Friday, July 19, 2024

How To Do Wine Tasting At Home

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Cheese! In every kind of variation.

A classic cheeseboard or a fun grazing board is great for nibbling on throughout the night while doing your tasting.

My pals over at Emmi USA sent me over a wheel of their Kaltbach Le Crèmeux cheese to try out for this party. This cheese comes from their Kaltbach line which is cave-aged in the Alpine Valley of Switzerland. Ive never been to Switzerland, but one thing is for sure their cheese is amazing!

Find out your nearest grocery store that carries their Kaltbach cheeses here! Its a must try if you LOVE cheese.

Besides a fun cheeseboard be sure to have one smaller appetizer. Youll be drinking lots of wine and it will be nice to have a bit of substance. These herbed blackberry and cheese cracker appetizers are elegant and go perfectly with wine. Grab the recipe below!

How To Host The Best Wine Tasting Party At Home

I know this may make me sound like a bit of a booze hag right now but honestly the best way to learn about wine is by tasting it. Tasting different styles, different grape varieties, different vintages and wines from different countries and regions will help you understand the world of wine. Youll teach your palate and senses about what makes a wine.

I love holding wine tasting parties at home for friends and family so I thought I would put a little how-to guide together so you get a general idea of what it takes and perhaps give you some ideas for holding your own at-home wine tasting.

Wine Tasting At Home Essentials

Consider getting a group of friends together for your home wine tasting, who each bring their favorite bottle. Grape varietal specific wine glasses will help you to get the most out of the experience.

If youre not intending on finishing each wine, then a jug or bowl to pour the remnants into will come in useful. Give each participant a pen and paper to record their impressions of each wine.

Provide everyone with plenty of water and water biscuits as these help to cleanse the palate.

It could also be fun to do a blind wine tasting. For this, someone who isnt taking part in the tasting will need to cover each label with a tea towel.

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How To Set The Table And Each Place

Having a table fully equipped with all the necessities makes hosting the night go much smoother. So, make sure to use a white tablecloth so tasters can see the color of their wines.

Also, keep a spit bucket and water carafe in the center of the table. As well as a few bowls of bland crackers. Save any real or flavorful food for after the tasting! Fats and flavors in foods can greatly alter a wines taste.

For setting each place, take into account that each guest should have two to three glasses set in front of them. So, try to compare and contrast colors, aromas, and flavors against at least one other wine. Set each station with a water glass and small pad/pen for note-taking.

How To Talk About Wine

How To Do A Wine Tasting Party At Home

Yes, yes, we all have read descriptions of wines that are “earthy” and “fruit forward” and maybe felt they were a little silly or intimidating we’ve even read words and phrases like “full of cherry” or “precocious” or “forest floor” or “barnyard.” But this is a wine-tasting party, so encourage your guests to think about texture, weight, color, balance, and yes what flavors and foods and words come to mind as they taste. After a bit of time and a few sips, your friends may become a bit less inhibited about pulling out some free-associative vocabulary.

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Always Hold Practice Runs

Test a few backgrounds to see what works best for lighting and audio. Test at the same time of day that youll actually be hosting, to ensure your angle is ideal for natural light sources. Incorporate all of the same technology youll be using live. If youll be streaming from your iPad, use your iPad during your test. If youll have a laptop and two monitors set up live, test with that full setup.

Wine And Chocolate Pairing Party

Similar to the wine and cheese party, for a wine and chocolate pairing party youll need to choose varieties of wine that taste good with different types of chocolate.

I used to think this was a weird conceptwine and chocolate just didnt seem like they would go well together.

Until I actually went to a wine and chocolate tasting, and it was REALLY good. So now its on my list of wine tasting parties I want to host at home!

You can find some wine and chocolate pairing ideas HERE.

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How To Throw A Wine Tasting Party

This summer turn your backyard or patio into a fun wine tasting party! Throwing a wine tasting party can be an easy and laid back way to entertain without spending a fortune. All you need is a few different bottles of wine , light bites and a cheeseboard. Invite your pals over for a fun night to try new wines with unexpected food pairings.

A HUGE thanks to Emmi USA for sponsoring this fun post!

Last year I threw more dinner parties than I could count. We kicked the entertaining season off with a gorgeous Bohemian Dinner Party and closed out party season with a moody 30th Birthday for a girlfriend.

Its no surprise that I LOVE dinner parties probably more than the average 20-something.

When I polled Instagram a few months ago I realized, that while you guys love a dinner party, youre also looking for easy party ideas without a full menu and a tablescape.

Im hear to say, I HEAR YA SISTER!

I had to stay true to my philosophy around here that: entertaining should be easy and fun without breaking the bank and causing you more stress than happiness.

I love affordable party ideas just as much as the next girl and I am a firm believer that affordable, never has to look cheap! I know without a doubt you will throw an epic wine tasting party! Now, lets get planning!

Metro Detroit Experts In Wine Food And Decor Share Their Tips For Pulling Off The Perfect Wine Tasting From Your Backyard

How to Host the Perfect Wine Tasting Party at Home | The Balancing Act

Wine provided by Elie Wine Co.Food provided by AndiamoDishes provided by The Italian DishLocation: Danialle Karmanos home

Dee Dee Hoffman, Metro Detroit event planner

Whats the most important thing to do when hosting a wine tasting at home? Hire the right sommelier to do the wine. Typically, in a wine tasting, you describe the wine and what foods it goes best with. So, if you were doing an outdoor dinner, you would do your wine tasting as part of the appetizers. I would have a beautiful charcuterie with meats and cheeses and vegetables. You dont really need much more than that.

Whats a fun dining or decor item to incorporate? Something I do thats fun is buy wooden discs online. You buy these, just plain wooden discs, and you can use those as your charcuterie plates. I use them at big events. You can wipe them with walnut oil, and it changes the color. Its a fun thing to do if someone wants to create their own look. Also, mix and match. When youre doing a wine tasting in a garden, mixing lots of different patterns is cool.

Create your own style and make the event yours. Use what you have, if you have enough of things, instead of trying to rent everything and have it look generic. Also, check out local vintage shops to personalize your event decor and dishes.

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Blind Tasting Is Best Tasting

The best way to learn about our palates and understand the similarities/differences in wines is to blind taste them. As the host, that job is on you. Collect everyones bottles upon their arrival and place them in paper bags Pour each guest a tasting pour of each wine in the same order and get started.

Learn About Wine Party

If your friends dont know a lot about wine, hosting a learn about wine party can be a fun and relaxing way to find out more.

Buy different types of wine and find out the backgrounds on them what country they are made in, what types of grapes go into them, and the words that a wine connoisseur would use to describe them.

Then you can print up a wine menu to hand out to everyone with the descriptions, or read them out as people are trying the wines.

If you arent sure where to get all of the information you need, visit a wine store and talk to one of the people that works there.

Or you can hire a wine expert to come in and talk about the wines for you.

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Best On Social Media: Wine With Chas

Wine With Chas

On a biweekly basis, Chicago-based wine journalist Chasity Cooper takes to IGTV and her blog to share her love and knowledge of wines with viewers everywhere.

So far, her relatable, at-home tasting videos have covered great wines for movie night, budget-friendly sparkling wines, a variety of fun Italian wines, a selection of noteworthy bottles from Oregons Willamette Valley, and more. This format is a bit different from the others on this list in the sense that Cooper is, in a way, trying before you buy.

Shell take you through a tasting and let you know where to get the wines for yourself afterward, if youre so inclined, and will set you up for success in conducting your own tasting once you receive them. Plus, you can always queue up her video again if youd like to taste alongside her.

This is a laidback series of approachable tastings, featuring a fun selection of wines with a dash of great personality. You can head to Coopers or her blog to check out past episodes and wait for new ones to go live. Coopers videos are free, but of course, prices vary if you wish to purchase any wines.

Get That Playlist Ready

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Again, if you have a locale as your central organizing thought, extend it to the music. Or, if you are honing in on a year, maybe have some fun and make that playlist completely from the year you are featuring. Sure, you could also just have some nice background music ready to go Spotify and other music sites have some ready-to-go playlists, or you can also create your own. There’s no shame in raising your glass to tunes like “Red, Red Wine” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.”

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Make It A Regular Event

While it might sound a bit daunting at first, having a wine tasting party is quite doable once you know the basics, get organized, and follow through on a few key guidelines.

Whether you want a dressed-up evening event indoors or a casual afternoon soiree in your backyard, the bottom line is that a wine tasting party is the perfect time to socialize, learn, have fun, and embark on an adventure of the senses. Just be warned: Once you have a successful wine party, you might want to make it a regular event. Cheers to that!

Create An Appropriate Atmosphere

As you set up for your wine night, there are a few dos and donts to keep in mind. For instance, youll want to avoid putting out any smelly flowers or candles, as the aromas can interfere with your tasting.

If youre planning the event outside, be sure to have some sort of bug repellent available, and you may also want to include mood lighting and gentle background music, too.

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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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How to Make Date Wine Easily at Home

The first thing we suggest is that you download and print the tasting sheet that you can find here.

As you will see, as well as being useful for several wines, it gives you all the information you need to follow the three phases of the tasting.

Visual phase: here we will look at its appearance and its colour. So that nothing interferes with your perception, and especially to determine the colour, we advise you to tilt the glass a little on a white surface .

Smelling phase: the best advice we can give you here is to place your nose on the glass, close to the rim, and breathe in without any complexes. Dont inhale in a restrained way, inhale deeply. And boom, the wine will start to speak to you. This part can be difficult if you dont have a lot of aromas in your mind. It is difficult to detect the smell of a fruit or flower that you have never smelled before. But dont worry and dont be complex. Here is a key tip. In the olfactory phase there are two steps. First, we smell the wine in a still glass, and this will give us some information. Then we swirl the wine around the glass and smell it again. Ta-da! The wine is oxygenated and opens up a little more, giving us new aromas that we had not detected in a still glass. This is one of the most magical steps of the tasting.

And so you have completed the tasting.

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Our Hosts Earn Sweet Rewards

When you host a free wine tasting party with Traveling Vineyard, we want you to have fun, learn something and of course enjoy great wine. We also want to make sure we treat our Hosts to a little something extra.

Heres the basic structure of our Host and Guest Rewards*:

  • Exclusive discounts & wine: Save up to 25% on your Host order
  • Free Shipping
  • Earn free wine bottles: Receive up to 4 Complimentary Bottles of Wine
  • Get 1/2 Price Items, too: Grab up to three 1/2 price accessory items

We also have great specials for your guests, tooincluding drastically discounted accessories and wine!

*Rewards are subject to change.

Wine Tasting Party Menu

Since this is a wine tasting party obviously involves drinking alcohol, it is a good idea to serve enough food that people will not be drinking on an empty stomach.

Cheese, crackers, bread and fine chocolate are standard pairings when serving the wine itself.

Heres the list of other appetizers to try .

The common theme with all of these is that they are bite-sized and easy to eat with one hand .

  • Mini crab cakes

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Wine Tasting Party Music

Like with pretty much any party, music is a must for helping to create the right atmosphere.

You can choose any type of music that your guests preferbut since you usually want people to mingle and talk during a wine tasting party, keeping the volume at a level where people can still hear each other helps.

I also like to use a music app like Pandora for partiesset it to the type of music you want it to play and you dont have to worry about it.

My favorite for wine tasting parties is the Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong channelit just seems to have the right vibe for this type of event.

Well thats it for my wine tasting party ideas. Hopefully, youve found some inspiration to host your own wine tasting party at home!

Stock The Necessary Supplies

How to Do a Great Wine Tasting At Home
  • Glassware Allotting one glass per person is absolutely fine however, if possible, I would suggest having two glasses per person, to better taste and compare wines simultaneously.
  • Palate Cleansers Set out plenty of water crackers or a simple bread for palate cleansers.
  • Spit Buckets Allow your guests the opportunity to get rid of unwanted wine.
  • Water
  • Documentation Provide pens and paper for taking wine notes or print out this handy tasting grid.
  • White Background & Clear Glassware Color is an important aspect when comparing wines, so avoid tinted glassware, provide optimal lighting, and provide a white background .

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