summer time everybody. You know what that means. Heat, parties, wine, and good times with friends. That is what summer is all about. Letting the good times go and sharing amazing memories with friends that you will cherish forever. With the intro to summer also means the beginning of party planning. I mean with all that hard work that is being put throughout the year, it’s only a necessity that you create a place where everyone can come together and relax, and what better way to relax then with a glass of wine? Even better what is a better way to relax then an actual wine tasting party? You know a party with good wine, great food and appetizers to enjoy? Can you think of any better way to have fun? I think not! Check out these seriously helpful tips that will leave you the talk of the season. You will be the best wine tasting party host in the neighborhood no problem!
Tip #1 Gather up that Wine!
Of course what is a wine tasting party without a great collection of wine to choose from? The collection of wine is what will make the party the hit of the century. When gathering up wine for a great party, think of the varieties of wine to choose from. It is wise to stick to just one region of wine, but branch out when it comes to the types of wine that comes from that region and the prices of the wine. Half of the fun of wine tasting is actually being able to compare different wines with each other and maybe discovering a cheap wine that you never knew would taste so good! Splurge on wine from $10-$70 and see what the big difference is. Try keeping your collection together with different types of wine such as red wine, white wine, or a rose. In addition to this, try to sample popular wines from a specific region such as California, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, etc. Choose a region and zone in on the many wines that they have. Having different varieties of wine present at your party will make for a whole lot of surprise and conversation to keep the guests sipping and talking. For a general rule, don’t exceed past a variety of 5 wines or else it will overwhelm the palate. Make sure that if you are serving reds that you put it into the refrigerator, 15-30 minutes before guests come. When it comes to whites or roses, take those wines out minutes before serving. Make sure to serve the wines in the correct order going from lightest wine to darkest wine, as going out of order can sometimes disturb a person’s palette and make other wine tasting harder.
Tip #2 Make Sure to Know How Much Wine to Buy
It is of utter importance that with a wine tasting party you have enough wine for everyone to sample. It would be a complete disaster if some guests are left without wine to sample, and can put a damper on the festivities. Keep in mind that every person should receive around 2-3 ounces of wine to sample each, and that one bottle of wine carries around 25 ounces of wine. With this in mind, that means about one bottle can at most serve up to 8 people with at the least being about 12 people. Depending on whether you will serve each person 2 ounces of wine or 3 ounces of wine, you will want to generally buy 2 bottles of each wine to be on the safe side (unless your gathering is quite small). This is due to the fact that some people may want to have a second go at the wine for taste and some may love it so much they will want a full glass to drink from.
Tip #3 Avoid Other Aromas
When throwing a wine tasting party, you most definitely want the focus to be on the wine. Part of the enjoyment of wine, is being able to smell the different aromatic fragrances that wine can give. These aromatic fragrances; however, can be tampered with if too many other aromatic fragrances cancel it out such as strong smelling perfumes or candles. Refrain from lighting candles in the room or party area to keep the smells of the wine and try to encourage guests to go easy on the perfume. Try to stay away from decorations with heavy smells that may overpower the fun smells of the wine.
Tip #4 Make it Fun!
To make the wine tasting even more fun for everyone, have everyone blind taste the wine. Merely put numbers on pitchers of wine and have them try the wine before being notified on what kind it is, where it comes from, and how much it costs. It will be even more fun if you have the party guests try to guess what region they think it is from and how much they think it costs. Maybe hand out some party favors to those who guess correctly! This is a great way to keep the conversation and laughs going, while also keeping all the guests entertained.
Tip #5 Stock Up on Some Needed Supplies
Try to buy enough glassware so that each guest has 2 glasses for an easy contrast and comparison. Leave out crackers and breads as a way for the palate to be cleansed so that people can try the different wines without having the flavors of the previous wines affecting their taste buds. Keep out spit buckets handy for those who cannot stand the taste of a wine or don’t want to become too tipsy. Make sure that when decorating your wine table that you stick to a white background as it offers subtle elegance to the décor of the party.
Tip #6 Set the Mood with Some Music
A party isn’t complete without some good music to set the mood. Set up a playlist ahead of time with some elegant classy songs to help set up the relaxed vibe of the party. When choosing music try to choose music that is calm and relaxed and not very loud to the ears. If you are having trouble with deciding on the right kind of music you can always download a readymade wine tasting playlist off of apps such as spotify or youtube. The music will be a surefire way to make the guests feel the vibe of the party.
Tip #7 Serve Some Delicious Snacks
No wine tasting party is complete without some delicious food and snack pairings to go with it. When doing research on what types of wines to buy, make sure to research the best appetizers and snacks to go with those wines as doing this will make the overall experience of tasting the wine a lot better. If you are having a hard time deciding on what kinds of appetizers and snacks to consider, remember that you can never go wrong with cheese, fruit and bread! Here are some examples of appetizers you can serve to help get you started!
Three Cheese Fondue
Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almonds
Baked Brie with Figs and Walnuts
Assortments of cheeses
Assortments of fruits
Parmesan artichoke spread
Warm, soft bread
Prosciutto Wrapped Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates
Bleu Cheese and Honey Dip
Remember that unlike normal functions, barbeques, potlucks etc. where dinner and dessert is the norm, the trend for wine tasting parties isn’t necessarily full on entrees and heavy dinners, rather a great selection of wines, and an endless amount of appetizers and snacks for the guests to dig into. In addition to this, remember that the wine is the star of the show. Upon guests arriving don’t bring any juice or soda to the mix. You want guests to have a clean palate for when they taste their wine. Water will be the best supporting drink in this case!
Tip #8 Commentary is Needed!
The whole focal point behind a wine tasting party is (of course besides the wine) the interaction of guests with the wine and their ideas on it! Make sure that when throwing a wine tasting party you have a lot of cute stationary pens and paper for guests to write up their favorite wines that they have tasted as well as their least favorite. Maybe encourage guests to write what they liked about the wine in terms of the smell and taste and what each wine’s main flavor was. Make sure for a blind tasting wine party that you have cards or lists that guests can take home with them of the wines they tasted for their own reference! This is a great way for your guests to get more involved and talking during the whole process of the wine tasting and even offer your guests the chance to share their input on each wine.
Tip #9 Teach Your Guests How to Taste Wine Properly!
This tip is so very important when it comes to a wine tasting party. It is important that all guests are aware of the correct way to taste a sample of wine, as doing so will ensure the best experience that each guest will have with the overall flavors, body, and aromas of each wine. With every sample of wine tell your guests that they must first assess the wine. Have them look at the wine under neutral lighting and assess the color, appearance, and overall body of the wine. This process alone shouldn’t take more than 5 seconds but it will help your guests have a fair idea of what they are in for before they have tasted the wine. The next step is to have your guests smell the aromatic smell of the wine. Have them focus deeply on what smells appeal to them. Wine is divided into 3 aromas. The primary aroma is the fruit, herbal, or floral notes of the wine. The secondary aroma is the yeast derivative of the wine such as nut husk, cheese rind, or stale beer. The tertiary aroma is the aging of the wine from the bottle that can be accompanied with notes such as baking spice, vanilla, roasted nuts, tobacco, mushroom, etc. Smelling these aromas can also further help you to understand the individual tastes and aromas the wine has to offer. The next part is to taste the wine. Use your taste buds to observe the taste and see whether the wine has a salty, sour, bitter, or sweet taste. Observe the texture of the wine. Our tongue can understand the texture of the wine through whether it is richer than water or not. Our tongue can also distinguish the tannis of the wine, meaning the sandpaper texture that the wine can offer. Assess the length of the flavor. How long does it take for the flavor to dissipate in your mouth? The last step of wine testing is the analyzing and thinking. What do you think? Is it memorable or not memorable at all? Do you like it? Was it too much of this or too little of that? Assess how you feel about the wine and write down your commentary to share with others!
Tip #10 Don’t Make it Serious!
Like any type of party you throw, don’t make anything serious! When you perceive everything as laid back and chill than the overall party vibe is laid back and chill. Taking everything too seriously can cause stress and anxiety that your party guests will perceive and this will set a damper to the party mood. Remember this is all for fun and memories, so let the cork pop, the conversations start, and the good memories roll for a night of fun and festivities that you and your party guests will always remember!