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Wine tasting parties are always a good idea for many reasons. It’s a way for wine lovers to discover new brands, play guessing games as an adult, and get everyone talking, moving, and forgetting about their phones.
While there are several things to keep in mind when hosting a wine tasting party, remember to start with the premise that this should be fun for you and your guests. The following are five tips to organize a wine tasting party your guests will never stop talking about.
Know what you are serving
As the host, you must learn about the wines you are serving to drop anecdotes while your guests are tasting the wine and answer questions they may have. Moreover, knowing how much to serve to each guest is crucial for a successful wine tasting party.
When tasting wine, the recommended pour is that of half the usual pour. That means that for a standard bottle of wine, you should be able to serve 12 people. Being aware of which wine to serve first is also essential.
Regardless of sweetness and variety, if you include sparkling wine on your list, you should start with it first as sparkling wines are very light. After that, move from the white wines and then proceed to the reds.
If rosé is part of your wine list, serve it between the white and red wines. When it comes to the serving of the white and red wines, remember to work your way from dry to sweet, and the youngest before the oldest wines.
Get everything you need
The one thing you will notice, whether you are tasting Stagg jr or California wine in Napa Valley, is that there are always the right tools available for guests. For your at-home wine tasting party, essentials include having enough glasses for the wine. You don’t want to have your guests using the same glass for all the wines.
Having cards and pens available for guests to guess the wines will make your party more fun and bring a competitive element that will only make your guests more excited about the party. The amount of wines for tasting is something to consider as well. Experts recommend at least three to five bottles. Finally, remember to have a spit bucket handy for guests to use.
Choose a theme
Themes are great for setting the mood of the party. Your chosen theme should be reflected in everything from the wine to the décor, the dress code, and the table setting. While there is nothing wrong with sitting down, wine tastings are often better when guests are moving about. This way, you can encourage more conversation and banter as they taste the wine and compare notes.
Wine is often associated with formal events, so to keep your party from getting too stuffy, use décor to keep the theme light and fun. Deconstructed flower arrangements are one way to do that. Candles help as well. Although, steer clear from scented candles, which can only disrupt your tasting endeavors.
When it comes to wine, sticking to a theme is also recommended. You can group your favorite Chardonnays or serve the best wine from California. An easy way to stick to the wine theme is by choosing the wine yourself, rather than asking your guests to bring wine bottles themselves.
Don’t forget to serve food
Ensuring there is enough food for everyone during the tasting is essential to keep guests from getting drunk. Remember that not everyone will spit the wine. Moreover, your guests will need something to eat in between each tasting to cleanse their palate.
Popular foods known for cleansing the palate include fruit and cheese. You can serve other party food if you wish to, but it is best to stick to these two foods during the tasting. Serving a platter brimming with cheese and fruit is one way to get rave reviews.
The number one rule for a fantastic food board is to pile everything in an ostensibly messy manner. The board should include a variety of cheeses, olives, nuts, bread, crackers, and grapes. Other things you can add are hams, sundried tomatoes, and for an aesthetically pleasing cheeseboard — edible flower petals.
Keep it fun
Your guests want to learn about wine, but they don’t need the lecture. Remember to keep the anecdotes fun and short. Tell the stories that come to mind when you taste the wine to create a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
Use music to help establish the mood you are going for. There are great playlists on YouTube, Spotify, or you can make your playlist. The music doesn’t have to be loud, just loud enough to fill any pauses in conversation and turn them into comfortable silences.
Time to send the invites
Now that you know how to organize a successful wine tasting party, all that’s left to do is send the invites. This may be an informal event, but why not send your guests beautifully designed electronic invites to get them excited? Paperless Post is a great app offering stunning designs.
Invite your favorite people in the world for your first hosting gig. That way, the pressure won’t be too high, and if you forget something, you can laugh it off, knowing the people around you won’t judge.