Let me say right out that I am not a wine expert. Not even close. But I am a wine enthusiast, and so I thought it would be fun to do an informal tasting with some of our friends. Only, I had no idea what I was doing. I took to the Internet to look for answers and found so much great information. I spent hours researching and learning.
Our wine tasting, which was dedicated to blended wines and food pairings, was a lot of fun. It was an excuse to try a lot of great wines and talk about them. I thought I’d try to pass on what I learned through a roundup of the most helpful links and tips in case you would like to host your own wine tasting party.
Need a theme? Want to highlight reds, whites, or a specific region? Casual Kitchen has 27 great suggestions to get you started.
What wines should you pick for your tasting? It will depend on your budget and theme. Ask your local wine store, they’re the experts! I like to go in the middle of a weekday when it’s not so busy. I usually get some 1:1 time and great advice. A wine’s score can also help if you are on your own.
Interested in pairing food with your wine? Food and Wine Pairing will do the legwork for you. Simply select the wine you’re serving and it will give you examples of food pairing dos and don’ts. Food and Wine also gives their 15 Rules for Great Food and Wine Pairings.
To spit or not to spit? How to Attend a Wine Tasting Event (for Dummies) has some great etiquette tips.
Ready to talk about the wine? Wikipedia has an exhaustive list of wine tasting descriptors. I also enjoyed reading How to Taste: A Guide to Enjoying Wine, which was given to us years ago and gathering dust on a shelf. Very helpful!
Perhaps the article I found most useful when planning my own party was this one from Epicurious: How to Host a Wine Tasting Party.
And finally, here is a list of the wines we sampled and our food pairings. All bottles were about $20 each. (Links to recipes provided where possible)
Curtis 2012 Heritage Rosé, California | Cheese and herb quiche
Cimicky Trumps 2007 Grenache/Shiraz, Australia | Meatballs with marinara and mushrooms