Trying new wines is fun, but trying new wines with friends is even better! An in-home wine tasting is a great way to learn about wines in a stress free environment. Plus, getting to drink five (or more) bottles of wine at a time in the name of education is an added bonus! But what exactly do you need to host the perfect wine tasting at home? I’ve got you covered.
Here is my guide on hosting the perfect wine tasting at home:
WHAT DO I NEED FOR A WINE TASTING AT HOME?
Here is a list of supplies you’ll want to get before you host your wine tasting.
Now that you’re nice and prepared, here are some other tips to follow for a perfect at-home wine tasting experience.
KEEP IT COZY
An event with too many people can make it hard to stay focused on the wine. On the other hand, having too few people runs the risk of not having enough wine! The optimal size of a wine tasting group should be from 5-10 people. This way, each person can contribute one bottle of wine, and it’s not too overcrowded.
Be specific about the type of wine you’re tasting. For example, focus on a certain grape like Pinot Noir. Or pick wines from a specific region, like Tuscany. Having a large variety of different types of wines is too much to keep up with, and can make the discussion difficult. As you become more familiar with how a wine tasting works, you can work towards more elaborate themes.
SET THE SCENE
Now that you have your group and your theme, you can get the scene set! A quick tip before is to inform each member of your group to bring a bottle. Set a price range, and keep it in line with your theme.
Setting the table
Getting the table equipped with all the necessities makes the night go by much smoother. You’ll want to start by putting down a white tablecloth (nothing too fancy in case of spillage) so that everyone can see the color of their wines. Keep your dump bucket close, and have bowls of crackers spread across the table. It wouldn’t hurt to have a water pitcher in the middle as well.
Setting each space
Each space should have just one wine glass. If you’re looking to compare the different wines more in depth, you could supply each person with two or three glasses, but this is completely optional. You’ll also want to provide each person with their personal spittoon. For a wine tasting, it’s totally appropriate to spit wine in order to taste it without the effects of alcohol, so it’s nice to provide this option!. You’ll also want to have a notepad and pen for note taking, a wine tasting guide, and a water glass at each spot.
Not sure where to start when it comes to tasting the wine? Check out this episode of my podcast, The Cork & Fizz Guide to Wine, to learn my simple 4-step wine tasting process!
FINISH WITH A MEAL
After all that palate stimulation, everyone’s bound to be hungry! Make a meal and appetizers ahead that everyone can enjoy, and that can pair well with your wines. You can place all the bottles on the table, let everyone enjoy their favorite, and chat about your final observations!
Remember, wine tastings are all about exploration, and should be a fun experience. If you’re looking at this and thinking “that’s a lot of work!”, let a professional run your tasting! At Cork and Fizz, I offer a variety of themed wine tasting experiences to choose from. Pick which one interests you, grab your friends, and let me handle the rest. Explore my virtual wine tastings here. Or, if you’re in the Seattle area, check out my in-person tasting option!