Christmas is right around the corner, and it’s time to make arrangements for the annual get together again. You’ve been telling yourself to do something different every year, but as soon as the time is nigh you get confused and do something similar to last year without changing much. People show up with their bottles of wine, you cook a bunch of food, everybody gets a little tipsy, and sing carols. People don’t leave having a bad time, but you expect better from yourself!
That’s okay. This year, we’ll do things rather differently by hosting a wine tasting party! Two things people love near Christmas time is wine and food. A wine tasting arrangement is something that is festive enough already, and combining it with Christmas is the best thing you can do for your guests. A good wine tasting party is easy to plan and easier to execute if you know what to do. Here’s what you’ll need to plan a house party like none other!
Enough space for seating: You will need enough space for comfortable seating for the size of your guest list. Arranging this outdoors is ideal where people can chill on lawn chairs.
Enough Wine: Obviously, you wouldn’t have a wine tasting party without the main event. A ‘wine tasting’ is about 2 ounces, and a bottle has 12 ounces. Just have enough bottles so that everybody can ‘taste’ the wine to their heart’s content.
Cooling arrangements: Ideally, you would want a proper wine fridge that chills wine according to their specific requirements. If that is not possible, having a refrigerator or ice chiller will work as well.
Glasses: To make it a classy party, it’s best to have wine glasses. Proper wine glasses have a unique way of releasing the aromas of specific wines. For this reason, you can even rent wine glasses from a local party equipment supplier.
Corkscrew: If you have an old-school bottle of wine, you will need a corkscrew to make short work of the cork top. Unless you’re going to have wines that have screw-top caps, a corkscrew is vital at the party.
Now let’s look at some unique ideas to make your party more interesting.
1.Blind tasting: Wine enthusiasts like to be well informed about their wine. They have to know the grape, the aroma, the aftertaste, and many other small details about the wine they’re drinking. A cool game to play would be to blindfold participants and give them random wine to taste. They have to then guess the characteristics of the wine as defined by the bottle. The closest one gets a bottle of their choice to take home!
2. Global variety: A very interesting thing to bring to the party is wines from different regions. These include wines from France, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, California, Oregon etc. All these wines will have different grapes, different processes of making, and many other variables that will make them different.
3.Experiment with different foods: Food and wine is a match made in heaven. Every different wine will make a recipe taste and feel very different. So the best thing to do to find your combination is to try out a red, rose, white, and a sparkling variety with the meal you’re having.
4. New World vs Old world: New world wines are made anywhere outside of Europe in a very different style than those made in Europe (Old world wines). There is a lot of flavour and characteristic differences between the two. See if you and your friends can determine the differences there.
Sure, wine and food are great together. But when it is a wine tasting experience, the marquee event, it is best to let the wine hit an empty, un-tampered palate. Save the entrees and the dinner for later. But, save a few bottles to have with the food. Here are some tips for specific pairings that work 100% of the time.
- Salty foods like French fries go well with Sauvignon Blanc.
- Spicy dishes go well with Riesling. Try making a spicy chicken curry!
- Dry fruits and nuts are an amazing pairing with oaky chardonnay.
- Mushrooms and meat are great compliments to cabernet or merlot wines.
With all these tips and knowledge, we hope you will have a great Christmas wine tasting party! Feel free to be creative and take things a notch further.