Hey folks! I’ve been doing a lot of tastings at my place lately, so this guilty pleasure post is all about how to host a tasting! Whether it’s sampling new beers, wines or cheeses, hosting a tasting can be a really fun party idea you can do at home!
This post will focus on a wine tasting, but you can adapt it to really any food or drink you’d like to sample. Let’s get started!
How to Host a Great Tasting!
1. Try New Things! You may be holding yourself back by thinking you have to know about everything you serve at a tasting, but you DON’T! It’s part of the fun of trying new things – and everyone can do it together! So if there’s a brand or a flavor you’ve been meaning to try, this is the perfect time to get one…or more!
2. Keep Your Snacks Simple If you’re spending money on nice bottles of wine, you don’t need to go over-budget on snacks too. You can make a few snacks seem much larger by adding in more condiments. Thus, you have more ways to mix and match your munchies! If I’m serving wine, whether it’s just Joe and I or a bunch of guests, we have cheese and crackers and usually a few different spreads. Various jams and jellies, mustards, or other spreads can added in to the crackers and/or cheese for new flavors. We also put out a dish of nuts and dried fruit, like craisins, which act as palette cleansers.
3. Create Fun Choices Allow guests fun options like choosing their glass or wine charm. If you don’t have different ones, you could still make up some fun with creative name tags or printing a tasting sheet where guests create their own rating system! “I give this wine three classy cork tops!” If you’re looking for more wine accessory ideas, you can check out my earlier post here.
4. Do Some Research. Want to sound like the blokes you hear in wineries? Select your wine choices and look up their labels online! I learned a lot about the wine-making process and how to classify the notes and aromas in wine by reading consumer reviews! These fun facts can add to the experience for yourself and guests!
5. Dry to Sweet, White to Red When selecting your wine choices for the night, you’ll want to line up your wines in the best order for tasting. Generally, that is white wines before red and dry to more sweet, both of which will give the palette time to adjust to each new flavor. I like having at least one blush or rose wine to bridge the gap between white and red. You can line up your bottles based on the tidbits you learned online, or from the bottle label too!
6. Teach Your Guests Something About Tasting Besides little wine facts you pick up, you can also teach your guests how to taste like the pros! A true tasting allows the guest to really open their senses to the wine. There is more to wine than just swishing it around the front and back of your mouth. This video gives some quick tips on how to see, smell and taste your wine!
Bon appetit! Enjoy your wine tasting party! Virtual glasses all around!
What are your favorite party planning and hosting tips? Share your favorite party experiences in the comments below, both as a guest and a host! I’d love to hear your ideas!