how to host a wine tasting party

How to Host a Wine Tasting party

If you’ve ever wanted to become familiar with more wines, today we’re sharing some great ideas for a wine tasting party. It’s a great way to explore new flavors and try new wines that wouldn’t ordinarily pick up at the store. A wine tasting is an opportunity to show how complex and multi-faceted wines can be. Wine tastings are also a great way for friends to get together and learn the art of tasting wine.

ideas for a Wine Tasting Party

Before you plan your wine tasting, there’s some preparation involved so that everything runs smoothly. If you have several wine themes in mind, it might be helpful to know which wines go best with certain foods. Taking a crash course on wine pairings is a great way to learn the fundamentals of tasting and pairing wines.

Joining a wine club can also help you when making selections – wines come directly from the makers with tasting notes to help you create the perfect pairings of food and drinks for your guests.

Another important factor in planning your wine tasting is deciding what types of wines you want to feature; some common ways to group wines are by style (e.g. “Chardonnay“, “Champagne”) or by country (e.g. “South African wines”). If you’re not sure where to start, choosing wine styles that are more familiar is often an easy way to begin your tasting.

ideas for a wine tasting party

Once you’ve selected the wines you’ll be featuring at your wine tasting, and planned what type of foods and cheeses pair best with those wines, you’re ready to start planning the details. There are several important factors that will help ensure your wine tasting is a success:

Whatever size gathering you’re expecting, assign each person a wine variety to bring so that you don’t end up with duplicates. You’ll want to make sure you have one bottle each of Sauvignon or Fume Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir or Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Zinfandel.

If you don’t want to assign each guest a wine to bring, you can also order different wines directly from the winemakers through a wine club. My favorite club, Naked Wines, has amazing deals that I routinely take advantage of. {Their current special is 6 bottles of wine for $34.99 shipped right to your door.}

The Day of the Wine Tasting

When your guests arrive, ensure that everyone has enough time to relax and mingle before getting started. Try your best not to rush through tastings so as not to disrupt conversation.

If people are arriving at different times, try to start the tasting a bit before the first person arrives so that they have something to enjoy while others arrive.

If you want to do a “blind” tasting, you can slip each bottle into a paper bag so that no one can see what type of wine they’re trying. That will drive the conversation as people think less about the type of wine and more about the taste sensations. Whichever way you decide, it’s also fun to have some kind of wine sheet so that each guest can rate the wines that they like and don’t like.

Overall, a wine tasting night with friends should be fun. If you’re hosting, try not to get stressed out. The most important thing is that everyone leaves with a greater appreciation for wine and a desire to try more varieties in the future.

Tasting wine can be a little overwhelming at first, but with a little practice, it becomes second nature. Remembering one’s tasting notes will also become easier with time. And, most importantly, just let yourself have fun!