In part 1 we discussed all of the items that you need in order to host a wine tasting at your home that will be a smash hit. Many of these items you can obtain at the closest liquor store or specialty wine store. It just so happens that Mulberry MAX Liquor Store in Fort Collins has a certified sommelier on staff to help you put together everything you need for your wine tasting!
For part 2, we dive into the structure of the actual event to satisfy your guests and be a true wine tasting host! If you're new to tastings, here is the general structure:
1. Introduce the Wine
Once everyone has settled at the tasting table, take some time to introduce your theme. This gives everyone some context and helps focus the group's attention.
2. Sample #1
Start by introducing and pouring your first wine, then walk the group through the tasting process detailed below. Throughout the tasting, encourage everyone to take notes on their grids, and keep in mind that this is a fun, social occasion, so be sure to engage people in discussion about each wine.
Hold the glass at a 45-degree angle and examine the wine's color and intensity. Is it a deep red, a pale gold? Is the color saturated throughout, or does the wine look watery around the rim/edges?
Place the glass on the table and swirl it to release the wine's aromas, then bring the glass up to your nose and inhale. What does the smell remind you of? Berries? Tobacco? Chocolate? It may be helpful to close your eyes at this point to help focus your attention on what you smell.
Take a sip of wine and swish it around your mouth without swallowing. Try taking in some air to help release the aromas and flavors. Think about what flavors you taste as well as the wine's acidity and sweetness. Also consider the wine's body and texture: Is it light or heavy? Thick or thin?
Swallow the wine and think about its finish and aftertaste. Does the flavor linger (have a "long finish") or disappear quickly? Is the wine one-dimensional or more complex?
Do you like this wine? Try to identify exactly what you like or dislike, as that can help you identify wines you'll enjoy in the future. And, keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers—it's all a matter of personal preference.
8. Samples #2 to #6
In between each sample, be sure everyone cleanses their palate.
For subsequent wines, you may want to once again lead the group through the formal tasting process—this can be especially helpful for beginner tasters.
9. Final Discussion
Once all the wines have been sampled, lead the group in a discussion about all wines (If you held a blind tasting, this is the time to reveal your bottles.) For fun, have everyone vote for his or her favorite and rank the wines in terms of preference.
Editor: Mr. Max
We work, live, breathe and of course drink the beverage world. This is where we nerd out.