Before coronavirus, estate wine tastings were an international tourism staple. People would travel near and far to visit unique wineries to savor the beautiful landscapes, local flavors, and fun stories. However, sharing a bottle and a plate with like-minded strangers is no longer appealing, possible or even legal in many places. This does not change our love for wine and good company. Now culinary magazines and business periodicals routinely rank virtual wine tasting opportunities. Even the annual American Wine Society conference is being held as a digital event for the first time in half a century. In 2020, virtual wine tastings are the default: unpack that fragile-sticker package, uncork a coveted bottle and log-in.
While there is at least one commercial vineyard in each of the 50 United States, the West Coast is responsible for 90% of American wine production. True to its pioneering Californian spirit, St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery is perfecting consumer trends in the USA. Nestled on some of the most coveted Napa Valley terroir, its line of 100% estate-grown, certified-sustainable wines has won awards and legions of fans over the past decades. Unlike many American wineries, it has a strong historic connection with the European luxury mindset. When Chanel had bought St. Supéry, it became maison’s first vineyard outside of France and only the third-ever winemaking acquisition. You can now experience the heritage of transatlantic pride in your own home. The current autumnal InJoy at Home series and the upcoming Warm Winter Nights program offer exquisite pairings of select wines and exclusively crafted dishes. Estate Chef Tod Kawachi posts recipes ahead of time, so you can practice getting your serving just right for the special evening. “We enjoy being welcomed into homes around the world to share a story, a glass of wine and some excellent cuisine each Thursday. It’s the highlight of my week and I am honored to share the time with new friends and our passion for food and wine,” said Emma Swain, CEO at St. Supéry.
Coming up in November are Napa Valley Estate Rosé paired with Spiced Butternut Squash Puree followed by their famous Élu red paired with Roasted Salmon with Herb Beurre Rouge or Herb Roasted Mushrooms and Potatoes en Papillote (in the January series). Imagine top hospitality experts convening privately in your living room. Thanks, 2020! Wine writer Peter Dean described his experience of participating in another Malbec Day global virtual wine tasting event: “It was like being on the first ever Eurovision Song contest. But with bottles of Malbec.” Now, that sounds fun! To get the screen-to-screen conversation flowing, you can suggest discussing the wine tariff wars between the United States and the European Union. On a lighter note, try one of the tongue-in-cheek wine jokes. “We have an open-door policy. Show up with wine. We’ll open the door.” This fall-winter season, St. Supéry steps up its wine diplomacy advocating for superb American vintages. In a world struggling with separation and isolation, this is a beautiful way to bring us closer together! I’ll toast to that, repeatedly.