If there were ever a month to eat, drink and be merry, this would be it. And while we can’t necessarily gift your merriment this holiday season, let us at least help you with the drink part with these tips for hosting a fabulously festive wine tasting for your family and friends.
Get out the good glassware
It’s true, different kinds of wine deserve different types of wine glasses, but in a casual wine tasting scenario it’s okay to break the rules a bit. Opt for glasses with narrower rims which will allow guest the flexibility to swirl their wine in their glasses like the connoisseurs do, without splashing their neighbors. If you have enough glasses, provide each guest with two, one for red and one for white.
Serve the right kind of food
Food is a must if you’re holding a wine tasting, but the kind of food you serve will depend on the wines you are serving. Need some help? Find our beginners guide to wine pairing here.
Even if you’re not planning on serving a meal, bread and crackers serve as excellent palette cleansers, so set out a few trays of those and you’ll be all set.
When in doubt, serve cheese.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to cheese is softer varieties, such as brie or gorgonzola pair well with white wine, while aged cheeses, such as cheddar or gouda, pair better with reds.
Properly store your wine pre-tasting
You may be tempted to keep your bottles in plain site for your guests to peruse as they trickle in, but keep in mind that different wines should be served at different temperatures, so letting them sit out at room temperature may not be the best idea. If you have a cellar, keep your bottles there until you’re ready to serve. If you don’t, keep your wine in a place with consistent temperature where it won’t be exposed to ambient lighting.
And finally, make sure you have enough wine to go around
Probably most imperative to hosting a successful wine tasting is having enough wine, no surprise there. Depending on how much your crowd drinks and how long you plan to have them over, the amount you should have on hand will vary, but generally anywhere between a half to a full bottle worth of wine per guest is plenty.