Blind Wine Tasting Party
A blind wine tasting party is where your friends dont know what wine they are drinking.
Put the bottles of wine in bags so your guests cant see the labels.
Serve everyone a taste of the first wine. Let them talk about it, and comment on how much they love it .
Then they can rate which ones they like the best. .
Or they can try to guess what type of wine it is .
Or have them rank the wines in order from least expensive to most expensive.
After theyre done with the first one, go on to the next one. And repeat the whole process with each of the wines on your list.
When youre finished tasting them all, find out who got the answers right. You can even give out prizes.
To keep the bottles hidden, many people recommend putting them in paper bags, wrapping them in tin foil or making a tube from construction paper.
But I like to make them look a little prettier than that by using wine gift bags.
At the end of the night, the winners get to take home a bottle of wine in one of the gift bags.
For the white wines, I use these chiller bags*.
Put them in the freezer for a couple of hours before the partyand then they keep your wine cold while youre tasting.
I put the red wine in red velvet gift bags*.
Having two different bags makes it easy to tell the red wines from the white ones.
Of course, if you dont want to spend a lot of time getting supplies together, ordering a blind wine tasting kit * will get you everything you need in one shot.
How Much Wine Will You Need
Generally, 5 to 8 wines are all that people can taste during one party.
After that, your taste buds cant really tell the difference any more.
Each tasting serving should be about 2 ounces , and each 750 ml bottle of wine contains about 25 ounces.
So you get about 12 tasting servings out of one bottle.
Which is another reason that 8 12 guests works wellyou can get away with buying 1 bottle of each wine. .
Make sure to have plenty of water available so that guests can clear their palates between tastings if they wish to.
How To Host A Wine Tasting Party
This article was co-authored by Murphy Perng. Murphy Perng is a Wine Consultant and the Founder and Host of Matter of Wine, a business that produces educational wine events, including team-building experiences and networking events. Based in Los Angeles, California, Murphy has collaborated with brands such as Equinox, Buzzfeed, WeWork, and Stage & Table, to name a few. Murphy possesses her WSET Level 3 Advanced Certification. This article has been viewed 232,502 times.
Hosting a wine tasting party is a great way to do something fun, classy, and different with your friends. If the same light beers and bowl of sad pita chips and hummus is getting old, then you should mix things up by hosting a wine tasting party in the comfort of your home. All you need is some supplies, a bit of knowledge, and the willingness to try something new. If you want to know how to host a wine tasting party that’s an even bigger hit than a Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, then follow these steps.
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Set Up For Your Virtual Wine Tasting
First, decide if you will be doing the tasting on your own or organizing a virtual tasting to do with friends. In either case, here are some helpful tips to make it a success:
- Send a virtual invitation ahead of time using an online platform like Evite.
- Make sure you allow plenty of time for the wine to be delivered or for guests to go purchase their own.
- Store the wine correctly until youre ready to open it for the tasting event.
- Let guests know what video software is being used and how to access it so they can test it ahead of time.
- If you are hosting a small gathering at your home, a good rule of thumb is keeping it to 10 people or less. Since there are 24 ounces in a standard wine bottle, that allows each guest to have a 2-ounce pour of each wine.
- Gather your supplies. This includes the wine, glassware, notepad or tasting grid, anycheese pairings you might be including, water crackers for palate cleansing, spit bucket for unwanted wine, water, and your tech setup.
- Sit back and enjoy!
Virtual wine tastings may not offer the same experience as being at the winery, but they are a great way to still be able to sip with other wine-lovers, discover new places, do some research, and decide where you will be taking your next wine tasting trip.
Step : The Color Of Wine
Tasting the wine does not just involve putting the wine in your mouth and roll it around your tongue a couple of times before spitting or swallowing. You have to remember that wine tasting is all about the wine. It is about the color of the wine, the smell or the bouquet, and of course, the taste.
The first step in tasting wine is by taking a look at its color. The glasses served should always be clean and clear in order for you take a good look at the wine. The tables should be covered with white linen table cloth in order for you to see the wine’s color more clearly. You have to remember that white wines are not always white. Take for instance the rare, Allamand Cuvee Saint Jeannet, it is a white wine but the color is almost green. It may have a yellow, green and even brown color. For red wines, you will observe that it also has different shades of red. The lighter the color of the red wine is, the older it is.
The color of the wine will also indicate the age or the flavor. Try doing a rim test to look at the color of the wine. Just tilt the glass and look at the wine. If it is purplish in color, it indicates that the wine is young. If it is brownish, it means that it is an older wine.
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Your Guide To Wine Tasting At Home
To recreate a wine tasting at home, youll first need a selection of wine. Whether its bottles that youve been meaning to drink or wine that youve purchased specially for the occasion, its a good idea to choose a theme.
This could be something like Chardonnay wine from around the world or bottles dating from a particular vintage.
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Check For Potential Flaws
During your first initial sniffs, youre going to be checking to see whether the wine is good or bad.
One of the most common flaws is when the bottle is corked. The official term is cork taint, and it happens when the liquid in a bottle becomes contaminated with the chemical compound TCA . This compound is created when microorganisms get into the cork either before the bark is harvested, before or after a cork has been inserted into the bottle. Essentially, they create the byproduct TCA which can leech into the wine. The result is a moldy, ancient and wet basement smell. Its pretty unmistakable.
I recently had a bottle of Primitivo that was corked, and it smelled like decaying fish. Luckily, only about 1 in every 100 bottles of wine typically contains cork taint. Better still, with new styles of metal bottle stoppers and synthetic corks, cork taint may one day become a thing of the past. Even some famous Chateaus in Bordeaux are starting to experiment with synthetic corks and metal bottle stoppers. One of them is Chateau Margaux.
Other flaws can occur too.
Wines can become over-oxidized, which leaves a rustic, sort of burnt metal smell in your nose. Also, volatile acidity will leave you with strong hints of vinegar. Other yeast-based flaws can occur too that dramatically shift a wines scent away from any floral or fruity aromas and divert it towards your grandmas old leather chair.
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Improving Your Tasting Skills
For Chevriere, the sniff and the sip are the most important stages, as well as the most practical for the everyday drinker looking to get more serious about tasting wine. “You have to practice identifying and isolating flavors and build up the confidence to make an assertion about what you’re smelling and tasting,” she says. If you really want to practice your tasting technique, she recommends visiting a vineyard or winery: “That’s what they’re there for, to teach you about the wines they make and get you to appreciate themand unlike a restaurant or bar setting, they don’t have to deal with other factors like taking orders from other people or running food.” A good wine bar or a restaurant with a strong wine program can be a fine place to experiment with the steps of tasting, though you may not get to try as many varieties. “I never want someone to end up drinking something they don’t like because they don’t feel comfortable telling me no, but if I’m asked to go back to the table three or four different times with different tastes, it can be a bit much,” Chevriere says. “Try not to be too much of a Goldilocksstand up for what you want, but understand there just might not be that one perfect fit for you on the list.”
Dont Worry About Red Teeth
Unfortunately, one of the struggles of wine tasting is the cruel reality that too much red wine will dye your teeth red. When you hit the vineyards, its nice to keep it under control so you can keep those pearly whites sparkling. Keep in mind though, that everyone has the same problem, so no one is going to be thinking about your red teeth any more than their own.
You may have a desire to brush your teeth right after a day of wine tasting, but the combination of the wine and toothpaste can strip the protective enamel right off of your teeth. Stick to drinking water and chewing gum when youre done and youll be golden.
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What Is A Wine Tasting
A wine tasting is a set time for consumers to visit a winery and try out some locally fermented drinks. The goal for the winery or store is to allow individuals to engage with various wines to potentially generate a sale.
Not all wineries look the same or serve the same products, and thats where the fun begins. A wine tasting is the best way to discover what you enjoy and what you do not. You have the freedom to try wines with an array of backgrounds without committing to an entire bottle.
Three: Hosting The Event
Once youve selected your theme, purchased your wines, and invited your guests, youre ready to host your wine tasting. There are many rules to hosting a proper wine tasting, but the ones you choose to follow at home are totally up to you.
- We encourage you to provide your guests with a simple, fun tasting sheet. If you arent an expert, tasting wine can be intimidating. There are so many aromas, flavors, and textural elements to every wine that it can be hard to parse what youre experiencing. Tasting sheets encourage guests to slow down and focus on one element at a time and help them remember which wines they loved and why.
- Focus on fun. Wine tastings dont have to be snobby, especially not when theyre hosted at home. Tasting sheets and other components of wine tastings are designed to help your guests explore different wines and have fun. Dont feel pressured to stick to strict wine tasting rules.
- In general, begin with bubbly wines, then move onto the sweeter wines, which are usually whites. Then, work from sweet to dry, and finish with your driest reds. Working from bubbly and light to full-bodied and dry is what professional sommeliers recommend.
- Plan to spend a little bit of time with each wine, about 10 to 15 minutes. Let your guests sip slowly and linger on the flavors and aromas.
- You dont have to sip in silence. Encourage your guests to discuss what theyre tasting.
- Provide water and crackers to cleanse the palate between tasting rounds.
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Level 3 Professional Wine Tasting
So, full of hope, I registered for WSET Level 3. I chose the online class because I have a full time job. With this course tasting starts to be important. The recommended tasting wine list was longer and surprise, surprise: there was a blind tasting in the exam. Ouch!
WSET organised a one-day tasting technique class at the beginning of the course, but I did not find it mind-blowingly useful. You have no theoretical knowledge from the course at that point and its a struggle not only with calibration is my full bodied the same as yours or WSETs, for example. Worse you have almost no frame of reference or understanding of the concepts described. This is an important class so if you are taking it, I would recommend preparing for it very carefully.
Rule #: Refrain From Wearing Strong Scents Or Eating Strong Flavors Before Your Tasting
This probably sounds unnecessarily strict, but any wine professional will tell you that scented body products, from perfumes to aftershave, leave a cloud of scent around you that interferes with the tasting process not only for you, but for everyone around you. If you want to keep your tastebuds bright, also be careful to not brush your teeth too close to your tasting appointment. In that same vein, eating mints or chewing gum before your tasting can also be a detriment to your experience, as the strength of the oils used in those products cling to the palate and eclipse the taste of the wines. Theres nothing worse than an elegant Chardonnay that wreaks of Old Spice aftershave or Colgate toothpaste!
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The Five Ss Of Wine Tasting
If youre struggling with how to guide your guests through the various rounds of wine tasting, remember the five Ss of wine tasting: see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor.
- See and Swirl: See and swirl are usually paired together. For this step, ask your guests to take some time to really look at the wine. If they can, place it against a white background, like a white sheet of paper. Ask your guests to take note of the color of the wine and the legs. Legs typically indicate sweetness and increased alcohol content.
- Sniff: Ask your guests to smell their wine before they taste it. Youll usually be able to identify unique aromas, which are often different from the notes youll find upon sipping.
- Sip and Savor: Ask your guests to take a big sip of their wine and hold it in their mouths for a few moments. Drink slowly, so the wine coats your tastebuds and the aromas slowly reach your nose. Ask them to notice how the wine tasted when they first sipped it, how it tasted as they swallowed, and the flavor left in their mouth afterward. Ask them to note the finish, and note long they taste the alcohol and feel the remnants on their tongues.
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Pick A Theme For Your Wine Tasting Party
Its fine to do a completely random wine tasting with whichever wines you can get your hands on. But having a set theme will bring more focus to your wine tasting party and help you to make more direct comparisons.
Some possible wine tasting theme ideas are:
Variety. Choose your favourite wine variety and discover what it tastes like from different regions. For example, you could compare Pino Noirs from France, California, and New Zealand. Or Merlots from France, Italy, Chile, and Australia.
Region. Another idea is a regional wine tasting, which involves tasting wines from one particular wine region. We may be biased, but wed suggest organising a Prosecco wine tasting with various wines from northern Italys Prosecco region. You might be surprised how much variety in quality and taste there is among Italian Proseccos.
Style. For a broader wine tasting theme, pick a style of wine rather than a variety or region. A question we get asked often is what is the difference between Prosecco and Champagne?. And while we could simply describe to you all of the ways in which these two sparkling wines are different, the best way to learn for yourself is with a sparkling wine tasting. Other styles you could consider include dry whites, rosé wines, full-bodied reds, or dessert wines.
Some quick ideas for a wine tasting theme:
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Moving On To The Food Pairing
- Serving food is a great way to keep your guests happy and sober. If you have the time, offer some dessert-style foods for a change of pace from typical hors d’oeuvres like appetizers or cheese plates.
- For friends who are hungry during the tasting because they didn’t eat anything beforehand, be sure to give them something substantial that will fill their stomachs without giving them too much alcohol at once!
The Dos And Donts Of Wine Tasting
There are a lot of dos and donts when it comes to tasting wine. These are unwritten rules, but if you have respect for your fellow human , youll want to pay attention to these suggestions.
Do Dress Appropriately: No one says you must dress up to go wine tasting, but youre doing something with a little bit of class, and you should give it the proper attention it deserves. Now, there will be no shortage of people wearing flip flops and tank tops just maybe dont be that person. The winery employees serving you the vino will be way more apt to keep serving you if you look the part. Also, dont wear white. Youre very likely to spill on yourself, and nothing ruins a day faster than a shiraz stain on your shirt.
Do Use Palate Cleansers: As you go from wine to wine, your tongue will begin to resemble a piece of dried-out leather with a few remaining taste buds waiting to die off. You can avoid this by cleansing your palate as you go along. Between tastings, you should eat some plain bread or crackers, drink some sparkling water, or even have some cheese to help get those tannins off your tongue. Wait, what are tannins?
Do Buy the Wine: Tastings arent usually free, but theyre also not that expensive for what you get. Its why you see a bunch of riff-raff chugging Chardonnay. But the point of the tasting is to find something you like and ultimately purchase a bottle to have at home. If a winery thinks youre a buyer, theyre going to pour you more glasses. Everybody wins!
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