How To Host A Wine Tasting Party

People at a Sippers and Spitters wine tasting party

Having the girls around for drinks is always fun, but coming up with new things to do is difficult. Why not mix things up by hosting a wine tasting party.

Wine tasting parties are a fun and classy activity you can organise in the comfort of your own home. They are perfect for family get-togethers, reunions with old friends and of course a Friday night in with the girls. Here are some tips on how to host a great wine tasting party for the people you care about.

Good Tasting Conditions

Check the circumstances surrounding your wine tasting experience that may affect your impressions of the wine. Ensure your tasting space is clear of too much noise as this makes concentration difficult.

Step One: Check for potential obstacles that may destroy the ability to get a clear sense of a wine’s aromas. Look out for…

  • Cooking smells
  • Perfume scents
  • Even pet odours

Step Two: Neutralize the wine tasting conditions as much as possible, so your wine has a fair chance to stand on its own. Here are some easy steps you can take.

  1. Clean glasses: Detergent or dust will affect the taste
  2. Size and shape: A glass that is too small, or the wrong shape can affect the wine’s flavour
  3. Conditioning the glass: If your glass appears musty, give it a rinse with wine, swirling it to cover all the sides of the bowl.
  4. Neutralize taste buds: Cleanse any residual flavours from whatever else you’ve been eating or drinking.
  5. Correct temperature: If a wine is served too cold, warm the wine with your hands by cupping the bowl.

Evaluating by Sight

Once your tasting conditions are as close to neutral, your next step is to examine the wine in your glass. We recommend your glass being about one-third full. Loosely follow these steps to evaluate the wine visually.

Straight Angle View

Look straight down into the glass, then hold the glass to the light, and finally, give it a tilt, so the wine rolls toward its edges. This allows you to see the wine’s complete colour range, not just the dark centre. Looking down, you get a sense of the depth of colour, which gives a clue to the density and saturation of the wine.
You will also learn to identify certain varietal grapes by colour and scent. A deeply-saturated, purple-black colour might well be it Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon, while a lighter, pale brick shade would suggest Pinot Noir or Sangiovese.

Side View

Viewing the wine through the side of the glass held in light shows you how clear it is.
A murky wine might be a wine with chemical or fermentation problems. On the other hand, it might just be a wine that was unfiltered or has some sediment due to being shaken up before poured. A wine that looks clear with a slight sparkle, is always a good sign.

Tilted View

Tilting the glass so the wine thins out toward the rim will provide clues to the wine’s age and weight.
If the colour looks quite pale and watery near its edge, it suggests a rather thin, possibly insipid wine. If the colour looks tawny or brown (for a white wine), or orange (for a red wine) it is either an older wine or it has been oxidized and may be past its prime.

Sippers and Spitters Wine Tasting Party

If you are looking for someone to host and provide your wine tasting party please go to our parties page for more information.


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