We are very lucky this week to have Vicki Elam as our expert on how to throw a wine tasting party that will be talked about for weeks after it is thrown. Vicki is a blogger, Chapter Director for Southern Oregon Tasters Guild, social media expert, and wine enthusiast. She has recently become an educator of wine with Vino Virtuoso; teaching about wine through classy, educational wine tastings in homes and offices. Her goal is to change the fact that 80% of wine consumers admit they don’t know enough about wine.
This week we have solid tips on how to put together a wine tasting event in your home or office so that everyone has a great time.
How to Throw an UH.MAY.ZING Blind Tasting:
First, you need to figure out how many people you want to have at your party. While in most cases the more people you invite the more fun you will have, Vicki suggests, “Lean towards a small intimate group of 8-10 [people].”
Then once your invites are out it is time to pick the wine that you will be serving to your guests. There are a few important points to consider when choosing your wine:
* How many bottles of wine will you provide
* What types of wine will you provide
* How much should you spend on each bottle of wine:
In terms of the amount of wine you should plan to get one bottle for each person that comes to the party. This does not mean that each person will drink an entire bottle, but you still need to have enough variety for each person to try.
Another suggestion for the selection of wine is, “feature at least 2 reds, 2 whites and 2 blushes. People have different tastes and to make an event successful you must cater to everyone’s tastes.”
Finally, when considering how much you are spending on the wine think about what the total cost will be to put this party on. Vicki never spends more then $10 for any given bottle of wine. You want your guests to have a good time, but you don’t want to break the bank at the same time.
Now it’s time to pick something to eat with the wine. There are books and websites devoted to the art of pairing food with wine, but you don’t need to be a scholar to figure it out. Chocolate pairs well with most red wines, and depending on the type of chocolate you provide, a unique twist to the tasting experience can be added.
A fun idea is to have a board game that everyone can play after they have gone through the initial tasting of the wine. Your guests will most likely find a wine they like the best and stick with it. There is nothing like playing a game while enjoying a new wine you just discovered at a tasting party.
One Final suggestion is to throw an actual blind tasting event. Each guest puts on a blindfold and is handed a different glass of wine. They are not told anything but to first smell the wine and then taste it. This forces people to step outside of their comfort zone and try things without having the chance to judge it before they even smell the wine. If you have a box of truffles you could even have them try a truffle after their wine while still being blindfolded.
Throwing a wine tasting party is a great way to spend time with friends and family, and to introduce people to wine they would have never otherwise tried. If you have any other tips, suggestions, or experiences from putting on a wine tasting of your own or going to one please share with us. Our charitable program loves wine, and loves to talk about it through social media. You can learn more about what we do by liking us on Facebook or following our tweets on Twitter.