A lot less stressful than organising a dinner party, a wine tasting evening is an excellent way to relax and enjoy some time with friends.
If you’ve never hosted, or even been to, a wine tasting party before, you may be a little unsure of what you need to do. Don’t panic. Simply follow our quick guide below, and it will tell you everything that you need to know.
Choose a theme
Every wine tasting party needs a theme. A simple theme idea could be vintage wines from a particular country or region, such as Napa, California or Burgundy, France. If you are fortunate enough to live in a wine producing area, you could choose vintage wines from your area instead.
If you struggle to choose a suitable theme, pop into your local wine store and ask for some advice. You could also visit online wine sites and blogs for some inspiration. Don’t get stressed about it, just choose a simple theme and stick to it.
Types of wine
It is best not to have more than five types of wine for your guests to taste as more than this may be too overpowering for the palette. If you plan on tasting both red and white wines, make sure to serve them from light to dark. Darker wines are heavier on the stomach than lighter coloured wines, which means that they should be served last.
If, for example, you are expecting 12 guests, you will need four bottles of each wine. Two for tasting and two for enjoying afterwards. To ensure that the wine is served at the best temperature, place white wine and rose in the fridge an hour before guests arrive. You may also want to put any red wine in the refrigerator 15 minutes before guests arrive, to ensure that it is served at its ideal temperature. Remember to take white or rose wine out of the fridge 15 minutes before serving.
If you have 12 guests attending your party, you will need at least 12 wine glasses. Give each guest one wine glass, preferably use Bordeaux style glasses if possible.
If you don’t have enough wine glasses then, you will need to order some more. Have a look at Patterson’s wholesale wine glasses to get an idea of prices and styles available.
Make sure that the glasses are not cleaned between each tasting, as even a small amount of water can ruin a good wine.
You may want to provide your guests with some snacks to help soak up all the wine they will be drinking. Some great ideas for wine tasting nibbles are things like bread sticks, cheese straws, mixed olives, cheese and crackers, and dried fruit.
Alternatively, you could serve snacks that are traditional to the region where you wine and party theme originated from. Once you have chosen your theme, use the internet to research authentic foods that originate from the area.
To set the scene, you may want to have some music playing in the background. Why not create a music playlist especially for your party? You could choose all of yours and your friend’s favourite songs and put them together in a relaxing compilation.
Alternatively, you could create a wine party playlist. You could choose songs that relate to wine, like Marvin Gaye’s ‘I heard it through the grapevine’ and so on. Whilst the music shouldn’t be too loud, some gentle background music is a great way to give your party a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.
If you are planning on having your guests sit around a table to do the wine tasting, it could be fun to provide a few games that can be played throughout the evening.
You could start off with some wine-related games, like guess the wine’s region, etc. You could also have cards and traditional board games on the table for you and