Virtual Tastings

Enjoy expert-led wine tasting from the comfort and safety of your home.  Public and private tastings are available.

Experience a sense of community, learn more about your favorite beverage, or just get away from it all!  Silver Thread’s virtual tastings are interactive, fun and educational: like a happy hour and wine class combined.  They explore wine evaluation, proper wine service, food pairing, winemaking, viticulture, and history.  Tastings are suitable for beginners as well as experienced wine tasters.

Delicious, Expressive, Cool-climate Wines

Silver Thread makes some of the most consistently outstanding wines in the Finger Lakes.  The vast majority of our wine is made from grapes grown at our 10-acre estate vineyard on Seneca Lake, which is farmed using bio-intensive practices.  Virtual tastings feature our best-selling and most highly-rated wines.

Engaging, Knowledgable Presenters

Virtual Tastings are led by co-owners Paul and Shannon Brock, who are wine educators as well as winemakers. Paul has an M.S. in Enology and Viticulture from Cornell University, a level 3 certification from Wine & Spirit Education Trust, and is a Certified Wine Judge through American Wine Society. He has been teaching winemaking as a professor at Finger Lakes Community College for 10 years.

Shannon holds the prestigious Level 4 Diploma in Wine & Spirits from Wine & Spirit Education Trust, is a Certified Wine Judge through American Wine Society, and has an M.Ed. from University of Virginia Curry School of Education. She has been a WSET Certified Wine Instructor for 13 years.

Tested, Vetted, Professional Events

Our virtual tastings have been featured in the Washington Post, Conde Nast Traveler and Uptown Radio.  Satisfied participants say:

“You guys are 100x better than everyone else doing this.”–Paul, New York City, participated in a public virtual tasting on Facebook.

“Thank you, Shannon. We loved the tour and the tasting! You are a wonderful host.”  –SeaJin, New York City, organized a social/teambuilding private virtual wine tasting for her colleagues at work.

“Thanks for last night’s wine tasting. It was delicious and so much fun! What a wonderful way to bring people together when we can’t physically be together. It was truly a great celebration!”  –Ericka, North Carolina, organized a private virtual wine tasting for her husband’s birthday.

Shannon was fantastic from start to finish – answering all my initial questions, helping to set it up, and then hosting a wonderful zoom for us. Everyone had a great time and it was a wonderful family activity we could do from Texas, Virginia, and Pennsylvania – staying COVID safe, seeing family and enjoying wine!”–Kelly, Texas, organized a private virtual wine tasting for her mother’s birthday.

Private Virtual Tastings

We are currently booking March-May 2021

Are you looking for a team-building experience or fun activity for your work group, friends or family?   How about a virtual Birthday Party or Holiday Gathering?  Book a Private Virtual Tasting led by Silver Thread Co-owner/Wine Educator Shannon Brock via Zoom. During this 90-minute interactive experience, participants will be guided through a tasting of 2-3 wines with plenty of opportunity for question-and-answer.  The final 30 minutes is left open-ended for extended wine discussion or social time among your group. 

$450 minimum wine order required, plus $50 Virtual Event Fee. Wines are customizable to your group, although we have suggested wine packs in our on-line store.  Silver Thread will ship wines to each participant prior to the event. Email or call (607) 582-6116 to discuss options. Read below for answers to frequently asked questions.

Ready to go? Click the “Book Tastings” button at right to reserve a date for your private virtual tasting.

Phenology Club & Case Club Members: Wine purchases made in 2021 may be applied toward the $450 minimum order. Club Members receive 50% off the Private Virtual Tasting fee.

Frequently Asked Questions: Private Virtual Tastings

What is included in a virtual wine tasting?   Once the event is scheduled, Silver Thread will ship a set of identical wines (750mL bottles) to each participant along with tasting notes, food pairing suggestions, and directions for how to join the virtual session.  Silver Thread will host the 90-minute interactive session using our Zoom account.  Topics discussed can be customized to your group’s interest and experience, and there will be plenty of time for Q & A.

How do I book a virtual event? First, reserve a date via e-mail.  Second, put a credit card on file at our secure site.  Third, order wine packs at our on-line store OR submit a list of participant names and addresses via e-mail for us to bill the wine packs.  Fourth, we will send out the wines and all the details for people to join the live private tasting.

How far in advance do I need to book?  At least seven business days is required after a virtual event has been booked in order to ship wine to all participants.  For addresses outside the northeastern US, additional time may be needed for shipping.

What is the cost per person?  We will do our best to work within your budget.  We recommend a four-bottle pack of wine per participant, which costs $70-$100 each (plus shipping & tax).  Other options are available, including two, three or six packs of wine. 

What states can you ship wine to?  We are able to ship wine to most states.  Due to current alcoholic beverage laws, we are NOT able to ship to the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Utah.  Also, we are NOT able to ship wine internationally.

What days and times can you host virtual events?  The best days for us are Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings at 5:30pm or later.  Other days and times may be available upon request.  Check our bookings page for the availability calendar.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of participants?  The format is adaptable to small, medium and large groups.  We can host a private tasting for one household, a medium-sized group of 6-12, or a large group of 18-24.  Keep in mind that the larger the group, the more difficult it becomes for everyone to interact on Zoom.

Do you offer discounts for large groups?  We will waive the $50 virtual event fee for groups with a cumulative wine order of $500 or more. 


Public Virtual Tastings

We began hosting virtual tastings through Facebook Live Stream and Vimeo in March 2020.  We will continue to offer regularly-scheduled public tastings in late January 2021.  Anyone is welcome to participate, even if you don’t have the wine we are drinking.  We sell discounted packs of wines featured in the virtual tastings at our on-line wine shop if you want to taste the same wine that we are discussing.  Call (607) 582-6116 or e-mail for more information about these events.  We hope to see you there!

Cabin Fever Series March 2021

It’s time to start planning your next trip to the Finger Lakes!  Join us for a three-week PUBLIC virtual series March 12, 19, 26 that will share insider travel and tourism information along with newly released wines.  Each week, Silver Thread owner-winemakers Paul and Shannon Brock will welcome a local expert to help you plan your next visit to our beautiful region.  The Virtual Sessions will be broadcast on our facebook page.  Learn more here.

Riesling Expert II

We are back with a second installment of our highly popular Riesling Expert virtual program.  Whether you participated in the May 2020 course or are joining for the first time, Riesling Expert II will expand your horizons and enhance your knowledge of the Finger Lakes’ signature grape. This virtual tasting series is suitable for beginners and serious enthusiasts… please note it will be more academic than some of our other virtual programs. Full color notes for each session are included with the wine 6-pack.

Participants who register for the course and join the tastings on Facebook Live will earn a “Silver Thread Riesling Expert” award.  Those who completed Riesling Expert will earn a “Silver Thread Riesling Expert II” award.

  • Session 1: Minerality & Bottle Development in Dry-Style Riesling- January 29, 2021, 6:00-7:30, featuring Dry Riesling 2020 and Riesling STV Estate Vineyard 2016
  • Session 2: Fruit Expression from different Vineyard Sites February 5, 2021, 6:00-7:30pm, featuring Riesling Gridley Bluff Point Vineyard 2019 and Riesling Doyle Fournier Vineyard 2019
  • Session 3: Varietal Character vs. Winemaker Influence February 12, 6:00-7:30pm, featuring Petillant Naturel 2020 (a blended sparklign wine that is majority Riesling) and Riesling 2019 (semi-dry)

Purchase this discounted six-pack of wines.  Can’t make it to all of the virtual tastings?  Video of the sessions will be archived here.

Silver Thread Holiday Party

On December 11, 2020, we hosted a virtual gathering like no other– a tasting of Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir, pairing with delicious appetizers and a holiday dress-up photo contest. Watch the video here.

Thanksgiving Wine & Cheese Pairing with Lively Run

Make a perfect match for the holidays with two of the Finger Lakes’ best artisanal producers!  Join Silver Thread Winemakers Paul & Shannon Brock and Lively Run Cheesemakers Pete Messmer and Valerie DeLong for two nights of interactive wine and cheese pairing.  Each week, two Silver Thread wines will be paired with two Lively Run cheeses.  A winemaker will lead you through tasting and appreciating the wines, and a cheesemaker will explain cheese styles and production.  You can order a four-pack of wines from Silver Thread and a four-pack of cheese from Lively Run to taste along with the presenters.  Visit our Facebook Video Library to watch the recorded tastings, which aired Nov. 13 & 20, 2020.


Summer in the Vineyard Series

Our Summer Virtual Tasting Series featured two live tastings and three wines per month–July, August and September.  Videos can be accessed here.

Friday, July 17, 6-7pm: Taste Dry Riesling and the new and improved Good Earth White while Paul takes you on a tour of the vineyard.

Friday, July 24, 6-7pm: Taste Dry Rose of Pinot Noir while Paul and Shannon demonstrate how to make the perfect grilled pizza.

Friday, August 14, 6-7pm: Taste our new release Good Earth Cabernet Franc and our benchmark Estate Riesling while Paul takes you into the vineyard to see how the grapes begin to ripen, and why our bio-intensive management makes a difference.

Friday, August 21, 6-7pm: Learn to pair peak-season summer produce with fresh Riesling as we taste and cook with Riesling Gridley Bluff Point Vineyard.

Friday, September 11, 6-7pm:  Taste Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, made from the first grapes we harvest each year, as Paul takes you into the vineyard to explain how we know the grapes are ready to be picked.

Friday, September 18, 6-7pm:  Taste Gewurztraminer, another grape that is normally harvested in September, and head into the wine cellar with Paul to see the 2020 crush up close and personal.

Wine Club June Selections Virtual Tasting

Friday, June 26, 5:30-6:15: Join Paul and Shannon for a tasting of two exciting new releases offered to Phenology VIP and Riesling Club members in their June allocation: 2019 Dry Riesling (new release) and 2014 Estate Riesling (Library Selection).  Visit our Vimeo page to watch the recording.

Summer Solstice 2020 Virtual Bonfire

We live-streamed our annual Summer Solstice bonfire on Saturday, June 20, beginning at 8:30pm.  We started the stream with a tasting and toast of our Estate Riesling, then lit the bonfire at approximately 8:45 (sunset).  View this video on our facebook page.


Virtual Wine & Cheese Pairings with Silver Thread and Lively Run

Make a perfect match with two of the Finger Lakes’ best artisanal producers!  Join Silver Thread Winemakers Paul & Shannon Brock and Lively Run Cheesemakers Peter Messmer and Valerie DeLong for two nights of interactive wine and cheese pairing.  Each week, two Silver Thread wines were paired with two Lively Run cheeses.  A winemaker led the tasting and appreciating the wines, and a cheesemaker explained cheese styles and production.  Try out each combination and learn the secrets of wine and cheese pairing.  Visit Facebook to see recordings of the events.
June 5, 5:30-6:15pm: Red Wine and Cheese, lead by Paul from Silver Thread and Valerie from Lively Run, featuring Silver Thread’s Pinot Noir and Blackbird Red, and Lively Run’s Lake Effect Cheddar, Herbs de Provence Chevre and Feta.  View this session here.

June 12, 5:30-6:15pm: White Wine and Cheese, lead by Shannon from Silver Thread and Pete from Lively Run, featuring Silver Thread’s Gewurztraminer & Semi-dry Riesling, and Lively Run’s Blue Yonder and Za’tar Chevre.  View this session here.


#OpenLocalWine–Memorial Day Weekend 2020

Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend with three refreshing wines that are perfect for summer.  Post a photo of one or all of these bottles on social media May 22 using #OpenLocalWine, and be part of a nationwide event to promote local wineries.

We hosted three nights in a row of casual, outdoor virtual tasting events on Vimeo and Facebook Live May 22, 23 and 24:

Friday, 5/22, 5:30-6:15pm: Taste Dry Rose and watch our winemaker grill up some Cornell Chicken, the famous roadside chicken BBQ of upstate NY.

Saturday, 5/23, 5:30-6:15pm: Taste Chardonnay and take a vineyard tour with our estate manager to learn about our bio-intensive practices.

Sunday, 5/24, 5:30-6:15pm: Taste Good Earth White and meet the newest addition to our vineyard team– a flock of chickens who will eat insect pests and fertilize the soil.

Wines can be purchased a la carte from our on-line store, and Paul’s Cornell Chicken recipe can be found here.


“Riesling Expert” Virtual Tasting Series May 2020

Our Rieslings are some of the finest in the the Finger Lakes, and can be compared favorably to benchmark styles from around the world.  This tasting series explored the many expressions of our signature grape.  Each wine in the series was rated at least 90 points (“outstanding”) by Wine Spectator, Robert Parker or Vinous Media.  Participants earned a  “Silver Thread Riesling Expert” medal.

  • Session 1: Dry Rieslings & Age-ability of Riesling- May 1, 5:30-6:30, featuring Dry Riesling 2014 and Dry Riesling 2018
  • Session 2: Off-dry Rieslings and Single Vineyard StylesMay 8, 5:30-6:30pm, featuring Riesling Estate Vineyard 2018 and Riesling Doyle Fournier Vineyard 2018
  • Session 3: Medium-sweet Rieslings and Late Harvest Style May 15, 5:30-6:30pm, featuring Semi-dry Riesling 2018 and Riesling Late Harvest Select Gridley Bluff Point Vineyard 2017

Videos of the tastings are archived on our Vimeo Page.  Find course materials here.



Virtual Tasting Series March & April 2020

During March and April, we hosted a series of six Virtual Tastings using Facebook Live. These tastings focused on our six most popular wines, and were very well-received for being both informative and fun! You can view video recordings of the live tastings on our Facebook videos page.

Dry Riesling 2018– Friday, March 20 at 5:30pm
Dry Rose of Pinot Noir 2019–Saturday, March 28 at 5:30pm
Good Earth White 2017–Friday, April 3 at 5:30pm
Blackbird Red Wine 2017–Thursday, April 9 at 5:30pm
Gewurztraminer 2019–Friday, April 17 at 5:30pm
Chardonnay 2017–Friday, April 24 at 5:30pm




Book Tastings