Host a Wine Tasting Party

Wine Tasting Couple

Host a Wine Tasting Party


This is the time to host a wine tasting party!  Now that social distancing guidelines are relaxing everyone is eager to get out and have fun with their friends.

This step by step guide on how to plan a tasting will guarantee everyone has a fabulous time. You don’t need to be a wine expert.  The idea is to relax with friends.

Assign each person or couple to bring a bottle of wine.  Have them cover the bottle with paper or foil for a blind tasting.  Blind tastings add intrigue to the evening.  Make the wine tasting a pot luck.  Friends will be happy to provide an appetizer, entree, or dessert.


Select a theme.  A theme will set the mood for conversation.  The tasting could focus on sampling one particular varietal of wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, or whatever you decide.  If you sample wines from a specific region or country such as Italy or France, the appetizers can also be from that region.

Since everyone is always searching for a great everyday wine, you might consider tasting wines under a certain price.  There are great wines to be found under $20, $15, or whatever amount you choose.


Do expensive wines really taste better?  An interesting take on this idea is to buy both bargain wines and more expensive wines.  Guests can be challenged to guess which wines are the bargain and which are the more expensive.

Identify the Wine.  If your guests are familiar with wine, you could provide different varitels of wine and have them guess which wine is which.  Descriptions of each varietal could be provided to assist them.



Things You Need to Throw a Wine Tasting Party

Wine Tasting Couple


One bottle of wine will serve a 2 ounce taste for up to 12 people.  Plan on tasting a total of five or six different wines during the event.  It’s overwhelming to sample too many. Serve the wine in clear wine glasses with stems.  People should be able to see the wine.  Guests should hold the glasses by the stem so that they do not affect the temperature of the wine.



judging wine


Provide pitchers of water and dump buckets. These can be used to rinse the glasses between wines and some guests may have leftover wine they want to dump.  Plain crackers should be available so tasters can cleanse their palate between wines.  Print off simple wine scoring sheets and provide pens for each guests to evaluate the wines.

Feed Your Guests

food for a wine party


It’s a good idea to feed your guests when they first arrive.  You don’t want them drinking wine on an empty stomach.  Avoid strong flavored foods that will interfere with the flavors of the wine.  This means no spicy foods, strong-flavored cheeses, or salty dishes (although they can be served after the tasting of the wines is concluded).



Wine Tasting Dos

white wine red wine


White wines should be chilled two to three hours in the refrigerator before serving.  Red wines can be served at room temperature, but you could put them in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.  Remove from the refrigerator an hour before serving to open and let them decant.




blind wine tasting


Number wines in the order you want to taste them.  White wines should be tasted before red wines.  Light wines go before heavy wines and dry wines before sweet wines.  However, don’t stress over this.  Everyone will be having fun and won’t even notice if the order isn’t perfect.



Take time to discuss the wines.  Ask each guests to share their thoughts about the wines.  Serve dessert, beverages, or even additional wine for your friends to enjoy after the tasting is over.   I bet your friends will have a blast and be eager to come again next time you host a wine tasting party.




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Comments (2)

  • Eli Richardson Reply

    It really helped when you talked about wine-tasting parties and how to organize one. Recently, my wife and I decided it’d be fun to throw a small reunion with our best friends. We want to add some wine to the mix, and your article will definitely help us out. Thanks for the advice on getting different types of wines for our party!

    August 24, 2021 at 2:39 PM
    • Steve Howe Reply

      I hope your wine tasting was a success and that you will do many more!

      August 4, 2022 at 1:40 AM

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