Take a virtual visit to Napa – with very real sips of wine

For wine lovers around the world, it's all about discovery. Once they get a taste for the grape, oenophiles are rarely satisfied with even the most carefully curated, go-to vintages. There's always a hunt for the next great pairing, the thrill of uncorking a bold new Tempranillo or sublime Moscato.

That feeling is a jones that winemakers in general – and wine clubs in particular – are happy to feed. But while online wine-of-the-month clubs have made discovering new wines a lot easier, many feel there's been something lost in terms of the personal touch; that sense of place and adventure that began many wine lovers' journey in the first place.

Enter Wine Access, a growing portal to the wine world that offers not just convenience but a more curated approach. At a time when a trip to Napa is out of the question, and wineries sit closed for the foreseeable future, why not bring the experience to your home?

The online wine shop is based in the heart of downtown Napa, and even within that insular wine hub, the founders have some deep connections. (Their Head of Wine, Vanessa Conlin, came to the job after heading up sales and marketing for several high-profile estates including Arietta Wines.) Wine Access leverages those connections to get their members access to some rare and award-winning picks like Estate Argyros' Assyrtiko Santorini, a Grecian white that elevates any shellfish meal to a life-changing experience.

But Wine Access doesn't randomly push these wines onto its subscribers, however, well-selected they may be. Members get regular emails that tell the full story behind the wine, from the history of the vineyard to a wider view of the country that surrounds them. The result is a sensory tour that makes you feel like you've followed the grapes all the way from vine to table.

Most importantly, that passion extends to the delivery of the bottle itself. Whether it's one of their selections or a wine of your own chosing from their vast online catalog, Wine Access delivers it in a way that ensures the integrity of the contents, protecting it from undue temperature shifts and excessive exposure to light. The result is a bottle delivered to your doorstep with a story behind it. Nothing gets the mouth-watering like anticipation, and Wine Access has certainly mastered that particular seasoning.

Want a taste for yourself? There's a deal now on $50 off your first purchase of $150 from Wine Access, and members get 10% off further purchases from the site.