I Had My Birthday Party Over Zoom - and it Was Actually Really Fun?
In the pre-COVID world, I was planning on celebrating my 23rd birthday in Kobe, Japan, solo and probably treating myself to some fancy beef, as I would have been reaching the last week or so of a three-month backpacking adventure. Hah.
You know what happened - in the weeks before I was set to leave I sent dozens of cancelation emails, and I've been very thankful to feel safe and comfortable quarantining in the Bay Area with my family. When I first cancelled the trip, I told my mom that if I was still in town for my birthday that maybe we could go wine tasting. But then, people didn't do their part and stopped wearing their masks and social distancing - even if I could have visited a few wineries with my family, why would I have wanted to?
Wine tasting still sounded like fun, though. I remembered an instagram ad I'd seen sometime last year about a company that sold wine by the glass in tiny bottles and, after some googling, discovered VINEBOX. Among their seasonal collections and gift memberships, their six-bottle collection of Rosés sounded perfect for my new, kinda ridiculous, birthday plan.
After finding a date close to my birthday that fit with five of my closest friends' schedules, I sent VINEBOX's Rosé Collection to the six of us a week before my Zoom party. After I placed the orders, I had a great week of texts from my friends telling me that they'd received their boxes and that they were even cuter in person - and I got to include a personalized note to every person for taking the time to celebrate with me. I got some rose gold "Rosé All Day" balloons on etsy, put together a cheese board, made some cake pops to snack on during the party, and waited for my friends to sign on to the call.
This deep into sheltering in place, I would be hard pressed to join a Zoom call that does not have an activity tied to it, no matter the reason for the call, so I was not about to subject my loved ones to something I knew I would loathe just for the sake of wishing me a happy birthday. Having something to discuss and share that was the same, even though we were in four different states, was really fun and engaging! None of us are expert sommeliers, but we had fun reading the blurbs that VINEBOX provided for each wine and seeing which notes we tasted. Some became instant favorites, but even the worst ones we all agreed that if we'd ordered it at a mid-to-upscale restaurant we would have finished the glass, even if we wouldn't necessarily reorder.
Despite being far away from my friends, I still was able to do all of the best parts of a birthday celebration - I got to spend time with my best friends, get them a little bit tipsy with yummy wine, make a couple not-too-embarrassing memories with them, and then at the end of it all I didn't need to worry about getting anyone in an Uber home - all for about as much money as I spent on a night out in NYC last year.
With all that has happened in the world in 2020, celebrating my birthday was bound to be memorable, I'm just grateful that I was able to find a way to make it fun! If you have a special occasion to celebrate despite of COVID, or if you want to set a time with some friends to order your own boxes to do your own Zoom tasting, VINEBOX made for a unique and special evening with my friends despite the circumstances - I can't recommend this idea enough to my fellow wine lovers who are looking for a change of pace.