Sunday, March 25, 2007

Organize a Wine Tasting

As seniors who have gotten busy with life, my friend and I decided that we should invite the "old gang" back together one more time, for good times. We used to watch movies and get giddy; now we're older and more mature. So a wine tasting was a perfect idea. But how do you organize one?

When gathering friends from different wine backgrounds (from "I could write a dictionary of terms" to an indescriminent "They all taste good to me!") one should evaluate the logistics first. Decide where to host the event, how you will set it up, and who you're inviting. If you want people to mix and mingle, put together a few tables. If you want a cloth on top, make sure you don't mind if it gets stained; there will be drips. Also, find enough glasses for your guests!

Then make a list of wines and compare it to your guest list. Are there more guests than wines? If so, ask half to bring a wine, and the other half to bring a cash donation to give to a wine donor. This will even out the cost. If your lists are about even, then assign everyone a wine, so they can swap the left overs before they go home. Assigning wines is a good idea; this will prevent duplicate bottles.

Let people know that it's a TASTING, not a DRINKING. No glass should ever really be filled, but rather have a few sips so each guest can move on to the next one. Put out a notepad and a few pens for guests to write down wines that they particularly enjoyed.

I caution against cheese and crackers, unless you want to do a pairing. Food can compliment wine, but it will also change your palette and make each sip taste a little different.

At the end of the tasting, guests can swap the remaining wine bottles. If one person brings something they hate, but another loves, they can trade and enjoy the leftovers.

The wine tasting we held was a such a hit that another friend held a similar event the next week. Wine tastings are great ways to gather people for good times and nice conversation. Guests also get to enjoy learning about different wines without spending money on a bottle that they end up hating.

Photo Credit: Jill Hokanson, 2007

This is a photo our lovely friend and roommate Jill took at our wine tasting. I taught Gina to open a bottle of wine... success! Here we are after the opening. Incidentally, I recommend the wine she's holding: Liberty School 2004 Cabernet Savignon

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