Back-to-School Wine Guide to Surviving Virtual Learning this Fall

Sep 2, 2020

ty morrison


DISCLAIMER: I do not have kids, but I’m an honorary auntie to a lot of my friend’s kids. So, while I may not know firsthand the plight that many parents and teachers may be feeling as a new school year begins remotely, I DO know just the right thing to take the edge off.

So, here we are nearly six months into a pandemic. In March, many schools were forced to shut down leaving many kids at home with their working parents. I think many schools tried to set up virtual learning, yet found themselves working through a lot of kinks. But, let’s face it—it was the end of the school year so a lot of parents and teachers had to take that virtual “L” for their students with the hope that things would be back to normal by August. Fast forward to present day and COVID-19 has just about become a U.S. citizen.

Now schools have to get this virtual learning thing in order for real, for real this time as a brand new calendar year begins. I can only imagine the amount of stress that places on teachers and parents to get this right. There’s a lot of pressure on both parties to ensure that their children/students are engaged and still getting the same quality education that they’d get in-person. I feel for teachers who have to teach a group of students (and I’m talking school age children) all in different locations through a computer screen. And, I feel for parents who have to manage a full workload (whether working from home or not) while making sure their child(ren) are properly set up to learn from home. That’s a lot to juggle. But, like I said in the disclaimer—I have that good stuff to take away all your worries.

No, silly rabbits! I’m talking about wine. I say it all the time…wine makes everything better! I’ve put together a list of five wines to help make virtual learning less stressful this fall.


And for the sake of being discreet let’s refer to these wines as “juice” just in case you need to pour a little in your glass coffee mug or adult sippie cup before five o’clock hits. And, the good thing about this list is 1.) you should be able to find these wines at your grocery store [or even stores like Target] and 2.) they’re all under $25. I have a wine to help soothe any kind of nerve that virtual learning may hit this fall. So, parents and teachers this post is for you!

2019 Mauritson Sauvignon Blanc AKA “Keep Up Juice”

Parents, having trouble keeping up with work while making sure your child(ren) are attending their classes? Or teachers, are struggling with how to bring your lessons to life over Zoom while making sure all your students are engaged? Well then it sounds like you need a little “Keep Up Juice.” This Mauritson Sauvignon Blanc holds a special place in my heart. I met the wine owner Clay Mauritson a couple years a go and had the opportunity to visit his winery. For those that don’t really like that grassy New Zealand style of Sauv Blanc, I think you’ll really enjoy this one from California. It’s a little more subdued with its flavors. They’re very soft and refreshing. You get some citrusy lime, honeydew and honeysuckle. It’s a very beautiful wine. So, if you need a little pick-me-up to keep up with everything on your plate, pour a little bit of this “Keep Up Juice” in your glass to help give you that extra push.

2018 O.P.P. Pinot Noir AKA “Pay Attention Juice”

Is your student or child tap dancing on your last nerve because they won’t sit still and focus? Teachers, are you tired of little Johnny constantly getting up to leave the room or parents, are you tired of telling your child to sit still? Then go ahead and pour some of this “Pay Attention Juice.” The O.P.P. Pinot Noir is made by the one and only Andre Mack, a Black winemaker from Maison Noir Wines. I talked about him in my For the (Wine) Culture piece earlier this year. O.P.P. an ode to the Naughty by Nature classic stands for “Other People’s Pinot Noir” in this case. This Pinot is from the Willamette Valley in Oregon (a personal fave) and has bold cherry flavors with some earthiness and wood spice that complement the wine nicely. You can never go wrong with an Oregon Pinot. So, when you’re patience is running out and you’ve hit your limit, pour yourself a little “Pay Attention Juice” to help keep your nerves in tact.

2018 Odd Lot Red Blend AKA “Chill Pill Juice”

You know the saying “take a chill pill?” Well this Odd Lot Red Blend is that in liquid grape form. We just talked about having patience, but that’s easier said that done. When that stress level is at a 10 and remote learning is becoming overwhelming, you might want to open this bottle after work to help get your emotions in check. Odd Lot wines are what they call unorthodox blends of bold red varieties. This particular blend features 56 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 44 percent Syrah from Monterey County in California. It has dark fruit flavors like plum and blackberry with a hint of chocolate—very enjoyable. I’m not the biggest fan of medicine, but a couple glasses of this “Chill Pill Juice” after a long day will help calm your nerves.

2018 Imagery Cabernet Sauvignon AKA “Time Out Juice”

I know time outs are associated with little children, but I’ve learned as an adult sometimes you need to take a minute (or two) to just pause, get your thoughts together, and reset. The road to adjusting to remote learning won’t be easy for parents nor teachers. Some days may flow smoothly and other days you may encounter a technology glitch or your kids/students may act out because they just aren’t feeling the homeschool environment….and to be honest neither may you. There may be days when you want to throw in the towel, but that’s when you need to pull out the “Time Out Juice.” Imagery is one of my favorite wineries in the Sonoma area and I love that you can find it at the grocery store. They say you can’t go wrong with a California Cab. I love how smooth this Cab is. It has bold dark fruit flavors like blackberry with a earthiness from the oak and tobacco notes. This Cab makes the perfect “Time Out Juice,” so if you’re feeling like you’re about to break you can sip now and cry later with this wine.

Mumm Napa Cuvée M AKA “Praise Him Juice”

We all know that virtual school is not going to be easy, so we have to celebrate even the smallest victories. You got through a day without any technology problems, break our your “Praise Him Juice.” You didn’t have to put yourself on mute during a conference call to tell your child to pay attention during class, break out your “Praise Him Juice.” You didn’t have a student walk off or slam their laptop shut while you were you in the middle of a lesson, then that definitely deserves some “Praise Him Juice.” Mumm Napa makes some really good sparkling wines that are great for any type of celebration. This bubbly is slightly sweet and has flavors of peach with subtle hints of mandarin orange combined with crisp citrus undertones. It’s a really nice affordable sparkling wine, so no more Cooks and Korbel, okay? Treat yourself to some good “Praise Him Juice” when you need to celebrate those little wins and some weeks that win just be making it to Friday!

Now, you have my complete wine guide to surviving this upcoming fall semester of virtual learning. Sending positive vibes and prayers out to all the parents and teachers. Don’t be stingy with all these survival tips. Please share with those who you know will need a little special “juice” to keep them going. Until next time…glasses up!


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  1. Your Glass or Mine says:

    Aww, you’re very welcome! Hope you get to check out some of the wine in the guide.

About theBlog

In 2015, I started the YGOM blog as a creative outlet to chronicle my journey to learning about wine. I started off mainly reviewing different wines and wine-related events. As my passion and knowledge grew, I began offering tips and advice to make wine consuming fun and easy for wine lovers, especially those who were novice drinkers. Over the past six years, the YGOM blog has evolved into a valuable resource helping readers better understand their palates.

Today, as the vision for YGOM has expanded, the blog will focus on highlighting fun, out-the-box experiences that put a fresh new spin on wine. Consider this your guide to finding wine activities to add to your “must try” list. We’ll also provide tips and hacks that will teach you how to elevate your own wine experiences whether you’re at home, hanging out with friends, or entertaining a group. YGOM is going to help you feel confident in your wine knowledge no matter the occasion.