We’re big fans of wine tastings, and we’re also big on encouraging others to have a go at them themselves. You get to drink, party and maybe learn something too. What’s not to love?
We highly suggest arranging your own some time; it’s a rite of passage that any wine lover should go through. But if you’re thinking of taking the plunge, read through this in preparation for what to expect.
Stage 1: The Set Up
Where it all begins. And, depending on what kind of host you are, either the highlight or the worst part of the evening. All that matter here are the fundamentals. Whites in the ice bucket, reds on the bar, (or table). Canapés meticulously arranged. Deep breathes have been taken and hangover medication has been preemptively prepared. You’re good to go.
Stage 2: The Food (aka The Awkward Mingle)
This one lasts from the first arrival to a little while after the last, and every party, (not just the wine-centric ones), go through it. Everyone’s had their opening glass of prosecco, and one or two have maybe sheepishly asked for their second glass. But let’s face it; parties always suck at the start. Food helps. It’s not the focus, but it’s important; this isn’t just a booze up, it’s a wine party, the kind of soiree where people start shaking their heads if they’re not being fed. And hey, it distracts people. We can’t give you too much guidance here apart from knowing which finger foods will pair best with your selection of wines.
Stage 3: The Tasting
This is where you show off your wine bonafides. Pour it for your guests. Explain that at a wine tasting, small portions are the standard, (and don’t mention that it’s also a convenient way of saving more wine for yourself). Wait for your guests to give their tasting notes before calmly and casually shutting them down. Most importantly, demonstrate your knowledge of the grape, the vineyard and the vintage. You get to show off a little, but also, the best wine tastings are the ones where you leave feeling like you’ve learnt something as well as feeling like you’ve preemptively dropped a bomb on tomorrow morning. So yeah, it’s good for the guests too.
Stage 4: The Fun
This is the part where you can let yourself go a little and just enjoy things. You’ve poured the wines, (properly, we might add), and shown off that you know your stuff; now you can actually give in to temptation and get to the more important business of actually drinking the stuff you’ve spent the past hour introducing. One thing though; remember what we said about the food? Yeah, you’ll need to keep the food coming throughout stage four, too. All those people taking shy nibbles early on will be back, emboldened by their sixth sample of Chardonnay and ready to strike shamelessly at the snack table.
Stage 5: Damage Control
This one all depends on the type of wine party that you’re intending to throw. When people think of wine tastings they usually think of something pretty tame, but that’s not always the case. You might not be sweeping up broken glass and picking cigarette butts out of the carpet, but then again… you might be. Give people the chance to sample ten wines, and they will sample them. Trust us, we know.
If you want to make sure to impress people at your next wine tasting part, take a look at our 4 Basic Tips to Sound Like You Know About Wine (When You Don’t).