Wine tasting is a favorite pastime for many people. No matter what occupation you have or what corner of this vast country you find yourself in, wine is something that you can readily and easily find, as well as enjoy. With at least one winery in every state in the United States, you can expect to be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding your new favorite drink.
At the same time, there are some people out there who enjoy attending wine tasting events. Clubs and organizations exist for the purpose of bringing like-minded individuals together to share their love of wine while trying new bottles that they might not have previously explored.
While some of these events canceled in 2020 due to the impacts of the pandemic, we feel confident that some people reading this and beyond are eager to make the most of the return of these events. At the same time, there will be others who are a bit more apprehensive about a rushed return to something like this.
Hosting your own wine tasting event in the comfort of your own home will ensure you can still enjoy the same experience you would usually, but minimizing your chances of becoming unwell or in contact with too many people at once.
Read on to discover more in our detailed how-to guide on hosting your own wine tasting event at home.
First Things First
It would help if you made a note of several things when planning your own wine tasting evening before getting into the thick of it further down the line. For the most part, you should make a conscious effort to ensure this is an adults-only event.
With the legal drinking age in America as 21, you should ensure that anyone taking part in your event – whether a family member or friend – is over this threshold. At the same time, consult individual state laws if you have someone under this age in attendance to determine whether they are able to take part with parental consent.
Once you have determined who will be in attendance and put measures in place to accommodate for those attending, nothing stops you from considering aspects of the following point.
What Are You Going to Need?
Apart from the obvious, you are going to need some more specific pieces of equipment for hosting your wine tasting event. Knowing exactly what it is that you will need to host a successful evening, and purchasing these pieces of equipment well in advance, will minimize the chances of anything going wrong on the day in question.
You will need to have enough wine glasses for those who will be attending your wine tasting event. For the most part, and is advised from organizations who run these events regularly that you have a separate wine glass for white wine versus red. The shapes of the glasses are slightly different and will enable you to get a better taste of the wine without the risk of mixing.
At the same time, you will need necessary pieces of equipment or utensils for safely opening and storing the bottles of wine. This includes a corkscrew and a means for keeping your bottles cool and upright when not in use.
Consider what you will be offering your guests that compliment the wine you will be tasting. This includes any food pairings that are generally enjoyed with certain types of wine. If you are hosting a themed wine tasting night, opting for foods from your chosen cuisine is another great way to implement this further.
Once you have established these logistical elements of hosting your wine tasting event, you are free to decide precisely what wines you are going to offer your guests. This takes us to the next point, which could be seen as the main event if you asked us!
What Wine Will You Offer?
This could be viewed as the all-important question that needs answering when hosting an event like this. With thousands of different brands on the market, you are truly spoiled for choice! When hosting a wine tasting event, the general rule of thumb is to offer between eight and ten bottles of wine. Offering your guests two or three white wines and six or seven red wines is also recommended.
In terms of what types of wine you should offer your guests, nothing stops you from choosing any favorites that you might have. At the same time, these types of events are ideal when you want to branch out from your usual tastes and explore the plethora of different wines out there.
The varying types of choice that you are available for you to bring to the table include the following:
- Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir is one of the favorable red wines out there, so it should naturally be included in your plans for a wine tasting evening. A dry wine originating from the Burgundy area of France and in areas of Oregon, you can expect this particular choice to go down well. This red wine is ideal when paired with duck, salmon and other associated dishes. Unlike its counterparts, Pinot Noir should be drunk within five years of purchase.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: Another popular red wine choice, this particular wine is another dry option, but one that is drunk in a variety of locations; think a glass of wine on the sofa with your partner or while out and about with your friends at your favorite restaurant. Popular with those who collect wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, also known affectionately as Cab Sav, can be kept in a wine cellar for up to 10 years. Usual Wines and other reputable organizations offer insightful guides on best storing Cabernet Sauvignon and other wines. Head to their website to find out more.
- Sauvignon Blanc: Another highly popular wine choice, Sauvignon Blanc offers drinkers a fruity wine that can either be dry or sweet, depending on the grape that was used. Cheese, green vegetables and certain seafood – such as Oysters – are ideally paired with Sauvignon Blanc, so make sure to have something like this on the menu for your guests! Much like other popular wine choices, this originates from France’s South-Western regions and can also be produced in wineries across California and New Zealand.
- Pinot Grigio: This particular wine is thought to be a mutant clone of the Pinot Noir family but offers varying tastes than that of the Noir grape species. The second most popular white wine in America can be enjoyed on a warm summer’s day with friends or a rainy day at the dinner table. Salads, chicken and seafood, and a range of pasta and risotto dishes are thought to be ideally paired with this wine choice.
We hope you have enjoyed this piece about hosting your own wine-tasting event and are leaving us feeling inspired about what you will have to do moving forward to make yours a success. Taking on board the information from this piece while utilizing other resources will make sure that you, and in extension, your guests, will have an enjoyable evening together.
As the world returns to some sort of normality, use your own wine tasting event as a stop-gap before heading to those held by varying organizations.