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3 Steps to Hosting a Wine Tasting

3 Steps to Hosting a Wine Tasting

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New Wines = Great Excuse to Host a Wine Tasting

Travis and I invited a couple of friends over to try out some of the wines we ordered from Along with wanting to try new wines, we thought it would be fun to spend some time with friends and hear their thoughts on the wine too. We’re not wine experts (yet), so it’s always interesting to hear other people’s takes.

It was a small gathering, as several friends got sick right beforehand and couldn’t make it. If I’ve learned anything since being a parent, getting sick from your kids or even wonky weather definitely happens all of the time. I’m glad the evening worked out and it was a lot of fun. So, follow these 3 steps to preparing your home for a wine tasting.

Step 1: The Set Up

The night before I wrapped each bottle of wine in brown paper and tied a letter tag on the bottle. We wanted to do the tasting blind so that we would get more honest reactions to the different types of wines. It was also really fun to wonder what we were drinking. Is it a Pinot Noir? Is it not? As we wondered, we had a tasting card I created to rank each wine. The night before is also a good time to wash your wine glasses and get those ready to go.

The day of the wine tasting, I did the usual clean-up of the house. I moved the table to the side of the dining room (against the wall) to make more room. I put a table cloth and runner down to make it a bit fancier. Then, I set up a card table with a matching table cloth for our coaster craft.

I put out all the materials for the coaster craft and made a few samples to get the creative juices flowing. I also put out some wine glass markers so that friends could write their names or creative sayings on their wine glasses to mark them as their own.

Wine Tasting Score Card

Step 2: The Food and Wine

I wanted to keep things simple for the party and keep the focus on the wine, so I just did a simple cheese and cracker tray. I also put out some grapes since I had them. Presentation is key here, so pull out your favorite trays and arrange them nicely. Set out cocktail napkins and small plates and then you are all set!

It is also a good idea to open any red wines about an hour before your guests arrive so that they have time to breathe. This is also NOT a good time to discover that you mistakenly put a red wine in the fridge and left a white wine out on the table all day! Oops! Pop that white wine in the freezer for a bit and take that red out right away!

Step 3: Enjoy Your Company!

As your guests begin to arrive, invite them to make a coaster or decorate a wine glass while waiting for everyone to arrive. This is also a good time to grab a snack and show your friends the wine tasting card. We used this score card to rate all the wines and gather opinions about the wine.

Once everyone arrives, pour a small tasting for each guest. I suggest starting with your red wines, as it will be easier to switch to whites from reds, instead of the other way around.

Coast to Some Wine Tasting Fun

Make your own coasters. Trust me. You’ll watch your friends laugh and have fun as they think of their own clever phrases. Then, everyone gets to take theirs home and have it be a good reminder of, “Let’s do that again!”

What would you put on your coaster? Would it be something funny or perhaps your inner artist will pop out? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

You’ve heard of wine painting, so now, you can be equally as creative with your wine tasting coasters. Cheers!

Wine Insider Review

If you want to find out how we felt about these wines, check out our Winey Parent review on Wine Insiders.

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