10 Tips to Hosting a Wine Tasting Party

     Are you planning to throw a wine tasting party, but quite lost on where to begin? You might be happy to find these simple and easy tips that will help you pull off a fun gathering with friends while savoring perfectly paired choices.

1. The very first thing you have to get down when preparing for a wine tasting party is the number of people you are expecting. This gives you an estimate of the number of bottles to prepare. You also need to plan whether you would have a stand-alone tasting, so that you can have your guests simply focused on the wines, or you could also have dinner or snacks along with it.

2. Preparing the area is just as important when hosting a wine tasting. Yes, environmental manipulation is good, but you have to ensure that you steer clear from overpowering smells of perfumes, flowers or scented candles.

3. The order of serving wines is also very important. It is a general understanding that there are some tastes that can alter our palates. Usually, this is created by very strong flavours. So in serving your wine, it is best that you start with something light and go for bolder tastes as you go along. Wines with lighter alcohols should go before those with higher alcohol levels. And old world wines would do best when given before new world wines. Here is an example of a wine serving order.

4. In a wine tasting party, the first glass should be considered the ice breaker or an aperitif. The likes of Prosecco or Champagne will certainly do well in starting up the party. People often respond well with a glass of bubbly.

5. The next thing to tackle is how much wine you should prepare for each guest. For a bottle of wine, each guest can have half a glass for the tasting. So for the entire tasting, each guest should have a total of over half a bottle for all the wines tasted. It is good to have two glasses for each guest. One for tasting and another for drinking later on.

6. The temperature of your wine upon serving is also equally important. This can enhance or dull out the taste and aroma of the wine. Generally, a wine that has a high alcoholic content is best cooled down. If a wine lacks flavour, it is best that you warm it up.

Here is a simple reminder that you can follow:
- Sparkling wine (Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Cremant, etc) – Best served ice cold. Place the bottle in the freezer an hour before opening.

- White wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Reisling, etc.) - It is best to be reminded that the lighter the wine, it is better to serve it cold. Wines that are grown in oak barrels are best served warmer.

- Light Red (Pinot Noir, Zinfandel Burgubdy, Grenache, etc.) - These wines tend to be fruitier, so to balance the taste it is best to place it in the fridge for 30 minutes before opening.

- Rich Red (Merlot, Shiraz, Rioja, Bordeaux) – These wines have more tannins to them, and they are more savoured under warmer temperatures.

But to avoid having to run to the fridge to maintain wines that needs to be served cold, you can prepare an ice bucket in your tasting area.
7. It is also good to have different glasses for white and red wines for each of the guests. Remember that the shape and size of these glasses can also affect the taste. You can even go for preparing a set of glasses for each wine depending on the number of guests present. Expect to prepare a number of glasses, and you might want to get a spit bucket as well.

8. If you do plan to serve food with your wine, always remember to pair your wines accordingly. Red meats are best paired with red wines, and those with meat work well with white wines. However, there are also some exceptions to this rule.

9. In wine tasting, you can either go for blind tasting or you could give your guests cards on which to rate or give notes on the wines they have tasted.

10. If you want your wine tasting event to have a cohesive taste, you can go for a theme. For example, you can choose wines that all come from a certain region or time. This will help you narrow down your choices and plan out your list easily.

These cover the basics of a wine tasting party and it is always subject to your creativity. But do make sure that you only put the spotlight on the wine. Decorations, foods and your setting should only be there to further enhance the wine tasting experience. Truly, wine tastings are one of the exciting get togethers that you can throw.

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The Standish offers a collection of unique labels of vintage wines, spirits and liquors from around the world for the enthusiasts. For more information about us, please visit www.thestandish.com.sg/ .

Posted on 2014-07-23, By: *

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