A wine-tasting event can be an excellent way for you to bond with your friends. Not only do you get to experience different types of wine and food that pair well with it, but it also puts you in a new setting other than the activities you usually do. It can also be a chance for you to expand your knowledge in wine and discover new types that you may want to try for yourself later.
Here are some tips for hosting a great wine tasting event:
Pick A Theme
Any kind of event is a lot more organized and fun when there’s a theme. Tasting different kinds of wine is not a theme in itself because you can still narrow it down to a more specific event. Here are some theme examples you can try:
- Region-Specific – Choose wines that come from one particular region. For example, you can try different wines from the California coast or an Australian region.
- Favorites – You can ask your guests to bring their favorite wine and let others taste it.
- Horizontal Tasting – Pick the same kinds of wine from the same year. For example, you can try different 2005 Cabernet Sauvignons from different wine regions and makers.
Prepare the Necessary Supplies
Here are the different supplies you need to prepare for the event:
- Decanter or Aerator – Since it’s a wine-tasting event, one of the best ways to experience it is to use a decanter to pour wine. It expands the surface area of the wine by introducing air which improves its taste.
- Glasses – People don’t drink wine the same way they drink beer or vodka. You need to get appropriate wine glasses. Prepare at least two glasses for each of your guests.
- Spit Bucket – The purpose of wine tasting is to taste different wines that you’ve never tried before. Some people may not like the taste of some of the wine, so provide a bucket where they can spit out the ones they don’t like.
- Pen and Paper – Wine-tasting events can also be an educational experience for all of you. You can provide pens and papers for people to take down notes if they want to.
Serve the Right Kind of Food
In a wine-tasting event, you need to provide some food too and not just wine. The food you serve will have different purposes so make sure that your guests know what kind of food will be at your party.
- Full Meal – If you want a real formal event, you can serve a full meal and then have the wine-tasting event later.
- Palate Cleansers – If you don’t want a sit-down dinner, you still need to prepare at least bread and crackers, so you have palate cleansers. You need to eat those in-between drinking different wines, so the flavors don’t mix.
- Appetizers – You can also serve appetizers for a light meal before the wine-tasting, so your guests are less likely to get wine-drunk.
- Food Pairings – Do some research and serve food that pairs well with the wines you picked. Many different kinds of food taste great with various wines such as pizza, meats, cheeses, chocolate, and desserts.
Finalize the Guest List
Finalize your guest list so that you can prepare all the supplies, food, and wine that you’ll need for the event. If you don’t want to overspend for this kind of activity, you can keep it as intimate as possible. Here are some tips:
- Try to invite only your closest friends. Ideally, the number of guests is 10-12 people.
- One bottle for each kind of wine is enough for a dozen if you’ll only be taking sips for each type.
- If it fits your budget, prepare at least half a bottle for each person.
At the end of the wine-tasting, you can have a small discussion on the different wines you tasted that day. Everyone can share their thoughts about which ones are better or worse than the other. This is where the pen and paper or wine template will come in handy if you provided them at the start of your event.
Discussing the different experiences of each one is optional, of course. You can do that if the wine-tasting event is for educational purposes.