How to Host a Wine Tasting Party

It’s no surprise that wine sales are up over 9% over the past year. People are ditching the low calorie beers for heart healthy wine, and we couldn’t be happier. Millennials alone are changing the face of the wine industry. They are looking for more craft wines at low prices. What’s better than drinking wine? Sharing it with friends! The art of the house party is becoming less popular, and we want to bring it back. If you follow these tips, you’ll have a classy wine tasting party out of your home.

  1. Choose A Theme: To make the party more cohesive, stick to a theme when you choose the wines. It’ll make selecting the wines and food much easier if everything goes together.
    1. Region: Choose one well known wine region and sample wines from different areas.
    2. Style: Maybe you know your crowd, and they are sweet wine drinkers. Well then, stick to tasting a variety of different dessert wines. Pair your wines with complementary flavors for the best wine tasting experience.
    3. Vintage: You want to compare excellently aged wines in a similar setting so that you’re comparing apples to apples. The aging process changes the way the fruits hit the palette, which gives them their unique flavor profiles.
  2. Keep the Party Intimate: This isn’t intended to be a big throw down with loud music and cheap drinks. You want to offer a few people a great experience. The costs will be a little higher, but the quality will be significantly greater. That doesn’t mean you can’t have roaring laughter and awesome music; you’re just being a little more selective with who you share it with.
  3. Have Plenty of Bottles: You want to have enough wine for a generous tasting for all of your guests. One bottle of wine has about 24 oz, which will give you about 12 2 oz pours. Start off with small pours so that little or none is wasted. Once people find which wines are their favorites, they’ll start to pour a full glass.
    1. Plan on having about 1 bottle of wine for each guest. You can vary this depending on your crowd. Maybe you know you have a couple of wine-o’s on your hands, and they might want a little more. Or, maybe some folks like the tasting process, but aren’t going to drink a full glass. Know who is coming, and do your best to plan for them. It’s always better to have extra left over, than to run out in the middle of the party.
    2. One way to help spread out the cost of all of the wine, is to ask each guest to bring one bottle. Give them an idea of what to bring, and have fun sampling all of the different styles.
  4. Stock the Supplies: Make sure to have enough glassware and plates for all of the servings. For in between tastes, offer palette cleaners, water, and pen and paper for guests to take notes on their favorites.
  5. Pair Foods: Make the wines even better by pairing them with tapa plates of different foods. Research the wines that you’re serving and couple it with bite sized foods. Chocolates, fish, steak, and cheese can all be made into little bite sized pieces that will elevate your wine experience. If you serve enough, you can make a meal out of it.
  6. Know How to Serve the Wine: Know the in’s and out’s of how to serve the wines. White wines are served at 45-50 degrees, reds are warmer at 60-65 degrees, and bubbles are the coldest at 40-45 degrees. The temperature let different flavors come out on the palette.

No matter what kind of wines you like, you can find a theme that’ll suit your taste buds. Go with a flight of crisp whites, or have all full-bodied reds. No matter what you’re drinking, sharing it with friends will always be the best medicine for the soul. Here’s to you and your fabulous party–Cheers!

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