A wine tasting party can be a classy gathering between friends or co-workers. Here’s how to host a wine tasting event:
1. Choose the wines. A wine tasting can involve many different wines, or be centered around a theme. You could serve wines from a particular region or country, or focus on white or red wines. Another theme choice is several different wines from the same winery. Choose the highest quality wines you can afford to make your evening a success. You can also compare several wines at widely varying price points to see if you can tell the difference. Plan to serve around 4 to 6 different bottles of wine, and make sure that you have enough of each for all of your guests. One bottle is enough for about 12 people during a wine tasting.
2. Serve appropriate food. A classy evening with wine calls for hors d’oeuvres like cheese and crackers, and small chocolates for dessert. Alternatively, you can hold the wine tasting following a full dinner. Do your research to ensure that you are pairing the chosen wines with an appropriate food selection. Plain bread and water should be served between wines to cleanse the palate.
3. Design a tasting card. The cards you provide for each guest should specify the type of wine, the vineyard, the year, and a short description of the wine, with space for each guest to record their thoughts. To keep it a bit more casual, you could simply provide guests with paper and pens to write their notes. Decide ahead of time whether you want to do a “blind tasting” or provide information about each wine before it is served.
4. Set the ambience. Use low lighting or candlelight, play soft music, and try to minimize distractions such as small children or television. Decorations can range from a white table cloth and flowers to a Tuscan theme with vintage bottles scattered around the room. Try to minimize scents in the room, which interfere with your ability to taste the subtle nuances of wine.
5. Serve the wines. Serve each wine one at a time, so that you are sure to notice the subtle differences between each wine. Typically, you should work your way from dry to sweet with white wines, and light to full-bodied with red wines. Serve 50 -60ml of wine per person for each bottle you have selected. White wine should be served between 10 and 12 °C, and reds between 15 and 18 °C. A wine tasting event is a great way to get together with fellow wine enthusiasts or those who don’t know much about comparing different wines. The atmosphere offers opportunity for sharing opinions, shaping your perception of each wine.