Wine tasting, or as we call it: "learning by drinking"!
Hosting a wine tasting at home is a great way to spend an evening with friends or family and learn more about different types of wines. With a little bit of planning, you can create a fun and enjoyable experience that everyone will remember. It is frankly the best way to learn about wine since, in our opinion, wine is an art that can only be experienced by enjoying it. You can read a lot about wine but it's totally different from tasting it yourself! So get a group together and have fun!
We recommend having a group of 5-10 people, that gives you the chance to have many different wines in small portions. Read on!
Here are some easy steps to plan a fun and memorable wine-tasting event at home:
1. Decide on a Theme and taste blindly!
The first step in planning a wine tasting at home is to choose which, you can decide on a theme for your wine tasting. This could be a specific region, such as Burgundy, Mosel or Tuscany, or a grape varietal, such as Pinot Noir or Chardonnay or a style of wine like natural wine, orange wine or pet nat. You can also choose a more general theme, such as “Wines from Germany” or “Summer Wines.” We can also recommend that everyone brings a bottle to the tasting, that keeps the excitement level high. So think about tasting the wines blindly! You can do it by simply poring the wine in a decanter, use a (washed ;)) sock to cover the bottle. This way, the group does not know what's coming next.
2. Choose Your Wines
Once you've chosen your theme its tome to pick the wines you would like to feature. As mentioned, you can choose wines from a particular region, country, price point, type of grape, or you can choose a variety of wines to taste. It's best to focus the tasting on one region or grape variety or a specific style of wine (like natural wine, orange wine or pet nat). We also offer various tasting packs in our online shop that can help you pick the right wines.
3. Set the table
Once you've chosen your wines and theme, it's time to set the table for your wine tasting. Make sure you have enough glasses for each guest to taste each wine, as well as a separate glass for water to cleanse the palate between wines. You can also provide a spittoon for guests who want to taste the wine without consuming too much alcohol. It helps to have 2-3 glasses for each guest so you can taste the wines next to each other. However if there is not enough glasses its also OK to taste the wines one by one
4. Add some snacks
No wine tasting is complete without some snacks to accompany the wine. Choose snacks that complement the flavors of the wine, such as cheese, crackers, and fruit. You can also provide some light appetisers, such as bruschetta or charcuterie, to keep your friends satisfied throughout the tasting.
5. Start the tasting
Once everything is set up, it's time to start the wine tasting. We are all about the fun with wine, so don't make it stiff, it should be a fun activity. Make sure to tell everyone that there is no right and wrong! Everyone should enjoy themselves and talk openly about the smell and favors he experiences. Begin by pouring a small amount of wine into each glass, and have your guests take a look at the color and smell of the aroma before taking a sip. Encourage your guests to take their time and savor each wine, and ask them to share their thoughts and opinions with the group. We recommend every one writes down his flavor profile first. This way you don't get tricked into specific flavors be the others. Depending on the skill level of the group, try to get more specific. For example, a smell could be “Apple” but there is it green or yellow, ripe or young. A specific apple like Boskop or Pink Lady.
6. Keep it light and fun
Remember, the goal of a wine tasting is to have fun and learn something new about wine. Keep the atmosphere light and fun by encouraging conversation and laughter, and don't take the tasting too seriously. You can even add in some games o keep things interesting and engaging. As mentioned before, we encourage everyone to do their notes. If you want to get fancy, there are also premade tasting notes you can download and print for everyone.
7. Provide Transportation
Finally, it's important to provide transportation for your guests if they have been drinking. This can be as simple as calling a taxi or ride-sharing service or offering to have a designated driver on hand. Safety should always be a top priority when hosting a wine tasting.
Hosting a wine tasting can be a great way to learn more about wine and have a good time with friends. By following these seven tips, you can ensure that your event is one to remember. From selecting the right wines to providing transportation, these tips will help make your wine tasting successful, fun, memorable, and even enlightening!
GrapeTimes is a sustainable wine shop offering incredible sustainably-produced wines created by hand and love. If you are looking for fine wine online for your wine tasting session, come check out what we have to offer.