Hosting my first Wine Tasting Party

Over the past few years, I developed more interest in wine. Visited some good wineries out of state, tried my share of great varieties, subscribed to Wine Spectator magazine and recently attended a local wine & sweets stroll event checking out cool neighborhood wine stores and restaurants. After that last event, I was like, I could totally do this. I really want to do this so I had this is great idea to host my own wine tasting party. 

Of course, Pinterest is always a fun place for me to start gathering visuals on my ideas. I start there then make ideas into my own style. These are all pics from my party. Hope you enjoy and use some ideas to host your own! 

I decided to host a blind tasting. I chose 6 whites and 6 reds. I put together an Evite, shared with a few people in my family and had the absolute best time. My boyfriend was instrumental in helping me not only plan the event but executing on the vision and it was amazing, even better than I hoped for! We make the best team.

I covered every bottle’s label and ordered them so we would taste from white to red, light and delicate to dark and rich. I wanted people to just rely on their intial thoughts and impressions when sniffing and tasting. I didn’t want people to make assumptions based on labels. People were stumped and surprised and had a lot of fun in the process!

When people arrived, I started them off with a Mango white wine. Everyone got a small tasting glass of their own to use then take home. I made the bottoms with chalkboard paint and had people write their names with a cool white paint pen. When they left, everyone took home in a gift bag with a cute little magnet about wine. I used a “It’s wine o’clock somewhere” stamp I found at Michaels to decorate the gift bags in a red wine stain dye.

Of course, you can’t have drinks without eats. We kept it light and did snacks instead of a full meal menu. We had so much chocolate. I made chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered pretzels. There was Columbian dark chocolate and some even more delicious dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt from Trader Joe’s. Plenty of Ghirardelli milk choclate squares and a bunch of dark chocolate covered cherries. Red wine and chocolate mix great and it was delightful. 

We also had plenty of cheese — brie, smoked gouda, parmesan, apple-smoked gruyere, blue, gorgonzola, honey goat and sharp cheddar. Fruits, bruschetta, prosciutto, dips and salads. 

My brother-in-law is awesome and brought these great wine tasting note sheets. People could take notes on which wines they did and didn’t like. 

Because it was a blind tasting, I also made people guess a lot. I told them to write down what kind of wine they thought it was…Riesling, Cabernet or whatever else. They got a bonus point if they could guess who makes the wine and another bonus point if they could guess what region of the world the wine came from. My sister guessed the most right and won a bottle of champagne.

Of course, people also brought snacks and more wine including my brother-in-law’s home brew wine which was delish.  All in all, we had a great time and the party lasted until after 4am, ending with a taco run, really great conversations and lots of empty bottles. Cheers until next time!