” Hmmmm, a wine tasting party? That sounds interesting!! ”
That was my reaction to a suggestion of a really good friend and mentor of mine, when she suggested that I should have a wine tasting party!
You see, I had already gone to a few wine tastings trying to enhance my knowledge and build my way as a wine expert, but I had never thought that I could actually organise one myself and get even better results!
To keep it short, I did and it turned out to be just great for me and my friends invited at the time! All I did was to follow some basics and everything else just flowed naturally! Ever since, I have been throwing wine tasting parties quite regularly and they turn out to be better and better every time!!
So, remembering about that very first party and how it helped me overcome a fear or two and how much more knowledge I gained from the experience, I thought why not write about some steps that can help you to throw a party like this so that you have the effect??
And that’s what I did people!! It doesn’t matter if you haven’t done that before or how many wine tasting parties you have already been! All that matters is that you get to try it once and then things will be much simpler! You will want to do that more often with different people every time and each time you will have something new to learn about wines! Plus, you will feel much more confident about yourself and get even more motivated on becoming a wine expert!!
So, ready to throw the best wine tasting party ever?? Let’s start then!! (By the way, at the end of this post I have something really nice for you! 😉 )
Start With The Theme Choice
So, the very first thing you have to do is choose your wine tasting party theme. What does that mean? Well, let me elaborate on that a bit! You see, as you already know, there are quite a few types and categories a wine can be registered into! There is the color, the wine variety, if it is a varietal or a blend, if it’s a vintage or a young wine, a sparkling one, a still or a dessert one, and many many other characteristics that define the kind of wine, right? But how can you actually through a wine tasting when you don’t have a basis to start on? It is especially hard if you are not a wine connoisseur and you are just starting out on your journey to be wine expert!
Well, no worries people!! Just choose your the theme feel you like the best! It may include wines of a single grape variety but from different wine regions or countries, it may be that you choose different vintages that come from a specific wine region, you may even want to choose a certain style of wines like sparkling or dessert ones!! You can have whatever you think suits your knowledge, taste or even cost level! Hell, you can even go for a blind tasting as well if that’s what you want!! You have tons of options to choose from and it’s completely on you!! You will also find some further ideas on the theme options here.
But let’s move on…
Decide On The Number Of Attendees
Now that you have already chosen your theme for the best wine tasting party ever, you need to check on the number of your guests and who are they going to be after all!
Hmmm, how many people should you have…? What I usually like to do is keep the wine tasting party a bit limited, like a little gathering of six to eight people tops. In that way, my guests feel more relaxed and more urged to make their comments on the wine tasting freely even if some of them did not know each other before the party. It even offers a greater experience to the attendees if they are not exactly on the same level of tasting experience and knowledge wise! The less knowledgeable get to have some really good tips from the part of the more experienced ones and the ones that have a greater knowledge get to enjoy exchanging and passing their views around! Both parts benefit from this combination and the party is a complete success. Just make sure that the knowledge gap isn’t too big as you will have the exact opposite result! The more experienced will get bored and the less ones may feel intimidated.
Apart from that, though, no matter who are the people you invite to your wine tasting party, it is quite essential that you pay more attention to the number of them. Keep it low and it will feel more natural for everyone to open up!
But How To Calculate On The Number Of Wine Bottles Required
Well, the number of bottles you need to have available will have to be directly correlated to the number of people attending your party! How do you do that? It’s simple really, don’t worry!! Just let me talk you through it and pay attention!
So, consider that a standard wine tasting pour is about 1.5 ounces or 2 ounces if you want to be really “generous”. A standard bottle contains 750ml of wine, 24 ounces that is. Keep in mind that some, if not all of your guests, will want to get a second taste of the same wine at some point, so all you have to do is calculate that each attendee will need to have about 3 ounces of each wine! See?? Not that hard right?? Just decide on the people you will have at your party and then you will be perfectly able to decide on the wine bottle that will be required!
By the way, quite important!! I forgot to talk earlier about how many different wines you should have! Approximately four to six different wines would be an ideal amount of wines! Not too little but not too many also for your guests to feel overwhelmed!
Should we continue?? Come on then…
Get Your Supplies Ready
Apparently, though a wine tasting party, you will also need some further supplies apart from the wine itself! Who could expect that? 😛 Ok, ok! Just kidding, of course! So, here are the things you will definitely need for this kind of party…
A List Of Extras Apart From Wine
- Wine Opener – Maybe you would like to have more than one if you are too many people.
- Wine Glasses – Make sure you pick the right pieces of glassware depending on your theme, like having Champagne flutes if Sparkling wines is the concept of your wine tasting party.
- Extra Clear Wine Glasses – Have extra pieces of glassware as nobody likes for the taste of the next wine to be altered by the taste of the previous one.
- Palate Cleansers – By Palate Cleansers, I’m talking about some crackers of bread as a way to clear any wine aftertaste that will allow your palate to be ready for a clear taste of the next wine.
- Spit Buckets – Since it is a wine tasting party you will definitely need for your guests to not get drunk until the wine tasting is done! You wouldn’t want them to tipsy from drinking all the different wine pours, now would you? Tasting and exchanging views on wines is the main purpose of this party, not getting drunk!
- Napkins – Make sure you have enough napkins for your guests. Nothing is more necessary than napkins, this is a wine tasting after all and apart from the general idea of why you need them to accompany you during a dinner or meal, in this case, spitting is going to a big part while tasting the wines. No one would like for their guests to feel embarrassed for any reason.
- Notepads & pens – Make sure that there are enough notepads and pens available for your attendees to make their notes thoroughly whatever they might be. After all, keeping notes is essential when it comes to wine tasting as becoming a wine expert.
- Water – Water is always essential when it comes to drinking alcohol and it also serves as a palate cleanser as well!
So, these are the necessary supplies you will need to have in order for you to throw the best wine tasting party ever! There are also quite a few other wine accessories that you could maybe use but they are not of great importance on this occasion.
Select Your Type Of Food To Accompany Your Wine Tasting
Of course, some food was going to be included!! If you expected otherwise,well, people let me tell you that your guests will have to eat something throughout your party! What is that something?? Worry not! You’ve got quite some options here! It can be cheese, fresh fruit, bread or even some kind of appetizers if you want to offer something more! Usually when wine tastings take place, crackers are the only food offered for the attendees but since you want to throw the best wine tasting party ever, one of the above as an addition would be just perfect! Especially if the number of your guests stays up to 8 people! See?? That’s another plus if you do get to invite only a few people! You will be able to offer them a much better experience!
Prepare The Appropriate Setting For Your Party
Well, since this is a wine tasting party, you have to prepare your setting in a certain way! How is that? Let me give you some details. First of all, make sure you set your table with a white tablecloth. You want to make sure that your guests will be able to evaluate the color of the wines in question, in the best way possible and without any distractions. And that’s also the reason you have to go for a generally settle background when it comes to the place where the party will be held!
Be careful not to have any scented candles! You along with the other attendees of the party will have to catch all the aromas of the selected wines! Scented candles will certainly interfere with the delicate scents of the wines! Again it is a matter of distraction and it is in your best interest as a host to avoid any kind of distraction.
Prepare Your Wines
We all know that a great determining factor when it comes to tasting wine, is for it to be served at the appropriate temperature. It is a waste of a wine to be drunk warm or very cold as it loses quite some of its taste, potential and charm…
So, what would be wise for you to do, is put all your wines to the refrigerator and take them out 20 minutes for the reds and 10 minutes for the whites before your wine tasting starts.
Generally, keep in mind that the red wines should be served at around a temperature of 55 to 60 degrees, whites at 40 to 50 degrees and sparkling ones at around 40 to 45 degrees.
And now that you know the serving temperature of your wines, how about we take a look on how you should serve them…? What do I mean? Well, keep on reading and you’ll see!
How To Serve Your Wines
Generally, you need the taste of each and every wine to remain intact and that is why you need to have a certain order of serving the selected wines through your wine tasting party. Which might that be?? It depends on the theme you have chosen, therefore let me lay out some general guidelines on the serving order.
Take A Look At The Serving Order Basic Guidelines
- Sparkling wines always served first
- Dessert wines always served last
- White wines served first, Rosé wines follow and Red wines go last
- Serve lighter-bodied wines to heavier bodied wines
So, whichever the theme of the wine tasting party might be, just keep the above as a basis for you to set your wines in the right serving order. The reason for these guidelines is that you do not want your bolder or more intense wines to be tasted first cause in this way, you and your guests will be overwhelmed and unable to evaluate properly a lighter wine if tasted next after them.
Don’t You Think I forgot something ??
You have already worked out your theme, decided on the number of your guests, calculated the number of your wines and set the right background for the wine tasting party… But something is missing, isn’t it?? AAAA!! YES!! It’s the music!!
There is no proper wine tasting party without the right music!! What is the right music?? It depends on your taste matching the occasion!! You see, I personally love rock music, but rock and wine tasting do not match that well! Trust me! I tried that in a wine tasting party of mine and although no one complained about it (rock lovers everybody!!), 10 minutes was all that I could bear before I switched to something completely different!
So, what are my recommendations?? I would go for jazz or lounge music! They are soothing, they calm your mind, allow you to focus on your wine observations and create a sense of glamour for your party! Classic yet absolutely charming!!
And For The Closure
You want to have the best wine tasting party ever?? Well, it’s quite simple!! All you have to do is follow the above steps and they will work like a charm!! No need to go for something too complicated if this is your first wine tasting party! Just pay attention to keep everything ready and the rest will follow!
By the way, here is a little something about wine basics and wine tasting directly from www.winefolly.com
Original Source: Different Types of Wine
Now, do you think I might have forgotten something important for you to throw the best wine tasting party ever…? If yes, please, by all means, add it to the comments below! If not, please try that and let me know how that went!!