How To Host A Wine Tasting Party
Written by Alyson Aiello on July 17, 2017
Interested in hosting a wine tasting party at home? You may be wondering what you need to know and do to make the event a success. Asking someone who’s been there, done that, and done it well is a great way to prep for your own upcoming party.
And, you’re in luck! I spoke with Missa Cappozo, one of our top Wine Guides, to see how she would suggest planning for and hosting an event. Missa, who has led hundreds of successful wine tasting parties, has a pretty good idea what it takes to plan a lively, fun event. Take a look at her tips and see how easy it is!
Hosting A Wine Tasting Party: What’s Involved?
Missa says there are three key things to ask yourself before you host a wine tasting party at home.
1. Do you love hosting parties?
This one may seem fairly obvious, but it’s more important than you realize. The first key to a fantastic wine tasting event is to make your guests feel welcome. That means being excited for and involved with the event beforehand, and then being willing to open your home and have a great time on the day of the party.
2. Are you excited to learn more about wine?
If you want to host a memorable wine tasting party, you should have an interest in learning more about wine! And, your guests should have a healthy curiosity, too. Be prepared to do more than just drink wine together—be prepared to learn about wine varietals, learn how to pair wine with food, and how to taste wine. A wine tasting party is an opportunity to create an experience that beats the average get-together, because you and your guests will make memories while learning something new together!
3. Do you have a wine education resource?
You may have access to your local wine store’s wine director, who can provide some general guidance, or you may have a great how-to-taste-wine book on hand, but for an even livelier event (that’s hands-off for you!), you may want to invite a professional guide to conduct your wine tasting. An educated, personable guide to lead your group of friends through the wines you’ve picked out is indispensable and allows you to enjoy the experience right along with your guests.
This is exactly what Traveling Vineyard Wine Guides do! Wine Guides are in charge of educating guests on the product and the experience, so you as the host can enjoy time with your friends or family instead of stressing out about what pairs well with what. To find a Wine Guide for your tasting, just click here!
How To Prepare For A Wine Tasting Party At Home
Ready to host the perfect wine tasting party? Here’s what’s involved:
- Think about what kind of wine tasting you’d like to host. Perhaps you want to learn to taste and pair with a simple menu of light snacks, or maybe you want to create a theme around your tasting, such as a Halloween candy tasting or a brunch tasting. Missa suggests creating a theme for wine pairings based on what you love. Some of her favorites include cheese and chocolate, holiday and seasonal wine tastings, cookie swaps, Taco Tuesdays, and—for the very fancy—five-course dinners!
- Invite a small-to-medium-sized group of friends whom you know enjoy wine and would like to learn more about it. Set a date on the calendar and text, call, email, or send evites to your guests. Consider setting up a Facebook event where you can share updates or even invite guests to share questions about that they’d love to have answered at the wine tasting. Don’t forget to send a reminder the day of the event. Decide on the length of your event. According to Missa, a good length of time for a wine tasting party at home is anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours. This length gives you time to try the wines, discuss them, and of course, enjoy them!
- Choose your wines! Visit your local wine store and find out which wines are trending, or ask about lesser known varietals that might be interesting to your guests. For a complete no-hassle event, a Traveling Vineyard Wine Guide will choose five bottles for your guests to taste and he or she will bring them at no cost to you!
- If your wine tasting is being hosted by a Traveling Vineyard Wine Guide, connect with your them about what you want your event to be like. As the host, you can choose food items from a master list to pair with wine, or you can go with a theme. Events can be as simple or as elegant as you want.Then, let your Wine Guide know what you’ve decided and she will do the rest of the preparations, including picking the perfect wines.
What To Do The Day Of The Event
Finally, it’s the day of your wine tasting! Don’t be nervous; preparing for your event is simple.
- Tidy up your house and get dishes and glasses ready. But don’t stress! It’s okay if your house isn’t perfect—your guests will be having so much fun they won’t notice the basket of toys in the living room or the messy closet. The wine will get all the attention!
- Put your chosen food pairings out buffet-style. Whether you cook the food yourself, have it catered, or run to the grocery store for pre-packaged snacks is totally up to you. As far as seating goes, people typically enjoy their wine tasting at a dining table, on a patio, or in a living room—anywhere with enough seating and plenty of places for wine glasses.
- Chill and prep the wine. If your event is being conducted by a Wine Guide, he or she will take care of all the wine legwork! They’ll even demonstrate how to open wine, aerate wine, and more.
Final Tips For a Perfect Wine Tasting Party
Tip #1: Leave It To A Pro
A Traveling Vineyard Wine Guide will do the introductions and get the wine tasting event started. He or she will walk the group through the four steps of wine tasting; give tips and tricks about the world of wine; teach you about aging, storing, and temperature; and (the most fun part) how to pair wine with the proper foods. Your job as the host is simply to relax! The Wine Guide will provide education, entertainment and a phenomenal time.
Tip #2: Have Fun
According to Missa, the more involved a host is, the more successful the event. When hosts share their excitement and communicate their enthusiasm with guests, the positive energy is contagious! Remember, it’s wine. Your party should be fun and laughter-fueled—anything but stuffy!
That’s it! repairing for and hosting a wine tasting party doesn’t need to be complicated. These simple steps will ensure your event is a memorable one—and one you look forward to hosting again and again with new themes, new foods, and new wines! Ready to schedule your wine tasting party? Just click here to get a date on the calendar!