As a wine lover, hosting your own wine tasting party can be a creative and fun way to share your passion with friends and try a variety of new wines. If you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to impress your guests and pull off a fantastic wine tasting.
Choose a theme
Blind Tasting - Cover the labels of the bottles of wine by wrapping the bottle in something or putting them in wine bags to disguise their identity. You and your guests might be surprised at which wines end up being your favorite!
Variety - Sample what a specific wine variety tastes like from different regions. For example, compare different Cabernet Sauvignons from California, Australia, South America, and Italy.
Region - Choose a specific region and taste several wines from that distinct area.
Value - Decide on a specified dollar amount per bottle. This can be a fun way to find great tasting wines at a lower price point.
Random - Have each guest bring a bottle of their choice!
Serve the right food
The food selection should be simple and versatile. A variety of appetizers are a great way for people to get a proper amount of food in their stomachs so that they don’t go hungry, while also offering a variety of flavors that will pair well with each type of wine. A charcuterie board is always a great option since most wines pair well with cheese. Other appetizers you could provide are bruschetta, hummus with pita and veggies, stuffed mushrooms, and chocolate-covered strawberries.
Curate the ideal playlist
Spend time creating a playlist that will be great background music to conversations and that your guests will enjoy. If you’re doing a regional wine tasting, it’s fun to select music from that area or country. You can also just ask your guests what some of their favorite songs are so you know there will be music that everyone will enjoy.
Gather or purchase necessary supplies
Stay organized with a checklist of all the items that you need. You can refer to this handy checklist below!
- One or two corkscrews
- Glass charms or a wine glass marker
- At least one wine glass per guest, but two is better so you can compare multiple wines simultaneously
- Dumping buckets
- Tasting sheets and pens
- Wine aerators (We suggest the Aervana Select so you can choose the right aeration for each wine)
Set the table
Avoid decorating with aromatic candles or flowers because you don’t want those smells competing with the various wines aromas. Instead, use low fragrant flowers like sunflowers, hibiscus, and dahlias. Arrange the appetizers across the table so that the food is easily accessible to all your guests.
Serve your wine in the perfect order
It’s important to serve light-bodied wines first, as it can be difficult to taste those subtle flavors after having a sip of something like a Syrah. It’s best to serve your wines throughout the night in the following order:
- Refreshing, light-bodied whites
- Aromatic, light-bodied reds
- Rich, complex whites
- Fruit-forward, full-bodied reds
- Earthy, full-bodied reds
- Sparkling wine
- Dessert wines
Whether you want your wine tasting party to be a dressed-up indoor event or a casual afternoon soiree in the backyard, a wine tasting party is the perfect opportunity to socialize, learn, have fun, and embark on an adventure of your senses. You may even want to make it a regular event!