How To Host A Wine Tasting Party At Home?
You and your friends, family or colleagues are getting ready to dive into the world of serious wine tastings, but you’re unsure of where to begin; this should help get you going. Wine tasting can be as serious as you want it to be, but there should be no pressure when it comes to hosting a wine tasting! Here are some simple tips and tricks to ensure that the wine tasting you host is a successful one!
Choosing Your Wines
Starting off with the most important part of the wine tasting, I am going to help you pick out the wines. When choosing wine, it is important to know what kind of tasting you are doing. For tasting parties, there are four common types of tastings; blind, double-blind, horizontal and vertical.
A blind tasting is a lineup of wines from the same varietal and usually the same vintage (not as necessary) where the guests do not get to see the wine beforehand. This creates a fun guessing game, where people have the opportunity to figure out what wines they are trying, and from where. Choosing wines for this, you should look for wines from the same varietal, but have common distinctions based on region. Another fun thing to do with these tastings is to buy wines with different price points and see if your guests can guess which wines cost more.
A double-blind tasting is similar to a blind tasting in regards to the guests not knowing the wines beforehand, but the main difference is the wines you choose. There are no rules on varietals, vintages or regions for choosing your wines, so make it as unique as possible. A fun way to taste this is to have guests guess the vintage, varietal and if the wine is “New World” or “Old World”. This is by far the most challenging of tastings, so it may be helpful to exercise your palate a little before jumping into this.
Horizontal tastings are the most common type of tasting parties, and most definitely the least stressful. Choosing the wines for this is the same as you would for a blind tasting. The difference between the two is that the guests know the wines before tasting. This is a great way to understand regional differences in wines, and is great for wine education.
This is more uncommon in tastings, but is a great time if you are able to do it. Vertical tastings are tastings of the same wines from the same wineries, but each wine is from a different vintage. This is more uncommon, mostly because it is difficult to find different vintages of the same wines at a store. This is one where you must plan ahead because you will most likely have to order the wines for these tastings.
Bringing the Tastings Together
When throwing these parties, make sure that you have enough glasses; rule of thumb is every guest gets a new glass per each wine benign served. This is so that the guests are able to go back and compare wines during and after the tasting. If you have a large enough group, you may want to consider getting more than one bottle per wine.
With these parties, it is also a great time to break out charcuterie boards, or just snack foods. Try to consider the varieties being poured at the party when deciding on what food to present with them.
The most important piece of information for these tastings is that they are meant to be fun as much as educational, so don’t take it too seriously, and enjoy some amazing wines!