How to Host a Wine Tasting

It can take a while for many of us to get back in the celebratory spirit following the holidays. But May has arrived — in fact, it’s already half over! — and we’ve been hibernating long enough. It’s time to party!

Spring is the perfect season for hosting a wine tasting in your backyard or other outdoor space. Before the heat of the summer kicks in, which can present challenges in managing the temperature of wine, plan to invite your friends over for an evening of wine fun and discovery.

There are many ways to host a successful wine tasting, but we’ve found there are certain guidelines that, if followed, help ensure a successful event.

The first consideration, of course, is the wine. Plan on opening one bottle for each person in attendance, and try to have a nice mix of reds, whites, rosés and sparklers. Why so many bottles? We’ll explain in a moment.

Next, you’re going to need wine glasses. Lots of them. Specifically, one glass for each wine to be opened… per person. So, if you have six guests and six bottles, you’re going to need 36 glasses. If you don’t own that many, “plasticware” will work just fine; remember, this is a wine tasting, not a wine judging.

To enhance the enjoyment of guests, have a few wine aroma wheels scattered among the wine bottles, and also provide notepads and pencils for those who wish to jot down the names of their favorites.

And be sure to have one or two “dump buckets” available so guests don’t feel compelled to finish every ounce of every wine sampled. Use of the dump buckets should be encouraged to promote safe driving after the party.

The idea is for each guest to try a little bit of each wine, and hopefully discover one or two new “favorites.” Then at the end of the evening, have guests draw numbers from a hat to determine the order in which open bottles are selected to take home — nice “parting gifts” for the first party of Spring.

Posted in Wine Buzz
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