11 Chic Wine Tasting Party Ideas
Wine tasting can be as casual as hitting up a local winery or even just purchasing a few wines to try with friends at home. But if you want to take it up a notch and get fancy, consider hiring a sommelier (wine expert). Take your guests beyond a surface-level tasting, so they can walk away feeling confident in choosing wine for their next dinner party or gift purchase. Think outside of the box to wow your guests with your newfound wine knowledge and provide a high-end (and delicious) educational experience. These wine tasting party ideas will delight your fellow wine-lovers and have them begging you to throw another.
1. Create the perfect pairings
Pairing wine with food is an art form in itself. So skip the usual cheese and crackers, and partner up with a local chocolate shop or ice cream parlor to design a wine and- dessert pairing experience for your party guests. Select a handful of flavors to pair with each wine you taste. For chocolate and wine pairing ideas, check out this Spruce Eats article. To match ice cream with the perfect wine, take a look at this Kitchn guide. Combine dessert and drinks all in one party so your guests won’t leave hungry.
2. Learn from the best
Wine tasting is serious business. Take your party to the next level and bring in a sommelier to give your guests the opportunity to learn the ABCs of wine. Plus, get a crash course in wine history and culture. How often do you get to say you can drink for educational purposes? You’ll come out of the party identifying wine flavor notes like a pro.
3. Sample flavors from around the world
Expand your wine tasting horizons — go global and sample wines from around the world! Cost Plus World Market and Total Wine & More are excellent places to find a wide variety of foreign wines. To complete the party, serve your guests an array of culturally diverse appetizers to go along with the theme. You just might discover your new favorite wine or even a wine region you would love to visit!
4. Conduct a blind taste test
This is one of those fun wine tasting party ideas that will turn an ordinary tasting event into a game! To begin, pour wine into glasses and hide the bottles or cover the labels. Ask each guest to guess the prices and/or ratings of the wine (which you can find on the Vivino app). Have them write their guesses on index cards and instruct them to keep their answers a secret. Offer a relevant prize, such as a wine glass and bottle stopper or a bottle of the top-rated wine, for the guest who guesses the most prices and ratings correctly.
5. Mix it up
Grapes aren’t the only wine base. Skip the status quo and try wines made from tart cherries, peaches, apples, or even pineapples! If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, sample some jalapeno or rhubarb wine. This wine tasting party idea will set your event apart and might even help your guests discover their new favorite drinks. It is a perfect option if you’ve got some folks in your crowd who have mixed feelings about traditional wine but still want to join in on the experience of a drink tasting party.
6. Tour a winery
Go beyond simply tasting the wine. Set up a tour at your local winery so your guests can learn all about the wine-making process, starting from the grape planting and harvesting, then ending with bottling and storage. Home wineries are also growing in popularity, so if you can’t book a winery, find a friend who owns a DIY winery and ask them if they’d be willing to have an open house.
7. Add a little music
Wineries often host great live music events, but even if you’re having a wine tasting party in the comfort of your own home, you can book a band or musician to add a special touch to the event. Gigsalad and The Bash are excellent resources to find local talent that is within your budget range. Stumped on what music genre to seek out? Consider jazz or soft rock to match the elegance of the occasion.
8. Make it a watch party
Set up a TV or projector and play the 2012 wine documentary SOMM throughout the wine tasting party. This way, your guests can casually learn about what it takes to be a wine expert and experience a day in the life of a sommelier! It’s hard not to be drinking a glass while watching it anyway, so why not make it an event?
9. Host a wine club trial party
Joining a monthly wine club is a big commitment. Gather friends to sample wines from a club you want to join so you can all make an informed purchase decision. Winc, VineBox, and Wine Awesomeness are all superb subscription-box options (VineBox even features mini samples!). You can also subscribe to clubs hosted by your favorite wineries. Consider splitting a subscription with a few friends for a cost-effective way to enjoy new wines on a regular basis.
10. Sip your samples in a sweet space
While a winery is an obvious choice for a wine tasting party venue, almost anywhere with seating and tables will work. Browse through Peerspace and find lofts, mansions, jazz clubs, studios, cafes, and even outdoor spaces like gardens where you can host your tasting event.Just bring the wine, glasses, napkins, and snacks, and let the venue handle the rest.
Whether you and your friends consider yourselves to be casual connoisseurs or hardcore sommeliers-in-training, these wine party tasting ideas are sure to impress. No matter your budget, there’s an idea on this list for you. Even the simplest of touches like dessert pairings can add a little extra flair to your wine tasting event.
Just don’t forget to serve snacks or appetizers! Assemble a charcuterie board or hit up the Trader Joe’s frozen section for some easy bite-sized snacks, and you’ll have everything you need for a chic wine tasting party.