ASE subscribers have lamented that a few of their favourite imported wines (particularly from Australia and New Zealand) are tough to seek out and they’re in search of options. Many have steered that we write about wines from unfamiliar vineyards being advisable by native wineshops. As a result of we’re at all times prepared to serve our readers, Nancy and I’ve begun tasting new wines and it bought me excited about find out how to host a wine tasting occasion. Listed below are some strategies.
What do you wish to get out of the wine tasting occasion? Listed below are some concepts.
Select a champagne to serve at a marriage reception (my genius mom did this and it resulted in a beautiful first assembly for the in-laws).
Discover a new ‘home’ wine when your stand-by turns into costly or onerous to seek out.
Discover regional wines upfront of journey – French Burgundies? Argentinian Malbecs? South African Pinotage?
Embrace the blends. I attended a tasting in Argentina at a good friend’s winery the place we provided our responses to completely different blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot. Yum.
You might select one wine selection like Sauvignon Blanc and take a look at wines from completely different areas – California, New Zealand and South Africa. Do you know that Pouilly Fume is the French cousin of Sauvignon Blanc?
You might select to strive solely natural wines.
Choose a theme.
We’re approaching summer time, so I’m excited by Rosés and there are such a lot of pink selections. Construct in your theme by adorning the tasting desk, selecting meals and a particular location to move your friends. In your backyard, early summer time night, picnic fare and cheeses? Earlier than a marriage bathe, think about a theme of pink champagnes and Proseccos with friends wearing pink to have fun love.
Create a wine checklist.
Your native wine store can advise you or give your friends the wine selection you may be tasting and ask each to carry a bottle.
Inventory your ‘cave’ with sufficient wine.
On common, you need to plan to supply about two glasses of wine per particular person – though you recognize your mates and can be capable to estimate their capability. A 2-ounce pour of every wine is normal for tastings – and there are about 24 ounces of wine in a regular 750 ml bottle. Friends are likely to sip ‘small’ with every wine after which re-taste the wines they like. Be ready in your friends to discover a favourite wine and ask for a full glass. My native wine retailer will permit me to purchase additional bottles and return them if they aren’t the favorites. Have not less than three wines for friends to style, 5 is okay, however don’t confuse them with too many selections – that is imagined to be enjoyable, not work.
Conceal the labels.
Blind tasting lets your friends put their palettes and their sophistication on the road and provides a component of competitors.
Disguise the labels on the wine bottles and change them with a quantity, letter, or identify you make up in order that friends can distinguish their favorites. Your native wine retailer might provide you with lengthy, slim wine baggage – particularly if you’re shopping for the wines. Put every bottle in a bag and tie it up with a special shade ribbon to differentiate them. Tinfoil wrapped round every bottle with colourful ribbons or labels works.
Specialists will inform you that worth and pleasure usually are not essentially associated on the subject of wine. Wouldn’t or not it’s enjoyable to find an affordable wine that everybody loves?
Serve the wines at their finest.
Ensure the wines are on the appropriate temperature.
Bubbles 40-45 levels, whites 40-50 levels, and reds 55-65 levels.
Take a look at tools (devices) in addition to the wine.
Get an aerator and decant ½ of a bottle right into a decanter and the opposite half of the identical bottle by way of an aerator. See if friends can inform the distinction. Wine Aerator, $13.99.
This video will introduce you to wine tasting techniques and aid you information your friends.
Meals performs a supporting position.
Meals needs to be easy and add to the theme. If you’re tasting mild Rosés, select summer time meals that can transport your friends to heat breezes and vineyards. My native wine retailer is useful in suggesting meals that can pair effectively with my wine. This ASE article has sites that suggest pairings of wine and food.
Have skilled recommendation available – with Wine-Searcher.
If you’re offering the wines, you possibly can analysis them forward of time. In case your friends carry bottles, be ready to look them up.
You’ll need a number of glasses for every visitor. These needs to be clear in order that they’ll consider shade and readability. Rental is an efficient choice.
Have a ‘dump bucket’ prepared. Sure, it’s what you suppose. Friends might wish to spit out wines they don’t favor or savor.
Palate cleansers are a should – crackers, bread, and water.
Decanters are optionally available however elegant. Rental is an choice.
Make it straightforward for friends to maintain observe of their reactions to the wines. Wine Tasting Notes make it straightforward for friends to file their preferences. You may print this scorecard for $4 with prompts like look, aroma, style and end.
Obtain and print these wine tasting placemats totally free. They’ve classes like fruit, flower, spice, and earth.
Wine-themed cocktail napkins.
Twenty 5” x5” Napkins for $14.69
Fifty 5” square napkins, $14.95.