Wine Tasting Tips for a Successful Wine Tasting Party

wine tasting tips

If you've already read all the wine tasting tips in our Hosting a Wine Tasting section then you are probably well on your way to hosting a great wine tasting party or dinner party. Those basics will get the ball rolling and give you the confidence you need to jump in there and start your journey into discovering fine wine. However, there is always room to hone your hosting skills and find new ways to make your wine tastings even better. Here we will cover a few more wine tasting tips which help make the difference between a good wine tasting and a great one. These are things that just help to make sure things run smoothly and to be sure your guests are comfortable and have the best time they can.

If you are looking for tips about how to taste wine, be sure to check out our How to Taste Wine section!!!

  • Keep some theme
    This may seem obvious, but we cannot stress enough the importance of having some theme to keep your tasting cohesive and focused. While it can be fun to have an assortment of absolutely unrelated wines to taste, to get the most educational experience out of it, it helps if the wines are grouped into some sort of theme. Some examples of themes can be all wines from one wine region, or wines from the same producer from different vintages. At the very least, the wines should have one thing in common (region, grape varietal, producer, vintage, vineyard, etc.). This is more instructive in the similarities that a certain style or region produces and allows comparisons of what is similar and what is different. It is generally much better than comparing apples and oranges, as it were. You can get more ideas for themes in our Wine Tasting Themes section.
  • Score Sheets or pens and paper
    Another one of the most useful wine tasting tips is to be sure to supply pens and paper so that your guests can take wine tasting notes. This really helps get them focused and helps to put your impressions into words so that you can discuss them and compare notes easier. It can help shy people to get their thoughts out and starts conversation. Even better, supply blank wine tasting notes scoring sheets or templates so that they know what they should be looking for and it gives them a framework to evaluate the wines and rate them. For downloadable note templates check out our Wine Tasting Notes Template page.
  • Spit Bucket
    Often an after thought, having a wine spit bucket available at your tasting is one of the wine tasting tips that can make a lot of sense and is more convenient for your guests. Some people may have to drive and don't want to drink too much. Others may simply not want to finish every glass of wine for whatever reason and needs somewhere to dump their leftover wine before the next flight of wines is poured. Spitting or dumping excess wine is an absolutely acceptable and standard practice at any type of wine tasting, including wine dinner parties. If you don't have an appropriate receptacle available and prominently presented on the table your guests may be embarrassed to ask for one. Make it clear at the start by announcing what it is for and let your guests know they are all welcome to spit or dump wine at their leisure. If you have a large table it can be useful to have more than one spit bucket so that it doesn't have to be passed around. You can use a dedicated spit bucket or just any large, opaque, wide-mouthed container such as a champagne bucket.
  • Have Fun!
    Last but not least, remember to have fun! Wine tasting and hosting a wine tasting party should be fun, not stressful. So remember to relax and have a good time.

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