Wine Tasting Tips: Doing it naked and swallowing

May 11, 2008 by  

Here’s five tips to ensure success when you host a wine tasting in your home.

1. Nose for Trouble

Stick to simple, uncooked foods to accompany the wines. If you cook in your house the smells will linger and that could throw off your guests. It’s difficult enough to identify the aromas in wine without having to compete with curry or roasted garlic wafting out of the kitchen.

Also remind your guests not to wear perfume or cologne. Don’t decorate with fresh flowers or scented candles and resist the urge to spark any incense.

2. Check ID

Make sure to label the glassware in advance so your guests don’t accidentally exchange DNA. There are lots of cute options for wine glass jewellery. A thriftier option is to buy some ribbon and write your guests names on it. You can loop it around the stem of the glass and staple it in place.

You’ll also want to provide everyone with a glass of water. If you go the plastic-cup route, write guests names with a marker. If you use coffee or tea cups for water you can have matching ribbon labels. Just staple the ribbon around the handle.

3. Get Naked

Do ‘blind’ or ‘naked’ tasting to keep everyone honest and to add some mystery to the evening. Cover all the bottles with brown paper bags from the wine shop or liquor store. Mark each one with a number or letter in the order you’ll try them. After you discuss the wine, reveal to your guests what they just tried.

4. Spit or Swallow

If you think your guests will want to spit out the wine, rather than swallow, give everyone an empty plastic cup. Provide a bucket (a big vase, ice bucket or beach pail work well) for people to empty their glasses if they so choose. Lightweights will thank you!

5. Talk and Taxi

After you’ve tasted the wines, invite your friends to stay for discussion while you polish off the bottles. You could also plan to move on to a wine bar and put your education to work. Whatever you plan, make sure it doesn’t include driving (unless you’ve been spitting). You want your friends to return in one piece to your next tasting!


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