There is no denying that wine is going through a bit of a resurgence at the moment, especially sparkling wine. If you are looking for a social event to enjoy with your friends and family, wine tasting is definitely a good option to consider. However, if you do not have much knowledge regarding wine yourself, or you have never hosted this type of event before, you may be feeling at a bit of a loss regarding where to start with organising the occasion. There is no need to worry, though. Simply read on to discover some top tips on hosting the perfect wine tasting party.
Choose a theme
The best place to start is by choosing a theme. If you have a theme for the event, this will make it a lot easier for you to find wine to source for the occasion. And, by theme, we don’t mean getting everyone to dress in fancy costume. It should be a theme with regards to the wine you are going to serve. After all, there are so many different varieties of wine available today; it can seem virtually impossible to narrow down your selection. This is where having a theme becomes very useful.
So, what sort of themes could you opt for? There are many different options. Blind tasting has become a very popular option. This involves pouring different wines into pitches or decanters and labelling them by number. You should then get your guests to guess some things about the wines. For example, they should guess the price of the wine, the region, and some of the flavours. You can then have great fun revealing the wines and seeing who knows the most.
Another theme you may want to go for is vintage wines. You could try to find multiple vintages of the same wine. Of course, this is only an option for those who are happy to spend quite a bit of cash. After all, vintage wines aren’t exactly cheap. If you are working to a budget, you may want to choose a ‘value’ theme, i.e., you are only allowed to buy wines that are less than ‘x’ amount. This is also a good option because people may find wines that they like, and they will always be pleased to discover that the wines are in their price range.
Another theme to consider is region. This means that you can taste wines that are specific to a certain area. This is ideal if you and your friends plan on hosting several wine tasting events, as you can do a different region for each event. Or, you could opt to do a different style of wine or variety of wine for each event. If this is a one-off occasion, though, then you will probably want to have a good mix of different red wines, white wines, and sparkling wines, rather than focusing on one type.
Keep the party intimate
When hosting a wine tasting event, it does not really work if you have crowds and crowds of people. Plus, it is going to cost you a small fortune. The best thing to do is have ten guests at the very maximum. You also need to make sure you have the right amount of wine per person. A bottle of wine is usually around 24 ounces, which means you could give everyone two ounces to taste per guest. However, you may find that guests want to retry certain wines, so you could have a backup supply. Or, if this is going to cost too much, at least make sure you have other alcoholic drinks on offer afterwards, like some Prosecco on tap. Prosecco always goes down well. Another option is to ask your guests to bring a bottle each for after the wine tasting, seeing as you will already be supplying a considerable amount of alcohol yourself.
Make sure you get all of the supplies you need
You probably won’t run out of wine, but make sure you do not forget all of the supplies you are going to need to go with this. This includes water, palate cleansers, and glassware. You will also need to get some paper and pens if people are going to be making notes about the wine they are tasting.
Serve the right food
Last but not least, you will need to have some food available for your guests. After all, no one wants to drink on an empty stomach, otherwise, you are going to have a very long queue for the bathroom and a lot of very drunk guests. But, what type of food should you serve? Well, this depends on the wine that is going to be on offer. You need to pair your food with the wine. Of course, if you are doing a random selection for reds, whites and sparkling wines, it is going to be impossible to find food that complements the entire selection. So, why not put on a varied selection of light hors d’oeuvres? You could also get your guests to say what foods they feel pair best with the wine they are drinking. It adds an extra element of interest to the wine tasting. If you are only going to be serving nibbles, make sure you tell your guests not to arrive with an empty stomach!
Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for hosting your wine tasting event. Wine tasting parties have become very popular, yet a lot of people assume that they are very difficult to host and require an expert. This is definitely not the case. Don’t put yourself under any pressure. So long as you have a variety of wines, you are good to go. It doesn’t matter whether everyone likes them or not — that is the whole point!