Wine is a popular beverage at lunches, dinners and parties alike. Because so many people enjoy wine, why not host a party that makes wine the main event? Bring friends and family together for a wine tasting party!
Whether you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or just being with loved ones, centering the celebration on the enjoyment of wine will make your party more festive and memorable. Wine tasting is an event that can bring friends, family and even co-workers closer together.
Not only will you be able to take pleasure in some of your standard favorites, but you can also give new wines a try. Before hosting your wine tasting party, learn some of our planning and hosting tips to be sure that your event is a success!
The first thing to do when planning a wine tasting party is to choose a theme. Your theme will set the tone and atmosphere of your party (formal versus informal) and can help you plan the rest of the event. As you think about potential themes, decide whether you want your guests to bring each bring a bottle or to bring his or her favorite appetizers.
Although you may not want to ask your guests to bring anything, hosting a potluck style wine tasting party will not only lessen your work but will also provide more a eclectic variety of either wine or snacks to choose from. Because this event is a wine party, having your guests bring some type of wine is a fun way to try new wines while getting to know more about your guests'' preferences.
Possible wine tasting party themes include:
Once you choose the wine party theme, you''ll need to decide whether or not you plan to serve a meal or a set of appetizers. Because you and your guests will be tasting a variety of wines at your party, serving various smaller appetizers is likely the better choice. This will prevent everyone from becoming too full before the wine and too drunk (because they can snack as they sample wine) as they go.
Each of the above themes (or one you think of) can usually be adapted to a more or less formal atmosphere. Decide whether you want to have your guests dress up or come as they are, depending on the theme you choose. For example, while you may decide that your guests should come as they are if you host a "bring your favorite bottle" party, hosting a regional wine tasting party may require that guests dress up according to that region (e.g. Bring a wine from France, and dress in your best French couture getup!).
Similarly, the way you plan to have each guest sample and judge the wine will speak to how formal or informal you would like the wine party to be. If you want each guest to mark on judging cards, your event is likely to be a bit more formal. However, if you just want each guest to take a turn describing the wine after you all have tasted it, the setting of your wine party is going to be more informal.
The final aspect that will determine the level of formality is your guest list. Do you want to invite close friends and family? Or are you inviting your or your partner''s co-workers? Similarly, are you inviting wine connoisseurs or simply those who enjoy the occasional glass? Write out your guest list to determine how serious or low-key your guests will be so you can properly set and design the atmosphere of your wine party.
While you may choose to have your guests bring some wine, you will also have to provide a number of bottles yourself (in case your guests forget to bring a bottle or those at your party are particularly thirsty!). Choosing the wine to serve at the party can depend on several different things, including the:
Throwing wine tasting parties require you to set an order for sampling the wines. If you are not sure which order to serve the evening''s selections, be sure to ask for help. Many grocery stores and liquor outlets have experts on staff who can help you demystify the differences between the wines and select an interesting order. Here are some general tips for how to create a wine tasting order:
If you follow these tips, then you can also facilitate the serving process. For example, should you need to decant a red wine, do this as you taste whites. That way, by the time you are ready for the reds, they will also be ready for you because they have finished decanting! If you are unsure of which wines need decanting, ask your wine expert if you should decant the wine, as well as how long you should wait after decanting to serve it.
One important aspect to remember when planning your wine tasting party is to make sure you have enough wine glasses to go around. Each person will need at least two: one for sampling reds and one for whites (if you will be serving both). Keep a large pitcher of water on hand for people to rinse their glasses out between wines. Also, have a large ice bucket or receptacle on hand to catch used rinse water or unwanted wine.
If, however, you are hosting a more serious wine tasting party, you may want to provide fresh glasses for each wine so that flavors of different wine don''t overlap or obscure each other.
Also, use wine charms or wine glass nametags so that everyone knows whose glass is whose. Make nametags out of little circle stickers with each person''s initials written on them. Then place the sticker at the base of the glass to minimize interaction with it and prevent it from falling off.