How to Host a Wine Tasting Party

A wine tasting is the perfect excuse for a party. Whether gathering with old friends or encouraging new acquaintances to be comfortable in your home, there is nothing more fun than wine – coupled with actually requesting the various opinions of your guests! Here are some tips to get your started.

Well of course, wine is theme enough! But you can narrow it down so that the experience is more organized. Think about these ideas:
- Wine and Cheese
- Wine and chocolate
- Wines from a certain country: for example Italy, France, or USA
- Inexpensive everyday wines or “company” dinner party wines
- Guests bring their own favorite!
- Blind tasting – maybe expensive vs. everyday wines

The Tasting Card
Provide each guest with a card and pen or pencil to take notes. The card can be a plain white sheet for the taster’s comments. Or you can start off with Categories for the guest to rate each sample, such as:
- Appearance in the glass
- Aroma
- Taste: sweet or dry, fruity or spicy, oaky or earthy
- Each guest should number the list according to preference: favorite down to “not to my taste”

- Four to six wines according to theme,
- Approximately one bottle of each wine per every 6 guests
- Wine glasses, one per guest
- Pitcher of water for rinsing glasses
- Dump bucket for discarding wine left in the glass
- Tasting cards or note paper, pens or pencils
- Plain bread or rolls to cleanse the palate between wines
- Appetizers: for example, cheese and fruit plate

Lastly, make an announcement of the rules before the tasting begins. The rules don’t have to be stern, but some gentle guidance might help those who are shy or intimidated. Remember, not everyone is going to like every wine; everyone’s taste is personal, and in every wine there are many stories. Make one of those stories your own.

- Kathy

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