How to Enjoy a Virtual Wine and Mocktail Tasting Event
Missing nights out with friends? Wine tour cancelled this winter? No problem. Just ask a group of moms for advice on how to hold a virtual wine and mocktail tasting event.
Seriously, Google 'wine, small bottles' sometime...you'll be amazed.
We started to look into what it would entail to hold a virtual wine tasting event and immediately found a set of 24 mini bottles of wine on one site - so, one set would cover three tastings. The wheels started spinning...dry wine, sweet wine, food pairings, score sheets. While it does work to have one 'organizer' (a virtual sommelier, if you will) order and distribute the same 8 mini-bottles of wine to each participant, we ultimately found that most people want either sweet or dry wine. One of our members found a way to purchase half bottles of wine at cost and allow participants to choose a sweet or dry flight of wine and not be stuck with wine they'd never touch. Done and done!
Then, we recognized that many of our MOMLETA Members prefer a non-alcoholic beverage, especially during our annual Mother Love Challenge so we started to collect favorite mocktail (AKA non-alcoholic, fancy drink) recipes to sip and pair (see below for recipes and pairing ideas for two of our favorites)!
No matter your wine preference, for a complete tasting experience, be sure to find fun (and mostly healthy) foods to pair with your wine. Food enhances the flavor and wine nuances and also helps cleanse your palate between sips.
Here is a step-by-step on holding your first virtual tasting:
- Pick a date; pick a wine vendor; set-up a Zoom Room;
- Confirm flights with participants and collect money from each person;
- Order wine and determine how to distribute the wine to participants (offering a pick-up spot is easiest);
- Create simple fact sheets about the wines you select and look up healthy & simple food pairing suggestions;
- Create rating sheets (optional) so the participants can keep track of the 'yummy', 'so-so' or 'ewwwwww' wines;
- Make sure participants have palate cleansing crackers (gluten-free options available, of course);
- Prepare for a night of laughs and connection!
For our non-wine drinking friends, here are two of our favorite (simple) mocktail recipes. Pair sweet mocktails with a variety of cheeses. Dairy free? Try a hot and spicy Asian-inspired treat or some shaved coconut. Mmmmmmmmmm.
Blackberry Vanilla Mocktail
1. Muddle the blackberries with lemon juice, vanilla, honey or agave, and a splash of sparkling water in the bottom of a glass, using the back of a spoon (or a muddler).
2. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer (or cocktail shaker) into a cocktail glass with ice.
3. Fill the remainder of the glass with sparkling water.
4. Garnish with additional blackberries and mint leaves.
1. Place all ingredients (except for sparkling water) in a high speed blender.
2. Blend on high for 2 minutes or until the contents are pureed.
3. Pour over ice (strain, if desired).
4. Add sparkling water, garnish with a lime wedge.
*The ginger syrup will keep in a covered container in your fridge for a week...unless you pour yourself a second mocktail!