Pick a theme:
1. Think of the time of year you are throwing the party – sipping a powerful Cabernet outdoors in mid-August might be less enjoyable than, say, an exploration of crisp, chilled Pinot Gris.
2. Focus on a particular region — Cochise County, Santa Maria, Central Coast, Napa, France or Italy, for example. Or focus on a particular varietal grown in different regions to taste differences in territories and style.
How much to purchase?
As a general rule of thumb and 2 bottles of each varietal;
Taste = 2oz pour
1 - 750ml bottle = 12 2oz pours
Standard glass of wine = 5oz
1 - 750ml bottle = 5 glasses
Serving wines at their optimal temperature allows for guests to taste the wine varietals at their best.
White Wines: Serve between 45 and 50°F
If white wine is served too cold, flavors and aromas will be masked. Too warm and they become flat. We suggest chilling white wine for 45 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
Red Wines: Serve between 55 and 65°F
Red wine tends to seem excessively tannic and acidic if served too cold. Too warm, they will become overly alcoholic and lifeless. We suggest chilling room-temperature bottles for 10-15 minutes in the refrigerator prior to serving.
Ideally, the guests would have one glass for each type of wine varietal being served. Since we all don’t have an extra supply of glasses, it is perfectly fine to provide one red and one white wine glass to each guest. You could even provide just one glass; opt for one that has a wide bowl and narrow rim.
In addition, we suggest providing water to clean the palette in between tastings and an optional dump bucket in case a guest is not in favor of a particular varietal.
Providing a Wine Scorecard is also a great way for guests to interact with the wine tasting experience and to keep note of the wines they preferred.
Small bites:Encourage the guests to nibble on neutral crackers throughout the wine tasting to help cleanse the palette.
Afterward, when everyone is enjoying a full glass of their choice, allow the guests to try wine and cheese pairings along with a few additional snacks that compliment the wine as well.
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