how to host an easy wine tasting party
Parties and Get Togethers

How to Host an Easy Wine Tasting Party

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If you aren’t a drinker, then a post about an easy wine tasting party is not the one for you. I try to make food and booze interchangeable, but unless you’re going to do a prepackaged food party, it would take a lot more work to incorporate food. I’ve talked about having mini-cooking competitions before, so maybe that is the way to go for you. But if you do like wine, one of my favorite ways to have a classy little gathering is to host an easy wine tasting party.

Readers, you do not have to be a wine expert to do this. You honestly don’t need to know anything about wine at all, as long as you can read the labels when you’re buying the bottles. If you do want to know a little something before you start, you might want to pick up The Wine Bible or Wine for Dummies. Be warned: They’re not quick reads. There are other books about wine that are a lot smaller, but I haven’t read them so I can’t recommend any. When my sister and I started drinking wine, we went all in. You don’t have to read the whole book to host an easy wine tasting party though; once you decide what you’re tasting you’ll be able to find that specific chapter.

Steps to Hosting an Easy Wine Tasting Party

Preparation

Okay, so this is going to be a super easy prep. First choose, your guest list. I usually invite a couple or two, or friends that really love wine. Sometimes I’ll do a combination, but I try not to make anyone a fifth wheel during a wine tasting. I don’t normally mind being a third or fifth wheel but if you put me in Napa Valley with two couples and not  my husband, I think I’d wind up drinking too much.

Anyway, who you invite isn’t really that important, except for their level of wine knowledge. Do they like wine, but basically know nothing past red or white? Are they so advanced you’ll have to impress them with a tasting of Bordeaux by year? (Good luck with that one.) Knowing this will help you pick what wine to drink. Now, you can ask them to bring wine, or buy it all yourself, but that’s up to you. Just make sure they know what to bring. Last time I did various white wines; we each picked one and tried to see if we could guess what it was. Fun fact: We could not.

Execution

mini wine tasting

You already decided whether you’re buying all the wine or not. If you are, better go get some! You also absolutely need to make sure you have enough wine glasses. Guys, this is the easiest kind of gathering to throw. You’re not cooking or decorating anything. It would just be silly to put your good wine in plastic cups to avoid cleaning a few glasses. Everything else is going to go straight in the garbage, so get out the good dishware.

Next, you’re going to want some kind of a palate cleanser (like oyster crackers), or even little bites to go with the wines. Again, this is something you can ask your guests to bring if you like. Sometimes if I get the wine, my sister will get cheese, or vice versa. If you decide to have snacks, I would look at a wine pairing guide like this one. You can find others on my Pinterest wine board if you don’t like that one. To continue prep, set out your food nice and pretty, and then cut a few pieces of printer paper in half for tasting notes. If you want to get really fancy, you can print out your tasting notes instead. That’s it! Totally easy wine tasting party, right?

Wine Tasting Example

White wines

Need

1 bottle chardonnay
1 bottle sauvignon blanc
1 bottle pinot grigio

Cheese Pairings

Brie & chardonnay
mozzarella & sauvignon blanc
ricotta & pinot grigio

Tasting notes

You’ll definitely want to list what type of wine it is, along with taste. Some other ideas are aroma/smell, taste, finish, appearance, and points. I’m attaching a downloadable version of my own super simple notes here:

Notes for Wine

Things to write on tasting notes if you are not into wine but want to feel like you are: fruity, leafy, earthy, oaky, buttery. Or, my personal favorite, bramble. A sommelier once told me to call all wines brambley and everyone will be confused enough to agree.

I really do hope you can enjoy a little tasting party like this. There’s not a lot of effort to it, but you know what? Making wine the focal point of the event honestly does make it seem like it’s a high class affair. I don’t know why that is – I guess rich people have succeeded in their trickery of getting us to believe whatever they want to tell us. We’ll talk about beer tastings at some other time. If you don’t drink at all, I do apologize! I’m sure you could come up with an alternative; apple cider maybe? That actually sounds kind of fun. Maybe next time…

 

Holding a wine tasting doesn't have to be hard, and you don't even need to know anything about wine! #wine #winetasting #wineparty #tastingparty #easypartyideas #partyideas #winebeginner

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16 Comments

  1. It’s so nice that you took out all the extra hassle in this post – really no need to go above and beyond if the wine and company is good, right?

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      That’s what I say! But we call it a “tasting” so we can drink from multiple bottles without being called alcoholics. Lol.

  2. I have always been so bad with pairing wines and cheese. This is so great ! I’m going to share your post on my FB page, also so I can keep note of it for next time. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Oh thanks! I have gotten better at it over the years, but I still keep my chart handy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I love this idea, I live in a neighborhood with some very formative wine connoisseurs. They have their own private collections in there cellars and subscribe to Napa vineyards for monthly shipments. How do you feel about have each guest bring a bottle to share, and providing the accouterments to pair?

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Oh my goodness, I’m coming to your neighborhood! I think that’s a fine arrangement, especially since they know what they’re doing. Regardless, you’re providing the location and cleanup, so I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

  4. I don’ t drink, but for my friends that love wine, this is a great idea! Your instructions are simple and to the point. I like the idea of having finger foods to accompany the drink too!

  5. Catherine Holmes says:

    Normally not an alcohol drinker, but I think I could make an exception if the party looked like this! Maybe I’ll host one one day!

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      If you like to host and your friends drink it could be a good time. Plus you can always get yourself a spit bucket if you want the experience of tasting but not drinking – weird how wine drinking feels classy and you’re still allowed to spit, right?

  6. Viktoria says:

    I like white wine, but don’t ask me which kind. I always ask my boyfriend to order for me, because I can’t distinguish the different wines. What a shame!
    I’ll show him this, and then he has to make this for me ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Lol, no shame at all! Unless you have done a lot of practicing (not just drinking for fun) it can be really hard to differentiate. My husband and I do try to learn wine, but we’ll still ask servers for recommendation.

  7. I cannot remember the name of the cracekers for cheese but they are kind of like water crackers. They are perfect for wine tastings. I also like a good combination of sweet, salty, and bitter cheeses with my wine. Depending on the type of cheese you eat, you can really taste the components of the wine too!

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Yes! I’ve been to a couple of wine tasting classes and it’s so interesting how food can enhance the flavor. Or vice versa. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Tomislav Djukic says:

    This is amazing idea I adore wine! ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. I LOVE wine and would love to host a wine tasting party! These are great ideas! I’ll pin this to refer back to. Thanks!!! Just what I needed today! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. I know absolutely nothing about wine so this post is perfect for me! Every time I drink it I love it with cheese so I’m definitely keeping this post for future reference. Thanks for sharing!

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