region and have read about the area, you can select 1 or 2 grape varieties or wines to try. At this point, you would need to see if your local wine store can get the wine. If not, perhaps one of the many online wine sites carry or can get the wine. I’ve listed some of my favorite sites at the end of the article.

To make it more interesting, you can discuss this with some friends and do a tasting together, of course making sure to keep your social distancing and the wearing of masks where appropriate. You might also consider using Zoom or GoToMeeting, or a similar application where everyone can participate via online with each person having some of each selected wine to taste and discuss.
Websites lie the Juice Local Wine Events and many wineries are offering “virtual tastings”. This is another great way to learn about wines with some interaction with others that are participating and/or the presenter/winemaker. Again, in most cases, the wines can be purchased so you have them in time for the “virtual tasting”.

As you can see, there are numerous opportunities to learn about and taste wines, even during this unfortunate pandemic. These opportunities can be educational and fun.

If I can be of any assistance to you, just send me an email at

Wine Sites to Try:

About the Author

Tim Leiwig - Tim Leiwig, AWS, WSET & CSW Certified Champaign Expert Consultant, Educator, Trainer and Author of Simplifying Food and Wine Pairings