How Many People Should You Invite
A wine tasting party at home usually works best for smaller groups of 8 to 12 people.
Youll need to buy enough wine for everyone to try some of each one .
And you need enough time to pour a glass for each guest, while still enjoying the party yourself.
So having too many people can make it feel crowded and rushed.
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!
Its Not An Easy Time Right Now For Anyone And While The Coronavirus Pandemic May Be Dominating Every Aspect Of Our Lives It Neednt Get In The Way Of Enjoying A Sociable Glass Of Wine With Friends And Family
Times are tough. But we have been thinking about ways to raise your spirits, and so have devised the drinks business at home wine tasting kit.
The kit can be used together, in more normal times, but also online, making it particularly useful during this abnormal period to keep connected with friends, and wine, during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
This is merely a guide to hosting your own wine tasting party, and we hope you will get some fun out of gathering your friends online with a glass or two and some nibbles, while keeping your wine mind sharp and your trivia game strong.
Follow our simple steps to get the most out of an online wine tasting over the following pages, using our tasting mat and sheet as a guide.
You can download the drinks business wine tasting kit here:
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Prepare The Bare Necessities
You need to prepare the items that you and your guests will need during your tasting event. Number one on that list is water. Alcohol dehydrates the body and this why we suffer from a hangover the morning after having too much wine. Keep your friends and family hydrated, so they still want to attend your future tasting parties!
Spittoons and dump buckets are necessary too! Experienced wine tasters keep themselves sober taking sips of wine only and spitting them, in order to focus on the vino.
You need to have the appropriate glassware prepared. Large crystal glasses are awesome, but if you only have small glasses, they will do just fine! Plus, small glassware are easier to clean and are a lot more affordable. You do not need clean glasses for every wine. One glass per guest is enough. After every wine, have a little water swirled in the glasses to prepare for the next serving. Dont worry about new wine being poured onto the last drop of the previous wine, as long as the new wine is heavier than the one before it. Tasting experts recommend serving wines from lightest to heaviest and driest to sweetest.
Although its not necessary, food can be a good asset to your tasting party. If you do decide to have food served during your wine tasting event, consider serving an assortment of munchies that loosely pair with the featured wines. Other options include fruits, cheese, crackers, and chocolates.
Tips For Hosting A Wine Tasting Party
One of the pivotal moments when wine finally began to make sense to me was the first time I tasted an array of wines alongside each other. This situation provides a perspective that is extremely difficult to achieve if you only ever taste one wine at a time. But when was the last time you opened five bottles of wine for yourself?
What is the solution to this quandary? Grab a few bottles and invite some friends over! Hosting a wine tasting party is an easy and engaging means of experiencing wine, and these tips guarantee a successful sipping soirée.
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What Kinds Of Wine To Include
Whether youre from Sydney, Melbourne, or somewhere in between, your in-house wine tasting will be focused completely on the wines that you choose. Since this is the case, it is beneficial to choose a distinct variety of wines so that the tasting is fun for everyone and offers a unique experience. Consider the following wine options.
Create A Structured Wine Tasting
If youre just getting started with wine, here are two great goals to set in order to make sure that everyone can learn together.
Step 1: Practice the Wine Tasting Method
Take 20 minutes or so to go through the wine tasting method together and assess the characteristics of a single wine. Here is to understand what to pay attention to.
Step 2: Comparative Tasting
Now that youve finished the first glass, continue your tasting by adding another wine into the mix. The simple act of adding one wine creates a comparative tasting.
Be sure to use the same tasting method with the new wine. Just so you know, comparative tastings are the most fascinating and helpful tasting style if youre looking to learn about wine!
Comparative Tasting Themes
- Same Wine / Different Region: Great examples include a from France and one from California, or perhaps a Be creative!
- Same Wine / Different Winemaking Method: The most classic comparison with this theme is an oaked Chardonnay vs. an unoaked Chardonnay. Youll quickly learn how oak affects the taste of wine!
- Same Wine / Different Price Point: Will more money get you into a better tasting wine? Check out our to find out what you can expect to spend.
- Different Wine / Same Style: Pick a wine style and try out different varietal wines within that style. This is a great way to find new favorites.
- Different Wine / Same Region: Within the same region, how do different grapes grow? Places like , , , and are a great place to start!
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Cheese And Charcuterie Board
A cheese and meat tray is the foolproof complement to wine. Pair soft goat cheese with a crisp Pinot Grigio and an aged Gouda with a mature Cabernet Sauvignon. A velvety brie or Camembert goes nicely with a Pinot Noir or Beaujolais.
Cured meats mingle well with full-bodied reds like a bold Syrah. Prosciutto pairs well with wines that have a touch of sweetness, like Rosé, Moscato or Grenache.
There are no hard and fast rules when pairing cheese and charcuterie with wine. Fill in the gaps of the board with olives, nuts and dried fruit.
How Many Wine Tastings Are In A Bottle
If youre serving plenty of different wines at your wine tasting party, you dont want to fill up your guests glasses with each style on offer . Tasting wine is all about exploring those flavors and aromas, as opposed to getting a bit tipsy and not being able to tell your Zinfandel from your Cabernet Franc. Most tasting experts recommend that the classic volume for a tasting should be around 75 – 90ml of wine per glass , which should mean you get about 10 taste servings per bottle.
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Where To Hold Your Wine Tasting Party
You can organize a wine tasting party in a variety of ways, from formal sit-down affairs to more casual cocktail-style parties. For most people, the best parties are low-key, intimate get-togethers that encourage invitees to try wines in a comfortable and welcoming environment.
One of the best places to host a wine tasting party is at home. At-home wine parties ensure you avoid the chaos of a bar environment or the distractions that you might confront at a winery.
The ideal location for the tasting should be a room with an abundance of light and an absence of any strong odors or strange smells. The space should also have good airflow. Tasting wine in a dank basement or a room with the lingering scent of last nights Indian curry is probably not a good idea.
Keep in mind that tasting wines in heavily-scented areas can alter the way you perceive it on your palate. The same wine tasted in a different environment will often taste completely different.
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!
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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.
Wine And Cheese Party
When I think of a wine tasting party, the first thing that comes to mind is what type of cheese to serve.
Hosting a wine and cheese party takes that thought one step further by picking a specific cheese to serve with each wine.
And there is a science to it!
I have heard that serving creamy cheese such as goat cheese, blue cheese and brie do not go well with wine. Apparently, they coat your tongue and dull your taste buds, so the wine doesnt taste like it should.
I like to take the easy way out but using this wine and cheese pairing wheel* to figure out what to serve.
It tells you which type of red, white or sparkling wine will go best with each type of cheesereally easy!
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Choose Your Guest List
Wine tasting parties work best when they’re fairly intimate affairs. A smaller guest list allows more interaction and discussion about the wines. Since a standard sized wine bottle has 25 ounces, or about 12 2-ounce pours, inviting ten people allows you to open one tasting bottle per wine taste, so you can quickly and efficiently open and pour without disrupting the flow of the tasting. Knowing the number that will attend will also inform how much food and other drink you will need for the party.
Choosing And Buying Wine
This is the fun part, and choosing a theme is your best bet for making the evening feel cohesive. Perhaps youll feature a lineup of global Chardonnays with producers from California, Oregon, Australia, and Frances Burgundy region. Or maybe youll serve only red wines from the Rhône Valley. Alternatively, you might go all sparkling all nightfrom California bubbly to Italian Franciacorta and French Champagne. Just be warned: this could end in a rather wild and untamed real bubble bath bash.
I strongly recommend being the sole buyer of wine for your party, rather than leaving it up to your guests. If you go this route, you should make it clear in your invitation that you will be selecting the wines, and that there will be plenty to go around. You can always ask your guests for contributions to help cover costs. Or, bite the bullet and be the outstanding host who pays for it all.
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How To Taste Wine: The Basics
If you look around online, you can find no shortage of advice when it comes to wine tasting and the supposedly correct ways of doing it. As with many things in life, you can make the process as simple or as complicated as you wish – but all approaches essentially boil down to the same handful of key steps. These are:
Tips For Planning Your Wine Tasting Party Menu
Some tips for planning your menu:
- If you plan to serve cocktails, avoid serving them before the wine tasting so your guest’s palates aren’t dulled by the drinks.
- If you’re serving a meal, serve it after the wine tasting so your guests aren’t full for the tasting.
- Consider serving an apéritif before the wine tasting.
- Use wine and food pairing charts to determine your menu or appetizers you’ll pair with the wines.
- Consider pairing cheeses with each wine during the tasting.
- Also include in your menu planning palate cleansers such as bread or crackers and still or sparkling water.
- Plan for beverages to serve along with the tasted wines. This can be more bottles of the wines tasted or something else entirely.
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Taste Tally And Share
And finally, get stuck in! Make it your own, enjoy your wines, wax lyrical about their bouquet, tally your scores and crown the winners. Tasting can be academic, but the best thing about wine is drinking it, and a drink at the end of the day right now has never been more welcome.
The drinks trade is resilient and will bounce back in time, but everyone, and particularly the hospitality trade, will need our support more than ever in the months ahead. If you hosted a tasting and enjoyed a wine, let your merchant or producer know! A little positivity can go a long way.
Tag your picture with #dbwinetasting on social media.
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.
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Figure Out Food Pairings
If youre feeling extra, an elegant but sturdy cheese knife and fork set is a good way to go, or a very nice host gift. This Opinel set from Food52 is classic.
Wine is, of course, the guest of honor, with its only close rival being cheese, an equally important food group as far as were concerned. Check out our guide to building a cheese platter, then hit up your favorite local market. The CliffsNotes: At a minimum, assemble a trio of cheesessomething soft and creamy like brie a crumbly, sharp variety like cheddar and a bold option like a veiny blue. Round it out with a mix of sweet, salty, fruity, and sour snackssuch as grapes and dried apricots or cherries, nuts, charcuterie, and olives. Pro tip: Reach for lighter-bodied winesthink a white or a pinot noirduring the cheese course, as theyre less likely to overpower the flavor of the cheeses.
How To Organize A Private Wine Tasting: A Checklist For Parties And In
Many companies, from small businesses to Fortune 500s, treat employees to a entertaining and educational guided wine tasting experience with our sommeliers. Having organized hundreds of such events, our team has complied a comprehensive list of best practices and creative ideas for having a successful wine event.
Using the list below, you can create your own wine tasting party or in-home or office private event with wine the way the professionals would. However, if you prefer to have a sommelier to guide you and your guests, and to let us take all the work off your shoulders, call us at +1 878-2574 or write to .
If you are looking for a suitable sommelier to prepare and run your tasting, be sure you hire a polished, articulate and well-organized professional… from The Sommelier Company. Don’t fall into the trap of hiring an unproven presenter for your event just to save a few dollars.All our sommeliers are tested for public speaking, certified with the top sommelier education bodies, and live close to your event venue… ask us to see credentials. And, our responsive office team will prepare your event perfectly.
A. Selecting the Wines
1. It’s best to have 8-10 different wines for a tasting. Guests should taste wines in rounds of two, side-by-side, for an appreciation of the contrast in flavors.
2. Accordingly, you should provide two wine glasses for each guest.
2. Place pouring buckets throughout the venue, so guests can dispose of unwanted wine.
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Educate By Telling Stories
When it comes to educating your guests about wine at a party, remember that this is a party youre throwing. No 30-minute lectures about soil types, and no power-pointsunless you work for Pixar and can get really crafty.
You do want your guests to learn something about the wine in their glass, because the thing about wine is that beyond the pleasure of drinking it, each bottle reveals stories of real people, histories of real places, and aspects of global cultures from farming practices to local traditionsall wonderful things to learn about.
I found that if I was planning to open five different wines throughout the night, presenting them one at a time every 15 to 20 minutes or so was a good way to keep peoples attention. Designate friends to be pourers, and while theyre filling everyones glass, take three to five minutes to tell a story about the wine going around the room, and then encourage a Q& A. It requires that you do a little research on each bottle to make your points engaging and fun, and to impart some real nuggets of knowledge. You could also enlist a witty, knowledgeable host if you know of someone .