With the lockdown in Spain due to Coronavirus my weekly wine tastings have all been cancelled. No more sitting around a table in a cool bar or wine shop learning about new wines together. Life is tough!
Fortunately the proprietors of these places have worked out a way around the quarantine and taken their wine tastings online.
Madrid & Darracott are doing three live wine tastings a week on video via Instagram in English. You can order for home delivery a box of six wines which are then tasted one each session. You interact with Luke and Roque via the comments section and they will respond to your comments and questions on the live stream. The wine tastings are free to watch, but you do need to by the box of wine. The last box was 55€ and included two white, one rose and three red from a variety of Spanish regions.
Colour Wines are also doing online wine tastings focusing on a different region or style of wine for each one. They are run once a week at a cost 8€ per tasting per household and are done via Zoom video conference, so I assume are fully interactive. You have to email them to reserve a place and get the Zoom link. The details are on their Facebook page. I haven’t tried one yet, but I hear from a colleague that you can arrange for a wine delivery via Tome Vinos, or you can follow the tasting without buying the wine of you wish. These tastings are in Spanish but Jimena also speaks good English.
Devour Tours are doing a a series of webinars on their Facebook and Instagram pages about a variety of foods and wines. The webinars are in English, free to join and are done by a variety of Devour staff in Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Lisbon and London. They do not have a delivery service for the food and drink being discussed, but it is educational.
My intention is to try each of these offerings at some point during the lockdown. I have started with Madrid and Darracott. I did think that I would miss being in a group, but tasting at home has it’s advantages. For a start there is no need to get dressed up and my sofa is way comfier than the chairs and stools most places provide. Also I was able to easily write up the wine tasting and the information provided without annoying anyone. Usually I have to jot down notes because it seems rude to ignore the people I’m with to write up the wine. I also found it easier and more pleasurable to focus just on the one wine. As you have an entire bottle rather than just a small taster you can see how the flavours develop as the wine is exposed to more air. You also get more information from Luke and Roque about the wine, grape variety and region because they are talking exclusively about one wine, as opposed to the 4 to 6 wines you usually try at a tasting. I really enjoyed the experience. The only drawback for me is that 3 bottles of wine a week is more than I like. I’m a two bottle girl unless I’m on holiday.