Home for the Holidays: Virtual Gift Giving and Entertaining

This year, staying home for the holidays means you’ll need more virtual gift giving and entertaining ideas than ever before.

Virtual gift giving and entertaining

Celebrate Christmas with Biltmore wines
Whether you’re home for the holidays, traveling, or hosting a virtual celebration, Biltmore wines help make the season bright

To help you savor the season instead of stressing about the details, we sought inspiration from the experts with Biltmore wines to assist you in making the most of the moments that matter.

“Each year, we create a special wine guide that highlights fine Biltmore wines, great wine and food pairings, and useful accessories,” said Chris Price, Wine Marketing Manager.

“For our 2020 Holiday Wine Guide, however, we’ve gone all out to bring you everything from how to host a virtual wine tasting to a custom playlist perfect for prepping a holiday feast in the kitchen or keeping the party going,” Chris said, “so whether you’re gathering together at home, traveling, or hosting a virtual celebration, we hope you’ll be inspired to simplify and celebrate the season with Biltmore wines!”

Bundle the best of Biltmore wines

Biltmore wines with chocolate desserts
For the holidays, we’ve bundled the best of our award-winning wines to help you simplify your celebrations (and save)!

No matter what kind of holiday event you’re planning, we’ve bundled the best of our Biltmore wines to make it easy to celebrate the season:

  • Tree-Raising Wine Trio
    Raise a glass to celebrate our most beloved Christmas tradition–tree raising at Biltmore–or enjoy while decorating your own tree at home.
  • Winemaker’s Wonderland Bundle
    Biltmore Winemaker Sharon Fenchak reveals four of her seasonal favorites for holiday entertaining!
  • Holiday Cheer Wine Trio
    Whether you’re celebrating in person or hosting a virtual gathering, this trio of wines is perfect for every palate. Savor as a set or give as thoughtful gifts of the season.

Celebrate with the sounds of the season

Couple video chatting with friends during Christmas dinner
Make your virtual celebration merrier with a custom holiday playlist from Biltmore wines

According to John Justice from our Biltmore wines sales team, it doesn’t matter if you’re celebrating together with friends or video chatting with family far away, music is one of the best ways to set the mood.

With that in mind, John created a custom holiday playlist filled with festive favorites he selected especially for the merriest months of the year.

“I enjoy cooking for friends and family,” John said, “and I’ve always got music playing while everyone helps out in the kitchen. Whether you’ve got a house filled of folks or you’re hosting a virtual gathering, pour yourself a glass of Biltmore wine and get everybody in the holiday groove with this mix of old and new songs!”

Friends toasting with red wine
Our holiday playlist pairs perfectly with everything from family gatherings and road trips to visit friends to virtual entertaining from the comfort of home

“After your event ends, you can send everyone the link to the playlist so they can enjoy it all season long,” said John. “It’s becomes a memorable party favor for your guests!”

Pour on the cheer with wine-themed cocktails

Tray of cocktails
Make the season bright with a holiday happy hour including cocktails featuring Biltmore wines!

For those who enjoy holiday happy hours, Biltmore wines puts the “old fashioned” in classic cocktails, plus new twists on traditional libations.

“Mix it up this season with delightful cocktails featuring Biltmore wines like our refreshing Orange Muscat Mimosa,” advised Chris, “or go elegant with a French Rose 75 topped with Biltmore sparkling wine–there’s something for every taste and occasion!”

Give the gift of a memorable experience

Woman with Vanderbilt Wine Club shipment
Give someone special a membership to our Vanderbilt Wine Club

When it comes to gift giving, nothing satisfies like an experience that the recipient can enjoy in the moment and relive with great memories.

“One of my favorite ways to celebrate someone special is by giving them a year-long membership to the Vanderbilt Wine Club,” said Chris. “The person who receives it can look forward to a shipment of our award-winning Biltmore wines delivered to their door each season, and they’ll think of you each time it arrives!”

Biltmore Red Wine & Chocolate tasting setup
Biltmore gift cards can be used for specialty experiences like a Red Wine & Chocolate Tasting

Other memorable options include a Biltmore Annual Pass or a Biltmore gift card redeemable for a Red Wine & Chocolate Tasting or other specialty experiences at the Winery.

2020 Holiday Wine Guide

Biltmore wines in front of a fireplace
Find inspiration for virtual gift giving and entertaining with our 2020 Holiday Wine Guide

Discover more virtual gift giving in our 2020 Holiday Wine Guide, including chef-inspired food pairings, stellar Biltmore wine picks, a video for hosting virtual holiday wine tastings, crafts, seasonal DIY décor, and other easy ideas for enjoying time together with loved ones, near and far.

You can also stock up on Biltmore wines in most estate shops, online, and in your own neighborhood with our Retail Locator.

Home for the Holidays: Hosting a Virtual Wine Tasting

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:

  • Wines for tasting
  • Corkscrew
  • Glasses
  • White napkins (to help observe wine color)
  • Container for emptying leftover wine
  • Water and plain crackers for palate cleansing between tastes
  • Pen and paper for notes
  • Print-at-home wine tasting placemats (optional)

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.

Savor in Place with Biltmore Wines

Spring 2020 has certainly brought some unprecedented challenges, but we invite you to savor in place with Biltmore wines.

“With the temporary closure of Biltmore and the Winery, we wanted to make sure our guests are still able to enjoy their favorite varietals at home,” said Jill Whitfield, Senior Marketing Manager for Biltmore Wines.

Couple drinking wine while they savor in place at home
Include Biltmore bubbles in your Valentine’s Day celebration!

“That’s the whole idea behind our ‘savor in place with Biltmore wines’ initiative,” Jill said. “How can we be most helpful–and give you tips and ideas you can use at home–until we’re able to welcome you back to the estate and the Winery?”

Host a virtual wine tasting

Biltmore wines and spring gift ideas
Biltmore wines make perfect gifts for spring

Biltmore Winemaker Sharon Fenchak suggests hosting a virtual wine tasting while you savor in place at home.

“You’d normally gather your friends together in person for a great evening of wine tasting,” said Sharon, “but you can still “gather” everyone via a video conferencing app and let the fun begin!”

Here are Sharon’s picks for an easy virtual wine tasting that highlights some unique varietals from both our American Series and our Biltmore Estate Limited Release wines:

Have everyone select the same three bottles of wine: 1 approachable white wine like our Biltmore Estate Limited Release Marsanne, 1 rosé or light-bodied red such as our Biltmore Estate Dry Rosé or Biltmore Estate Pinot Noir, and 1 full-bodied red–perhaps our Biltmore Estate Limited Release Malbec that recently earned 96 points and Double Gold in the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition.

“Begin the tasting with the white wine and progress through to the most robust red,” Sharon advised. “Sip, savor, and celebrate your discoveries!”

Savor in place with Biltmore wines and our custom playlist

Biltmore wines in front of a fireplace
Find inspiration for virtual gift giving and entertaining with our 2020 Holiday Wine Guide

If a glass of wine and a smooth groove help you relax, John Justice, Regional Sales Manager for Biltmore Wines, offers the following advice:

“In these uncertain times, our kitchens are becoming a refuge for comfort and a way to calm our wanderlust,” said John.

Savor in place with Biltmore wines and charcuterie
Pair Biltmore wines with your favorite comfort foods!

“My culinary philosophy is that the two most important ingredients of cooking are the marination of the chef and good music,” John said.

“Both enhance smells, tastes, and the cooking process. I reach for Biltmore wines because they were created to be food-friendly, satisfying, and to pair well with your favorite flavors.”

John curated the following playlist specifically to match the pace of enjoying a bottle of Biltmore wine:

Get into the groove with your favorite Biltmore wines and John’s custom playlist!

“It’s smooth, lively, and reflective,” John noted, “so you won’t even need to shuffle. Cheers!”

Craft your own cocktails

Mix up refreshing cocktails
Enjoy cocktails crafted with Biltmore wines on the porch or by the pool!

“Now that we’re all sticking a little closer to home, let’s take our favorite Biltmore wines to the next level by crafting cocktails with them,” said Jeff Plack, Senior Director of Wine Production Operations.

“This is practically the perfect way to help you savor in place,” Jeff said. “You can sip your favorite Biltmore wines on their own, or transform them into handcrafted cocktails!”

Summer sipping with a Blackberry Basil Bellini
Savor in place with a Blackberry Basil Bellini featuring our sparkling Pas de Deux Moscato wine

Jeff shared the following picks to help kick off your next cocktail hour:

Uncork more refreshing cocktails with Biltmore wines here!

Stock up and savor in place with Biltmore wines

Woman enjoying Biltmore Estate Chardonnay
Biltmore wines are perfect for warm weather sipping!

Until we can welcome you back to Biltmore’s Winery in person, we invite you to stock up on your favorite Biltmore wines online or locally with the help of our Retail Locator.

Want to ensure that you stay stocked up each season? Become a member of the Vanderbilt Wine Club now and enjoy Biltmore wines delivered to your door each season, exclusive discounts on wines, invitations to members-only events, and more!