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Virtual wine tastings bring people together in a creative way, allowing them to stay at home while they have fun discovering new wines with the guidance of top winemakers and experts. While some are designed as casual gatherings for beginners, others serve as formal education classes for connoisseurs. If you can't jet set to Sonoma, France, or Argentina, a wine tasting from the comfort of your own home can be just the ticket to feeling like you're on a pseudo-vacation. And who doesn't need (or deserve) that?
Expand your social life to the online space and learn more about wine with the best virtual wine tastings. You can thank us later.
Best Virtual Wine Tastings of 2021
- Best for Beginners: Coursehorse Virtual Wine Tasting 101
- Best for Further Education: Wine Tasting - Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis
- Best for Date Night: Enriquez Estate Virtual Package
- Best for Group Tastings: Bottles Nation Virtual Tastings
- Best Customizable: Corkbuzz
- Best for Sparkling Wines: Domaine Carneros
- Best Subscription: Far Niente Hosted at Home
- Best Free: Wine.com Virtual Tastings
Our Top Picks
Best for Beginners: Coursehorse Virtual Wine Tasting 101
Why We Chose It: We chose Coursehorse’s Virtual Wine Tasting 101 class as our top pick for beginners because of its laid-back format and numerous positive reviews.
Affordable, informal introduction to wine tasting
Not mandatory to purchase class wines
Can interact with the instructor and other students
Wines are not included in the course price
Tickets are eligible for one device only
Only one date and time offered per week
This Virtual Wine Tasting 101 class is hosted on Zoom and is led by a professional wine expert. Its purpose is to give those who have always wanted to learn more about wine the chance to do so in a fun, informal setting. During the class, you will learn the proper process for wine tasting, the prominent characteristics and history of individual varieties, and correct usage of wine vocabulary.
Questions are welcome throughout the class and participants can taste the wines. You will be given a list of the wines beforehand so that you can buy them in-store or order them via Drizly.com. If you can’t find the specific wines listed, any wine of a similar type and origin will work. The average class size is 10 people, and the cost is $25 per device that logs in. Coursehorse discourages having too many people participating on each individual device, in order to keep the class more manageable for the instructor.
Best for Further Education: Wine Tasting - Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis
Why We Chose It: We chose the Wine Tasting - Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis class as the winner of this category because of its affiliation with well-respected UC Davis.
Certificate issued upon completion
97 percent approval rating from past students
Required course materials are expensive
Likely too formal for casual wine lovers
Not eligible for university credit
Those looking for a more formal wine tasting course will love Wine Tasting - Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis, a class led by John Buechsenstein from the Wine Appreciation Faculty at the University of California, Davis. Consisting of approximately 14 hours of learning spread over four classes in as many weeks, the course is a valuable addition to the resumé of anyone already in the viticulture or restaurant business. It's also a great option for laypersons with a serious interest in wine.
You will explore different types of wines, learn to set up your own tasting, develop your sensory vocabulary, learn about faults and defects in wine and how to spot them, and discover the art of food and wine pairings. Enrolling is free, but you will be expected to purchase up to 16 bottles of wine, proper wine glasses (if you don’t have them), and food for the pairing class. The university expects that you will spend between $150 and $250 on class materials.
Best for Date Night: Enriquez Estate Virtual Package
Why We Chose It: We chose Enriquez Estate’s Virtual Package as our top date night tasting because of its exclusive nature and the fact that it includes everything you need for a romantic night in.
Private virtual tasting with head winemaker
Package includes cheese and charcuterie
Wines are shipped directly to your door
Expensive compared to public classes
No option for vegetarians or vegans
Not possible to choose your own wines
Enriquez Estate is a family-owned micro-winery located in the heart of California’s Russian River Valley. It specializes in boutique Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, and Muscat wines, and offers the ideal virtual tasting package for a romantic night in. The package includes two bottles of small batch Enriquez Estate wines (one white and one red), a gourmet cheese and charcuterie box, and a private virtual tasting experience with the estate’s head winemaker, Cecilia Enriquez.
Unlike many virtual tastings, this one ships everything you need to take part directly to your door, so there’s no need to purchase wines ahead of time. The tasting’s one-on-one nature also means that you can ask all the questions you like. Packages cost $125 each. Keep an eye out for seasonal offerings too, such as the estate’s virtual Valentine’s Day tasting experience that pairs rosé wines with miniature desserts.
Best for Group Tastings: Bottles Nation Virtual Tastings
Why We Chose It: We chose Bottles Nation Virtual Tastings as the best choice for group tastings because it allows for upward of 150 participants.
Ability to include 150+ participants
Logistics of arranging the tasting included
Wines ship directly to each address
No option to purchase cheaper wines
Full payment must be made at least 14 days in advance
Bottles Nation’s virtual wine tastings are led by certified sommeliers and specifically geared towards large groups—whether that’s friends and family from across the country or corporate events. Groups pay a flat fee based on the number of participants, starting at $250 for up to four people and with options for more than 150 people. This rate includes all of the organizing and logistics, as well as a one-hour, expert-led tasting.
Each participant will also need to pay $85 to have a four-pack of full-sized wine bottles delivered to their door. These classic wines include white, red, and sparkling varieties with examples of Old and New World styles. Higher-tier wines are available at an extra cost. Shipping addresses are required at least 14 days in advance to ensure that the wines arrive on time. Bottles Nation also offers beer, whiskey, and mixology tastings.
Best Customizable: Corkbuzz
Why We Chose It: We chose Corkbuzz because of its flexible format, which allows you to choose between live and pre-recorded classes, and whether or not you want wine delivered.
Can choose to have wine delivered or bring your own
Different themes for each tasting class
Class-only tickets are very affordable
Wine delivery option is not available in all states
Classes are all on Eastern Standard Time
Large groups are not accommodated
Corkbuzz is a restaurant and wine bar with locations in New York and Charlotte. It also offers sommelier-led virtual tastings that follow unique themes. Some examples have included Exploring Terroir, Perfect Pairings, and Napa Icons. We particularly like this Zoom-hosted class because it allows participants to choose whether they want to attend a live class or a pre-recorded one (both $15), and whether they want to pay extra to have the relevant wines delivered.
If you choose to include wines, you will receive two sommelier-selected, 750-milliliter bottles. If you opt out, you can bring along any wine you like. Live classes allow you to ask questions or comment at any time. Pre-recorded classes allow you to watch whenever you want. All classes last one hour and should be booked at least five days in advance if you opt for wine delivery.
Best for Sparkling Wines: Domaine Carneros
Why We Chose It: We chose Domaine Carneros for sparkling wine tastings because of the estate’s noble reputation and the variety of wine sets offered.
Tastings are both private and personalized
No extra cost for tasting beyond the purchase of the wines
Choose from a variety of wine sets or create your own
Prices exclude shipping and taxes
Tasting lasts for just 30 minutes
Sparkling and Pinot Noir wines only
A magnificent chateau and winery in the Napa Valley, Domaine Carneros was founded by the same family responsible for France’s legendary Champagne Taittinger. The American estate specializes in small-batch sparkling wines and Pinot Noir, which can be sampled via private, personalized tastings. To do so, simply choose one of four available wine sets: Best Loved Bubbles, Carneros Pinot Noir, Sparkling Classics, or the Chateau Sampler.
The wine will be delivered to your door, and once it arrives you will be able to contact the estate and arrange for a complimentary virtual tasting led by one of the Domaine Carneros wine educators. The tasting lasts approximately 30 minutes and is hosted via Zoom. Prices for the wine sets vary from $126 to $200 (excluding tax and shipping), and if you prefer, you can also create your own custom set by selecting any three bottles from the Domaine Carneros shop.
Best Subscription: Far Niente Hosted at Home
Why We Chose It: We chose Far Niente’s Hosted at Home subscription because of its roster of expert speakers that includes everything from senior winemakers to professional chefs.
Monthly tastings for ongoing education
Curated wines delivered to your home
Discounts apply for subscription holders
Monthly cost is expensive
Virtual tasting is not private
Tastings are pre-scheduled with no flexibility
Napa Valley wine estate Far Niente has developed a subscription for those who like the idea of virtual wine tastings so much that they wish to do them monthly. Subscriptions cost $200 per month plus tax and include the delivery of two to three curated Far Niente wines along with digital recipes and tasting notes that you can print out at home. You will also receive an invitation to a pre-scheduled virtual happy hour, attended by fellow wine enthusiasts from across the country.
The tastings are led by senior Far Niente wine educators, with frequent special appearances from members of the estate’s winemaking and culinary teams. You can purchase subscriptions for yourself or for a friend, and you can opt to prepay for two, four, six, eight, or 12 months. Wines can be exchanged for other bottles of equal value with advance notice and are often discounted for subscription holders. Shipping is included in the price.
Best Free: Wine.com Virtual Tastings
Why We Chose It: We chose Wine.com because it offers free tastings across a broad spectrum of categories, sometimes with celebrity hosts.
Classes are free to attend or watch
Themed tastings to suit every palette and interest
Easy to purchase wines if you wish to do so
Shipping of wines costs extra
Events are public and can’t be customized
Online wine merchant Wine.com offers a series of free virtual wine and spirits tastings featuring professional winemakers, critics, and other experts. Each one is themed, with hosts chosen for their particular experience in that field. You can sign up for new tasting dates (added weekly), or view recordings of past tastings via the website. Past tastings are organized into categories including domestic regions, international regions, green wines, varietals, and specific wineries.
Some tastings are hosted by celebrities with an interest in viticulture, with past guests including Jon Bon Jovi, Cameron Diaz, John Legend, and Sarah Jessica Parker. Obviously, the wines featured in each tasting cost extra, although purchasing them is not compulsory. If you do choose to, all you have to do is click a button to have them all delivered to you directly from Wine.com. Pay $49 for the StewardShip service, and receive free shipping for 12 months.
There are virtual wine tasting options to suit every taste, experience level, and budget. For beginners, our top pick is Coursehorse’s Virtual Wine Tasting 101. UC Davis’ Wine Tasting - Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis course is ideal for those that want to use their wine appreciation skills professionally, while Bottles Nation is our top pick for large group tastings. Look to individual wineries for bespoke experiences, including Enriquez Estate’s date night package and Domaine Carneros’ sparkling wine tastings. Far Niente offers our favorite wine tasting subscription; Corkbuzz stands out for its flexible format; and Wine.com is unbeatable in terms of price.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does a Virtual Wine Tasting Work?
Instead of attending a tasting at a winery, bottle shop, or restaurant, virtual wine tastings take place in your own home. You will receive a link to join an online class led by an expert winemaker or other industry professional. You can then taste along with them as they guide you through a series of pre-selected wines.
Do Virtual Wine Tastings Include the Wine?
This depends on which tasting you choose. Some deliver the wines to your door ahead of the class. Others provide a list of the wines that will be featured, which you can then choose to buy on your own (or not). Some companies, like Corkbuzz, offer optional wine delivery.
Are There Virtual Wine Tastings for Beginners?
Most of the wine tastings on this list are aimed at those with minimal wine knowledge. For complete beginners, we recommend Coursehorse’s Virtual Wine Tasting 101 class.
Do Any Companies Offer Corporate Virtual Wine Tastings?
Look for a company like Bottles Nation, which can cater for large group bookings and also includes the cost of arranging a time with multiple participants and shipping wines to many different addresses.
How We Chose The Best Virtual Wine Tastings
Virtual wine tastings have become incredibly popular and, as a result, there are many different options to choose from. We narrowed down our selection to those with excellent reviews from past users and well-designed websites that made booking and payment simple. We also aimed for a wide selection of tastings that catered to every kind of wine lover and included all the different approaches to online wine appreciation. Several categories had close runners-up. These included Virtual With Us for corporate and group events, Chandon for sparkling wines, and Wine With Chas for informal, beginner-friendly tastings.