If you are thinking about a theme or idea for a small dinner party, consider a wine tasting event. This is an elegant way to entertain a small number of friends and is something different from the norm.
If you have never hosted one or attended one, consider some of the following advice.
First, plan the guest list. Since these are normally fairly small events you want to make sure the guests you invite all are either friends or will have something in common and enjoy each other’s company. Inviting friends that have a love of wine is something that should be considered since the event is really centered around the different wines being served.
Next, decide on the wines you want to taste. These could be in a theme or your own selection. If you want to use a theme, consider all one color, or type, for example, a cabernet tasting or perhaps all one label or winery.
The next thing to think about is the food items. You want to pair the food with the wines you will be tasting not the other way around. There are several sites online you can research for the best pairings. Check out Tuscany Tonight’s site for a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know. Consider printing or creating a score sheet for the tasting so your guests can keep track of the wines and their opinions.
Think about and plan how you will be serving the wine. Do they need to be chilled, kept at room temperature, how will they be poured, from the bottle, or a decanter. Don’t forget about the glasses since different wines do better in a different type of glass and the shape of the glass can affect the taste of the wine.
For each of the wines being offered, have something briefly printed out about the wine, the region or the label so the guests have some background and history of the wine. If this is the first tasting your guests have attended, give an introduction and short lesson on the methods of tasting, what they should be looking for and how to rate.
While some take wine tasting very seriously, try to have fun and enjoy the company and the wine. Don’t create an atmosphere that is too stuffy and formal or you will make your guests feel uncomfortable. For a party favor think about giving each guest a gift of a bottle of wine, wine glass or even a book on wine tasting as a party favor.
The idea is to have fun, enjoy the company of others and hopefully learn about some new wines and find new favorites.