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Virtual wine tastings with Williamsville sommelier draw over 100 people each week

Jim Curry leads the Zoom classes on Thursday nights from Addy's Wine & Spirits on Transit Road.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With restaurants and bars closed due to coronavirus, wine sales are way up as people entertain themselves at home. A wine store in Williamsville found a way for people to keep connecting over a glass of red, white or rose while staying safe. 

Jim Curry is a sommelier at Addy's Fine Wine and Spirits on Transit Road. The store has a tasting room where he hosts regular wine seminars for customers. When the pandemic hit, they pivoted to virtual tasting sessions on Thursday nights, where Curry guides people through a several wines with a PowerPoint presentation over Zoom.

He was hoping that a dozen or so people would join him for the first one. Instead, the event attracted more than 60 people, and  six weeks later, they're getting double that.

"Two weeks ago I was sitting there teaching my class, counting the little thumbnails. We had over 150 people out there and I just stopped counting, it got crazy," he told 2 On Your Side. "It's been very successful. That's the one thing about wine is it's a very social drink, and people need to share wine with other people. This has allowed them to do that." 

The classes are free to participate in, you just have to buy the bottles of wine, which the store delivers to your house the day of the meeting. Jim says a typical weekly bundle is between $50-60. They take place every Thursday at 8 p.m. 

Click here to see a list of the upcoming classes and learn how to sign up. 

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