Hosting a wine tasting party is a fun and easy way to enjoy good friends while exploring new wines without breaking your pockets. Here is a quick and easy way to host your own wine party:
1. Get your guest list together and send invites. Wine parties are ideally intimate so keep it between 1-20 guests. A good idea to take the pressure off of buying all the wine is to ask guest to bring wine as well. A fun way to do this is to give everyone a different region to choose from! (Spain, France, California, etc…) Or ask your guests to bring different “varietals.” Varietals is a fancy word for each specific grape variety. Tell your guests to get something they normally wouldn’t drink. Make sure to set a price limit per bottle. You can find a good bottle of wine for under $15.
2. Atmosphere is key to a good party so make sure to set the mood. Add candles, pillows, vintage bottles, art, table linens, play some lounge music as background. It might help to do a little research about wine, prior to your tasting party. This can help with any questions your guest have about wines and also add to the experience and make you look like a wine connoisseur!
3. Be sure to have crackers, fresh breads and cheese to help clean the palette between wines. Gourmet Sleuth.com has a great list of wine and cheese pairings. Winefetch.com also lets you choose the wines and/or cheeses you want, then shows what goes well with each. If you want to take it up a notch, serve light hors d’oeuvres after the wine tasting. Your guests may have been drinking a lot by now and will need something to help soothe their stomach. You want people to have nice memories of your party.
Some supplies you will need:
· Wine glasses: At least one per guests
· Pitcher of water: For cleaning out the glasses between each tasting.
· Dump bucket: For discarding wine before next pouring or spitting out
· Tasting cards & pens/pencils: For describing and recording each wine tasted. Wine.com has wine placemats and tasting forms you can download.
· Some people like to cover wines with a paper bag so they are not revealed, however, I would use a nice fabric or ribbon to cover the labels. Use colors that coincide with your theme.
· 4-6 bottles of wine are average for wine tasting
· Pour about 2 oz of wine in each glass
**Here is wine serving tip: a typical 750 ml bottle of wine is 25.4 oz, if you are serving 2 oz per glass, that will yield about 12 glasses per bottle.
The Party4. Give out the score cards (if free flowing event) to each guests and let them rate the wines. If this is a seated event, set place mats and score cards on each place setting. Collect each score card at the end and tally up the scores. Announce the results. Lastly, be sure to have a list of the wines purchased and there price so your guests can have the option to purchase them in the future. And remember to have FUN!
And for about $25.00, you can purchase a wine tasting kit from mastenonline.com, that comes with everything you need to host a wine tasting party (except the wine of course). All-inclusive boxed kit it contains the elements to be a terrific host, including cloth wine bottle covers, tasting score pads, a cheat sheet, glass markers, and an entertaining book.