How to Host a Fun Wine-Tasting Party
A wine tasting party is an excellent way to get all of your friends together. It’s the perfect occasion to unwind and enjoy a few bottles of your favorite wines, along with delectable appetizers.
Plan one (or more) intriguing wine night activities to keep your guests entertained. Below are some tips for hosting a fun and casual wine tasting party. If you follow these steps, you’re sure to have a great time.
Party Prep – Proper Wine Storage
You may have already purchased the wine you’re going to drink at the party, but did you know that the way you store wine can really impact the taste? Wine that isn’t refrigerated properly or that is exposed to the elements such as sunlight can age differently or even go bad. Winecellarhq.com recommends that you either invest in a proper dual zone wine fridge to store your white and red wine at different temperatures, or you build a home wine cellar with a cooling unit to maintain the optimum temperature.
Wine refrigerators come in different types: countertop, built-in fridges, secure wine lockers, and freestanding. They have various sizes to fit different bottle capacities. If you have a kitchen where you want to store both white and red wines using the same refrigerator, you can use one with a single or multiple temperature zones.
Store wine bottles and display them on bottle wine racks. You can choose from metal or wooden wine racks, or a combination of both. They offer unique bottle storage and easy access to the wines during the party. Modern and traditional wine racks are available.
Highlight a unique wine display anywhere you desire, like the kitchen, dining room, or living room. Choose a wine glass rack or an excellent combination bottle with a wine cabinet or stemware storage rack. You can even find wine racks with modular, stackable options. Also, larger wall-mounted wine racks and wine pegs are available.
Designate Party Area
Before your guests arrive, prepare a designated party area. Pick a location for the party and begin decorating. Don’t make the entire house off-limits.
Low-key wine-tasting parties in a relaxed and comfortable setting are preferred by people. Host such a party at your home. It is best to conduct the tasting in a room with plenty of natural light and without strong odors or strange smells. Open space (backyard or garden) is a good choice during this ongoing pandemic as long as the weather is nice and the area is not highly scented.
You can do it through:
- Music: If your party is about wine tasting, make sure you create a great playlist that reflects the theme. Background music that doesn’t overpower conversations prevents awkward silences.
- Games: Wine tasting games are a fun way for guests to interact. There are many suggestions online for such games. There can be a prize for the winner, or he can just know that he is an expert in wine tasting.
- Set-Up: Put your wines out on a table or a counter where they can be accessed easily. You can serve smaller appetizers alongside the wine. Set out the glasses, water, napkins, crackers, bread, and paper cups or spittoons for your guests. Wine glass charms can help people not mix up their glasses. Do not use flowers or scented candles, as a strong aroma can make it more difficult to discern the flavors of the wine.
Wine-tasting parties require some preparation. Let’s find out how.
Pick a Theme for the Party
When preparing for your tasting, choose a unique theme that will help you decide which types of wines to purchase. You can also ask your friends for their opinions. Anything goes!
You can choose between white, red, sparkling, or blended wines. In addition, you can choose wines from different wine regions around the world, such as Napa Valley, Tuscany, or Bordeaux. Alternatively, you can do a blind tasting where each person brings their favorite grape variety, and everyone tries to guess which one it is.
Plan an Intimate Gathering
It’s best to keep the number of people at a wine tasting party to a minimum. A small, intimate gathering of ten to fifteen people should be enough.
Small groups of individuals encourage conversation, and single bottles may readily be emptied into these areas. You may send out a stylish invitation through mail or online once you’ve agreed on your guest list. Inform your visitors about the date, location, and topic of your wine tasting party.
Get the Wine
To host a wine-tasting party, you will need enough wine for each guest. Make sure you purchase the wine yourself instead of asking your guests to do so. If you want your guests to choose the wine, make sure they know the type you prefer. The amount of wine to purchase is determined by the number of visitors. At least one glass or two ounces of wine from each bottle should be offered to each guest. A standard bottle of wine is twenty-four ounces, so each bottle can easily pour Twelve two-ounce tastings.
A good rule of thumb is to order more wine than you think you will need. You’ll need non-alcoholic beverages, such as seltzer, soda, and water, as well as delicious cocktails like sparkling watermelon punch, to enjoy before the tasting.
Pair with Food
Food pairing is essential for a great wine-tasting party. Follow the specific if you’re not sure where to start. Ideally, red wines are paired with heavier foods like red meat or rich pates. You should pair white wines with lighter meats like chicken, grilled vegetables, and fish. Red wines pair well with charcuterie platters. If you will only serve light hors d’oeuvres, inform your guests in advance so that they won’t arrive on an empty stomach.
A successful party requires glassware, spit buckets, pens, bottle openers, corkscrews, an ice bucket, etc. Having two glasses per person is a good idea (it helps in comparison). You can provide your guests with spit buckets or paper cups so that they can discard unwanted wine. For your guests to record their impressions, you can provide a pen, pencil, paper, or a tasting grid (available online). Color is an important factor when comparing wines. Therefore, make sure your lighting is optimal, use a white backdrop (craft paper is fine), and avoid tinted wine glasses.
It’s Party Time
It’s now time to party. Make sure:
Do a Presentation
Do a quick wine-tasting presentation when your guests arrive. Tell them about the types of wine they will be tasting (unless it is a blind wine tasting). Make sure you know the “4 or 5 S’s” of wine tasting (see, swirl, smell, and sip are the 4 S’s, and savor for the 5 S’s). Show your guests how to do this, and then let them try.
Taste and Evaluate
It is important to taste the wines in the right order. You work your way from dry to sweet with white wines and from light-bodied to full-bodied with red wines. The dessert wine should be tasted last.
Time limits can be set for evaluation, note-taking, and discussion. But don’t be too rigid about time allotment, and keep things fluid and lively. Make sure invitees feel comfortable sharing their opinions.
Organizing a wine tasting party can be exciting and fun. Add your personal touch to the event with decorations, music, and more. If it is well planned and organized, it can be completely stress-free, especially when one follows this guide.