So you’ve decided a wine tasting is the perfect event to host this season, but aren’t sure of yoru next step. You have your date, space and guest list, now it’s time to select a theme. Theme related events add both focus and fun your party.
Here are some common themes to consider:
Natural as we, recommended a tasting party as a great option for holiday entertaining. You can select wines appropriate to the season or opt to host a Christmas in (insert country, region, etc.) for example.
Limiting the selections to a specific grape variety, such Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, etc.) This is also called a varietal Tasting. A broad variation of this theme is to select all ‘Reds or Whites.’
Tasting and comparing the same wine from various vintages vertical tasting is conducted by tasting one wine varietal from the same producer from several vintages. For example, Selecting Cakebread Cellars, Pinot Noir of different vintages.
The Big Eight
the “Big Eight” refers to the world’s eight most popular and influential wine varieties on the market. This can be a good option if you want to get a 30,000ft view of what a varietal is like. However, we recommend, taking a list of the varietals to your local wine store and asking for assistance in making selections to ensure that you choose wines that are good representation of each varietal.
They are as follows:
Reds: Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah/Shiraz
Whites: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Grigio
Pretty straightforward. Comparing different wines within a set price range. For example, Merlots under $30 or Cabs from $30-50. There is flexibility in this setup, but the goal is to establish a base and top price to ensure you are comparing “apples to apples”. This type of tasting often results in some surprising discoveries. Many good to excellent wines may be found in the ‘lower’ price ranges.
Country, State or Region of Origin
This option can be a lot of fun, and lends itself well to specific themes that can be expressed in accompanying food, décor and music.
New World/Old World
Here you compare a grape varietal grown in the “Old World” (i.e. Europe –France, Italy, Spain, etc.) with the same varietal grown in the “New World” (i.e. North America, South America, New Zealand, Australia and so on).
One of the most gratifying themes, the “Dessert Wine” party combines the most decadent of deserts with their accompanying wines. This theme beckons the accompaniment of decadent even sinful sweets.
The above themes are simply suggestions; use your imagination to come up with your own unique ideas.