HOSTING A WINE TASTING PARTY + FREE PRINTABLES
A couple weeks ago I threw a wine tasting soirée with a few girlfriends. It was so much fun! By the end of the night everyone was laughing and the conversation was flowing... of course the wine definitely helped! It far exceeded my expectations and we received so many compliments on our set up.
I've wanted to host a wine tasting party for awhile now and I'm so glad we finally did it! With the actual tasting, we had an activity to get everyone involved. We got to try a variety of wines and did I mention the cheese?! Yes, cheese and finger foods are not only easy to provide but recommended at a party like this. This is perfect because we didn't have to spend a lot of time cooking. The best part is you don’t have to be a wine specialist to pull off a wine tasting party like a pro. If you are wanting to throw a wine tasting party but don't know where to start, we've got you covered! Below we are giving our best tips and providing you with some FREE wine tasting party printables! Our wine tasting invitation can also be ordered in our shop at a discount for our readers.
To get started, we sent out the invitations. Of course E-Three Design Studio created the invites and you can find them HERE. If you use the code: WINETASTING at checkout, you will receive 15% off on your wine tasting invitation order.
Once our girlfriends RSVP’d and we knew exactly how many were coming, we contacted them with what type of wine we wanted them to bring. This helps break up the cost but you as the host can absolutely provide all of the wine yourself. We put an insert in with the invitations that explained guests bring a bottle to share and that we'd let them know what kind when they RSVP'd. The brand was completely up to them. We just wanted to be sure to have an even mix of reds and whites and not end up with five bottles Chardonnay. We ended up having 7 out of the 10 people we invited come which was perfect for our small soirée. For the whites we had a Chardonnay, a Pinot Grigio, a Sauvignon Blanc, and a Riesling. For the reds we had a Merlot, a Pinot Noir, and a Cabernet Sauvignon. You know your guests best, so feel free to mix it up to accommodate your crowd!
We made these super cute name tags and attached them to the wine glasses with gold glitter washi tape!
For the food, we kept it simple. We had a variety of crackers and cheeses like blue cheese, gouda, herb cheese, goat cheese, and white cheddar just to name a few. We also put out hummus and pita chips, summer sausage, and bruschetta. Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the chocolate! Chocolate and fruit pairs great with wine and we had a selection of strawberries, blackberries, dark and milk chocolate and some spicy pumpkin and cranberry breads. We made food labels so everyone knew what they were grabbing. Those are included in the free downloads below!
For the wine tasting, we had our guests fill small plates with a variety of food to pair with the wines and a glass of water. You can do what is called a blind tasting where guests guess what type of wine they are tasting, but we preferred not to keep it a secret. We had a wine glass dump bucket in the center of the table too. This came in handy if there was a wine we didn't like. We also swirled water in our glasses between wines to rinse them. We aren't exactly wine experts, but from previous professional wine tastings we have attended, we shared these tips:
- Start with the lighter white wines first and then move to the reds.
- Encourage guests to See, Swirl, Smell, and Sip the wine.
- The wines will vary in color and swirling will help lift the aroma so you can really smell it.
- You should sip at least three times in small sips to really get the flavor.
After everyone had tried the sample, we discussed it. We talked about any prominent flavors we picked up like fruit, oak, citrus, spices, etc. We also talked about the foods that paired best with it. After that we read the label to see if our guesses on flavors were correct. Don't forget this is just for fun! Don't worry if you guessed wrong. Lastly, we filled out our wine tasting scorecards. Those are also provided for free. Once we tried all of the wines, we went back through and tried some of them again. We were surprised that once we re-visited certain wines, we liked them more or less than we originally thought. We poured full glasses of the ones we really enjoyed at the end. Because you know, we didn't want any of the bottles to go to waste!
Here are a few more pictures of our set up...
That’s it! It was such a fun evening and the girls are even talking about having another one soon. If you use our free printables, we’d love to see them in use! Have you thrown a wine tasting party before? Do you have any other tips to include?
DOWNLOAD OUR FREE WINE TASTING PRINTABLES HERE (Non-commercial use only)
-Included: Editable Name Labels, Editable Food Labels, Editable Large Labels, 8x10 inch Sign, Wine Scorecards
-To use: Open the PDF files in Adobe Reader (this is a free download at adobe.com). Any editable text will be highlighted by a blue box, enter your text and save the file before printing. The blue boxes will not show up in print. Some of the files are not editable... the file is named with either (editable) or (non-editable). We also threw in some of our food labels we used too... in case you want to make it really easy and just use the same food we used.
Please note our freebies are for personal non-commercial use only. All rights reserved.