If you love going to wine tastings, you have probably thought, “Hey, I could do this at home!” Having a wine tasting party is a lot of fun. Your guests will learn something, and they get some good wine, food, and conversation. Here are ten tips about what you can do to throw your own wine tasting party.
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10. Choose a Theme
Before you begin planning the party, you may want to choose a theme. This will help you decide which wine to buy, as well. For example, if you choose “Italy”, you can go for Italian wines, and decorate your home accordingly. Of course, this is not necessary. Your theme could be as simple as “my favorite wines”.
9. Brush Up On Your Wine Knowledge
There is so much to know about wine, that people actually go to school to earn a degree in order to become a sommelier. No one expect you to be an expert before having a party, though. Heck- no one complains about free wine! If you want to know more about wine, check out “Wine Basics” from a channel called MyWineSmarts, and other free videos on YouTube.
8. Consider Featuring Local Wines
If you have not chosen a theme for your party yet, consider featuring wines that are available in your local area. Or, at least have some of their wines on the side. This helps support local businesses. It will also become a gateway to suggest a trip with your friends. After all, if they enjoyed sampling a local vineyard, they just might say “yes” to a trip to visit it in person, so that they can try even more of those local wines.
7. Prepare a Cheese Plate
Certain wines pair really well with cheese. If you don’t know where to start, check out the in-depth guide over at Vinepair. Remember to purchase a cheese board before the party that will look the best with your decor.
6. Pair With Chocolate and Other Foods
Cheese isn’t the only thing that goes well with wine. In fact, you may want to make an entire meal just to match a featured wine. However, if you are just going for snacks, a great thing to pair for dessert is fine chocolate. Check out the in-depth guide on WineFolly of which chocolates will match best with wine.
5. Use Cute Wine Stoppers
If you buy a lot of wine for your party, chances are that not everything will get finished. Or, you might just want to seal the bottles to avoid spilling and having an accident. Amazon has a lot of different wine stoppers to choose from. I personally have these reusable silicon wine stoppers with funny phrases on top. They make my friends laugh, and making your friends happy is part of the experience, right?
4. Buy Matching Wine Glasses
You can go one of two ways with a wine tasting party. This first is to choose plain wine glasses that are cheap and easy to get in bulk from places like Dollar Tree or IKEA. The second way is to choose some really cute themed glasses. On Amazon, they have so many options of etched glasses with phrases and characters. Check out these wine glasses that say “I drink and I know things” quote from Game of Thrones.
3. Get Your Supplies Ready
If you ever go to a real wine tasting, they usually have a few key supplies on hand: A spit bucket, pitchers of water and oyster crackers for a palette cleanser, and cards to help people keep track of which wine they are tasting. You may also want to print out little informational cards about each bottle of wine.
2. Keep It Intimate
Wine can be expensive, especially if you are giving it away for free. Your friends will need to listen to you explain what each wine is. If the crowd gets any bigger than 10 people, being able to concentrate to the tasting becomes almost impossible. This is why it’s best to keep a wine tasting intimate. In the end, you will feel closer to your friends, and it will open up opportunities for good conversations, too.
1. Set the Table
Last and certainly not least is to prepare the table for your wine tasting. When your friends show up to the party, you want that “wow” reaction. So, put out your snacks, sampling glasses, and anything else you may need out ahead of time so that your friends can admire your handiwork. This will also help you to get started right away, and join your friends, instead of rushing to set up.
Shannon Quinn is the editor-in-chief of InspiringHome.org