With the lockdown and the "new normal" we really missed our Friday night tastings, so we started doing them virtually - and they have been great! If you have missed them, the replays are available on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/vintagewinecellars/live
Virtual wine tastings can be really fun - but you need to do some planning and prep to make the most out of your experience. Planning your food or cheeseboard, getting the technology ready, and preparing the wine will help make sure your tasting is awesome.
Before the Tasting
- Check your Connection - Before the tasting, make sure you can access our Facebook Live page and and that you can watch one of the replays of a past tasting to make sure everything is working. You will need a Facebook login to watch the stream. You can also try clicking here to watch any Facebook Live broadcast to see how things will work. The quality of your stream is entirely dependent on your connection to Facebook. For the best stream quality, plug your device in to a network cable to your internet, or make sure your WIFI is as good as possible. If you have issues, check Facebook's support.
- Plan Your Menu - If you ordered one of our cheese kits to pair with your tasting you are halfway there! But don't forget some nice bread, crackers, olives, nuts or charcuterie, and leave yourself some time to get everything ready before the tasting
- Pick Your Spot - We recommend getting comfortable in a place where you have a big screen and room for your wine and cheese. Our favorite is on the couch in front of the big screen TV. We connect our device to our TV so we can watch the stream big and in comfort. With 100s of devices, we can't give you much help on getting the stream on your TV, but a little searching on the internet will likely help you. We use the simple method of connecting a laptop to TV via an HDMI cable, but your options may be different. Our second favorite is just a laptop on the dining room table. Whatever you choose, plan it out and make sure it works before the tasting.
At Start Time
Make sure you are in position a little before the tasting starts. We normally start the stream running about 5 minutes before the scheduled start, and we usually start tasting about 2 minutes after. Just before start time, go to our Facebook Live page. There may be many videos or events on Facebook, and they may have various names, but only one will say LIVE. That is the one you want. Click on it to start the watching the stream. At first, you may see a static image with no sound that says "Starting Soon". About 5 minute before we start tasting you should see a countdown timer and you should hear our theme song playing. If you have an issue:
- Refresh Your Page - Make sure you have gone to this exact page: https://www.facebook.com/vintagewinecellars/live and then hit refresh. If you get to the page early, Facebook may be a little delayed in notifying you we went live, but hitting refresh on this page shortly before start time should show you the live video.
- Close your browser, and Refresh again - 99% of the issues people have connecting are that they aren't on the right page, they haven't refreshed, and they aren't looking at the video that says LIVE.
- Refresh some more - Sometimes we do have an issue on our side and we have to restart the stream, or we are not "where" we planned to be. But when ever that is the case, we always come back to our Live page, and we are always the one video that says LIVE. If you loose us - you guessed it - go back to our Live page and hit refresh.
- Check Facebook Help - Unfortunately, if you do have an issue that refreshing doesn't fix, you will need to reach out to Facebook Help. We aren't able to troubleshoot issues with you.
During the Tasting
Our tastings normally run between 60 and 90 minutes. We will taste through all the wines in order, talk about them, share some history and wine nerd facts. We always like to hear from you, so make sure you hit the Like button when something good is happening, add your comments and questions to the chat, and participate in our polls. There will be slides in the live stream that show what wines we are tasting and what cheeses pair with them. We will also occasionally show maps, pictures, charts, whatever helps us understand the wine better. If you have any questions, ask them in the comments - we try to get to as many as we can!