How To Throw A Wine Tasting Party?

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butterbites's picture

A mumbo jumbo article that I ran into. This is from ehow.com. Iv posted my comments in red, pls post yours too! 

 Introduction


This particular party is helpful for practicing the art of pairing wines with food. It is fun and appropriate for beginners and experts.

Step One

Choose two to five simple foods. Suggestions are different types of cheese, cold shrimp, chicken skewers, pate and olives or whatever else you are trying to finish at home. Try to have a balance between salty foods, rich foods, delicate foods and so on. So on?!? Hmmm ... 

Step Two

Prepare a list of wines that are good matches, average matches and poor matches for each of the foods you have selected. Do I really need to be reading this article if I can do this already?

Step Three

Have everybody attending the tasting bring a bottle of wine from the list. I'll probably be the only one attending then.

Step Four

Set up three glasses for each taster. Be sure to have good lighting and a white tablecloth. Who will pay for the glasses ? Oh I forgot, based on Step Three, its just me attending.

Step Five

Pour the good, average and poor matching wines that correspond to one of the food items. That helps!

Step Six

Begin with a "starter taste" of wine individually, before tasting with the food. Encourage group discussions. What is starter taste? Cant I just drink it?

Step Seven

Serve the appropriate food item. Define appropriate. Based on Step 2 are we looking at good matches, average matches, or poor matches for the wine?

Step Eight

Now, taste the poorly matching wine. Darn! Had I read setp 8 before 7, I would have known the answer to seven!

Step Nine

Sample the food with the average-matching wine. Now, I am confused.

Step Ten

Finally, sample the food with the good-matching wine. Oh, we are going in a sequence.

Step Eleven

Discuss your opinions, if you have any. If not, then drink more! You're still sober.

Step Twelve

Rinse the glasses with water and move on to the next food item and matching wines. You might cleanse your palates with dry crackers in between. Matching wine this time, eh?

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6 Comments

joanne.cain's picture
I think pairing wine and cheese can be useful to the experienced palate, but a dillusion to the novice palate. Cheese is made from milk which contains fat. Anyway, cheese has a tendency to "coat the tongue" so to speak, hiding tannins in some red wines, making them more "appealing." If you taste the same wine with something else, you may not like the wine so much. A devious trick used by some wine merchants when striking their unaware prey! -Jojo
Ganesh.Dutta's picture
nice tips for wine lovers!
shantihhh's picture
One of the important things in wine tasting is to have a proper glass! I have seen wine tastings where people are using plastic glasses which give off a petrol smell and taste to the wine. Only thing worse would be styrofoam IMHO We have wine tasting glasses that we take to wine tastings just in case we're offered plastic. We attend many trade tastings and they ALWAYS offer glasses. The point of wine tasting is simply to find wines that you will thoroughly enjoy. There's no right and wrong when it comes to wine tasting. That said, here are some basic tips that will help you evaluate a new wine to see if it suits your taste. Start with a clear wine glass. The rim of the glass should bend inwards to help funnel aromas to the nose, and allow you to swirl without spilling on your $50 tie. Now pour a little wine into your glass. An inch or less is best. If you are tasting several wines, begin with the lightest (sparkling wines, roses, then light whites followed by full-bodied whites) and progress to the heaviest (light reds to more full-bodied reds followed by dessert wines). This will help keep your taste buds more sensitive so you can better appreciate each wine in the series. A sip of water between wines can also help preserve your palate. Notice the color of the wine. It often helps to hold the glass up to light or hold it against a white background, like a white napkin. The color can give you a clue as to the age of the wine. White wines generally gain color as they age. Red wines lose color. That is, young red wines are more red or burgundy while older wines tend to show a hint of tawny brown around the rim. Regardless of age, the colors of wine are just fun to see, ranging from pale yellow-green to ruby red to brick red-brown. Swirl the wine a couple of times by moving the glass in a circular motion.Holding the glass by its stem, instead of the bowl, allows you to swirl more easily. Swirling is done to aerate the wine and release vapors, evaporating from the sides of the glass, for you to smell. Then put your nose right over the rim of the wine glass and breathe in. Take note of the wine's aromas and bouquet (more details below). Take a sip, letting the wine spread across the tongue from front to back and side to side before swallowing. Actually airacting the wine in your mouth by taking in air on either side of your tongue while the wine is in your mouth will open the wine up. Also decanting is important with finer red wines to allow them to open up. Often when serving a nice bottle of red wine it should be open and rest for even an hour. Notice the flavors and acidity of the wine. How silky or rough does the wine feel? See more tips below on evaluating wine "taste". Swallow a small amount if you wish to note any lingering "finish". But if you are tasting a number of wines -- in a winery tasting room, for example -- your host will usually provide a large container for you to spit out the wine instead of swallowing. (It is not rude.) Everyone in the wine trade is accustomed to the swirl-sniff-sip-slosh-and-spit routine. No one wants an intoxicated taster or --worse -- an intoxicated driver. The bottom line is that a good wine should always give pleasure. It should smell good, taste even better, and be smooth and satisfying by itself or with whatever you're eating. Keeping a journal of tasting notes is imperative in your journey of learning about the wines you like. For more info on journaling, etc. http://www.wines.com/winetasting.html Wine is a fine addition to the pleasures of food!
joanne.cain's picture
I like RIEDEL wine glasses. They make glasses for specific wines. Apparently they did some scientific study and engineering to make the perfect glass for each wine. Each tailored glass is made so you get the full bouquet of every wine, aromas, and taste for each varietal. Pricey glasses but worth it. :) -Jojo
shantihhh's picture
We love Riedels. They are made in Austria. They make a tasting set with a carrying case. BevMo does Riedel tastings where you do a great tasting of premium wines, and get 4 glasses each and the tasting is $100, value of glasses alone is $200. Great deal! They also serve great cheeses and pate from Marcel Henri.
shantihhh's picture
Costco carries a private label set of 6 (?) Riedels around Christmas-very nice and less expensive.