Wine tasting 101

It's your turn to host the party...

Seems that as of late, I'm going to the same party again and again. Dinner, sometimes with a theme (jambalya Oscar bash), drinks and good conversation. Don't get me wrong. I have wonderful friends, and we *mostly* have a lovely time, but now and again I think mixing up our normal routine would do us all some good. So when it was our turn to play host, I thought it'd be the perfect opportunity to test out my newly acquired wine deduction (i.e. tasting) skills. Here's what we did: 

To set up a wine tasting you'll want to provide a few things:
  1. Wine (details to follow)
  2. Sensory evaluation sheets: Breaks down the deduction process. Find a form online and print one copy for each guests for every wine you'll try.
  3. A taste chart: A list of the common flavors/aromas in wine to help your guests articluate what it is they are tasting/smelling. Find one of online and print out a few copies.

Because you'll be providing the drinks, you could ask friends to bring some food along or suggest you do the tasting early in the evening and then head out for dinner afterwards. Either way, you should have some nibbles on hand. Next, choose the type of tasting you want to do. Here are two good options:

This is sort of tasting 101 and involves trying the most popular wines of the world, while learning about the process of tasting.
  • Begin with a sparkling wine and strawberries
  • Taste the three major white varietals (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Reisling), and discuss the attributes of the wine using the sensory evalutation sheets
  • Take a break and have some cheese  (chevre and Sauvignon Blanc is wonderful!)
  • Taste three major red varietals (Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah), again using the sesory evaluation sheets to discuss
  • Wrap up with chocolate

This type of tasting would mean focusing on a particular type of wine and looking at regional differences. It's a great option for a group of people with a good familiarity of wine because it will allow your guests to broaden their knowledge.

For instance, you could do Chardonnay from around the world and then Pinot Noir from around the world. Again include nibbles in between tasting... During the tasting, talk about how cultural, geographic and climatic differences come to bear on the wine.

Send the invites out and have fun!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts