I’m pretty sure many of you had BIG plans and were ready to have BIG fun when 2020 rolled in almost eight months ago and then COVID came along and said….BLOOP!
I mean….it’s hard to put into words just how crazy this year has been. The memes have been on-point with capturing the disappointment that many have faced having to say goodbye to the “shoulda, coulda, wouldas” of 2020. But, after giving myself a much needed “get it together” pep talk, I realized that 2020 didn’t have to be a complete bust!
From In-Person to At-Home
For me, a lot of my sorrow lied in not being able to travel. It was one thing not to be able to go to Italy in March, but when the United States completely shutdown that’s when we had a serious problem Houston.
I was at least banking on being able to visit some wineries and tasting rooms stateside, but COVID had other plans. As much as I’ve had fun building up my personal wine collection, I miss the whole in-person experience of visiting wineries, touring the vineyards, and sipping wine with my friends. Although, some wineries have reopened with limited access, if you live in an area like me in Houston where wineries are supposed to be closed or even worst don’t exist, then you’re probably going through some serious FOMO (fear of missing out) right about now.
But, I’ve realized it doesn’t have to be that way. I think a lot of people will agree that video streaming platforms like Zoom have been super clutch throughout the pandemic. I thank God for the ability to connect with people through video and now wineries are using various forms of video to connect with their consumers.
Enter the virtual wine tasting kit. The concept is simple yet brilliant. On lockdown? Can’t travel? No worries! The winery will send you the wines for the tasting and all you have to do is log onto Zoom where a representative from the winery will walk you through the wines. And, all in the comfort and safety of your own home. Please note that I don’t have a list of wineries offering this service, but I recently ran across Onx Wines’ cute little tasting kit on Instagram and decided to give it a try. Check out my at-home wine tasting experience below.
Onx Wines Virtual Wine Tasting Kit
About Onx Wines
Onx Wines is located in Paso Robles, California. The first phase of the Onyx Estate Vineyard was planted between 2005-07. And, the name Onyx comes from the fact that pieces of onyx were found in the vineyard. Five years later, the first Onx Estate Wines were released. As you’ll see with the tasting kit, this winemaking team is very thoughtful about the wine they’re making. They strive to create balanced wines that reflect both the place the grapes were grown and the vintage in which they were born. According to their website, “From rule breaking to blind blending, each vintage of ONX Wines is completely different, yet delightfully cohesive.” Each wine has it’s own unique personality, which is captured through its really artisty label. On the labels you will find bits of science, math, poetry and art- all of the elements that go into creating a bottle of wine! The Onx Wines portfolio consists of nearly 20 different wines.
Inside the Tasting Kit
Onx’s tasting kit is super cute! You get five (two ounce) bottles of wine. Mind you a typical pour during a tasting is one ounce, so they give you a little bit extra to really enjoy. This kit comes with a Rosé and four different red blends.
- 2018 Indie Rosé (100% Tempranillo)
- 2017 Crux (35% Mourvedre, 35% Syrah, 27% Grenache, 3% Petite Sirah)
- 2016 AVAtrix (58% Syrah, 42% Grenache)
- 2017 Brash (65% Zinfandel, 24% Petite Sirah, 11% Mourvedre)
- 2016 Level 22 (49% Syrah, 35% Mourvedre, 16% Petite Sirah)
Surprisingly, there are no whites in the kit and I’m not sure why. That’s one question that I forgot to ask. I did notice that they only had about three white wines in their larger portfolio. So, if you’re a big red drinker then you’ll really love this. Oh, and these kits are not customizable. Because the wines are so small, you don’t have to worry about getting this heavy shipment of wine. I loved the packaging and the level of detail Onx put into making sure you have everything for the tasting. Inside the box, you’ll find a personalized welcome note and mini tasting note cards with the wine’s actual description and room to take notes. They even included a pen. They’ve thought of everything so that you won’t miss a beat during the tasting.
The kits are only $25 for an hour tasting and you get everything that I described above. The only thing is if you live outside of California, you’ll have to pay for express shipping because it’s too hot to ship the wine regular ground. But, that price wasn’t too bad. It was definitely worth it for the service and wine that you receive.
I absolutely loved the private virtual tasting with Onx Wines. Paso Robles was actually (and still is) on my places to visit this year. When I saw their at-home wine tasting kits, I knew this was the perfect wine to get a virtual sneak peek of what I hope to eventually experience in-person. Our host was the Tasting Room Manager Sarah Farley who was very personable and awesome to talk about wines with. She walked us through each wine and we talked about everything from the winery to the winemaking process. The cool part about this Zoom tasting is you can get as nerdy about wine (or not) as you want. You and your party can set the pace for what you want to get out of your time with your host. My favorite wines were the 2017 Crux and 2016 Level 22. Both amazing red blends that didn’t overwhelm me with bold tannins, which is a must for me.
I won’t give it all away because I think you should definitely give this a try. You can do it by yourself or even better get a group together. And the fun part is that you don’t have be in the same place thanks to Zoom! I actually want to do this again with some of the women in my family. Such a cool idea and I’m hoping to find more opportunities like this to share with you all in a series I’m calling “Wine Tasting @ Home Edition” because I’m pretty sure this may be the new norm for a while.
Moral of the story is don’t let COVID ruin the rest of your 2020! There are so many creative ways to continue doing what you love. If you know of any other virtual wine experiences, please share them in the comment section. Until next time…glasses up!