You can find great wine tasting bargains including glasses, napkins, spit buckets and other accessories whether you have the budget for a corporate wine tasting or you are hosting a wine tasting party in your home for a few friends and guests. All it takes is a little know-how to know where to look. Even cheap wines can be used, or rather, wines under $10 per bottle. Tasting involves more the how-to than the actual wine you are tasting, in my opinion. Free wine tastings are set up this way. For tasting flights of wine or expensive bottles you can expect a nice fee to attend. These are usually held at wineries or private events. So let’s look at some ways to get around expensive wine tasting events and work with a small budget.
Your home is the perfect setting for a wine tasting for beginners, if you don’t mind playing the host. Otherwise, your local wine shop may be willing to host one for you. The basic things you will need:
- a wine tasting table ($26.00), preferably a folding table if you have one or you can buy one for less than $30, which is a good investment as you can reuse it later for holiday events or what-have-you.
- wine tasting glasses (set of 12, $18.00). You can purchase a set of 12 glass wine glasses cheap or if you have a large group, bulk plastic wine glasses(25 count 8 oz, $12.95) will be fine.
- Spit bucket. This is optional. It depends on how serious you are about your tasting and how many wines are actually being sampled. More than a dozen wines? You’ll need somewhere to spit so the wines don’t influence one another on the pallet. Your tongue will absorb a small amount of the alcohol. If your head is spinning, you won’t be able to discern all the flavor profiles of the wines. So, have someplace for your guests to spit.
- A white table cloth $10.00: More for aesthetics than anything, this will help guests see the color of the wine more clearly.
- A wine bucket ($7.49) for white wines. Crucial to your success is having your white wine properly chilled.
- A proper wine key, $8.00. Sure, you can go with more expensive wine openers that will pop each bottle for you, but that’s not what wine tasting bargains are about. You want to do this on the cheap and still appear successful. Get a standard waitperson-styled wine opener and get to work.
- A trash can. If you have disposable wine glasses, you’ll need a place to dispose of them. I’m sure you have a trash can so, this one is free.
- The wine. This will be your most expensive purchase and there’s really no way around the cost. You can easily determine how much wine you will need, though. A bottle of wine contains 750 ml of wine. That’s about 25 ounces, or 4 to 5 glasses of wine. A typical host at a local wine tasting pours about an ounce of wine to each guest. At your private wine tasting party, you could splurge a bit more and pour, say, two ounces. So that’s twelve glasses per bottle at your disposal. Two ounces is plenty for sampling. You can let the drunks polish off the bottles afterwards.
As for where to purchase your wine for the best bargains, try your local wine shop. If you have time to order in advance, join a wine club. You can often find great deals online and have them shipped to you at bulk prices. Cellars Wine Club is a popular online wine club. Another is Uncorked Ventures. Both are highly regarded and are in the top ten online wine clubs in the country. If you don’t have time to wait for an online order or if you just aren’t keen to joining wine clubs, then your local wine shop is your best bet.
As for how to conduct a wine tasting, read more about wine tasting for beginners. If you have some ideas for great wine tasting bargains, please leave comments below.