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December 29, 2022 7 min read

If you're hosting a wine tasting or just organizing one with friends, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all the details involved. However, things will run smoothly once you understand a few basics and have a solid plan. So whether you’re working with us, or hosting on your own, our Experts have a few tips and tricks to make sure your wine tasting is a success. 

Do you want to ensure everything runs perfectly at your next wine tasting? Then, joinus as we walk you through the steps to host a wine-tasting like a pro in no time!

Pick A Theme

While hosting an introductory wine party is fun, kick things up by creating a theme for the evening. You can choose something as simple as selecting all white or red wines from a specific region, and “travel from home.”

Here are a few other wine theme ideas that you might want to consider:

Varietal and Regions

One fun way to spice up a wine tasting is to compare the flavors of several wine varietals from various locations. If you're hosting a themed wine tasting, this can be a great way to tie everything together, and give your guests the ability to explore what they like through the lens of different grapes and regions. 

To do this, you'll need to have a few different types of wine on hand from different varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.). If you're doing a varietal tasting, try to have at least three wines for guests to sample, so they can smell and taste the nuances across aromas, acidity, and more. This will allow them to explore the flavors and differences between each variety.

If you're going with a location theme, choose wines from different parts of the world. This will give guests a taste of the wine's many flavors, including red and white grape varieties. A fun theme can be sampling “Old World” wines from Europe, vs. “New World” wines from newer wine regions like the United States, South America, and New Zealand.

Thedifferent types of red grapes have their own unique flavor. Some popular red grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel. White grapes include Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio.

Value

When choosing a price for something, it is essential to be precise. So, naturally, you want to charge only a little. But, on the other hand, it's always great when you can find something at a reasonable price.

For an 101 wine tasting, look for less expensive options that still offers excellent flavor and value, and save the expensive wines for when your group feels more comfortable with what they like. The key here is to shop and find the best deals on high-quality wines, or consult with an expert. The Night Inn team always curates an exciting selection at excellent value, and is always happy to help if you need advice for your own tasting! 

If you're hosting a large gathering, or have many guests looking for something on the lower end of the price range, consider choosing a value-driven wine tasting. This will allow you to include a more extensive selection of wines while keeping things affordable.

Wine Styling

The best way to set your wine tasting apart from others is by having an attractive display.

When styling your wine, it may be helpful to have a few props on hand, such as a wooden or marble cheese board for serving up cheeses and charcuterie. You can also add flowers and greenery to help create a more inviting atmosphere.

Another important aspect of wine styling is choosing the proper glassware for your event. This will help showcase the wines in their best light, set the mood, and create a more polished appearance. Having appropriate stemware will also make for a more enjoyable tasting experience. 

Region

Select a region, then sample a variety of wines produced there. Choose an area unfamiliar to your guests to introduce them to new flavors. Some popularwine-producing regions include California, France, Italy, and Spain.

When choosing wines for your region-themed wine tasting, it is essential to focus on quality. Try to find high-quality wines from smaller vineyards, as these often offer a unique and nuanced flavor profile not found in mass-produced brands. It’s also important to the industry to support small producers! 

You can also play up the flavors of the chosen region by pairing wines with local cheeses and charcuterie. This will give guests a more authentic experience while also allowing them to enjoy some of the region's most popular culinary offerings.

Vintage 

When it comes to wine, vintage is an essential factor to consider. The year the grapes were harvested will significantly impact the wine's flavor profile.

For a vintage-focused wine tasting, try to select similar, if not the same wines from different years. This will give guests a better understanding of how age can affect the taste of a wine.

Finding wines from older vintages may be more difficult, but it is worth the effort. Higher-quality wines often come from earlier vintages depending on the varietal. If you can find a wine from a previous millennium, even better!

Blind Tasting

Another fun way to approach wine tasting is by conducting a blind tasting. This means that guests cannot see the label of the wines they are sampling, which can make for an exciting and engaging experience.

To set up a blind tasting, gather your wines in advance and remove their labels. Then, you can place each wine into a separate glass and arrange them on your tasting table. Guests can then choose their favorites without being influenced by the label. If you have a leader or Sommelier in the room who knows what each wine is, they can even test individuals as they taste!

If you're planning a blind tasting, be sure to have plenty of wine available. This will ensure that everyone has ample opportunity to sample the different wines and fully understand each one's flavor profile.

Keep The Party Small & Make Appropriate Purchases

When hosting a wine tasting, keeping the guest list small is essential. This will help ensure that everyone has ample opportunity to sample the wines and give their feedback. Here are some tips for appropriate wine-tasting purchases:

Limit The Number Of Guests

If you have more than 10 oz guests, you'll need to buy extra bottles of each wine to ensure that everyone gets to sample each wine. However, this can get expensive, so you should keep your guest list small to avoid over-purchasing.

Per Person Serving

How much wine should be served to each individual? For example, you could pour 12 2-ounce sips from each bottle of wine because a bottle of wine contains around 24 ounces. If you want to err on the side of caution, you can of course go with a smaller serving size to help ensure that no one has too much wine or is overwhelmed by the amount they drink.

Pouring & Tasting

For each guest, pour modest samples at first. Then, provide spit buckets for individuals who don't want to get too drunk. This will help ensure that everyone has a chance to taste the different wines and give their feedback without feeling pressured to over-indulge.

Gathering Supplies For Wine Tasting

Before your wine tasting, ensure you have all the necessary supplies. This can include different types of glasses to accommodate different varieties of wine, so be sure to do some research before your event. Some supplies you should have at your wine tasting include: 

Glassware Or Wine Glasses

Consider using stemware or even smallerwine glasses depending on the variety of wine you serve. This will help ensure that every guest experiences the flavor profile in a way that is appropriate for each wine.

Palate Cleansers 

You'll want to have palate cleansers on hand. These can be small crackers or pieces of bread that serve as an effective way to cleanse the palate in between sips. 

Spit Buckets

Give your guests a chance to dispose of excess alcohol. Some people prefer to spit or throw extra wine into a bucket during wine tastings. Although a specific spitoon is unnecessary, something opaque with high edges is more appealing.

Proper Documentation

Keep track of who's drinking which wine so you can only serve the exact wine once to different people. This will help ensure that everyone has a chance to sample each variety and fully understand its flavor profile.

Other Supplies

Of course, you'll need several other supplies for your wine-tasting party. This can include napkins, water, and other items to help keep guests comfortable and hydrated throughout the event. 

With these tips, you can easily plan and host an exciting wine-tasting event!

Amazing Food Pairings

If you're planning a wine tasting, also servedelicious food pairings. This will help bring out all the different flavors in each wine and ensure that your event is successful. Some great examples of food pairings include cheese plates, decadent desserts, and savory appetizers. Be sure to choose foods that complement the flavors of each wine so your guests can enjoy all the different combinations. Some good pairings to consider include:

  • Roasted meats with bold red wines
  • Fresh seafood with crisp white wines
  • Dark chocolate with sweet dessert wines
  • Fresh fruit with sparkling wines

Table Manners Or Setting

When arranging the wine bottles in the middle of the table, lay them next to each other so guests can quickly move from one to another. This will help ensure that everyone gets plenty of chances to sample all the different types. Most importantly, avoid laying the bottles on their sides, affecting their flavor profile.

Correct Wine Service

Hold the bottle by the base when serving wine and let guests pour their own. This will help ensure they can fill their glasses without accidents or spills. And, just like running your glass of wine, avoid tilting the bottle too much, as this can lead to excess sediment in each glass.

If you have the chance, consider arranging the wines in this sequence: bubbles, light whites, rich whites, rosés, light reds, robust reds, and dessert wines. This order will help guests understand the different flavor profiles of each wine and make it easier to navigate the table.

Choose A Superb Sommelier

Your sommelier can make or break your wine-tasting event. This expert will curate the wine list, walk your guests through the different regions, varietals and vintages, and recommend the best wines and food pairings and help guests navigate the selection at the table. 

Hire acertified sommelier knowledgeable about all wine tasting and service aspects.

Let's Throw Wine Tasting Party Together With Night Inn NYC

For a fun and elegant wine-tasting venue, visitNight Inn NYC! We offer spacious event spaces perfect for hosting tastings of all sizes. Our professional staff will help you plan the ideal event and guide guests through every step of the experience. To book your next wine-tasting party, call us today!

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