Planning The Perfect At-Home Wine Tasting

planning at home wine tasting

Hosting a small group of your friends and family at your home to offer them vino and merriment is a true delight. Wine tastings are the perfect way to become better acquainted with local wines and start an invigorating conversation. Invite your friends, family, and a few new friends to your wine tasting. They’re an excellent way to become better acquainted with a colleague of yours you get along with at work, or the engaging newcomer of your book club.

There’s no wrong way to host a wine tasting. However there are a few ideas you can incorporate that are certain to make it a hit. How do you host a wine tasting? How many people should you invite to a wine tasting? How do you choose the wine selection? Find out now.

Pick A Theme

Picking a theme to stick to is a great way to not get too overwhelmed when you’re at the trying to figure out which wines to buy for your party. There are reds, and whites, and pinks — oh my! By sticking to a theme you can avoid some of that stress by narrowing down your selection, while at the same time providing your party with a specific topic of discussion. This can lead to an overall better understanding of the world of wines; one topic at a time.

Here are some of our favorite theme ideas…

Old World vs New World

The world is full of locals that produce amazing wine. With all the varying styles of winemaking, this is a great way to get a better grasp of the flavor differences between old world and new world wines. If you want to learn more about these styles, check out our blog post on the difference between old world and new world wines.

So go ahead and grab a few European bottles to experience the flavor of yesteryear, and a few modern bottles to learn the differences in flavor these styles produce.

Go In Blind

It’s easy to get wrapped up in what we already know and allow that information to take control of new opinions. That’s exactly why having a blind tasting is a great idea. You may have made a habit of walking past Syrahs because of one experience, but why not try another one?

As the host, you will obviously know which wine is which, but it can be great fun to watch your guests try to figure out where each wine is from, and maybe even change some of their previous opinions. To do this, simply remove the labels from the bottles (keep them for referencing later), or you can cover the labels with some kind of paper. If you as the host want to join in on the fun, pour your wine into tasting glasses in advance and add a removable label to the bottom of the glass indicating which wine it is.

Pick a State

Many states across the US work tirelessly to create one-of-a-kind wines. There’s a good chance you’ve already tasted wine from California, but what about sampling something closer to home? If you’re based in Pennsylvania like us, you likely already know about the incredible bottles that Pennsylvania’s winemakers are producing. Every state produces different grapes, and therefore different wines. So do some research and decide which state’s wine best fits your preferred flavor profiles, and go from there.

Pairing Food With Wine

During your at-home wine tasting, be sure to have some food available for your guests. Some horderves like cheeses, fruits, and chocolates can pair wonderfully with wine. Not only do certain foods compliment certain wines, but eating slows the absorption of alcohol. Making sure your guests have enough food and water isn’t just a courtesy, it’s a responsibility. 

Keep It Small

The more the merrier isn’t necessarily the best piece of advice for an at-home wine tasting. Sure, you can have a great time full of laughter and jokes, but keeping it to a cozy, intimate number of people allows for more wine-talk, and everybody will have their time to shine. Keeping your gathering under ten people will make it easier for you to plan, as well as being substantially more affordable. 

Plan The Best Wine Tasting Event

Once again, there’s no checklist or itinerary to complete in order to have a fun night of wine tasting with people you enjoy. Take these ideas and create an evening that best suits your style and the atmosphere you wish to create. As always, have fun and stay safe.

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