Host a BLIND wine tasting party!
It is easy to make your wine tasting event special and memorable. Make it blind and give it a theme.
(Blind wine tasting means the guests will not know which bottle they are drinking. You dont have to blindfold your guests; but you do have to bag your bottles to conceal their identities.)
(1) Pick a theme:
Theme gives the event a purpose, a game, and a discussion topic. We have listed some of our all time favorite themes. Free feel to use them.
- Take a Personality Test guess the grape variety. Buy 6 different grape varietals. Pass out a note (or blind tasting guide) that describes the personality of each grape; for example, Sauvignon Blanc is green, grassy, and perfumes of gooseberries. Have the guests taste the wine and map them to the listed grape variety. Recommended using these varietals as each has unique personality: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling.
- Name the country / region. Pick 1 or 2 grapes (e.g. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon) and buy from 3 different countries/regions (or 6 if you only pick 1 grape). Pass out a wine tasting guide listing all the countries/regions. To make the game easier, you can provide the typical characteristics of these regional wines and the temperature range. Ask the guests to map the wines to the countries/regions.
- Are you a good shopper guess the price. A variation of Name the Country game. Here you pass out a wine tasting guide listing all the purchase prices and ask the guests to map the bottle to the value.
- Odd one out. Have one bottle that is different (in grape variety) from the others and ask the guest to find it.
- Color coordination. Buy a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rose, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Ask the guests to rank the bottles on a color scale, going from light to dark. To make this game easier and more enjoyable, serve the wines at their optimal serving temperature as this will bring out their bouquet and you can better taste their differences.
- 50-50. Pick a series of questions and buy the related wines (e.g. Merlot vs. Pinot Noir, Bordeaux vs. Burgundy, German vs. French Riesling). The guests have 50% chance of getting each question right. You can prepare tasting guide to help them out. This is a great game when you have too many people and don't want to buy too many pricy bottles. You can place the pricier wine in the latter rounds and only those who get the right answers move on to the next round.
(2) Prepare the following:
Remember the following tips when you are preparing for your wine tasting party:
6-12 people are the optimal group size for wine tasting. If you have more than 12 people, each will get a tiny pour from a bottle of wine, or you will have to get 2 bottles for each tasting. Keep this in mind when sending out the invitations.
Bag the wines and use tape (or rubber bands)! Tape the bags to the bottles so that they do not slip during pouring. For more aesthetic effect, you can use aluminum foil. Label them alphabetically (A,B,C ) Using numbers can get quite confusing when you are sharing your tasting notes and scores.
Prepare a tasting note guide and answer sheet for your guests. This preparation will make your night so much easier they save you from explaining yourself hundred times. Also, your guests will learn more about wine.
Prepare (or cater) finger food. Pick food that can help rinse the pallet without overshadowing the wines. The simplest get some bread. Suggest avoiding cheese and olives in a blind tasting.
Have a jug of water and a water bucket out so your guests can rinse their glass between each tasting.
Prepare a prize for the winner. Or grant him/her certain privileges... such as exempted from hosting the next party... or helping you clean up.
(3) Final tips:
- Organize the wine tasting so your guests move from whites to reds, from sweet to dry, and from light-bodied to full-bodied reds.
- If you can, avoid using paper / plastic cups. Wine glasses can be a great help in blind wine tasting. You can hold the glass by the stem and swirl without spilling.
- Tell your guests not to wear perfumes or smoke. Aroma gives the best hints in blind wine tasting.
This is it. Simple and easy. ENJOY!