Top 8 Tips for Hosting a Wine Tasting
Wine Party Hostess with the Mostest
Learning about wine doesn't have to be intimidating. There’s no need for an abundance of expensive bottles, monocles, or gold-flake-covered caviar. In fact, keeping it simple can make the night more enjoyable and help you to focus on what your tastebuds are telling you. All you need to host a wine tasting is a computer with a webcam and microphone, a couple of snacks, a few supplies, and a Wine Tasting Flight from In Good Taste. So don’t rush to Google to search for “wine tasting near me” or anything similar. Rather, lean on our team for your virtual wine tasting and you will have an absolute blast from the comfort of your home.
1. Plan Your Wine List
Whether you’re finally gathering in person or meeting virtually from across the country, it’s great to enjoy the company of friends and family while tasting some truly delicious wine. Prepare your Wine Tasting Flight, as referenced above, or, at the bare minimum, have a wide range of reds and whites to ensure the wine tasting event has a chance to meet its true potential. It will certainly help to have two unique wines of the same varietal or from the same region, so you and your fellow wine aficionados-to-be can compare them to one another, head-to-head.
Above all, it is imperative that you and your fellow wine enthusiasts have exactly the same wines to enjoy during the virtual wine tasting. Otherwise, you won’t be able to discuss the best tasting wine as well as each unique wine’s strengths, weaknesses, and other characteristics. This is precisely why it makes sense for everyone to have the same IGT Wine Tasting Flight.
An IGT Wine Tasting Flight is not the sole necessity for your virtual wine tasting from home. In terms of sundries, be mindful of the subtleties that are easy to overlook. Prepare ahead of time by setting out your wine bottle opener, wine glasses, and snacks. When in doubt, opt for a wine tasting kit. It will also help to have a glass of water readily available to cleanse your palate in between sips of wine.
2. Schedule Your Wine Tasting With In Good Taste
In Good Taste makes virtual wine tasting easy. Simply sign up for your virtual tasting on In Good Taste, and you will be well on your way to a truly enjoyable and memorable virtual wine tasting event. Please note: if you’re ordering for a large group or corporate event, the process works a little differently! For either general or corporate events, be sure to book at least 14 days in advance to ensure that all guests receive their Tasting Flight Kits in time.
Once you are signed up, you can invite friends to join you in purchasing Wine Tasting Flights. If you would like a complimentary private tasting, you will need a minimum of six flights purchased for your event; however, you can also join in the IGT Social Hour, a public, complimentary, weekly wine tasting event. Now that your virtual wine tasting is scheduled, a Zoom link will be sent to your email, and which you can share this with your group.
Try to order your Tasting Flight as soon as possible to guarantee it arrives well ahead of the scheduled wine tasting. It is important to note that booking the event does not automatically reserve the wine kit. If you wait even a few days to buy the Tasting Flights after booking the event, there is no guarantee that the flight you want will still be available. Each guest in your virtual wine tasting will purchase the exact same Tasting Flight so you have a common ground for your discussion. Once shipped, you will receive an email with your tracking information and expected delivery date – remember, because this is alcohol, someone over the age of 21 has to be there to sign for the kit!
Our team runs the entirety of the event from the beginning to the end. Our wine experts will talk you through each of the wines you and your group sample so you know exactly what you are drinking and what makes it unique compared to other wines.
Your wine tasting guide will also share interesting informational tidbits about the wine, provide wine trivia, and serve up fun facts related to wine and other helpful information regarding how to properly taste wine or shop for truly elite bottles. This is your opportunity to sit back, sip some tasty wine, and take all the credit for your successful wine tasting event.
3. Invite Your Favorite Friends
Now that you know what is involved in hosting a virtual wine tasting, you won’t be nearly so intimidated by the prospect of such an event. In short, we do the majority of the work for you so you can focus on getting your group together, choosing the wines best for your group, and sipping the night away while having a blast with your friends. This is the perfect way to reconnect with friends, distant family, colleagues, and others when you can’t get together in person. The beauty of a virtual wine tasting is that it bridges the gap between you and your friends and/or loved ones, even though you might be thousands or even tens of thousands of miles away from one another.
Some people host wine tastings as a means of connecting with friends and significant others for social interaction over the internet. Perhaps you are looking for something to do during your Girls' Night In. Maybe you are looking for an activity to enjoy during a Date Night on the web. Let us help you host a wine tasting, and you will agree the experience is easy to arrange, proves fulfilling, and helps you enjoy the company of others while learning that much more about your shared hobby of wine tasting. In short, wine tasting is hands down one of the most fun things to do online.
4. Set the Mood with a Little Ambience
The wine tasting will prove that much more enjoyable for everyone involved if you pay close attention to the subtleties of this shared experience. Though our team will be there to “drop the knowledge” in regard to the best wines and the overarching wine industry, there will be time to socialize during the wine tasting.
Plan ahead by preparing a playlist on YouTube, Spotify, or another music service, and share it with everyone who will attend the wine tasting. Encourage everyone to play the playlist softly in the background during the wine tasting to make the atmosphere that much more enjoyable. And who knows: an impromptu Zoom dance-off might just be the highlight of your night!
Aside from music, lighting is another subtlety that seems minor yet matters a great deal for your wine tasting. Slightly dim the lights, and the mood will be set for a truly enjoyable wine party. Just make sure the lights are bright enough so that you can still see the wine you are enjoying. If you decide to light candles, opt for the unscented variety. The last thing you want is for a scented candle to overpower the fulfilling aroma emerging from your wine glass.
5. Sips and Snacks
If you were to down one swig of wine after another within an hour’s time, you would end up quite tipsy. While a wine tasting is undoubtedly one of the best Girls’ Night ideas, they’re also a great way to woo a new client or celebrate milestones with your team! Mix in some tasty snacks to soak up the alcohol and ultimately make the wine tasting event as fulfilling as possible. Though it is not as important for everyone to have exactly the same snacks as it is for everyone to have the same wines, uniformity in terms of sustenance will certainly help keep the conversation going. If you are like most wine enthusiasts, you can discuss the “nectar of the gods” for quite a lengthy period of time (and even more so as the night goes on, and the glass refills). Though the In Good Taste virtual tasting team is great at keeping events light and conversation flowing, if lulls in conversation do pop up, chats about snacks can act as a buffer between sips of wine and other topics, ranging from the news to sports and beyond.
In terms of snacks, the more diversity, the better. After all, certain snacks are that much more enjoyable with specific wines, whether they are red, white, dry, sweet, comparably strong, etc. Need some ideas for your spread? Be sure to have everything from cheese to crackers, trail mix, dried fruits, seeds, nuts, and other tasty snacks set out ahead of time in their respective bowls (or elaborate boards), so you can nibble as desired while enjoying your virtual wine tasting from home.
Need Some Snack-spiration?
Creating the best charcuterie board means looking at all of the components, from the meats, cheeses, and spreads to the complimentary wine selection. You need to find the perfect balance between salty and sweet, crisp and savory, acidic and umami. Presentation is key to making the charcuterie board a party centerpiece. All of these components are explored below and, as a bonus, we will also look at how to theme your charcuterie board to make it stand out and taste delicious.
If you are still on the fence as to which foods are best for your wine tasting, opt for a cheese platter, so you have a wide variety of scrumptious cheese to choose from when tasting different wines. At a minimum, you should have three unique types of cheese. Keep this in mind when pairing wine with cheese. Some easy cheeses that pair well with wines are Mozzarella or goat cheese with a light and fruity Riesling; funky bleu cheese or creamy Brie with a full-bodied white, like an Oaked Chardonnay; Feta and Havarti when you rosé all day; smoky Gouda or Brie with a light-bodied red wine; and aged Cheddar or Manchego with a full-bodied red wine. Examples of additional snacks to include in addition to cheese are olives, cherries, charcuterie, and dried apricots.
6. The Proper Order of a Wine Tasting
It is a mistake to simply shift from one wine to the next, assuming the order in which each wine is enjoyed is meaningless. Even if the serving order of wine does not mean much to you, it will likely matter to at least one or a couple of people in your virtual wine tasting event and can even influence your palate and tastes. Ideally, the proper order for wine tasting will be sparkling wines, followed by light whites, rich whites, light reds, dark reds, and finally fortified dessert wines.
You will want to chill some of your wines prior to the tasting as well. As a rule, sparkling wines, white wines, and rosés should all be served chilled, while reds are best enjoyed just under room temperature.
While you don’t necessarily need to have multiple glasses on-hand, having at least two can enhance your experience as you compare two similar styles at once. Check out our helpful guide on recommended types of wine glasses and universal wine glass options.
7. Take Notes, and Learn About Your Taste in Wine
Our team is here to ensure your that wine tasting not only is successful but serves as a lasting memory that you look back on fondly. Our goal is to ensure that it proves informative, insightful, and educational. No, you don’t need a tasting placemat or journal. The world of wine doesn’t have to be intimidating! But taking short notes as you go can help you to remember what you liked (or didn’t like) about a certain style of wine. A wine tasting wheel can also help you to put into words the flavors and aromas you are experiencing.
In short, we want to share our high level of wine knowledge with you and your friends in a fun, informal, and interactive way. Whether you are interested in learning the proper ways to taste wine; would like to learn more about the regions and grapes where our wines are harvested, and the proper temperature for serving wine; or are curious about what to zero in on when purchasing wines at local wine shops and stores, our team will provide you with all the information you could possibly hope for.
In fact, our Wine Experts will field your questions and comments during the wine tasting to help guide you through your journey and ultimately maximize your wine knowledge. In the end, you will have a ton of fun and look back on your wine tasting event with rosé-colored glasses, crediting it with not only expanding your knowledge of wine but also helping you enjoy a social experience, albeit in a virtual sense.
8. Ask Your Guests About Their Favorites
Once all of the wines are tasted, and your group has learned about the nuances of wine from our insightful wine experts, you will socialize with one another for at least for a couple more minutes to wrap up the night. Though you’ve certainly been talking about the wines throughout the evening or event, the end of a wine tasting is a great time to check in again and see which wines your guests preferred. This way, you can gift them full bottles of their favorite wines as a thank you for attending or keep a bottle locked away to surprise them for their birthday!
No doubt, by the end of your event, you’ll be eager to sign up for another wine tasting with In Good Taste and invite more friends to join you on your journey of wine discovery.