You finally landed your first real world job, and you want to throw a party and invite some of your new coworkers and you’re concerned about making a good impression, Alcohol needs to be involved, but you want to keep it classy. No keg parties here. Something more organized, more civilized, inviting quiet conversation. How about a wine tasting party? Perfect! You can keep it intimate, maybe six to twelve people, some elegant decorations, something with a soft subtle glow, maybe some winter garlands and some candlelight shining on the wine glasses. You can see it now….
Creating a theme for the party is a good idea. it will help direct the party conversation and will also serve as a guide line when you are stocking up. Some theme ideas include;
- Variety: Invite your guest to sample wines from different regions. You can have them compare a Pinot Noir from New Zealand to one from California and another from Burgundy.
- Blind Tasting: This is a sure way to guarantee entertainment. Pour wines into decanters labeled with a number or wrap bottle in foil to hide their identities and see if your guests can guess what they are.
- Style: Select wines with a similar style. Your party can feature an array of crisp whites or bold reds for a taste comparison.
- Region: Choose a region and offer wines which are unique to the area to let your guest see how location can effect the taste and body of wine.
- Vintage: Find a few different vintages of the same wine. This may be a pricier and more ambitious theme to fulfill, but it may provide some enlightenment for novice wine tasters.
Keep the Party Small and Purchase in Accordance
Six to twelve is a good number of guests to have at your party. It will encourage conversation and keep the wine pouring more manageable. Also, by keeping the headcount low, you will avoid the need to provide duplicates of the wines to ensure everyone gets some. A good guideline for determining how much wine yo want to buy is about half a bottle to a bottle per guest, unless you invite the office lush, or if you are the office lush. A bottle of wine is about 24 ounces which yields 12 two-ounce tastes per bottle, but be prepared for guests wanting to re-taste. Start small, by pouring short tastes for your guests and provide spit buckets for those who may not want to overdo it.
Glasses and Background. One glass per person is perfectly acceptable, although two glasses are better for taste comparisons. While the more creative among us may be inspired to decorate elaborately, color is an important consideration in wine tasting, so clear glassware, optimal lighting and a white background will work best.
Palate Cleansers. Set out a simple bread plate or water crackers for palate cleansing between pours and make sure to have plenty of water on hand.
Writing Materials. For some added polish, set out some pens and papers for tasking wine notes. You may even consider providing a printed grid with the names of the wines and a scoring scale.
How did it go? We want to hear how your event went? Was it a hit? What would you suggest for a successful wine party. Let us know!