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The world is slowly but surely starting to open back up, but we’re still doing quite a few things at home. Wine tastings are one of those things. At-home virtual wine tastings are a way to bring people together all over the world with a common interest in one thing: wine. So, whether you want to indulge in a private tasting for a birthday celebration or you're studying for a wine exam, these wine tasting kits are exactly what you need to deepen your knowledge and have a great time while doing it.
Here are the best wine tasting kits for all your at-home tastings.
Best Overall: Vivant Wine Education Membership
"Taste. Learn. Enjoy." That's the slogan on the Vivant Wine Education website. This cutting-edge, new-to-market experience is just that—an experience! With your membership, you get access to tons of tasting kits and accompanying experiences (with new ones being added all the time). There are multiple French regions to choose from, such as Loire Valley and Champagne, or you can choose to learn more about food and wine pairings or organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyard.
No matter which experience you choose, you receive an Experience Kit of six 100-milliliter tasting tubes of wine so that you’re able to taste along with your Wine Advisor. A Wine Advisor you say? Oh yes, there's a Wine Advisor who leads you on an interactive tasting and presentation that includes conversations with winemakers, with videos played directly from the vineyard.
Best for a Group: In Good Taste Tasting Flights
Buying full bottles for wine tastings isn't practical unless you have a very large group. In Good Taste’s slogan is "Explore more and commit less." The brand achieves this by offering a variety of different tasting flights that were curated by various winemakers around the world. Each tasting flight consists of eight 187-milliliter mini bottles, highlighting a region, style of winemaking, or both. If you fancy one (or a few) of the mini bottles, in particular, full bottles of all the wines are also available for purchase through the website.
Best Budget: Wine Spectator Ultimate Wine Tasting Kit
From the editors of Wine Spectator, comes the Ultimate Wine Tasting Kit. This kit has everything you need to complete over 20 different tastings, and it gives you information on how to buy, store, and serve wine. There is also a book included in the kit to help you host a blind wine tasting to really test your skills. This means you also have tags for the bottles and your glasses, tasting checklists, and Wine Spectator's Pocket Guide to Wine. All you need to do is buy the wine and invite your friends.
Best for Wine Aromas: The Zuri Wine Tribe Tasting Club and Wine Discovery Kit
What do you do when you’re in a pandemic and you can no longer taste wine with friends or classmates for your wine exams? You develop your own kit, that’s what you do. California native Tuanni Price currently lives in South Africa where they experienced an alcohol ban during their first lockdown. This didn’t stop her love affair with wine, though, and she created the Zuri Wine Tasting Discovery Kit.
This kit includes tools to help you identify aromas, texture, and nuances in wine. It’s a unique way to interact, learn, and have fun conversations about wine. Packaged in a special keepsake box, it contains a deck of 60 tasting cards used to track nuances related to smell, taste, and texture of wine, a wine journal with a tasting and wine pronunciation guide, and a "wine tribe" welcome button. You can use this kit to study for wine exams, for a game night with friends, or as a fun date activity. The wine is not included.
Best Advanced: 67 Pall Mall Virtual Wine Club
If you already know the basics of wine and regions in a general sense, but want to go deeper in your knowledge, the virtual tastings at 67 Pall Mall operate at a higher level. Hosted by some of the biggest names in the wine industry, Masters of Wines and Master Sommeliers, these classes go beyond tasting techniques and grape varietals.
Here you are led through a vertical tasting of Domaine Ponsot, or a tasting of the cool climate wines of Adelaide. With multiple tastings each week, you can just "attend" the seminar, or you can order the wine kit and taste along with the speaker for your selected session. No matter how you decide to do it, you will walk away from the virtual tastings at 67 Pall Mall feeling a lot smarter.
Best for Solo Tasting: Voluptuary Five-Wine Virtual Tasting
If you live by yourself, you may not want to open four or more whole bottles of wine to do a tasting. Thankfully, Voluptuary has solved this problem. Through its website, you order a one-person, at-home wine tasting kit and taste along with the virtual wine tasting show on-demand using Facebook or YouTube. Each kit includes five different wines (the lineup changes monthly), tasting notes, food pairing suggestions, and music, lifestyle, and literary pairings. Break out your best glasses, turn the music up for this tasting, and enjoy the fun event, by yourself, whenever you want.
Best Blind: Blind Faith Online Wine Tasting
Blind tasting is the best way to really learn about a wine, its aromas, and flavors, and get to know what you truly like. This can be difficult if you're only with a couple of people because you already know what the wines are! Blind Faith is a tasting kit that delivers the wine in solid black pouches so you have no idea what you’re drinking.
A monthly membership is available to keep the kits coming—especially great if you’re participating in the company's blind tasting competition. For the competition, you receive two wines per round, and there are six rounds per season. Taste your wine at your leisure, but be sure to submit your guess before Thursday, which is when the wines are revealed. You’re competing with people around the world and there’s even a leaderboard to see how you match up.
Best Region-Specific: Salut Wine Studio Blind Tasting Kit for Beginners
This kit is a favorite because it is regionally-focused, and that region is Spain. Spanish Garnacha and Tempranillo lovers, rejoice! The Salut Wine Studio kit is here for you. More of a game than a guided tasting, the Salut Wine Studio aims for you to really enjoy your experience and perhaps even impress your friends with your new knowledge.
The way it works is this: You taste through four mini bottles of wine and using the aroma wheel, note your impressions and try to figure out what wine you tasted. Once you think you’ve got it, open up the included black envelope and check yourself. Sounds easy enough, right? Also included in the kit is a wine map of Spain and a list of useful wine terms. Decide between the beginner or advanced level kit for one or two people, or maybe you want whole bottles—it’s totally up to you.
If you're looking for wine tasting kits so that you can conduct tastings on a regular basis, a membership to Vivant is the perfect gift for yourself or someone else. Your membership (view at Vivant) gives you access to tasting kits and accompanying experiences (with new ones being added all the time). If you're looking to put together your own wine tasting at home—one in which you choose all the wines yourself—Wine Spectator's Ultimate Wine Tasting Kit (view at Amazon) has everything you need (minus the wine).
What to Look for in a Wine Tasting Kit
Think about what type of experience you would like. Are you interested in a wine region, or would you rather focus on one country? Or do you want to learn about food and wine pairings? This will help you narrow down the choices. Also, if you are new to wine, there are kits specifically for beginners. There are kits for advanced wine connoisseurs as well. Some kits offer both options so choose the one that’s right for you.
Some wine kits let you select the wines, while in other kits, the wines you get to taste are curated by sommeliers. If you are new to wine tasting, a curated selection is the easier option. As a wine aficionado, on the other hand, you might prefer the ability to try wines that you select yourself. There are also purely educational tools that teach you about wine but do not include any wine—you need to purchase it separately.
Size of Tasting Flight
Taking your time when tasting wine is important; more is not necessarily always better. Most tasting kits include four to eight mini bottles. If you are new to wine tasting, a smaller number of wines is less likely to overwhelm your palate.
Wine tastings at home are virtual tastings that you can do on demand on your own time, or you can schedule an interactive tasting with a remote sommelier. A blind tasting is more of a fun party game where you compete with others, whereas in a sommelier-led tasting, the focus is more on wine education.
If you are doing a wine tasting for the first time and want to see how you like it before committing to more, the purchase of a one-time kit is best. If it turns out wine tasting is becoming your new hobby, you can always get a wine tasting kit with a membership where you get to try new wines every month.
What is a wine tasting called?
In wine lingo, a tasting flight is a selection of wines, usually between three and eight glasses for sampling and comparing them. It can be a vertical wine tasting where you taste wines from different vintage years.
What are the 5 S’s of wine tasting?
The 5 S's of wine tasting are: see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor. Read more about how to taste wine like a professional.
Why do you spit at a wine tasting?
The bucket at a wine tasting is intended for spitting because you don’t swallow the wine. That way, you remain sober. In a tipsy state, you won't be able to assess the flavor of the wine.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Tanisha Townsend is a wine educator, podcaster, and writer currently living her best wine life in Paris, France. Due to the current situation in the world, and bars and restaurants being closed, her pandemic purchases have included several wine tasting kits to keep her skills fresh and serve as a fun activity to use with her virtual clients.