Setting The Scene: Your First Wine Tasting Event

In Planning Your Event, Wine Events by AlexLinebrinkLeave a Comment

Are you thinking about planning a wine tasting event? If this is your first time, don’t sweat it, we’ve got you covered. You don’t have to spend tons of cash or be a wine connoisseur to host a great wine event, even if you are going for a more sophisticated atmosphere. By focusing on the right details, and by setting the scene to emphasize your wine selections, you can turn your event into a huge success. These tips will take you from vino rookie to all-star in no time!

Don’t Judge A Wine By Its Label

When hosting a wine tasting event, it’s recommended to taste “blind”. This helps guests avoid choosing the wine that has the prettiest label or the brand they might like the best. Liking a wine because of its label is like judging a book by it’s cover; the outside is not always indicative of what’s on the inside. So that your guests may partake in blind tasting, wrap your bottles in foil and number them with a permanent marker (Wine #1, Wine #2 etc.). Next, number your tasting glasses so you can keep track of each wine. Be sure to reveal the wine labels only at the end of the event!

Contain Yourself: The Perfect Glass 

Of course there are many different types of wine glasses, and it would brilliant to buy a different glass for each type of wine you are tasting. However, this is not always within a planner’s budget, nor necessary for every wine event. Finding a good wine glass does not necessarily mean spending a ton of money. However, it does mean asking yourself the following questions:

  • Will you be serving simple or high quality wines?
  • Will your event be held in a casual or formal setting?
  • How many different types of wine will you be pouring?

If you’re serving some simple wines on a deck or patio, a couple dozen clear glass tumblers will do the trick. If your event is being held in a formal, more intimate setting, you’ll want to consider providing flute-shaped glass for sparkling wines, a tapered, ten to twelve-ounce glass for white wines, and a larger, rounder glass for red wines.

If it is in your interest and within your budget to find glasses for each type of wine you’re serving, check out Wine Folly’s detailed infographic below!



Cleanse Your Palate

Keep your guests’ taste buds neutral and awake with fresh palate cleansers and plenty of water. Crackers, bread, and biscuits are great for absorbing lingering flavors. If you’re on a tight budget, skip the bread and crackers altogether but make sure you provide enough water. If you’re short on time, choose crackers over bread, as they don’t need to be sliced. Although it’s tempting to want to spruce up your palate cleansing options, the focus of the event should be the wine. So, resist the urge to go over the top with a rich or salty treat, and stick with something simple.

Set The Scene 

Perfumes and any other strong scents will affect your guests’ ability to taste the true flavors of the wine. It’s best to avoid potpourri, scented candles, and air fresheners while setting up your venue. Advising guests to refrain from wearing perfume and cologne is helpful as well!

More miscellaneous tips to make sure your event runs smoothly include the following: 

  • Cover the table with a white cloth so that your guests can easily examine the color of each wine.
  • Chill dry whites to between 50 and 55 degrees and reds to between 60 and 65 degrees.
  • Serving light snacks before a tasting ensures that guests don’t start the tasting on an empty stomach.
  • Wrap up the event with a light dessert or a sweet treat made with wine!