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Virtual wine tastings in April 2020 Adverts for some of the many talks and virtual tastings being held during the lockdown in Spain. SWL updates the agenda daily! Photo: Amaya Cervera

Agenda

Virtual wine tastings in April 2020

Yolanda Ortiz de Arri | March 31st, 2020

We have compiled some of the most interesting activities we have heard about on our virtual agenda of talks and tastings. We update it daily so don't forget to check new events! All times are CET times.

Talks and conversations

27 and 30 April. Coravin and Enoaula have launched #cuarentenainformativa with virtual wine activities lasting 40 minutes. This is their calendar for the rest of April: Mon 27th: Wines of Italia with Bernat Villarubla, sommelier at Alkimia. Thu 30th: wines of Catalonia with Josep Pelegrín. Time: 12:00 on @enoaula Instagram

Daily at 13:00. From his IG account @juanma_terceno Juan Manuel Terceño, of González Byass, hosts informal interviews with wine professionals “to chat about wine and have a drink". Time: 13:00

Professional platform Vitivin broadcasts a daily live video with leading personalities in the wine business. To watch them, you need to register on their site and join the sessions. The programme started with Master of Wine Pedro Ballesteros followed by professionals such as David Seijas, Sara Pérez, Raül Bobet or Luis Gutiérrez. Time: 13:30

27 April -2 May. Distributor and sommelier @daniel_sumiller of Redivins in Mallorca presents #DirectosaLaCopa with guests from Majorca such as Mateu Pons of Bodegas Mortitx (Mon 27), Tia Ordinas of 7013 Petit Celler (Tue 28), Andreu Vinyovol of Can Majoral (Weds 29), Carlos Cabeza of Om Oliver Moragues (Thurs 30), Julio Torres of Ava Vins (Fri 1) and Vermut Monseta (Sat 2). Time: 17:00 except Saturday (13:00)

27 April - 1 May. From her Instagram account @winesandthecity sommelier Meritxell Falgueras talks this week with grower and producer Sara Pérez (Mon 27), Adriana Ochoa of Bodegas Ochoa in Navarra (Tue 28), Irene Alemany of Alemany y Corrio in Priorat (Weds 29), Manu Guix (Thu 30), British Master of Wine Sarah Jane Evans (Fri 1) and journalist Cristina Jolonch (Sat 2, 11:00). Time: 17:00

29 April-1 May. Madrid wine distributor Pifema hosts chats with some of the producers in their portfolio which can be followed on IG @pifemawines. Here's the programme: José R. Illescas, sommelier at Bodegas Altanza & Col. Roberto Amillo and Alberto Llorente, director of restaurant La Resala (Weds 29, 18:00), Marcos Docasal, of Bodegas Casal de Armán in Ribeiro (Thurs 30, 18:00) and Aurelio García, technical director of Alto Horizonte and Mikaela (May 1, 17:30).

28 April - 1 May. Nika Shevela from Wine Alphabet (IG @winealphabet) is on her seventh week of #wineonline Instagram livecasts, a series of talks with women in wine covering a variety of topics. These are the tastings of the week: "I for Israel" with Lior Sechori and Galit Raviv from Carma Winery  (Tue April 28st, 6pm); "P for Portugal"  (Thu April 30th, 6pm) with Joana Santiago from Quinta de Santiago and Sou, Vinho Verde, and Lígia Sants from Caminhos Cruzados, Dão; and "E for Escape: Marco Abella", a virtual wine visit to Marco Abella winery in Priorat (Fri May 1st, 6pm). 

30 April. Nathanael Berbessou, founder of the online wine sales site Bodeboca, is the guest that Richi Arambarri, of @vintae has invited. Time: 18:00

30 April. Juan Manuel Hidalgo, of historial sherry producer Emilio Hidalgo in Jerez, will talk to Juan Esteban of Bodegas @Valderiz in Ribera del Duero. Time: 18:00

30 April. Pancho Campo will talk about climate change and the wine trade on a webinar with Joanna Ciborowska of El Charleo del Vino. You can watch it on Facebook @pancho.campo at 18:00

30 April. Fernando Mora MW (@fernandomoramw) hosts daily discussions with wine professionals on his Instagram profile. Today he will talk with Bierzo producer Ricardo P Palacios, and he has announced that Sunday will be his last. To compensate, Fernando and MW Jonas Tofteruf have launched a blind tasting competition that will take place in May. Time: 19:00.

27-30 April. Barcelona wine bar @garagebarbcn and the organisers of Vella Terra Wine Fair have set up online talks with several guests including wine growers such as Ephraim Orengo (Sifer Wines, Mon 27),  Ferran Lacruz (Bodega Clandestina, Tue 28), tasting with Stefano, of Garage Bar (Weds 29) and Josep Mitjans of Loxarel (Thu 30). Time: 19:00

27 April - 1 May.  Distributor, wine clube and online store, @wineissocial hosts chats on Instagram under the hashtag #Winebernation. This week is the turn of Adrián García, sommelier at restaurant Berasategui (Mon 27), David Seijas (Tue 28), Maider Larrañaga of Arteaga Jatetxea (Weds 29), Carlos Echapresto of Venta Moncalvillo (The 30) and Diego González (Friday 1). Time: 20:10.

30 April. The group of sommeliers @chupipandawine gets together to chat about wines in an informal way. Today @eva_sumiller talks with Rebeca García, of Pago de Tharsys. Time: 20:30

Thursdays to Sundays. Sommelier Sonia Molero (@uvepositivo) and @thewinetrust present #Convinados on Instagram, where sommeliers, bar owners and chefs talk live from their homes. Every week  on their IG profile @convinados they announce the identities of their guests with a short biography of who they are. Broadcasts can be followed on the Instagra account of each guests. Time: 20:30

27-30 April. Sommelier Alaitz Galán, who works for wine distributor On Egin, talks daily on her Instagram profile (@alaitz_sumiller) with wine professionals while they enjoy a glass of wine. Her guests this week are Toni Pérez (27/4), Luján Argüelles (28/4), No todo es Gula (29/4) y Benito Troya (30/4). Time: 21:00

30 April. Santi Rivas #winestar at @colectivodecantado and omnipresent man on Instagram, will talk live today with Pilar Esteve, of Filoxera y Cía. Time: 22:30

Nightly. @sorbitoasorbito is the Instagram account of sommelier Julián Hermoso, distributor, sales manager for Artadi in Andalucía and Levante and a great wine lover. To brighten up these weeks on lockdown, Julián joins in the nightly Instagram fun with irreverent and fun chats with sommeliers, producers and other Spanish wine professionals. Time: 23:59

1 - 3 May. Montilla-Moriles joins in the efforts to make home confinement more bearable with a series of virtual meetings led by Juancho Asenjo en Instagram @montillamorilesdo. On May 1 Paco Muñoz (Toro Albalá) and Manuel Luis del Pino (Bodegas del Pino) will talk about sweet PX whereas Sunday is the turn of Luis Oliván of Los Generosos and Carmen Garrobo for the group Sherry Women. Time: 17:00

1-3 May. The group of producers behind @madridorangeweek talks live this week with Bodegas Gratias from Manchuela (Friday 1), Bodegas Sicus from Massis de Bonastre (Sat 2) and Bodega Añada del Norte from Rioja (Sun 3). Time: 18:00

1 and 7 May. Grandes Pagos de España @grandespagos launches a series of talks with some of the producers of the association over the coming weeks. They will be conducted by Juancho Asenjo and these are his guests: Fernando Giménez Alvear (1 May, 18:15) and Mariano Garcia (7 May, 13:00)

Tastings and courses

Many wine stores are inviting their customers to join them on virtual tastings with wine lots that are delivered to their homes prior to the tasting, simultaneously broadcast on Facebook Stories and Instagram.

28 April-2 May. Alma Vinos Únicos continues with the series “Virtual dialogues with wine and its makers” led by Paco Berciano and César Ruiz. On Tuesday 28  Pedro Rodríguez of Adegas Guímaro (Ribeira Sacra) will be live, with Alain Graillot Jr. de Crozes-hermitage (Rhône) on Thursday 30 and Juan Antonio Ponce (Manchuela) on  May 2. The merchant offers a six-bottle case (two per producer) to follow the tastings live via Zoom. The wines can be purchased here. Time: 20:15

1 May. Luis Vida, who writes for wine magazine Sobremesa, hosts virtual tastings with a regional focus every Friday on @revistasobremesa. The session starts with a masterclass on the area followed by the tasting of a wine together with a local producer. This Friday the focus in on Rías Baixas and Albariño Lagar de Cervera 2018. Time: 13:00

23 April-14 May. Co-founder of Bodegas Valenciso, Luis Valentín hosts themed tastings on the winery's IG account @valencisorioja. Tastings will take place every Thursday. Valentín will talk about the importance of Rioja whites with the tasting of Valenciso Blanco (23rd April), sustainable, organic and biodynamic vineyards and a tasting of Valenciso Reserva 2012 (30th April), use and benefits of concrete in winemaking and tasting of Velenciso 2008 10 Años Después (7th May) and lastly, the fascinating world of barrels with the tasting of Valenciso Reserva 2012 (14th May). Time: 19:00

25 April and 2 May. Jimena Cristo, of Colourful Wines, presents a series of virtual tastings: Sparkling wines of the world (25th) and Ribera del Duero (2nd). Tastings are broadcast via Zoom. Bookings: jimena@colorfulwines.com. Price per home: €8

25 April and 2 and 9 May. Wine education company Artean Wines hosts a course called Introduction to Wine and Tasting Technique with live sessions via Zoom. Six wines will be sent to the student's home so they can taste and exercise. It is meant for workers in the wine business (hospitality, wine tourism…) but also for  wine lovers who want to delve deeper into wine. Hours: 11:30 to 13:00 Price: €95 

2 and 9 May. Valladolid store Majuelos Singulares offers virtual tastings on Saturdays. On May 2nd Pepe Mendoza of Casa Agrícola in Alicante will lead the tasting and on May 9th it's José Crusat of Entre Os Ríos in northern Galicia. You can sign up for one or more tastings -signing up for several tastings has some advantages. Time: 13:00 Orders via Whatsapp (+34 616 675 123) or email info@majuelossingulares.com 

English For Wine Aspects are English courses specialized in the world of wine. While the crisis lasts they have launched “Wine Lessons at Home”,  a set of exercises in English divided into different lessons to practice wine vocabulary. Lessons are published twice a week and the solutions, presented by course director Andrew Ashurst, are posted on social media

Individual videos and podcasts

Spanish Organic Wines SOW hosts a daily presentation of its members on their social media accounts in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@OrganicWinesEsp). It's a chance to discover the great diversity of organic wine producers and the wide range of still, fortified and sparkling wines they produce.

@javiersanpedroortega, a young Rioja producer, broadcasts a daily weblog on his Instagram account explaining his daily routines both in the vineyard and in the winery from pruning to filtration or stabilization by refrigeration.

Since the coronavirus forced him to temporarily close his restaurant in Teruel (Aragón), sommelier Raúl Igual broadcasts his daily “Stories around wine” and talks about a wine every day on his Instagram account @raul_igual_yainrestaurante

Every Friday, Marimar Torres and her daughter Cristina present from California a traditional recipe sourced from Marimar's cooking books and paired with some of the family's wines. The show cookings can be watched on the Marimar Estate Facebook page. 

Free content

Vila Viniteca offers its customers a free three-month subscription to RobertParker.com with access to 400,000 tasting notes, scores and more. All you have to do is register at RobertParker.com with the promotional code STAYINiCFCg4. The code expires on May 31 and is only valid for new subscriptions.

Professional platform Vitivin opens its contents to everyone during the lockdown. Everyday, new premium content is available including videos with prestigious professionals such as Valerie Lavigne, Antonio Palacios, Pedro Ballesteros or Belén Ayestarán.

Guía Peñín allows free access to the 2020 edition of its wine guide: some  12,000 tasting notes to search for scores, regions, bodega, wine styles, varieties, vintage or price. Additionally, the members of the Guide's tasting panel publish three weekly videos on their IG account @guiapenin in which they discuss varieties, styles of wine and wine vocabulary.

Magazine MiVino also offers free access to its archive and contents. Click on this link to read them.

Sobremesa magazine has opened up part of its content to readers. On March 16, the wine and food publication announced its desire to "contribute to making the days of confinement more bearable by allowing free access to its last ten issues". You can access them by clicking here.

Faced with the impossibility of printing, Vadevino Editorial, publisher of wine magazine Planeta Vino, is offering free access to its April-May 2020 issue. Directed by wine journalist Andrés Proensa, it can be read or downloaded on this link.

Priorat-based American wine writer Miquel Hudin is offering hospitality staff one-year free membership to his website. In addition, everyone who takes advantage of the offer will be entered to win a set of  the Vinologue books, sent anywhere in the world. Click here to register

The documentary Spontaneous Fermentation, directed by sommelier Clara Isamat, is free to watch. With the different months of the year in the vineyard as a backdrop to the story, Isamat captures the thoughts, motivations and concerns of 11 wine producers such as Manuel Valenzuela (Barranco Oscuro), Fabio Bartolomei (Vinos Ambiz), Rubén Parera (Finca Parera) and Celler La Gutina. You can watch the documentary here.

Another documentary that is free to watch online is (R)evolution Champenoise, an interesting promenade along the vineyards of Champagne with some of the  best growers in the region. It was filmed by Spanish distributor À la Volé and is available on this link. French language with subtitles in Spanish.

The DO Rueda joins the #CuarentenaCultural (Cultural Quarantine) with over 100 short films from past editions of the Rueda con Rueda festival. They are available on its YouTube channel

Most Festival is also committed to making confinement more bearable with broadcasts each day of one of the films or documentaries that have been screened over the nine years of the festival's existence. You can watch them on their @mostfestival account on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Through her WhatsApp, Pilar Cruces, the driving force behind Lust For Wine, presents "Understanding wine is easy-peasy", with clear information presented in an informal manner on aspects such as the principles of tasting, production areas and wine recommendations paired with a book or with music and with the help of experts in various disciplines. To join in, send a text message to Pilar to +34 638661408. Videos are sent between 21:00 and 22:00 except Saturdays, which are sent at 13:00

Images and paying films

Positive images. Every morning, La Rioja Alta, the century-old winery in the Haro Station District, uploads what it calls a #brotedeilusión (outbreak of hope) onto its social media accounts -beautiful pictures from their vineyards which are in the midst of sprouting right now.

The film Uncorked is now on release on Netflix. It is about a young man who feels torn between his dream of becoming a master sommelier and his father's expectations that he'll take over the family's barbecue business. It's not going to win any Oscars but the plot revolves around wine. 

Draws and quizzes

Until April 26. The Regulatory Body of Montilla-Moriles gives away three packs of wine worth €350 each with upwards of 40 bottles of wine donated by the producers who take part in the annual Montilla-Moriles Wine Tasting, which was cancelled this year. To take part, leave a comment on any of their social media pages explaining an initiative that you would launch next year during this Wine Tasting. The best idea will win a four-person VIP pass for the event next year. Winners will be announced on April 27th.

For those who are studying the WSET advanced courses or simply want to improve their international wine culture, sommelier Agustín Trapero has launched #winequestionsathome, a series of multiple choice questions with four possible answers. They are published daily on his Instagram Stories (@agustin_trapero). 

Historic producer Marqués de Murrieta hosts a quiz with questions about the Rioja producer and the world of wine in general. The quiz has nine levels and two lives and the winner will enjoy a tour of the winery and lunch for two people. Wine lovers can also do a virtual tour of the historical Castillo de Ygay cellar and sign up for free to an online tasting course via Murrieta Academy. 

Other initiatives

Cooking at home. Those of us who appreciate good wines also enjoy good food. That's why it's great that many chefs and entertainers are sharing home videos with relatively simple dishes and ingredients that are easily found in the shops. Dani Garcia is one of the most active in his Instagram account (@danigarcia7), but La Ser radio station (@la_ser), broadcasts #Gastroconfinados, a space "to talk, listen and keep people company in the kitchen".  Mikel Iturriaga @elcomidista has been publishing videos on his website long before the pandemic but now he has decided to put on his apron to cook live with his followers. Ferran Adrià also joins in the dissemination of information and will prepare daily menus that will be broadcast on his Twitter account @ferranadria at 11:30 everyday. And we love the videos of ice cream maker Fernando Sáenz and his wife Angelines González. Some of the recipes they have shared include milk ice popfruit ice pop and cocoa ice cream

Do you know of any interesting wine events which are not on this list? Send us what you are doing at home to yolanda@spanishwinelover.com
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