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Home for the Holidays: Hosting a Virtual Wine Tasting

All Things Biltmore • 10/28/20

Written By Jean Sexton

With many of us planning to stay home for the holidays, hosting a virtual wine tasting is a great way to connect with family and friends whether they live around the corner or around the world.

Hosting a virtual wine tasting

Jeff Plack, Senior Director of Wine Production Operations, has created a helpful video to provide some holiday how-to on hosting a virtual wine tasting at home.

Join Jeff Plack as he guides you through hosting a virtual wine tasting at home!

“You don’t have to be a serious connoisseur to host a tasting,” Jeff said. “Just gather everyone together around their computers and start sharing!”

Planning process

Biltmore wines with Christmas tree and desserts
When planning your virtual wine tasting, choose at least three wines to sample together

In addition to the video, Jeff also walks you through the planning process below so you’ll have a checklist and other helpful tools.

“The simplest tastings usually include at least three wines,” said Jeff, “like three whites or three reds.”

Virtual Wine Tasting Tip: Send an invitation to join the online tasting ahead of time, and be sure to include the wine list and any other essentials your online guests will need to purchase or have on hand, including the following items:

Choose a theme

Christmas at Biltmore white and red wines
Your virtual tasting theme can be anything you like, including Christmas at Biltmore white and red wines!

“For white wines, consider light and fruity options such as Biltmore Estate® Pinot Grigio and Biltmore Estate® Riesling. Or try a mix of our sparkling wines—we handcraft several different styles from lightly sweet to bone dry,” Jeff said.

For a red wine flight, he suggests choosing bold reds like Biltmore Estate® Syrah and Biltmore Estate® Cabernet Sauvignon, or unique blends including Biltmore Estate® Cardinal’s Crest and Biltmore® Century Sweet Red Wine.

Virtual Wine Tasting Tip: For best results, begin the tasting with the lightest wine and end with the most robust one.

Bundle the joy

Home for the Holidays: Hosting a Virtual Wine Tasting
Pour on the cheer with a holiday-themed virtual wine tasting

If you prefer a holiday theme for your tasting, check out our special offerings that help you pour on the cheer and bundle the savings:

Virtual Wine Tasting Tip: No one wants to be left out of the fun, so we suggest Biltmore Sparkling Red Grape Juice for younger guests or those who prefer a non-alcoholic option.

Sense and savor

Home for the Holidays: Hosting a Virtual Wine Tasting
Hold wines up to the light and against a white background like a napkin to tablecloth to see their true color

“Before tasting a wine, have everyone hold it in front of a white napkin or tablecloth to observe its color,” Jeff said.

“Next, place the rim of the glass to your nose, inhaling deeply to smell the wine’s aroma. After you’ve fully experienced the scent, take a sip and keep it in your mouth for a few seconds so that it comes into contact with all your taste buds,” said Jeff.

Virtual Wine Tasting Tip: After savoring the wine by sight, smell, and taste, remind everyone to note their observations about what makes it unique and what they like about it.

Add ambience to your virtual wine tasting

Home for the Holidays: Hosting a Virtual Wine Tasting
Make your virtual wine tasting more merry with a special holiday playlist

“As the host of the virtual wine tasting, you’ll want to keep to keep things moving as you guide guests through the process,” noted Jeff.

According to Jeff, you can help set a merry mood with a customized playlist of favorites like this one we created especially for holiday entertaining.

“After the virtual wine tasting ends, share it with everyone to remind them of the occasion,” advised Jeff.

Pour on the cheer

Biltmore wines on a holiday table
Enhance any holiday tradition with a virtual tasting of Biltmore wines

To enhance the experience further, consider combining your virtual wine tasting event with another holiday tradition such as your family’s annual tree raising, Friendsgiving, or your neighborhood cookie swap. The possibilities are endless!

2020 Holiday Wine Guide

Home for the Holidays: Hosting a Virtual Wine Tasting
Our Wine Holiday Guide brings together the best of Biltmore for holiday entertaining

Whether you’re hosting a party in person, traveling to visit family, or hosting a virtual wine tasting event, our 2020 Holiday Wine Guide makes everything easier. Enjoy specially curated wine bundles, chef-inspired food pairings, and custom holiday playlists, plus tips, crafts, and videos that bring it all together.

In addition, you’ll find all our award-winning Biltmore wines on the estate, online, and close to home with the help of our Retail Locator.

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