To wine tasting parties

Wine tasting is not always an exercise in snobbery. With proper accompaniments and the right company, you can turn a long afternoon into an entertaining one. So, be bold, host a wine tasting party, and spread the joy.
     Print Edition: Dec 22, 2013
To wine tasting parties

Wine tasting is not always an exercise in snobbery. With proper accompaniments and the right company, you can turn a long afternoon into an entertaining one. So, be bold, host a wine tasting party, and spread the joy.

CHOOSE A THEME

Blind tasting works best if close friends are attending. This makes the atmosphere conducive to different opinions and encourages interaction. To heighten the experience, you could put some effort into the decor and flow of the event.

LOGISTICS

Number You can invite as many friends as you want to, but it is best to limit the number between 8 and 12. Prior knowledge about wines will help. Send your invites two weeks prior to the tasting since you will need to arrange for the wines in accordance with the number of people who RSVP.

Variety Keep a maximum of six-seven wines for each tasting since you do not want your guests to be overwhelmed, numbing their senses in the process. Include one or two wines that most of the guests may not have tasted before. Sequence Start with a champagne or sparkling wine, then move on to dry whites followed by fuller whites, roses, lighter reds and heavier reds.

Pairing Set out bite-sized food to be had with the wine - like crackers or crostinis. If you're serving dinner, match light whites with seafood and fuller whites with poultry. Stuffed mushrooms and duck sausage is just the thing for fullbodied reds. Pair dessert wines with fresh berries, dark chocolate or tiramisu.

Essentials Pour just one or two ounces into each glass, so your guests don't feel the need to spit. But, to be on the safer side, keep a spitting bucket handy. Place a big pitcher of water on the table and keep separate glasses of water, so your guests can cleanse their palate between drinks. Using a wine pourer effectively releases the aroma.

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