Are virtual wine tastings a great way to bring gearheads together?
It’s been a challenging few months for the whole world, but in-person social-based events and businesses have had to reevaluate how they can move forward. Even as stay-at-home orders are starting to loosen in most states, social distancing and personal safety concerns are still driving social behavior trends. Although people are weary about physically visiting places, like vineyards, or attending a wine tasting with a group of people, wine makers have another option, and this particular option is also a good one for those thirsty to get back to the track!
Surprisingly, virtual wine tastings may be one of the best things to come from this lifestyle-disrupting scare. Motorious was recently invited to join a virtual wine tasting of The Racing Series wines, by Adobe Road. It was hosted by Mark Greene, whom you might know as host of Cars Yeah. Through this invitation, we learned more than we thought possible.
Although virtual wine tastings are not exactly a brand new thing, they have never been done like this before. There are plenty of wine makers out there fully utilizing the incredible marketing tools available via the internet to reach an increasing number of people. Platforms like Facebook Live and Zoom have made it easy for wineries to bring people together over a nice glass of wine. However, Adobe Roads’ approach to virtual tastings is unique since it blends two of our favorite things: wine and racing.
Typical wine tastings are all about the wine and usually consists of the wine maker talking about the process of making the wine, with a few questions at the end. This tasting takes collaboration to the next level. Attendees have the pleasure of getting to know racing legends Lyn St. James and Kevin Buckler, along with current drivers Spencer Pumpelly and Derek DeBoer.
Legendary Race Car Driver, Race Team and Winery Owner, Kevin Buckler is the driving force behind this impressive collection. Kevin has been winning races since 1995. He has also been building his legacy in the automotive industry over nearly three decades.
Back in 2002 he and his wife Debra bought a small, boutique winery, Adobe Road. Over the years it would flourish under the core principals of racing. In collaboration with expert wine maker Garrett Martin, The Racing Series was crafted to represent Kevin’s passion for the art of racing. This includes four wines we’ll explore in greater depth later. If you’re a red wine lover, your taste buds will thank you for trying a bottle or trying them all.
While the taste of each is fantastic, Adobe Road clearly puts as much effort into packaging as they do into crafting the wine. Each bottle is a tribute to the sport which brings us all together.
Our package of wines from Adobe Road included all four of the wines currently in the Racing Series: APEX, REDLINE, SHIFT, and THE 24. APEX is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Petite Sirah. Named for the apex of a turn, the bottle displays a metal apex curbing. REDLINE shows Adobe Roads richer and more complex side with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Malbec. The bottle features a tachometer that, when tipped, actually pegs at the red line.
Zinfandel, Barbera, Grenache, Petite Sirah, and Carignane daringly blend together to make SHIFT. This was the favorite of the night, the blend tasting as bold as the stick shift emblem on the bottle. Paying tribute to the Rolex timepiece which counts down the 24-hour races at Daytona and Le Mans, THE 24 is a Rhone-style blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah, with Malbec for added spice and character. As for the bottle, it features a beautiful metal chronograph label.
Neil Pitt, CEO of Speed Digital and Motorious, has two different wines for his top picks, “The SHIFT bottle does a great job of encapsulating the character of the driving enthusiast and I really enjoy the taste of THE 24 most likely due to the Malbec in the blend.” Lyn St. James picks REDLINE and loves the design on all the bottles as well. Personally, I was a huge fan of SHIFT, but it could be my bias towards manual transmission culture. If you’re just starting to get into red wines, I think this is a great newbie blend, but I definitely recommend moving onto THE 24 from there. Red wine drinkers will love the full line right away, and appreciate the many levels of depth in the series.
From the eyes of a wine lover and a gearhead, the Adobe Road Winery Racing Series’ Virtual Tasting Experience which took place on Saturday, May 23 was phenomenal. The virtual event mixed the traditional wine tasting experience with a race-centric lineup, offering attendees a rarely seen view into the lives of legendary racers.
“This was a special event for racers and wine lovers, but it also gave non-car people the chance to peak inside the world of racing. Attendees who were there to support the brand and taste the wine also got to learn more about the sport, and hear from some of the legends in the industry, that was a really unique aspect of this event.” -Mark Greene, Founder of Cars Yeah
TRG’s multi-winning Daytona 24 and Le Mans driver Kevin Buckler and seven time Indianapolis 500 driver Lyn St. James were special guests. They presented the wine series and answered attendees’ racing questions. Peter and Gayle Brock of Brock Racing Enterprises and TRG drivers Derek DeBoer and Spencer Pumpelly were also among the nights’ special guests. Adobe Road Winery’s winemaker Garrett Martin presented the Series’ wine.
“The virtual wine tasting seemed to be more about the people and the event and less about the wine. The wine was amazing but it was used as the ingredient to bring people together around a common theme,” said Neil Pitt, who was in attendance for the tasting.
After the event, we had the chance to talk to St. James about the experience, “It’s fun, enjoyable, and informative. I’ve known Kevin Buckler for a long time and have watched him grow Adobe Road and enjoy helping him out (and enjoy the wine),” she shared, continuing, “I think the fact that you can be in your own home/space and not have to listen to the whole thing if you don’t want to (without embarrassing yourself or the “host”) like you would probably feel if you went to a personal wine tasting. Plus when you’re at the actual tasting room at some wineries they aren’t that helpful/they just try to sell you something.”
If you’re interested in trying these delicious nectar blends, Motorious has a unique coupon code to save 10 percent on your purchase: MOTORIOUS. I highly recommend the Race Gift Set for Father’s Day gifts; you’ll ‘win’ the day. Not saying it’s a competition, but if it were, these wines would put you in the winner’s circle!
Coupon Code: MOTORIOUS