Wine Hour at Home is a new online “social gathering” platform, created to engage with those “getting bored in self-isolation”.

The new concept enables people to learn about Portuguese wines, in English. It aims to bring wine lovers together to taste and discuss their favourite vintages, despite the quarantine imposed by the Covid-19 epidemic, which has forced the majority of the UK population to stay at home.

The project, which launched this week, is a partnership between Chefs Agency – a boutique PR and Media Relations agency based in Lisbon, Portugal – and Martins Wine Advisor, created by wine consultant Claudio Martins.

Together they have created an after-work “wine hour”, during which participants can relax and escape and “enjoy a good glass of wine with like-minded people”, and with the added benefit of being able to interact with a wine producer.

Participants need to tune in to @winehourathome on Instagram TV, at 6pm (GMT). The first episode takes place this evening and episodes are then scheduled to take place two or three times a week. Details are as follows:

March 20 (Douro winemaker Dirk Niepoort), with wines: Nat Cool Vinho Verde 2018, Nat Cool Bairrada Red 2019, Bioma Tinto 2015, and Dão Rótulo White 2017

March 23 (Quinta de Santiago with Joana Santiago, with wines: Santiago Alvarinho Reserva 2018 and Espumante Santiago Alvarinho);

March 25 (Terroir Al Limit with Dominik Huber from Priorat, Spain & Tatjana Peceric)

March 27 (Herdade do Rocim with Pedro Ribeiro)

March 30 (Liber Pater with Loic Pasquet from Bordeaux, France)

April 1 (Pico Wines with Bernardo Cabral)

April 3 (Adega Favalos)

April 6 (Colinas do Douro with Jorge Granate Rosa Santos)

The idea for this project came about during a conversation between wine consultant Cláudio Martins and Chefs Agency’s Event Director, Adriana Fournier, at the beginning of the quarantine, imposed on many families in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Martins said: “The quarantine period had just started, and we came to the conclusion that we were in great need of a social occasion, a gathering which could bring people together around wine, focusing on the more personal aspects of producers, winemakers and their wines, and not so much on the technical aspects.”

Fournier said: “An after-work wine moment made perfect sense to us. Especially because wine bottles are always best when shared, and because we are more than ever in need of relaxing occasions to overcome the current social anxiety.” 

This virtual wine gathering is scheduled to take place two to three times a week, featuring different guest producers, who will be invited to open, taste and comment on a special bottle or two.

Meanwhile, wine advisor Martins and sommelier Rodolfo Tristão will also give their input. Martins will comment from the consumer’s point of view, while Tristão will share his technical perspective.

Participants will be able to ask the producer questions, share photos of what they are drinking at home and, of course, enjoy great company while drinking a glass of wine. Everyone is welcome to take part, “regardless of their knowledge of wine”.