Wine tasting is looking a little different these days. I have been pretty strict about quarantining, so I wasn’t quite sure whether venturing out to a winery was a good idea. I’ve seen a few places post things on social media about their protocols for social distancing. And given that wineries typically have lots of grass, I figured if push came to shove, I could set up my own chair in the grass, maintain my six feet of distance, and chat with my girls while drinking a bottle of wine that I purchased from the winery.
So with mask, snacks and chair in tow, I headed out to Janemark Winery in Brandywine, Maryland for a day at the winery with the girls. I don’t know if you’ve ever had an occasion to visit Southern Maryland, but we are lucky to be the home of some nice little wine trails. I love being able to jump up and visit a nice winery whenever the mood strikes me.
The winery was absolutely beautiful on this particular day. The sky was amazing and the greenery looked so plush and healthy. It was a smidge hot on this particular day, but…what are you gonna do…
As far as COVID precautions, the winery did require masks, however we did not have to wear them at our table among our own party.
So, with regards to the tasting, here’s where things were a little different. Typically with wine tasting, you’d go inside, grab a spot at the bar, and then you get schooled on all types of things about the vineyard and the process of turning grapes into wine. But things are a little different with COVID. The inside was closed. So it was outside seating only.
Because we couldn’t go inside, we also didn’t have an individual server pouring for us and giving us tidbits of information throughout the tasting. Instead we selected what we wanted from the menu, choosing from a glass, bottle, or flight of wine, and then schooling ourselves about the aromas, notes, tannins, and grapes from the handouts provided to us by the waitstaff. Of course that was all fine and well, it was just a different vibe from the usual.
Unlike previous winery visits, my tasting wasn’t swished around in a wine glass, but rather served in sealed plastic sample cups. I truly appreciate the steps that the winery took to ensure safety for the tasting and to limit contact and exposure of the wine servings. I didn’t expect them to go to these lengths, but this definitely makes more sense given the current state of the coronavirus.
So, the sample cups were labeled. I read through my handout, and gave each sample a good swish, swirl, and taste. I did wind up with a couple faves, but quite honestly, the best part of the whole day was being able to sit and chat with my girls in person. Life moves along even in quarantine, and we had quite a bit to catch up on. And there was no better way to do it than over drinks at the local winery.
I can definitely see us doing this again. This seems to be an activity that can done while practicing social distancing. I’m not an advocate of going back to life as if COVID doesn’t exist, but I am trying to figure out how to merge a few normal activities with being safe and cautious. And visiting wineries seems to be something that can be done if you take the right precautions.
I hope you are faring well with your quartining and social distancing. What activities are you safely adding back into your life? What’s off the table until further notice? I’d love to hear from you.