Now that the holidays are behind us, we either want to hibernate or continue the festivities. A wine tasting party could be the best of both worlds allowing everyone a chance to recap their experiences or visit with those they might have missed.
1. Invite as many as you’d like, just be prepared with the proper amount of score cards, brown bags, wine glasses and palette cleansers.
2. Choose a wine variety—be general or very specific. For example: just reds or California merlots under $15. How about just bottles received as hostess gifts?
3. As guests arrive, hide their wine in numbered bags and be sure no one else knows the numbers.
4. Hand out score cards. They can be generic with a 1-10 rating, 1=hate 10=love, but half the entertainment can be making it fun. For example, 1=wouldn’t cook mutton with it, 10= would trade my hybrid for a case! Make sure guests write their name on the card too. Hint: have scorers write in the total number of bottles being sampled. This way if you planned for 10 and only 8 arrived, guests won’t be looking for 2 non-existent bottles.
5. Make sure plenty of wine glasses are available—water and some light snacks to cleanse the pallet too. Choose foods wisely since some can effect the taste of the wine and result in undeservedly low scores. Have stainless bowls or wine buckets on hand for unwanted pourings—and let the tasting begin!
6. Take your time and smell the bouquets.
7. When everyone’s done, any bottles that are not empty can be consumed. Be sure to run over to your favorite number and get a glass!
8. Collect the cards and tally the numbers.
9. Announce the top 3 labels and award wine bearers with small gifts like a wine opener or decanter.
10. Return the score cards to each guest and email the list of wines the next day so they can track down what they liked.
Thanks to adam, store manager lincoln park, for this submission.