Friday, January 13, 2006

Hosting a Wine Tasting Party – Overview

I thought I'd include a basic list of things to do for a wine tasting party–much easier than slogging through several paragraphs about it. Here goes!
  1. Pick a region, varietal, colour, winery or price range
  2. Send out invites requesting guests (each couple) to bring a bottle of wine fitting the night’s “theme”, i.e. Sonoma reds, Zinfandels or Okanagan Gewürztraminers, etc. Ask guests to RSVP with the name of wine their bringing (so you can prepare the list of wines to hand out at the end of the night)
  3. Plan appetizer menu and shop for groceries and wine in advance
  4. Plan your music (Dead air is dull!)
  5. Make sure you have enough wine glasses and ID tags (guests have their glasses for the night; cuts down on dishes and “lost” glasses)
  6. Create a wine tasting sheet with room for rating and note taking for each wine to be tasted (Make sure there’s enough wine for tasting and drinking afterwards. A bottle for every two people is usually good.)
  7. The day of the party prepare food and a non-alcoholic punch (or have juice, pop, something without alcohol); chill white wine
  8. Lay out food buffet style, with napkins, plates, etc; set out glasses and ID tags
  9. Make sure wine books, wine lingo sheets, tasting sheets and pens are out
  10. Have a separate table or counter for the wine; have paper bags ready to cover up the wine bottles (put chilled wines in a plastic bag first so the condensation doesn’t make a soggy mess of the bag); have a dump bucket for the vile wines
  11. Number all wines and make sure it matches your unveiled wine list that guests receive after the tasting
  12. Let guests snack and mingle a while; chill white wines brought by guests that aren’t chilled (Note: remind guests bringing white wines to chill them before coming over); open red wines to breathe
  13. Now for the fun part! Have the tasting and discussions; take time to have fun, cleanse palates with bread and water
  14. Uncover the wines and hand out the wine list for guests to compare their notes and ratings
  15. Have fun drinking your favourites!


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