How to Organise a Wine Tasting

Wine tasting at home is becoming more and more popular as an alternative to hiring out venues and wine shops, as the range of fine wines one can have delivered to their home becomes more and more expansive by the year. 

It may sound like quite daunting prospect, to plan such an event and get wines of a sufficient calibre delivered and stored, but organising wine tasting doesn’t have to be overly complicated these days.

So, true to Octavian Vaults form we have compiled this quick and easy guide to planning and executing the perfect wine tasting party at home. Follow this and we believe you will be the envy of even the finest wine connoisseurs in your social circles and will be planning these events for years to come.

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How To Organise Wine Tasting 

The first thing to remember when planning wine tasting at home is to provide a great selection of fine wines. You may well have your favourites but a wine tasting party is all about experimenting with new grapes and flavours.

How many you have will really depend on the size of your party but for a medium sized gathering we would recommend at least six. This should allow each guest to try two wines back to back and discuss their thoughts, and of course have a bit more of any that they particularly enjoy. 

Lighting

Some people tend to overlook this one when planning wine tastings at home, but lighting is obviously crucial. Your guests will be tasting your wines but they will also be examining colour, texture and legs as well, so optimal lighting is crucial.

In addition to this, the room should be free from any distractions so fairly minimal in terms of decor and of course odour free. Any smells of food or similar could adversely impact the tasting process and render your wine tasting party somewhat less than a success. 

Wine Selection

Once you have worked out your quantities, the time comes for your actual selections. You could go for particular theme such as New World, or maybe French or South American or you could just go for a broad range; the choice is yours. 

If you decide to go for a theme though, here are some that we have enjoyed in the past here at Octavian Vaults:

-        One single fine wine from a range of different vintages

-        One single wine from a couple of famous regions

-        One single wine from the same region, but by different vineyards

-        A blind comparison, this can be quite interesting!

Necessary Supplies

A key consideration for your wine tasting is your equipment, such as glassware and crockery. As we will get onto later, a good wine tasting should be complemented by excellent food. But what you serve you wine and snacks on can be great final touch to turn a good event into a great one. 

Think about the following and if you don’t have exquisite equipment for your wine tasting, then you should look into hiring or buying something elegant and expensive. 

-        Clear Glassware

-        Palate Cleansers

-        Spit Buckets (and ensure these are emptied often)

-        Stationery (your guests may well want to take notes)

-        Water Jugs & Glasses 

Create a Dazzling Menu

Finally and as we have alluded to above, you should choose the perfect menu for your wine tasting event. Exactly what you decide on will depend heavily on the kind of wines you decide to serve at your event, so you will need to do some research. We actually have another handy guide to this right here at the Octavian blog.

You can start simple with some crackers which serve as a palate cleanser but as more and more wine is drunk, your guests will start to crave some opulent cuisine.

Although this food will be expected to be of an excellent standard, it should be easy to eat. So think posh appetizers that can be eaten on a small plate or a napkin and easily discarded when a new wine is introduced, or if a guest needs to make some notes. 

Other than these tips, your wine tasting party should really represent who you are as a person and as a host. Feel free to get creative and add your own touches, but these tips will ensure that even the most staunch of wine aficionados will be impressed by your skills, and come back for future events and also involve you in their own soirees.

We hope this guide has given you some great insight, be sure to take a good look around the rest of the Octavian blog for more great articles on all things fine wine.