The times are changing in part due to changes in technology and in part due to COVID-19. A lot of gatherings and meetings will work well using Zoom, Google Meets or another online meeting facility. The wine industry has been forced to find alternatives to hosting in-person events and wine tastings and even award ceremonies have to now follow this practice.
In order to participate in a wine tasting each attendee should be prepared to do some work ahead of the virtual gathering. Attendees will need to obtain the list of wines to be sampled and then purchase a bottle of each of the wines. Obtaining these wines may prove to be a challenge given that they may not be readily available from the local wine store. Some may need to be obtained directly from the winery and if the winery is not located in the same vicinity as you, you will have to order the wines a couple of weeks ahead of the event.
In attending a tasting without having access to the wines to sample, you have to solely rely on the host’s verbal description. I think the value of the information would be lost without the opportunity to sample the wine yourself. I think it would be about as enticing as watching paint dry.
But if you have the wines being tasted, given that tastings involve only a small sampling of each wine, you will be left with a significant portion of each of the wines that you will then need to try and preserve until they can be consumed.
The same challenges are faced by anyone attending a wine award ceremony who wants to taste any of the wines eligible for or that received a reward.
Making the most of the current environment, there are now companies and wineries that will sell you a wine tasting kit. These kits consist of a bottle of each wine to be tasted, reviewer’s notes on each wine, and a link to a video of the expert conducting the actual wine tasting. This gives you the opportunity to invite your friends over (assuming there isn’t a lockdown) for a private wine tasting event hosted by a wine expert. In some cases you can arrange for a “live” tasting using a remote meeting site like Zoom.
Without a doubt some events and activities are best attended in person rather than virtually. However given these strange times that we live in, virtual events are probably better than no events.