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How to Host a Wine Tasting Party

Oftentimes, we find ourselves drinking the same variety of wine week after week. Once you find a wine you like, it’s easy to get in a rut.

But that’s exactly why hosting an elegant wine tasting party is a great excuse for gathering your favorite friends together. You can explore new varieties that would not otherwise be on your radar, giving everyone an opportunity learn a thing or two about wine at the same time.

Hosting a wine tasting party is much like hosting a simple cocktail party, but you will need to do some simple preparation. These tips should help you get ready:

Keep your wine sampling simple. We all want to showcase as many wines as possible, but the trick to a successful party is in selecting a few key varieties. About three to four wines from two different vineyards will allow your guests to make comparisons with little distraction.

Pair your food well. Consider the type of wine and the origin. For example, if you are hosting a white wine tasting, consider foods that pair well with white wine. If you are showcasing Spanish wines, opt for a Spanish food menu.

Have water on hand. Traditionally, wine tasting involves a spittoon. However, if you are going for a more relaxed tasting, be sure to offer plenty of water to cleanse the palate between tastings.

Pace your party. Allow each variety at least 30 minutes for tasting. If you plan on hosting a party for two hours, opt for four bottles of wine, if you are eager to sample five bottles of wine, extend the party to accommodate more tastings.

Provide tasting books. The beauty of a wine tasting party is in the discussion, so provide each guest with a wine tasting notebook so that they can take notes on their wine choices – it’s a great party gift and gets everyone in the spirit of trying new wines!

Complement your wine tasting with decorations to fit the theme! Choose from ideas like DIY chalkboard wine bottle, simple wine cork centerpiece, or even a wine cork snack dish!

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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