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6 Virtual Hangout Ideas (with Wine!)

Just because there's a pandemic going on doesn't mean your social life needs to suffer. Video chatting makes it easy to see your friends and family, and there's no reason why you can't still "get together" for meals or to talk about the latest thing you're reading or watching. Here are five fun excuses for hanging out and connecting with your favorite people — don't forget the wine!

Sunday brunch

A global virus shouldn't stop you from getting your brunch on, especially as spring comes around again. Set up a time to meet with your buddies over Zoom for a virtual weekend meal. Instruct everyone to cook up their favorite brunch dish (here are some great recipes) and pour a glass of rosé in preparation. The NV Casa di Carlone Italian Rosé is a great choice and the perfect way to usher in another season of rosé all day! If it's nice out and everyone has access to a backyard or balcony, you could even eat outside.

Weekend dinner

Not a brunch person? Everyone's got to eat dinner! Why not share the meal over a video session and make a fun evening out of it? Come up with a theme (Italian food, chicken dishes, or vegetarian meals, for example) and challenge everyone to prepare something within those parameters. Then show-off your feast over Zoom before digging into some great food and conversation! The 2016 Commuovere Dolcetto di Dogliani Valdibà DOCG is a great all-around red to pair with a variety of main course dishes.

Book club gathering

All you've got is time in the evenings now. If you're tearing through some good books, why not start up a virtual book club so you can discuss them with friends? (My personal recommendation: American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. It's absolutely riveting and there's so much to discuss.) Make it a requirement that everyone brings a glass of wine to the meeting. The 2016 Geist Trocken Saar Germany Riesling is a book club-appropriate white that you won't be able to get enough of.

Netflix party

Reading not your thing? Throw a viewing party instead. There are apps out there (Netflix Party and Rabbit are two options) for setting up a movie night or bingeing session with other people. Only one of you needs to play the movie or show for everyone to enjoy, and there's a chatting feature you can use while watching. With so many movies going straight to streaming and pandemic must-sees like Tiger King and Love Is Blind out there, the options are endless. Don't forget to pop open a bottle of 2016 Lustra Monterey County Pinot Noir to enhance your viewing experience.

Game night

Apps like House Party make it easy to play classic game night hits such as Pictionary, Apples to Apples, and Charades over video. But did you know that there are also other apps that tackle more specific games, such as Settlers of Catan and Exploding Kittens? Check out what's on offer at the app store with your friends, and set up up an evening of fun, competition, and, of course, wine. The 2016 Retrouver Dry Creek Chardonnay is the perfect game-night wine.

Wine tasting

And now for something truly original — throw a virtual wine tasting party with the Tasting Room mini-bottle kit. Have each participant order their own kit, then set up an evening to go through the six mini-bottles together and compare your thoughts. Don't forget to rate the wines online as well, so you can receive a personalized tasting profile and start getting full-size bottles that match your tastes delivered right to your door!