Guest post by Amy Brantley
Many people can be intimidated by wine tasting. One way to make the process more comfortable is to host your own party for friends and family. This is not only a great way to introduce people to new wines, but can help them learn what to expect at other wine tastings. Here are just five tips for hosting a wine tasting party to help you plan the best party possible.
Offer at Least 4 – 6 Wines
Most wine tastings offer 4-6 wines. Offering too many wines can tire the palate and tasters won’t be able to distinguish the differences in notes and flavors, especially those that are delicate. Choose an equal portion of whites and reds to try throughout the tasting so that your guests try several new wines and hopefully find one they enjoy.
Have a Plate of Crackers and Bread to Cleanse the Palate
It’s important to cleanse the palate throughout the wine tasting process. Not cleansing the palate will allow different flavors of wines to mingle and can alert the taste of a wine. After each wine, having guests munch on a couple crackers or a small piece of bread. Water can also cleanse the palate, but not as well.
Progress From Dry, Sweet White Wines to Full-Bodied Reds
You never want to mix your reds and whites as you move throughout the tasting. Instead, start with the sweetest, driest white wine and end with the fullest bodied red wine. This will allow tasters’ palates to become accustomed to the stronger flavors.
Supply Guests with Information on the Wine
As a host, it is nice to supply guests with the information about each wine. You can pass out cards with the name, maker, year and characteristics of each wine as you serve it. This will allow guests to better keep up with the wines that they liked best so that they can easily purchase them in the future.
Pour Two Ounces of Wine Per Glass and Provide a Dumping Bucket
With each wine, pour two-ounces per glass. This allows guests enough wine to taste, swish, spit out and taste again. Speaking of spiting, it’s important to provide a dumping bucket to pour out wine between tastings and for guests to spit the wine.
Hosting a wine tasting party can be a fun way to introduce your friends to new flavors of wine. Best of all, it can be a learning experience for those that have never attended a wine tasting.
About the Author: Amy Brantley enjoys writing about food and wine and enjoys helping others plan events. When planning a wine tasting, it is important to have options for those who maybe worried about the number of calories in a glass of wine and for those who may not enjoy or be able to drink at all.