Hosting a Wine Tasting Dinner
By Wendy VanHatten
Wine tastings with friends is a fun way to learn about different wines, discover what tastes best with each food, and enjoy an evening together.
These tips and questions may help you get started thinking how you would like to structure your first, or next, one.
How many people will be attending? Of course, this is up to you…but it is more manageable if you have five to 10 guests. This is especially true for sit down dinners. Also, think about the number and style of glassware you have. This is important if you want your guests to have the same experiences.
Is everyone on the same level of wine knowledge? Are they all aficionados or just starting to experience different wines? While that may not seem important, it is easier if most everyone can discuss the wines on the same level. No one gets lost or feels left out.
Do you need a theme? It might be helpful to tell your guests to bring a Pinot Noir, or an Italian red, or a white from Germany. That way you can taste the differences of the region or the grape. A fun way to do this is to give the bottle to the host and have him or her pour that wine into a decanter. Only that person will know what wine is in what decanter. Everyone will have different wines in front of them and be able to discuss the wines as well as guess what they are drinking. If you place small, numbered pieces of paper under each glass it’s easier to remember the order of your glasses!
Then, think about the food that compliments the type of wine. You could have several small courses in order to have a variety of tastes with the wines.
Be sure to have plenty of water for each guest as well.