Wine tasting parties can be an entertaining and educational way to explore the world of wine. At your tasting party, guests should be encouraged to discuss and rate each wine tasted.
Make sure you provide a spit bucket or Champagne bucket so as to prevent mixing of wines. Furthermore, offer bread or crackers as palate cleansers for your guests to snack on during wine tasting.
Picking a theme can add focus and make wine tasting easier to compare and contrast. Some ideas could include selecting one varietal of wine (chardonnay or pinot noir) as the focus for tasting, one region to visit or vintage type as a focus of tasting.
Once you've determined a theme, select four or six wines that meet its requirements. Aim for variety both in terms of price point and age when possible.
Consider inviting 10 or fewer guests. This will allow each to fully appreciate and discuss the wines that will be featured, and ensure there will be enough for everyone - one bottle for each guest as well as duplicates if people need another taste of something later on.
Decide whether and what kind of food will be served; simple snacks work well between each pour. Add wine-themed games such as "The Price is Right," Bingo or 21 Questions as entertainment if desired.
Ideal wine tasting experiences should be structured; for instance, this may mean following a predetermined order or encouraging guests to make notes about each wine tasted. Also essential in creating the right experience for wine tasting events is selecting wines that support the chosen theme - for instance if it involves selecting wines from one region over another, or selecting multiple vintages of wine from one producer that may provide opportunities for comparison and contrast.
Be sure to have enough glasses (one bottle can fill five glasses), corkscrews and paper cups or spittoons for all guests as well as paper cups or spittoons on hand, along with plain white table cloths so that guests can see the wines without being distracted by patterns on linens or decor. A cooler to keep bottles chilled will also come in handy, along with charms or markers so guests can identify their glasses more easily. Additionally, cheese, meats or crackers will help cleanse guests palate between wines while dessert wines will require sweet treats like creme brulee or chocolate cake as a finishing touch - ideal for fortified dessert wine tasting parties!
When hosting a wine tasting, seating should encourage group interaction and discussion among your guests. Furthermore, this makes it easier for the host to pour each bottle and check each guest's score sheet or aroma wheel.
Be sure to prepare with plenty of wine glasses, along with extras in case anyone breaks one during tastings or spills their drink, plus appetizers and hors d'oeuvres as a spread for palate cleanser use during tasting sessions.
As part of your wine tasting event, it is a good idea to create an individual wine-tasting note page or just print out blank sheets with beautiful borders for every guest to use during their tasting experience. In addition, after your party ends it would be wise to arrange transportation services like Uber or Lyft as well as shuttles that will ensure they get home safely.
Once you've selected a theme for your wine tasting event, it is crucial that the atmosphere matches. Create an ideal atmosphere by providing guests with plain table cloths and clear glasses so they can fully experience each wine's colors and aromas. A bright room filled with natural or artificial light would also enhance their experience of wine tasting.
Consider adding some mood music and candles to help set the proper atmosphere, along with non-alcoholic drinks like water or festive themed drinks for guests who prefer limited alcohol intake, pregnancy or driving at the end of the evening.
Make sure your guests can easily enjoy some quick nibbles while tasting and taking notes, whether this includes simple fruits and cheese or heartier dishes such as charcuterie boards or desserts.