From driveway drinking to online wine tasting to virtual dinners, welcome to our new norm in socializing and visiting with our friends. We used to spend our days enjoying our friendships and social lives based around a meal or sipping wine together. Finding new ways to survive the need to be social creatures in a time of social distancing has created some challenges. Thank goodness for the computer age because those who love spending time on smartphones or computers are in their glory with the new avenues of maintaining our distance.
Online Wine Tasting
Keeping our local businesses alive, including our favorite wineries, has taken on new meaning. The virtual wine tasting either on Zoom, Instagram, or Facebook has taken off. Order your favorite winery’s wine and join in on a tasting to discover the wine. For a writer that used to go to media and trade events, this has new meaning. This week I have two virtual tastings with a total of 8 wines. What do you do with the left-over wine after the tasting? Stay tuned for driveway drinking with friends and neighbors. Whether it is your front yard or actually in your driveway, the key is keeping your social distancing of 6 to 10 feet.
When a friend suggested a driveway tasting, I leaped at the thought. I love trying new wines, and I knew my friend, Don had some great wine to share. All it required was bringing my own glass, and that is easy. I have graduated from my takeaway wine glasses that I received at one of many wine tasting events to my Riedel wine stems. Excellent wine calls for the appropriate stemware, whether it is inside my house or outside on the driveway.
Besides maintaining my friendship, I discovered Saxum James Berry, a Paso Robles winery I would now love to join their allocation list. I have sampled old friends like Artisan Uprising Petit Sirah and new wines like Villa San-Juliette Pinot Gris. I may not get to visit Paso Robles, but I travel there through drinking wines from the region. My mind can create a scenic visit while my nose and palate do the rest.
With the warmer weather driveway drinking beats going to the beach. Often we forget to smell the roses and enjoy our gardens. The spring aromas are everywhere, with the sounds of birds chirping in the trees in the background. Driveway drinking lets you take it all in by expanding your sensory experience. Let’s also not forget the communication with friends and family.
From online wine tastings and driveway drinking, what do you do with friends and family who do not live close by? In comes virtual dinners. How many parents complain about the kids having their faces glued to their smartphone while eating a meal. Now it is a normal affair as everyone at the dinner table looks at the computer screen to share time with beloved friends and family.
In my case, we decided to enjoy our first of many virtual dinners with some friends in San Clemente. We decided to both barbeque pork chops. The side dishes could be different. We chose a wine that we both had in our cellars. We chose a 2017 Sea Smoke Southing to share virtually. Thanks to Zoom, we spent two hours enjoying dinner, drinking wine, and catching up on our lives. We were pleasantly surprised when Zoom did not crash the party after 40 minutes of free time. I guess we were in Zoom heaven.
As our social well-being learns to survive this pandemic, we each opt for choices that bring semblance to our lives and make daily living more palatable. Let us lift our glasses to online wine tastings, driveway drinking, and virtual dinners to maintain a balance of social distancing.
Please note that when driveway drinking please be responsible if you are designated driver. Although our freeways seem empty, we want to maintain safety for everyone.