Wine Tasting Themes

wine tasting themesWhen planning a wine tasting party, fun wine tasting themes can turn your event into a much more interesting and organized affair. Thou it may not be obvious to wine beginners, there are many styles of wine tastings. Designing your party around one of these themes makes it more fun and entertaining for your guests.

When we started getting into wine and entertaining our events were a bit haphazard. Sure, they were fun! With a bunch of people drinking wines and some good conversation how could they not be? But with a bit of planning and creativity they can be so much more. They can be educational, they can be surprising and enlightening, and they can be hedonistic and they can even be intellectual. Without wine tasting themes or structure a wine tasting can loose focus with individual people carrying on their own conversations, drawing attention away from the central attraction, the great wine you are drinking! So get creative and find ways to keep your guests' attention and keep them focused on the wine.

Below are links to several articles with ideas for wine tasting themes. Get imaginative and turn your next wine tasting party into an event to remember!

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  • Dinner Party Theme
    What is wine without great food to compliment it? The theme here can be wine and food pairing ideas, comparing how certain wines go with certain dishes. Alternatively, it can be centered around a certain style of food which pairs beautifully and classically with certain types of wines. Also see our Themed Wine Dinner Party notes page which includes examples of wine dinner parties we have attended which pair a certain region's wines with their traditional cuisine.
  • Blind Wine Tastings
    Blind tasting wines, with the wine and vintage hidden from the tasters, is an educational and often humbling experience. There are many ways to make this type of tasting interesting and fun. You'd be surprised how differently people assess wines when they don't know what they are tasting ahead of time!
  • Vertical (by Producer) Wine Tasting
    A vertical wine tasting is a theme which pairs several of the same wine, from the same producer or vineyard, across several different vintages.
  • Horizontal (by Vintage) Wine Tasting
    A horizontal wine tasting is a wine tasting theme which pairs several wines from the same vintage in order to get a feel for the characteristics of wines from that vintage in a given region.
  • Grape Varietal Theme
    All wines are made from various varietals of grapes. For example, a Cabernet wine tasting might focus on wines from around the world all made from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. There are so many varietals out there that this theme can be used in many ways!
  • Wine Tasting Based on a Wine Region
    Generally, classic wine regions produce a similar style of wine throughout the region from similar grape varietals. Tasting through several different wines from a given region can be very educational and teach you a lot about that region's style. You can also make the whole feel, decoration and food of the night reflect that of the region. A great example is a Provence wine tasting, evoking the sights, aromas and flavors of the South of France. We also have example tasting notes from some of these regional wine dinner parties.
  • Wine Scoring Party
    Get your guests involved and set up some games to facilitate discussing and rating the wines! Hand out a score sheet, ask each guest to prepare a comment about each wine, you'll be surprised by the responses and how they vary.



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Other Visitors' Wine Tasting Theme Ideas

Click below to see fun wine tasting themes suggested by other visitors to this page...

Crazy Names Wine Tasting Not rated yet
For our wine tasting, each guest brought a bottle of wine that had an unusual name or was from an unusually named winery like "Funky Llama", "Instant O", …

Special occasions. Celebrate with wine. Not rated yet
I chose several imaginary people about to celebrate a special event and chose a wine suitable for that occasion.

The ideas I chose were;

A formal invitation …

Musical Wine Theme Not rated yet
It also is quite nice to bring music into the wine tasting theme. After reading a newspaper article which stated that listening to classical music whist …

AIR! I Need to Breathe! Not rated yet
We tasted four bottles of the same red wine. One was opened just before tasting, one was opened over an hour before tasting, one was opened early and …

Goldilocks Wine Tasting Not rated yet
We tasted three bottles of the same white wine at three temperatures and three bottles of a red at three temperatures--too cold, too warm, and just right. …

Favorite Wine Tasting Not rated yet
To help keep costs low, everyone is bringing one bottle of their own favorite. That is the only criteria.

I will then disguise the wines and have a …

Red, White & Sparkling Wine Tasting Theme Not rated yet
One table for each so everyone has the chance to experience all different types. I started off by using evite and asking my guests to bring along one …

Label Wine Tasting Themes 
We have held a number of wine tastings with the theme around the labels on the wine bottles. The label must have a picture or name in the chosen theme. …

Soccer World Cup Wine Tasting Not rated yet
Our Wine Club is known as " The 2 Casual Wine Club".

Recently with the Soccer World Cup in R.S.A. we chose the theme " Soccer World Cup.

The dinner …

Mediterranean wines Not rated yet
I thought it would be fun to sample the wines of nations around the Mediterranean Sea.

For those who like to play it safe with old favorites, there …

Old World versus New World Wine Tasting Not rated yet
We had a lot of fun putting this together and our guests loved it as well. It was entertaining as well as educational. Friends who tend to be Napa Valley …

Old World versus New World Wine Tasting Not rated yet
We had a lot of fun putting this together and our guests loved it as well. It was entertaining as well as educational. Friends who tend to be Napa Valley …

Celebrity Wine 
After a few years of the traditional wine tasting parties and themes, I decided to go with a Celebrity Wine theme. The brands and bottle names were Marilyn, …

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