First, a theme must be chosen, whether democratically or by the host. Try to make it seasonally apropos—whites in the heat of summer, reds in colder weather…you get the idea. You can theme by region, varietal, price, favorites, collectibles. The possibilities are endless. If you need help just ask one of our Twin Liquors Wine Authorities for some ideas. We can also assist you with collecting information on the wine theme and wines in particular. Now choose 6 different wines that fit into your theme. A bottle will cover 25 ounces. We suggest 1 ounce pours to start.
Never use plastic glasses, no matter how large the size of the group. Glassware can be supplied by the host, but we have found that it is much easier to ask guests to bring their own stem, or a couple of stems if doing side by side comparisions. This makes cleanup a breeze for the host.
The next step is to invite your guests and make sure they know to bring their stem(s) and their ready palates!
When the big night has arrived, a nice touch is to be prepared with cheeses, breads, crackers and fruits as well as a sweet treat. Bite size is the best size so there is no hassling with utensils.
Make sure to brown bag the wines and number them 1-6, so they correspond to the note taking. We usually like to have some bubbles to start as guests are arriving. After everyone has settled, then you can make it as casual or as formal as you like. You can have someone go around and pour for seated guests, or you can line the bottles up on your kitchen counter and let the guests pour themselves. It’s really up to you. Some hosts will let guests know what the theme is ahead of time and others might like to keep it a secret until the end.
As your guests taste, encourage them to really make lots of notes and even guess what the wines might be. Refer to our Wine Tasting page to generate conversation and help with terminology. When everyone is done tasting, reveal each bottle and have guests make comments about their notes. Make sure to add any relevant info, as well!
Lastly, make sure to follow up with your group by sharing the results within the next few days. Your guests will love it, and now you can say that you set a great example for them to follow and host the next time!