We can all agree that a fun way to learn about wine is to grab a few bottles and invite friends over. Ever thought of bringing it to the next level, and hosting wine tasting parties? With the holidays approaching, there’s nothing better than friends and wine!

Tip 1:

Choose a theme:

– Varietal

– Region

– Vintage

– Style (dessert wines, or rich bold reds or crisp dry whites, etc.)

– Blind tasting

Tip 2:

Number of guests: keep it intimate (10 people or fewer)! Although you can invite as many people as you’d like, keeping the count relatively low allows for greater interaction.

As for the wine, plan to have half a bottle to one bottle a person. During the party, make sure to serve small pours and allow enough wine for re-tasters.

Tip 3:

Stock necessary supplies:

– Water

– Glassware (if you don’t have enough, rent! It’s between $1 and $3, and you avoid the hassle of having to wash them) – If you’re hosting for more people than you have glasses, definitely rent glassware.

– Palate cleansers: water crackers

– Spit buckets

– Self-serve appetizers station if no dinner planned later

Tip 4:

Wine serving order! While there are no true rules for wine order – you can do whatever you want – your palate and your guests’ palates will thank us for this:

Start with a sparkler – champagne or other sparkling wines such as a Cava will do the trick – don’t forget to chill the wine!

Then move on to whites – light (eg: Sauvignon Blanc) to heavy (eg: Chardonnay). Then reds – again, light (Pinot Noir) to heavy (Cabernet, Barolo). Make sure to decant those bold red wines before serving! Finish with a sweet wine – ice wine or port for eg.

Tip 5:

Last but not least… Get your Coravin ready!

If you want to put a fun spin on your wine party, why not try these ideas?

– Food & wine pairings party: experiment with your guests and create your own pairings!

– Game: everyone brings one bottle of wine that they would like everybody else to taste – Coravin them all and get a taste of each. The person who brought the favorite bottle get to bring all other bottles home with them!


Wine Enthusiast

The Kitchn

Wine Folly

Wine Folly

Food & Wine