Who doesn’t love a wine tasting party? You get a group of friends together and drink a bunch of wine. It’s the perfect combination for a good night. And on top of it all, it gives you the chance to learn what wines you like the most.
Remember to not fuss over details, it’s suppose to be fun. Here are some helpful tips for planning this enjoyable event.
How many wines?
You should have 4 to 6 different wines for the tasting. Wines are usually served in a pair or flight so you can compare and taste the differences among them. It is a good idea to have an extra bottle of each wine; therefore, after you’re done tasting you can open up the wines you enjoyed.
How many people do we invite?
A bottle of wine is 750ML, which contains around 25 ounces. A typical tasting pour is around 2 ounces. So for each bottle you can have up to 12 people.
What do we need?
Wine glasses for everyone! I understand that could mean a lot of wine glasses, especially since everyone usually gets two or three so they can taste between the various wines. If you don’t have enough, you have two options: Ask your friends to bring their own or buy cheap plastic wine glasses.
Tasting sheets & pencils: Allow your guests to write down what they like and didn’t like. Click here for a wine tasting score sheet.
Pour buckets: Giving them a chance to taste and clean out their glasses between each tasting.
What wines should we serve?
This is completely up to you. I suggest if you have some newbies into the wine world then go with a Big 8 tasting. If you and your friends are on the edge of becoming wine snobs then go with a vertical, horizontal, or blind tasting.
The “Big 8″ tasting – the most popular and influential wine varieties on the market. Reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Syrah/Shiraz Whites: Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio
Vertical Tasting – one varietal from one producer over several vintages.
Horizontal Tasting – one varietal from a single year from different from multiple produces.
Blind Tasting – To make it challenging, cover all the wine labels with foil or a brown bag. Using all their senses, allow them to identify the wines. Present a gift or present for the the guest who correctly identifies the most wines.
What food should we serve?
Serving a bunch of appetizers before the tasting is smart because it allows your guests to have a good base. During the wine tasting, it is a good idea to serve crackers and cheese because they will cleanse your palates between sips.
Another idea is to serve food that you often eat. This way you get a chance to see what wines you like best with them.
Have fun and relax, nobody likes an uptight host…it’s such a buzz-kill!