To accommodate a casual party of eight, plan on four bottles, or one-half bottle per guest. This will give you 10 (2-oz.) tastings (just a little more than a shot-glass full) per bottle, plus an extra bottle of each. Limit your tasting to six wines (three whites, and three reds). Feel free to sample within the red or white wine categories for a traditional approach, or choose different versions of a single type.
A wine-tasting rule of thumb is to move from the lightest whites to the heaviest reds. As guests sample each bottle, they should notice how the wine looks, smells and tastes. Hereís how to taste your wine so youíll look like a pro:
See- Hold your glass by the stem at a 45-degree angle so it catches the light.
Swirl- Hold the base of the stem between your first two fingers and move it around slowly in a small, circular motion to expose the wine and reveal its aromas.
Smell-Stick your nose way into the glass and deeply inhale. This ritual is to trigger your taste buds.
Sip- Take a sip and let the wine touch all parts of your mouth to really get the flavor of the wine.
For novice wine tasters, print out a small cheat sheet on cardstock paper with the following terms. These will help your guests describe what they taste:
Acidic- The tart or sour quality that wine gives off naturally.
Tannic- A dry; pucker sensation in your mouth.
Body- A full-bodied wine feels heavy (the way whole milk feels thicker than skim).
Dry- A wine is called dry if itís not sweet. Most table wines are considered dry.
Even though the wine takes center stage at this party, provide your guests with water and simple refreshments. The following are simple crowd-pleasers that go great with wine:
Dark chocolate truffles
The best way to expand your wine knowledge is to host a wine party. Your guests will enjoy engaging conversation and of course multiple sips of wine! Use these easy tips to host an unforgettable wine-tasting party.