Last Updated: Jul 29, 2016
Wine tasting parties continue to serve as one of the best ways to celebrate a special occasion or host a ‘just because’ gathering. Explore a variety of wine tasting party ideas below that will help you host a memorable event.
Wine Tasting Party Themes
Wine tasting party themes are all about curating the type of wines you’d like to serve. Instead of themed décor, your goal is to choose a theme that ties your choice of wine together. You want your invitees to leave your party having learned something new about wine, all while having an unforgettable time. Simplify your party preparation by selecting a wine tasting party theme below to go with your wine party invitations.
Blind Wine Tasting: Turn your wine tasting party into a game by having guests enjoy their wine using a blindfold. Ask participants to then guess which type of wine they’re drinking, along with the region and year for increased difficulty. Alternatively, you can also wrap each wine bottle in foil or gift wrapping paper to conceal the wine’s identity.
Vintage Wines: Host a vintage wine tasting party in which you choose 1 wine brand and type. After you’ve chosen your featured wine, do your best to find as many vintage bottles of that same wine as possible. Guests will enjoy challenging themselves to taste the difference in each year that you collect. If you can find at least 5 vintage versions of the selected wine, your party planning will be easy.
Local Wines: Celebrate local wine businesses and invite your friends over to taste wine from local wineries. This is a fun wine party theme that connects you with local wines that you may not find in your grocery store. You can supply guests with to-go cards where they can find each wine that’s featured at your soiree.
Wines by Price: Choose 3-4 wines and buy different priced bottles for each type of wine. Make sure the prices are significantly different to experience the full purpose of this theme. Have guests drink different glasses of the same type of wine and guess which wine is more expensive. We guarantee that a few of your guests will leave your wine tasting party in shock.
Variety: If you’re looking to educate yourself and invited friends on the different types of wines that exist, this is the perfect theme for you. Choose a variety of wines to serve and make sure the various types are clearly labeled for guests. You can even write small descriptions for each wine to reinforce the flavors and characteristics associated with the wine.
Regional Wines: Hone in on one region for curating your wine selection such as Napa Valley or Sonoma. You can serve a variety of wines as long as they’re from one region so your guests can get an idea of what a specific region has to offer. Alternatively, plan an outing with your wine party invitees to tour an actual winery and taste wine straight from the barrel. If you have an invite list of more than 20, this is an easy solution for wine tasting.
How to Host a Wine Tasting Party
Wine tasting parties are all about the details. There are a few ways to enhance how your guests taste wine by following these simple tips on what to provide your guests with. As the hostess, you’ll be leading the way with helping your guests to properly consume wine and make the most of their experience. Follow these wine tasting party tips to make your party a success:
- Supply Water: Stock your table with plenty of water pitchers so guests can cleanse their palette in between wine types.
- Make Food Accessible: Always scatter hors d’oeuvres throughout the entire wine tasting table where guests are sitting. Avoid an isolated food table since guests will likely use bread and crackers to cleanse their palette in between wine tasting.
- Avoid Fragrances: Keep all noses focused on your wines by avoiding florals and candles in your décor plans. Your tablescape shouldn’t have any conflicting smells.
- Label all Wines: Make sure wines are labeled according to your wine party theme. For instance, you may want to include the year of the wine if your wine tasting theme focuses on vintage selections.
- Provide Small Buckets: Provide guests with small buckets so they can pour out wine remnants before moving onto their next glass. It’s important to remember that some guests will enjoy certain wines more than others.
- Keep white wines chilled to 45-50ºF.
- Serve red wines at room temperature.
How to Serve Wine
In order to host a successful wine tasting party, you should guide guests on which wines to consume first so they’re able to enjoy each glass. You should always begin with lighter wines and end with the bolder wines if you’ve chosen to serve a variety of different wines. Pour 2 ounces of wine per glass for each guest and follow this order below to make sure guests preserve their taste palette as they go:
- Sparkling wines
- Light/Dry white wines
- Bold/Fuller white wines
- Rosé wines
- Light red wines
- Bold and high alcohol red wines
- Sweet wines
While guests are working through your line-up of wine, provide them with cards in which they can rate each wine and remember which types they enjoyed best.
Wine Tasting Party Food Ideas
A party like this always calls for food. Supply guests with plenty of gourmet cheeses, crackers, vegetables, bruschetta, cured meats, grapes, nuts, and bitter chocolate. You can explore which cheeses go best with certain wines if you want to focus on wine and cheese pairing. Whether you choose to do research or go with your favorite cheese types, be sure to label each cheese. The aforementioned items are all foods that taste great while balancing your palette, which is key for a successful wine tasting party. Make sure guests are aware that you’ll be serving only hors d’oeuvres on the invitation so they don’t come to the party with an empty stomach.
Wine Glass Party Favor Ideas
As a parting gift, consider giving your guests a customized wine glass as a charming party favor. This is an ideal gift for groups of 15 or less that allows you to personalize your wine tasting experience a little more. You can customize your wine glass party favor with the guest’s initials or use a humorous saying about wine to make your gift standout. Wine tasting parties are perfect for celebrating bridal showers, engagements, bachelorette festivities, birthday parties, Mother’s Day and more. These are special occasions where loved ones will appreciate the style, customization, and functionality of your wine glass party favor. Pair your favor with gourmet chocolate to complete your favor bags.
Whether this party is dedicated to an honoree or you’re rounding up an old group of friends from college or high school, wine tasting parties can breed some of the best conversation. They can occur year-round, indoors or outdoors, and don’t require an expensive budget for decorations. You just need good friends, good food, and good wine. Try combining any of these wine tasting party ideas with cocktail party ideas for larger occasions.