Every party is better with wine. So, wouldn’t the best party be a wine party? Here are some things to keep in mind when you host a wine tasting party.
1. A prepared bar is a happy bar
Don’t get caught with a bunch of bottles without a wine key. We recommend having two, just in case one gets lost during the party. If you’re having white wines or wines that do well with a chill, an ice bucket will help keep things cool as the night goes on. You may also want an aerator or decanter for your reds.
Bonus Points: Have Wine Away on-hand for party fouls
2. How much wine is too much wine?
Knowing how much wine to get is always a challenge. Normally, a standard bottle can get 4 full glasses out. While this is a party, a whole glass for tasting can be a little much, especially if someone who prefers one kind of wine is tasting a wine they may not love. We suggest getting about 6 pours out of each bottle, and having 1 bottle extra for accidents.
Bonus points: use the following equation for buying wine:
[(Number of people) ÷ 6]+1= (Number of Bottles Needed Per Wine)
3. Choose your Wines
A wine party isn’t a wine party without delicious wines. While it may be a fun idea to taste through 10 bottles in an evening, the reality is that having roughly 4 different wines makes for a much smoother evening. Your wines should all be distinctly different but not overwhelming. For instance, tasting a very light Sauvignon Blanc next to a full-bodied Cabernet will put everyone’s taste buds on extremes. Some people use themes to help choose wines, but everyone has their preferences.
Bonus points: Have coffee or tea for people who’ve had enough wine
4. Food is always appreciated
Cheese and Meat Boards are the classic staples with wine, and for good reason. Foods that taste best slightly chilled or at room temperature means that you don’t have to worry about foods staying warm. Less time in the kitchen means more time with friends.
Bonus points: try crudités and other small bites meant for room temp snacking
5. Words are hard
Everyone experiences wine in their own way. While someone may taste or smell cherry in a wine, another person may sense blackberries, and that is the best part of a wine tasting. Having tasting notes from a wine professional can help some people put words to what they’re experiencing. Have blank note cards on hand for anyone who wants to jot things down.
Bonus Points: Have a tasting walk-through with a Sommelier’s guidance
6. Pour in Order
Wine Professionals suggest tasting wines in from White to Red Wines, and within the white and red categories, from dry to sweet. This way, flavors aren’t suddenly overwhelmed or deadened by what was tasted beforehand.
Bonus Points: return to some wines after they’ve warmed a little or taken on more air and note any tasting differences
7. Water is your friend
If you’ve planned a whole evening of wine sipping, allow for some time for people to have water in between tastings. Being hydrated is generally good for the human body. Try to have a glass of water per two glasses of wine, with about 15 minutes for your body to absorb the water.
Bonus points: have quick party games to pass the time while hydrating. We recommend a quick round of Taboo or Headbands to keep imaginations rolling
8. Ambiance-ing it up
Some people want Jazz. Others want Punk Rock. Put on light music so people feel at ease and comfortable while sharing their tasting experience with the party.
Bonus points: Use flameless tea lights for safety and an extra fancy feel
9. Do a little Homework
Be the one who guides everyone else by reading up a little on the wines you’ll be serving. This way, when someone asks about the kind of wine or vintage, you’re rocking the wine facts.
Bonus Points: Have wine puns prepared. Everyone loves a good wine pun and no one will be Bordeaux.
10. Close out the night with a little bubbly
Pop an affordable and simple Prosecco. Toast to a good night of fun and friends. Congratulate yourself for throwing and rocking a wine tasting party.
Bonus points: be sure everyone has a safe and responsible way to get home