The Wine Road just announced it is hosting a virtual Wine & Food Affair this year. What does this virtual event look like, how can you participate, and why is it so important that you do?

Virtual Wine Tasting

When you attend wine tasting events like the popular Wine & Food Affair, you probably taste and buy wines from a variety of wineries you visit along the Wine Road. With the following virtual tasting offer, you can still buy and taste wines from a variety of wineries, and each wine comes with the winery’s perfect pairing recipe. Plus, you’ll be supporting the Wine Road and helping ensure that its popular tastings will continue in a post-pandemic world.

The Wine Road is offering sampler packs of wines from 64 of its member wineries—four cases (12 bottles each), two six packs, and a four pack. Details on the cases and descriptions are available on the Wine Road’s website. These are one of a kind offers, with a limited number of each mix, and only available for purchase until October 26th.

Virtual Wine & Food Affair 2020 logo

Rare Opportunity

Why is this special? Selling wine requires an Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) permit that only allows a winery to sell their own wine. This is why wineries don’t band together and sell each other’s wine.

The Wine Road jumped through a lot of hoops to obtain a special permit. This permit allows them to sell these curated mixed cases and packs of their members’ wines. The parameters of the ABC permit are:

  • The wines cannot be discounted
  • Each bottle must have a Wine & Food Affair sticker
  • The permit is only good for 30 days, so all orders must be placed by October 26th and shipped by October 30th
  • Wine can only be shipped to a California address

Don’t Wait

The first 50 cases ordered from this offer will also receive a 4-pack of Repour Winesavers. If you aren’t familiar with Repour Winesavers, now is your chance to try them out. They keep an opened bottle of wine fresh for days or even weeks. A wine tool every wine lover should know about.

Repour Winesaver image and explanation

Please keep in mind, there are a limited number of cases or packs available of each of the seven selections of wine. To ensure you get the one (or ones) you want, order them now! And, once the calendar hits October 27th, these offers will disappear.

Virtual Tasting

Meeting winemakers and winery owners is always a part of tasting along the Wine Road. Beginning November 7th, you can still see the winemaker and owners and hear what they have to say about their wines. For each mixed case, six pack or four pack of wine, there will be a corresponding video. Each winery will introduce their wine that is part of this special offer, and explain why it is the perfect pairing with the recipe they selected.

Red wine being poured into nice wine glasses with food in the background.

You can access these videos as of November 7th on the Wine & Food Affair Program page. During the traditional weekend for Wine & Food Affair (November 7th and 8th), some of the wineries will also host Facebook or Instagram Live events as well. That schedule of these virtual events will also be available on the Wine & Food Affair Program page.

Woman and man talking over a glass of wine as a third person makes a video of them.

Just remember these videos aren’t available until the first weekend in November, so don’t look for them just yet. They will also stay on the Wine Road website, giving you plenty of time to taste each of the wines you purchased, pair it with the recipe, and hear about it from someone from the winery. It’s nice to be able to do this on your own timetable.

Another Option For More Wine:
Rewards Discounts

logo of Wine & Food Affair Rewards

Maybe you don’t live in California, or even if you do, and you want select your own wines. The Wine Road is offering “Rewards.” Rewards are sold in quantities of $10, but when you redeem them, they’ll be good for $20, which is a very nice discount indeed. Here’s how they work:

  • Purchase the Wine Road Rewards at Eventbrite
  • They are sold in increment of $10
  • They are then redeemed at participating wineries and lodgings for $20 each
  • To redeem, each purchase must be a minimum of $100. That means you spend $100 in wine or at a lodging, then redeem your rewards and only have to pay $80, giving you a nice discount
  • Rewards can only be purchased Oct. 1st – Oct. 30th
  • Rewards must be redeemed by Nov 30, 2020

Holiday Giving

If you like to give wine as a holiday gift, get your list out and either purchase one or more of the Wine & Food Affair cases or packs. Or, buy the Wine Road Rewards and purchase your favorite wines from the participating wineries. Maybe do both and you can stock your own cellar, too!

Gift wrapped bottle of red wine.

If you are ready for a little getaway, remember that there are lodgings participating in the Rewards program. Remember, you have to redeem the rewards by November 30th, but getting away sounds like a great idea after being home for month after month!

Kelley & Young Wine Garden Inn

Why Is This All So Important?

The Wine Road puts on three major events for their members annually—Winter Wineland, Barrel Tasting, and Wine & Food Affair—and produces the best wine touring map available. They also are the collective marketing arm for 200 wineries and about 50 lodgings. Without the Wine Road, these events will go away and the small local wineries and lodging with limited budgets will no longer get the local and national exposure they do now.

“The Wine & Food Affair case sale and Wine Road Rewards are a fundraiser to help us keep the Wine Road’s doors open,” said Beth Costa, the Wine Road Executive Director. “Without the income from our events, we’re trying to find a creative way to continue to operate, but also give our loyal followers who love our events a way to keep their cellars stocked while helping us out.”

Support the Wine Road & Drink Great Wine

This isn’t like a GoFund Me campaign where you give and hope the money goes to a good cause. When you buy the Wine & Food Affair mix of wines, or Wine Road Rewards, the funds will go directly to keeping the Wine Road afloat. The pandemic’s impact has been felt by all of us. One of my saving graces during this time is enjoying amazing wines from the wineries along the Wine Road. I know it isn’t the same as having friends over for dinner and opening a bottle or two, but wine continues to be a source of enjoyment even if we can’t gather.

Glass of red wine with holiday decorations around and behind it.

Please consider supporting the Wine Road by purchasing one or more of the mixed cases or packs, and buying some Wine Road Rewards. I don’t want to think about a post-pandemic world without the Wine Road. Do you?

Happy Sipping!

@TheWineRoad #wineroad #alongthewineroad #2020WFA

Posted by Rebecca Germolus

Rebecca Germolus, co-owner of Maximum Value Marketing, loves Sonoma County and playing along the Wine Road. Rebecca daily immerses herself in wine country by providing cost-effective marketing and writing solutions to wineries and restaurants.

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