Wine tastings can be daunting at first. With these easy tips to host a wine party, your next event will be fun and fabulous. Dust off the decanter and bring out your cutest wine charms! Ladies, let’s host a wine tasting!
Wine Party Invitations
It’s important to invite the right people to your wine party. Focus on inviting not just your best girlfriends but also your wine-loving besties. Especially those interested in trying something new. You may want to include a quick wine survey with your event invitation. This will give you an idea of the various taste palates in the group.
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How to Choose the Wine for Your Wine Party
Choosing the right wine for your wine party does not have to be an intimidating affair! Wine is very diverse, exploratory, experimental and (let’s not leave out) fun. The amount of wine needed for your wine party will depend on the number of persons invited. The typical size of a tasting pour is generally 1- 2 ounces per person. Two bottles of each variety should be enough for a wine party of six to eight women. The idea is to make sure each person has enough wine to taste, (see, swirl, smell, sip, and savor) as well as a few drops leftover to enjoy after the tasting. Based on the survey from your invites, be sure to select from the four basic wine groups… White Wine, Rosé, Red Wine, and a Dessert Wine.
Try These Different Wines
- White Wine – Chardonnay is a good stater choice. If you are in the mood for adventure, try Viognier (“Vee-own-yay”). This is a delicious grape varietal native to France. In Virginia, Viognier was granted the privilege of the state’s signature grape.
- Rosé – Have fun with Rosé! This wine can be sipped sparkling or still. Either way, Rosé all day!
- Red Wine – Merlot is a very popular grape. It can be blended with other grapes or served on its own. If you are in the mood for adventure, try Cabernet Franc. With its peppery undertone, medium acidity and mouth-watering tannin, this wine will keep you warm in the winter months and satisfied during the rest of the year.
- Dessert Wine – Sherry is not just for cooking! It is primarily produced from the Palomino grapes. The wines can range from dry to very sweet. Pedro Ximénez (PX) is the sweetest, with notes of dried figs, apricots and honey. This wine pairs superbly poured over vanilla bean ice-cream or served chilled in a small glass for leisurely sipping.
The keyword to stemware is “crystal”. There is a great difference in the wine tasting experience when sipping from crystal stemware versus glass stemware. For instance, crystal wine glasses are created for swirling and twirling. The ridged edges give the perfect scene for aeration within the bowl of the stemware. Just imagine oxidizing wine, swaying in your glass, preparing an airflow of aromas bursting out of the wine goblet, awaiting an inhale of personally recognized characteristics. Stemware can change the game of wine tasting.
Snacks & Canapes
Keep it simple by selecting a few different cheeses, fruits, and crackers, as well as chocolates or ice cream for dessert. If you want to step it up a notch, try including varieties of charcuterie and pâté.
Follow these easy steps and your next wine party will be an absolute success. Above all, be sure to relax and have fun. One of the most fascinating aspects of wine is that everyone’s experience is their own. The secret to wine tasting is that there are “No” wrong interpretations. Each of our palettes are diverse. What you experience is different from another, yet the consensus is the enjoyment of sharing those thoughts with our peers, and the excitement of learning something new.
Kimberly T. Johnson is a humble Charm City Girl, born and raised on the west side of Baltimore City’s concrete jungle. She is the co-founder & co-owner Philosophy Winery, the first African American & women owned winery in the state of Maryland. Her tenure in the Maryland wine industry spans over a decade.