Whether you are planning a get together with old high-school friends, or hosting a fundraising event for your local PTA, a wine-tasting party is a fun way to entertain. Once you’ve selected the type of tasting you want to do and sent out invitations, consider implementing the following finishing touches to add class and flair to the event.
Pick a Theme
Themes aren’t only for children’s birthday parties—they can add a touch of flair to any get together. The theme could include anything from period costumes to holiday-appropriate attire. Hold a simultaneous ugly Christmas sweater contest, or send the most popular wine home with the guest who wears the most Valentine’s Day hearts.
Design Attractive Tasting Cards
Instead of giving guests a plain old pen and piece of notebook paper to record their sensory experience with each type of wine, design a tasting card that includes the type of wine, the vineyard it came from, the year, and a brief description. Provide space on the back for guests to take notes.
Mix it up with a Blind Tasting
Wine tastings aren’t the place for drinking games, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun. For an extra challenge, try blindfolding guests, or concealing wine bottle labels. Have guests try to match which wine tasting card goes with which bottle of wine.
Purchase Trendy Wine Bags
If you plan on sending the leftover wine home with guests, use gourmet gift bags like those you can find at Bella Vita. You can find bags with all kinds of colorful designs that are much classier than paper sacks.
Use Unique Glasses
Today’s home furnishing stores stock all kinds of creative glassware designs. You can find glassware that has been molded into different shapes or designs. Or if you like the traditional shape of a wine glass, you can find glasses with beautiful designs etched, printed, or painted on the glass. Just be sure the shape of the glasses doesn’t detract from the taste, look, or smell of the wine.
Navigate the Food Situation
Any food served during a wine test is usually intended to cleanse the palate between wines. Popular palate-cleansing foods include simple items like bread or crackers. If you do choose to serve a light dinner, hold the dinner before the event. Don’t forget to tell your guests ahead of time if there will be food. You don’t want a roomful of people drinking wine on empty stomachs.
Learn the Tasting Technique
If you and/or your guests are new to wine tasting, teach everyone the right technique. Remember four key words: look, swirl, sip, and savor. Look at the color of the wine by tipping the glass away from you. Swirl it in its glass and give it a deep sniff. Take notes about both its color and smell throughout the process.
Next, take a sip of the wine. Hold it in your mouth and swish it around if necessary. What does it feel like? What does it taste like? Savor the wine by sucking some air into your mouth between your teeth. Combining the wine with air helps the flavors reach your brain through your retronasal passages. Have guests use this technique to get the full sensory experience of each wine.
A wine tasting event is not difficult to organize or host, and is an elegant way to entertain guests. Give your event flourishes of class by paying attention to these little details, and you are sure to enjoy a night full of pleasant company and excellent wine.