If you’re at a loss on wine tasting ideas, hopefully the list below can spark some creativity in you to make your next wine tasting really fun. This list should provide ideas for the novice trying his hand at his first wine tasting as well as you more experienced party throwers. With hosting a wine tasting party, whether it’s a corporate tasting you are hosting or you’re just having a few friends over for a private wine tasting, your theme should be prepared in advance so that things run smoothly. Contact me with any questions you have; otherwise good luck.
Here are a few of my wine tasting party ideas to try:
1. Wine and cheese party ideas: This is far the most interesting. It takes some knowledge of various cheeses to make this kind of tasting a success. Pick up five to eight cheeses and as many wines to match. You should incorporate several wines if you want to match red and white wines to each cheese. Your cheeses should range from hard to very soft. Pick cheeses that are unique. Label each one so that your guests know what they are trying. Supply some note cards for your guests’ tasting notes or use this template. Have everyone compare notes and select which wines pair best with each cheese.
2. Wine tasting food ideas: While it’s great to be able to pair cheese and wine; it’s more fun to pair food. You can probe deeper into the versatility of a wine when pairing it to food. That’s because your food menu is unlimited. This style is best done as a wine tasting dinner. It also works great for small groups. Jot down your wine tasting menu ideas and get something together in advance. You can either select the wines to pair yourself or let your guest know what food will be served and suggest they bring a bottle of something they think will pair well with the menu items.
3. Have a champagne tasting: Although this is one of the coolest wine party ideas, it could get expensive. Unless you have an inside connection to get Champagnes and sparklings cheap, make a list and have guests choose which bottle they can bring. Conduct it like any other tasting or hold a blind tasting. A blind wine tasting would work really well for sparkling wine. You could note the subtle differences among each and see if the more expensive choices hold up to the cheaper varieties.
4. Wine tasting theme ideas: Themes go over very well with wine tasting for beginners. This gets folks new to wine more connected with the brotherhood of the grape. You can have red wine themes, white wine themes, blind tastings, vertical tastings, horizontal tastings, regional and producer based tastings or winery tastings. The theme is totally up to you and encompasses many aspects. For a complete list and what each entails, read this article about themes.
5. Budget wine tasting party: This is probably the easiest on the wallet. Select six to ten wines under $10 and have at it. More and more wineries pop up every day. This drives wine prices down considerably as these producers come out with more diverse wine profiles. You no longer have to pay an arm and a leg for a decent Cabernet. Some of my favorites cost less than $8.
There you go: 5 great wine tasting ideas for your next party. Use them as they are or reinvent them to fit your style. But most importantly, have fun with them.