Hosting a Wine Tasting Made Easy

May 11, 2008 by  

Sheila tastingHosting a tasting for your friends is a great way to get to know a lot of wines in a hurry. It can also be pretty cheap if you all share the costs. Here are some tips to have a successful tasting in your home for about $20 per guest.

Are you on the list?

First thing to sort out is your guest list. Start your invites at least two weeks before the soiree. The space in your pad may dictate how many people you can host. Standing-room only parties can be a great time – especially after a couple bottles! So don’t be afraid to get cozy.Twelve guests is a great number: it’s small enough to share a meaningful discussion and big enough for a party.

Set the arrival for 7:30 with the tasting starting at 8:00. Advise your guests to eat dinner before arriving. You don’t want to serve any hot food: the smells will cloud your ability to smell each wine’s aroma. As a bonus, sticking with simple snacks to cleanse the palate will be cheaper and easier. Ask your pals to RSVP at least five days in advance so that you can finalize your budget.

So you have your dirty dozen guests confirmed. Now you need some wine. For those new to wine, I recommend the host does the shopping. If you’re a really great friend with a fat wallet, buy all the booze. If you’re an urban slave with a fat mortgage, ask your friends to throw in $20 each to cover costs.It’s simple and you won’t need to make any change.

For a first-time tasting, you want to introduce a wide range of wines. The idea is to get to know what’s out there and what you like. Everyone has a different palate and you may find all your guests have a different favourite. Staff at your local wine specialty shop or liquor store should be able to help you make some informed selections.

As the host you should teach your guests the basics of how to taste wine. They all know how to drink it, or they wouldn’t have come over. Tasting is a little different. Try making a score card for your guests and grade the wines throughout the evening.


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