JANE SLADE enjoys a wine tasting over the Internet and reckon it beats a quiz over Zoom any day
London wine consultancy Elizabeth & Wine, has launched virtual wine tastings, ideal for retirees who are shielding or isolating during lockdown.
The tastings are hosted over Zoom by founder Elizabeth Hawthornthwaite who chooses two or three bottles of carefully selected wines which are shipped to you in advance.
She then leads the group through a fun and engaging wine tasting experience, demystifying the wine world and bringing some light and laughter to the lockdown.
My hubby and I love wine but don’t know much about it. So it was a great opportunity to taste some unusual wines; a white Furmint from Hungary and a red Donnafugata from Sicily and get to know another couple Elizabeth introduced us to via Zoom.
She even suggested some snacks for us to prepare and eat (prosciutto and capocollo or goats cheese, brie or Morbier) to complement the wines.
“Virtual wine tastings are a great way for groups – friends, families or colleagues – to get together, to share a wine experience and forget about lockdown, if only for an hour,” she explains.
“In lockdown-land, that means getting together over Zoom, laughing, learning a little bit about wine and sharing memories and talking about the great times to come in future.”
Elizabeth charges £99 per household which includes two bottles of quality wine and can add a special theme to your evening such as women in wine (female winemakers), hidden gems and holidays (where you get to taste the wines of a favourite country, climate or destination).
She founded Elizabeth & Wine in 2018, having built a successful career operating some of London’s top bars and restaurants including The Kitty Hawk, One Under Lime and The Oyster Shed, as well as Corney & Barrow.
Although born out of necessity, Elizabeth has seen the the virtual side of her business take off. “I definitely think this will remain a part of my offering in the future. Like everyone, I’m longing to get back to meeting up in person but there will always be times when it’s easier to meet up over Zoom or Teams – and, for now, it’s where the action is.”
As for us, we have pledged to become more adventurous in our wine choices and politely encourage friends who invite us to a Zoom quiz to host a wine tasting instead.