Third Thursday Virtual Wine Tasting on Minstrel and Muse – February 20th at 8pm EST – Featuring: 2011 Catena Malbec


photoOur last post we discussed the concept of “Virtual Wine Tasting.” Which is where you taste and discuss wine along with others online. Well, our friends over at Minstrel and Muse Audio Art Magazine are hosting monthly virtual wine tastings. They are calling their online wine tasting show, Wine Muse World Tour. You are invited to join them on the third Thursday of each month and taste along with them live. An actual virtual wine tasting and you are invited.

If you miss this wine tasting, they will have a link to a recording of the show so you can taste later. You won’t be tasting “live” with them, but you can share in the appreciation and discussion of the same wine. Following are some show details. Enjoy.

Wine Muse World Tour a Third Thursday Virtual Wine Tasting,
February 20th at 8:00 pm EST/5:00 pm PST
You will need a bottle of 2011 Catena Malbec from Argentina
(if you cannot find this bottle of wine, you can substitute another bottle of Argentina Malbec)

* If you miss the live show, you can always listen to the recorded show/podcast.

In partnership with Minstrel and Muse Audio Art Magazine – live virtual wine tastings will be held on the Third Thursday of each month at 5 PM PST. These wine tastings are hosted by Linda Rez of Minstrel and Muse Audio Art Magazine and co-hosted by William Pollard of Wild 4 Washington Wine. Taste along and see if you too can identify the same aromas and flavors. It’s a fun learning experience of sight, smell and flavor.

Throughout the year they will be visiting some of the many wine regions of the world. You can share in the adventure of tasting a World of Wine and learning about each wine and the country it is from.

Twitter users can follow along using #WineMuse for tasting tweets.

Virtual Wine Tasting 101

virtual tastingWhat is virtual wine tasting? Is it pretend wine tasting? Do you need a computer to do it?

Word Origin & History of “Virtual”

late 14c., “influencing by physical virtues or capabilities,” from M.L. virtualis, from L. virtus “excellence, potency, efficacy,” lit. “manliness, manhood” (see virtue). The meaning of “being something in essence or fact, though not in name” is first recorded 1650s, probably via sense of “capable of producing a certain effect” (early 15c.). Computer sense of “not physically existing but made to appear by software” is attested from 1959.

Virtual Wine Tasting is Actual Wine Tasting 

If you have been wine tasting, then you should be familiar with visiting wineries or attending wine tasting events in person, possibly with a group. This involves driving and visiting physical locations. A fee to attend a wine tasting venue is frequently required. Wines and wine glasses are provided for you at the winery or event. Sometimes you have an amiable host guiding you through the wine tasting. The principle reason for visiting a wine country destination is to go wine tasting.

As much fun as it is to visit wineries. It’s not always practical to fly and drive to every wine country destination.

And not everyone is comfortable with or knowledgeable about the how to of wine tasting.

Wine Tasting Online

As social media tools have grown in popularity so to have social media events. The ubiquity of smart phones, tablets and portable computers means almost everyone is connected online. Social media tools have become the binder which keep people connected and informed.

Virtual wine tasting takes the social media phenomena a step further. The social interaction occurs online, typically in real time, often using the popular twitter application – but there is actual tasting of wine. You taste in the comfort of your home. You are free to participate as much or as little as you want. Ask questions or just lurk in the background. You choose how involved you want to be in the discussion of the wine.

In a virtual wine tasting the group agrees in advance which wine they are going to taste. The designated wine is purchased locally or online. On the date and time of the tasting they open their bottles of wine at the same time. Using a tool like twitter they share their thoughts about the wine. A designated host will guide the online, virtual tasting, fielding questions and answers. It is a terrific way to learn more about wine, gain confidence in ones palate and to enhance the appreciation of wine. It’s also a marvelous way to make friends with like-minded souls.

Where to Start?

Our friends over at Minstrel and Muse host a monthly wine show on internet radio. Their shows are recorded live as they taste through the wine of the month. If you miss their live show you can playback their recorded podcast wine show. On twitter they are tweeting with their audience, you can follow along using #winemuse – they are starting a Wine Muse World Tour on 3rd Thursdays.


Tools You Need

You need a computing device with an internet connection and the twitter application. You also need at least one wine glass, a corkscrew and a real interest in wine. The people attending virtual wine tastings have a lot of fun, humor is frequent, but serious questions are expected. Don’t forget to find out which hashtag is being used for the virtual tasting. You can research some of the popular virtual tastings on twitter by searching on these: #winechat – #vawinechat – #bcwinechat – #winestudio – #flxwine – #winemuse

Happy virtual wine tasting!

Bring on the Boom Boom!

  • Tasting Date: 28 November 2013.
  • Country: USA
  • State: Washington
  • AVA: Columbia Valley
  • Vineyards: Milbrandt, Arete, Roza Hills and DenHoed
  • Varieties: 97% Syrah, 3% Vioginer
  • Vintage: 2012
  • ABV: 13.5%
  • Closure: Screw Cap
  • Production: 15,000 Cases
  • Paid: $14.95
  • Score: DRINK
  • Brief: Definitely good drinker at opening. Excellent option for dining out. Surprised how well this wine is drinking for a 2012. Ready to drink today and over the next 5 years. Full of Washington Syrah goodness and at a reasonable price. A recommended wine for those unfamiliar with Washington Syrah. Yeah, recommended for Syrah drinkers too!
  • Notes: Smooth, most of the flavor up front at opening, currant and canned plum. A little air and violets with bacon fat. Back palate had tar, black licorice. At 40 minutes peppery fruit lower note on the nose with some beef jerky and blueberry on the palate, long finish. At 50 minutes fresh tobacco added to the dancing nose. Interesting. At an hour the wine was plush, back palate and cheeks full of flavor – dark fruit, smoky, tobacco, plum, blueberry with a big finish, gently dry on the gums, integrated acid. BIG LIKE.

Charles Smith 2012 Boom Boom! Syrah

2012 Charles Smith Boom Boom! Syrah

2012 Charles Smith Boom Boom! Syrah

Try Something New


We who write about wine, who share our experiences, our passion, our obsession are ultimately encouraging you to try something new and different. Create your own wine experiences and tell your own stories. We are guides not authoritarians. It’s about  learning to trust your own sense of taste and smell.

Buying wine based on a number is lazy, so is selling wine based on a number. Either the wine is good and honest, or it is not. You won’t see us scoring wines.

We’re here to help you on your journey to find that 12th wine. The one you need to fill out that case of wine you are buying for home, to cellar, or for a party with friends.

– Try Something New

Chilean Domaines Barons De Rothschild (Lafite)

  • Tasting Date: 17 October 2013.
  • Country: Chile
  • State: Colchagua
  • Region: Colchagua Valley – see map wines of Chile
  • Vineyard: Viña Los Vascos
  • Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Vintage: 2010
  • ABV: 14%
  • Closure: Nomacorc – see info on Nomacorc
  • Production: 250,000 – 300,00 Cases
  • Paid: $10
  • Score: BUY + HOLD
  • Brief: At the price of $10 this is a good buy. Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon managed by Lafite! This wine was most interesting after 2 hours. Hey, it’s a young wine, it deserves at least another year in the bottle. Your other option is to decant for 2 hours to enjoy today.
  • Notes: Clear garnet color, cherry, plum, oak on the nose. At opening it was tight, smooth, modest acid and tannin, short finish. Not a lot going on. With about 30 minutes exposure it had fresh cherry and a little heat on the palate. Okay, after 45 minutes it began to fill out, heat was gone, it was looking promising. It took an hour, but coffee and dark chocolate made a welcome appearance. Interestingly, barnyard floor on the nose, yep, hay along with some friendly farm smells. After 1.5 hours that barnyard blew off. Most interesting at 2 hours.

Los Vascos 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua, Chile,
Domaines Barons De Rothschild (Lafite)


2010 Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon

Poema para Argentina

muestrame tus cariñosas joyas,
digame Malbec,
dulce palabra,
jugo de la tierra,
lleno de calidad desconocido,
el espejo de mi vida ocluido –
despiertame Argentina,
estoy listo,
quiero conocer tu camino

Bailando con Malbec.