Every tippler has faced the dilemma of not having a suitable company while sipping on their favorite liquor or wine. The recent COVID 19 pandemic has forced the industry to reinvent the camaraderie shared by drinking buddies. More and more wine and liquor tasting sessions are organized via zoom and other mediums. The wine and Scotch industry has rallied around the problem, and major brands like Macallan Scotch whiskey are now available online. You can now relax in your home’s privacy, observing social distancing norms while enjoying your drink.
“Necessity is the mother of invention.” The adage stands true even with wine tasting. Industry stalwarts, Michelin starred chefs, and regional vineyards from across the globe have leaned into the social distancing norm with gusto. Zoom, Instagram, and Facebook live are some of the ways that are employed to give you the feel of a community space while you savor a drink alone.
The process is simple but effective. All you need to do is order a tasting pack of a predetermined set of wines or liquor and go along with the narrative that is available via video calling. You can choose your wines from a collection available, book a slot on the virtual meetings, and relish the session. Your sommelier will most likely take you on a virtual tour of the winery, help you choose the right kind of glasses, and teach you how to savor the wine presented to you. The virtual tour is similar to the on-site one; only the taster is in a faraway place and not in a crowded room in the winery. The feel is of a tour with a group of like-minded wine lovers, but without stepping out from your home.
Virtual wine tasting communities are springing up across the globe. Friendships are forged, and distances are bridged over a glass of wine. It has become common for wine connoisseurs to bond over discussions about the wine. More and more people have created virtual rooms where they select a wine, settle down for a conversation about the wine and its flavor and body. A community of wine tasters discusses the origin of the wine, how it should be drunk and stored. It is a trend that is here to stay.
The travel cost is no longer a deterrent to people who always wanted to visit a winery and taste excellent wines. Wine aficionados across geographical borders are empowered to taste and enjoy the best wines from the world’s most famous wineries. The wine world just became smaller and more tightly knit. You need not spend on airfare and hotels. The best of wines have suddenly become affordable, along with the tasting experience in totality.
The art of pairing food with wine just got a little more commonplace. Space was treated as a tenuous one with only knowledgeable food critics, chefs, and sommeliers holding command over the subject. Opening the topic on the internet to a broader diaspora of people has made wine-drinking more approachable to many. The pairing of snacks and main courses with appropriate wines has found favor in many online courses.
Experts share knowledge with a vast swathe of people about pairing wines with different kinds of food. For example, salty snacks go well with white wines that are a little acidic or dry. Red and full-bodied wines go well with sweet dishes as they have an inherent sweetness. Chefs and food critics share tips on how to drink and store wine, how to use it in food, and also with it. The wine industry will see a profound seated change in the way people drink post the pandemic.
Last but not least, virtual wine tasting is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many masterclasses available online that teach the masses how to cook at nominal fees. The barrier has finally been breached, and good food and wine is now a part of every home that wishes to partake of it. Fine dining is incomplete without a matched wine list. More and more people are getting attracted to gourmet food.
The penetration into the mainstream has helped make wines accessible. It is no longer perceived as an elitist experience. It is not the taste but good health and warm feelings in a bottle. When shared with like-minded enthusiasts, the joy of swirling the aromatic beverage in a long-stemmed glass, inhaling its aroma, and appreciating the rich taste of fine wines become the experience of a lifetime.