The Best Ways to Get Some Napa Valley Wine at Home

Either via Instagram Live tastings or, you know, that bottle that you’re opening

clos du val camping kit
The new Backyard Camping Kit from Clos du Val
Clos du Val

Just like their food-based counterparts, Napa Valley’s wineries have had to come up with some creative ways to get by — generally a combination of Instagram Live tasting sessions, online/Drizly/Instacart orders, the possibly excessive use of social-media posts incorporating the phrase “at this time,” and occasional appearances at Napa’s farmers markets (still considered an essential service, though personally, we’re staying within sight of our driveway until this mishegas is over). 

If you don’t see your favorite label here, just know that the lot of them are offering big discounts on shipping and occasional pulls from the cellar for rare and tasty things. Also know that unlike their Insta-always restaurant brethren, Napa Valley wineries still seem to save a portion of their big announcements for Facebook. 

Here, a few of our top selects for at-home enjoyment of the best fermented grapes on offer. 

Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead is conducting frequent virtual tastings — including last night’s merlot talk with winemakers Justin Carr and Jeff Meisel. Keep an eye on their Instagram for the next event — or get pick-up/delivery of frankly terrific-looking selections of wine, craft beer, fresh produce and pantry items. 

We actually caught last week’s live tasting at Robert Biale, and truth: the shot of those springtime vines (and all that blue sky, just look at it all) almost had us in tears. Drink along with the winemakers once a week on Facebook Live for the foreseeable future; on Thursday, Bob Biale, of Robert Biale fame, will stop by

If you want to spend some additional time on Zoom, spend it at the “JaM virtual happy hour with musical guests,” which tonight is Journey Day and tomorrow is Kristen Van Dyke and the bunnies. (It’s charming.) Buy the JaM Cellars wine here — they, like many others, are offering free shipping this month. 

Oakville’s very own Groth moved its spring release party online with two performances from local musician Justin Diaz, who’s performing tonight at 5 p.m. on Groth’s Instagram Live for a Happy (Half) Hour. And come back next Wednesday (4/15) for a primer on winemaking with Cameron Parry, the brand’s “director of winegrowing .” 

If you like a theme, Clos du Val is offering a “Going the Social Distance – Backyard Camping Kit” with bottles of their 2016 Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, plus a blanket, “an artisan s’mores kit,” and High Camp Flasks’ Firelight 750. Day drinking is happening; now do it with a stylish flask. 

Today at 2 p.m., stop by the Instagram Live of the fancy-schmancy Chateau Montelena for a tasting of their Chateau Montelena 2006 and 2016 Estate Cabernet. (Or just buy it here.) 

And finally, Napa Valley Vintners — a group representing 500+ NV wineries — is hosting Facebook gatherings around a certain theme every Friday for April; this week it’s sauvignon blanc, the 17th will focus on pinot noir, and on the 24th, look for “Napa Green Wines” (#earthday) to take centerstage.


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