Jake Assaf (copy)

Jake Assaf, owner of Rioja! A Wine Bar in Greensboro.

GREENSBORO — Along with restaurant dine-in, wine shops and bars are also closed.

But what if you could participate in a virtual wine tasting led by a master sommelier?

That is what Jake Assaf, owner of Rioja! A Wine Bar, plans to do.

Assaf is one of only two certified Master Sommeliers in Greensboro. He said he was inspired by the master sommelier exam to combine wine tasting with a trivia game.

“It’s a wine culture, food and trivia kind of presentation,” Assaf said.

He’s been doing the weekly blind tasting/trivia game for a couple years at Rioja. Now he is going to try a virtual presentation 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday night.

"When everyone is kind of captive at home, I thought this would be an opportunity to learn about wine," Assaf said.

The program is a blind tasting. If you want to participate in the trivia presentation with wine, cost for the two wines (a red and a white) from Rioja are $40. Rioja is offering curbside pickup of wines each day from 4 to 6 p.m. at the shop at 1603 Battleground Ave., Suite D. Wines will be covered and labeled with numbers to retain their anonymity.

However, Assaf said purchasing the wines is not required to play the free trivia game.

To play, you will need to register and pay at Squareup.com.

You will get an invite to join the presentation via Zoom, a video conferencing platform for computers and mobile devices.

If you want to participate without purchasing wine, email winewarehouse.rioja@gmail.com to request an invite to join.

The presentation is five rounds of multiple choice trivia questions associated with the wine such as famous landmarks, artists and food.

“It kind of gives the wine some context,” Assaf said. “As we’re tasting wine, hopefully we’re learning.”

Assaf said the presentation doesn’t stray into obscure wines, but keeps to well-known grapes.

“What I’m hoping is that by going over the classics, then you get some fundamentals and you start to understand the wines from regions,” he said.

Assaf said he hopes the presentation will foster community and maybe an appreciation for a new wine.

For more information, visit Rioja! A Wine Bar Facebook page.

Contact at 336-373-7145 or at carl.wilson@greensboro.com. Follow on Twitter at Short_OrdersNR and on Facebook.

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