A wine tasting experience in your living room... Why not?

Some lockdown measures in England may have eased, but most of us still can’t enjoy a day out visiting vineyards in person.

For now, we can enjoy a wine tasting experience from the comfort of our own living room, kitchen or bedroom for that matter. The Wine Tours of Kent are offering virtual wine tasting experiences for customers old and new to enjoy at home.

Previously offering half and full day tours to vineyards in Kent, including Chapel Down, Gusbourne Wine and Wood Church Wine, wine lovers can now get their favourite English wines delivered to their front door.

It’s a great way to celebrate a special occasion at home or simply to try a selection of wines you may not have tasted before.

Abi Ireland, who founded the Wine Tours of Kent told us, “When lockdown started we had a large amount of bookings for the summer season that unfortunately we had to postpone.

“A lot of people were really disappointed as they had booked wine tours for special occasions, so over the couple of days when there was speculation about lockdown happening I was trying to think about how I could turn it around to offer something to my customers.

“I initially had planned to send the wine out to customers and give them the tasting notes, then I thought the part of the business I love is meeting the guests and talking about the wine, getting them to understand my passion about English wine. So, I started the virtual tasting.”

Abi offers various packages, including a still, mixed and sparkling wine package. As well as the wine, the packages include tasting notes, food pairing suggestions and an interactive virtual wine tasting upon request.

“I did a special virtual tasting a couple of weeks ago for a special wedding anniversary,” she said. “We dialled in for the starter, I talked them through the first wine. Then I left them to it and dialled back in for mains. That was quite a unique situation.

“It’s really nice to bring people together from different households; lots of people are getting together across the UK. Last weekend we had a group of seven different households for a birthday celebration. It was a fantastic evening; it was definitely one for them to remember!

“The mum lives in Northern Ireland, she was due to visit and stay with her daughter in Kent and they were going to visit the vineyard, so the family surprised her with this virtual tasting instead.”

So, with businesses such as Abi’s offering virtual wine tasting experiences across the country, is the popularity of English wine on the rise?

“Over the last five-seven years, English wine has been winning lots of awards in international wine competitions,” Abi said. “There’s more press on the bigger vineyards, it’s also becoming more accessible too.

“You’ll see some of the bigger producers in the supermarkets. Weather conditions have also helped, in 2018 we had a really long hot summer. The good weather started in March and went through to September/October time. It made a huge difference to the grape quality for the producers. There was lots of wine that came out of 2018 that has won a lot of awards.

“I think a lot of people want to support locally too, whether it’s food or wine, people want to help.”

For more information or to order a wine tasting package, please contact us at info@winetoursofkent.co.uk or 07930357173.

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