Bouchaine Vineyards Launches "b Together": Trying A Virtual Tasting

Posted: May 16, 2020

As we began our first virtual wine tasting, my daughter’s initial question was: “Is it all right if I am in my pajamas?”

Mine was: “Oh my, they have sent seven bottles of wine. Do we open them all?” I feared we would feel compelled to finish all seven bottles if I could not recork them all, and even though we were sheltering at home, my Register feature pages might suffer.

Brian Allard from Bouchaine Vineyards swiftly reassured us: There is a great degree of flexibility in a virtual tasting. “You can open as many or as few of the bottles as you wish,” he said. Also, he promised Ariel he would not notice that she was wearing pajamas.

Allard had first brought up the idea of virtual tastings last October during a media tour of the new visitor center at Bouchaine in Carneros. In charge of direct-to-consumer operations, Allard was musing that this would be a good way to connect with consumers and the trade when they were unable to make it to Napa Valley in person.

“I thought: only 3 or 4 million people can come to Napa a year, and many don’t come every year. And they can’t share their experience with friends at home. This could be a way to maintain face-to-face contact, introduce new releases, and let people share our wines with others.”

Little did he know what lay ahead, a few months down the road. Now, with a nation sheltering in place, wineries are flocking to this idea to stay in touch with their fans, keep sales going and provide a way for the house-bound to fill a few pleasant hours.

By Sasha Paulsen
April 2, 2020
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