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Virtual Vino: The Perfect Night in! +Virtual Wine Tasting for Two #Giveaway #MBPHGG20


Thank you Brianne Cohen for providing a Virtual Vino tasting night in exchange for my review! All thoughts and opinions are my own!

In college, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Dijon, French to complete coursework for my french major. During this time, I was introduced to a lot of new and exciting European ideas, including french vineyards and wines! I wish I had paid more attention to the tours, but alas- here I am as an adult, trying to remember what I learned, what I liked about those French wines, and figure out how American wine compares. I like learning about the history and concept of wineries and specific types of wine, I was excited to  experience Virtual Vino with Brianne!
Virtual Vino with Brianne is exactly how it sounds- a virtual fellowship/wine education night with REAL wine to drink! Brianne Cohen, a professional Sommelier, offers both public and private virtual wine tastings, using Zoom as her platform. Brianne holds the most coveted wine certification, known as the Diploma Certificate, and has completed studies through the Wine and Spirits Educational trust.  

Virtual Vino is offered in many settings: Corporate Groups, Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties, Birthdays, Family Gatherings, and even girl's night in! Brianne is able to host sessions ranging from private gatherings to 100+ people! 

After scheduling Virtual Vino, a wine shipment will arrive at your and your guests homes via one of the 8 wineries that partner with Brianne. Wineries offer seasonal wine tasting packages based on availability, size of group, and purpose of event. Brianne loves working with these boutique wineries to showcase their wine, educate her patrons, as it's far easier than having everyone find the same brand across the US!

Brianne Cohen, Wine Education and Event Production, offers Virtual Vino Nights!

Virtual Vino costs range from $65-$85 pp, depending upon shipping location and the winery used. Brianne prefers to partner together with boutique Artisan wineries as her purpose is to help people drink better and learn more about wines.  Of course, she wants her people to buy the wine they like from her partnering wineries, but her main goal isn't to sell product- its to educate customers about wine. 

About a week before my Virtual Vino experience, I received a box with 5 Caliza Winery tasting bottles, 2 ounces per bottle. : a White, Rose, and 3 different red wines. These are smaller bottles of wine as many states have shipping limit rules imposed on alcohol. A friend, Erica, and I came together for the Virtual Vino night and found that these bottles had plenty of wine to split between the two of us! We were okay with meeting face-to-face at my apartment, but Brianne is also used to groups maintaining social distancing from their own homes and offices. 

After setting up Zoom and meeting Brianne, we launched into the wine tasting component of the evening. Brianne started off by giving us information on Caliza, a boutique Paso Robles (Ca) winery and it's owners. Not only did we learn about Caliza's history, we also learned about the owners of this family-run business. As Brianne described Carl and Pam Bowker, I could frame them in my mind just as I might have met them in a tasting room! 

Caliza, which means limestone, strives to connect the customer to the community, particularly showcasing wines that resemble the Rhone Valley of France. As an artisan boutique wine maker, Caliza typically only makes 3000 cases annually- of wines that can't be found elsewhere, so sometimes they are more expensive than the local $3buck chuck. 

As Virtual Vino continued, we turned to the tip sheets provided in the wine shipment. A Caliza Wine Information Sheet, a Wine Tasting information sheet, and a note-taking sheet are all provided. Brianne also emails a setting place-card in case the person wants to print it out and have the wines poured in advance. I do not own enough wine glasses for prepours, so we poured as we went through each wine.

I hope and think I was surprised at something Brianne said.. and not at the wine! 

Most wine-tastings I've attended includes the worker pouring a glass, describing it, and then walking away to serve other customers waiting in a busy crowded tasting room. I've not often had the chance to experience a one-on-one or private session with a professional Sommelier so I was very excited to hear from Brianne, learn, and figure out why I like the wines I do! Brianne wants us to determine why we like certain wines so that the next time we walk into a grocery store, wine shop, or market, we can have some notes when we don't know any of the brand names. Who else has experienced the deer-in-headlights look when being asked what you like in wine? I know I have- and this experience has helped give me some lingo to get beyond that point! 

With the tasting sheet descriptions before us, Brianne led Erica and I through various ways wine can look, smell, and taste. After doing traditional looking and smell tests, Brianne also taught us how to determine the acidity of wine.. just by tilting our head down and determining how much saliva comes into our mouths after a taste! 

One of my favorite things about the evening was a blind taste test! As Erica and I didn't read through any information in advance (which, I admit, is atypical for me), we were able to do a blind taste test without any knowledge of the wines we were tasting! If we had read through the Caliza information sheet, it would have been harder for us as we would have figured out the key notes and aromas in the wine based on what we read and remembered
Finding my favorite Caliza Wine out of this batch: the 2017 Azimuth! 

Erica and I discovered we like different things about different wines that we would have not normally thought. Erica normally likes white while I like red! I found Caliza's Kissin Cousins White Wine very good- probably because it's a blended grape version. Erica loved the Rose Wine.. while I liked a red wine known as Azimut the best! I now know I like red wines, on the sweeter side, with lesser floral hints and more earthy tones.  Black and red fruit are good- as are grape blends! Be prepared to learn about tannins, coloring, grapes, and even secondary/ trienary flavors found in wines. 

Erica and I enjoying a wonderful evening of wine tasting! 

Virtual Vino is a fun way to safely experience wine tastings and new wines. Who knows- you just may find a winery to add to your list! Most of the wineries that Brianne partners with do offer a discount and flat rate shipping to Virtual Vino customers. 

This experience is definitely worth it: date nights, anniversaries, parties.. or any excuse that you want to use for drinking a glass of wine with your loved ones! This holiday season add some magic into your evenings by gifting Virtual Vino with Brianne to your loved ones. I am already thinking of how many people in my life would love a gift like this and I'm sure you can name numerous people too! Learn how to drink better and up your wine game through a Virtual Vino evening with Brianne= something you won't regret!

Want it? Get it! 

Ready to schedule your own Virtual Vino night? Want more information? Visit Brianne's website and fill out the contact form! 

Want to learn more about Wine? Ready to receive tips? Wondering what a Virtual Vino experience might look like? 

Follow Brianne on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

Be Sure to look for Virtual Vino with Brianne in our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide! 

Want it? Win it!  

One lucky reader and their guest will win a private Virtual Vino experience with Brianne.  Two Small format tasting sets from Carr Winery will be shipped to the winner and their guest once addresses are provided. 

Carr Winery CANNOT SHIP to: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. We are sorry that winners from these states will be ineligible to participate in this Virtual Vino giveaway. 

This giveaway is open to residents 21+ residing in states not listed above. 

Just use the Raffle-copter form below to enter for your chances to win! Please keep in mind that MBP is not responsible for fulfilling prizes. You can find complete details for our giveaway policies on our policies page. 

What's your favorite type of wine? Do you have a favorite brand? 

Comment below or on MBP social media!

I can't wait to see who will win this awesome experience!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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