Hosting A Wine Tasting Party

As your love and knowledge of wine grows, it is inevitable that you will want to share your revelations with friends and family. Hosting a wine tasting party is a great way to do this.

When planning a wine tasting party, some obvious questions about parameters arise. How many people should you invite? What types and how many wines should you pour?

It is my opinion that an informal gathering should be kept to 12 people or less. This ensures that conversation and dialogue will be much more conducive than with a larger group.

Blind tasting is the most fun and informative. Wrapping bottles in bags will negate past preferences and prejudices. You may be surprised what you "like" without access to the wine label.

Focus on a relatively specific style of wine. Within this framework, some variations should be considered. I recently hosted a wine tasting party where we tasted Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons.

To make it more interesting, we tasted two wines from Rutherford, (valley floor) two from Stags Leap, (east hills) and two from Mount Veeder (west hills). This was a pleasant and educational mix: a consistant varietal, but different styles from different regions. Another option is to taste the same varietal from the same region, but in different price ranges.

For the initial tasting, pour a small amount in each guest's glass. Refrain from pouring full glasses until every wine has been tasted to avoid the cloud of inebriation on the senses.

Provide some neutral flavored foods for your guests. Make sure this does not interfere or clash with the wine tasting. Don't serve blue cheese if you are tasting Pinot Blancs. Try bread or crackers and a mild, white cheddar or brie.

Paper and pencils are necessary for your guests to write notes and preferences. If you regularly taste with the same group, you may want to use a designated notebook as well as articulate some additional guidelines and procedures for the tasting notes. This will create and ongoing reference point and perspective as your tastes develop.

Benjamin Bicais lives in the Napa Valley and is the webmaster of http://www.california-wine-tours-and-acc essories.com

In The News:

Doc's liquor store bucks trends, signs new lease at expanding Carrefour  Memphis Business JournalRumors of a family-owned liquor retail store leaving a Germantown shopping center appear to be false. Doc's Wine, Spirits & More, which has been located in a ...
Supreme Court Hears Liquor Store's Fight Against 'Good Old Boys System' That Bans Competition  ForbesThe case marks one of the few times the Supreme Court will consider the 21st Amendment, which famously repealed Prohibition.
Justices Slam 'Economic Protectionism' In Supreme Court Liquor Case, 100 Years After Prohibition  ForbesExactly 100 years after the nation ratified the Eighteenth Amendment and began Prohibition, on Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court considered a case that ...
Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business  Shanken News DailyWhen drinkers consider the whiskies of the world, Wales isn't usually in the picture. But Welsh single malt whisky Penderyn is quickly establishing itself in the ...
Cheers! Largest U.S. wine and beer retailer coming to Myrtle Beach  WMBFMYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Wine and beer connoisseurs get ready because a new business is preparing to open its doors in the Grand Strand. On Friday ...
Delegation rejects beer, wine, liquor license for co-op grocery stores  Frederick News PostANNAPOLIS — The Frederick County delegation in Annapolis killed a proposal to allow the sale of wine, beer and liquor in co-op-owned grocery stores with ...
Wine connoisseur shares her legacy of beautiful wines  IOLDURBAN - The start of a new a new year is the time for celebration and new beginnings. Liz Clarke chatted to a KZN based wine connoisseur whose career ...
Wine, spirits sales fall flat for Constellation Brands  CNBCCNBC's "Power Lunch" team talks with Pablo Zuanic of Susquehanna to break down why shares of Constellation Brands are dropping. The company released ...
Grape Minds Summertown: new wine store to open in north Oxford  Oxford MailA MERRILY-named wine store is set to open in north Oxford tomorrow.
Wine, Spirit Tasting event set | Lifestyles  Elk Valley TimesThe Southern Tennessee Ladies' Society will host its 9th Annual Wine and Spirit Tasting Event on Saturday, Jan. 26, from 7 until 9 p.m. at the Franklin County ...
Bong breaks and spider mites: My crash course in 'cannabis school' was an eye-opener  The Globe and MailEager to infiltrate the front lines of Canada's green-hospitality revolution, wine critic Beppi Crosariol enrolled in a 'cannabis sommelier' class. Just don't call him ...
Best of Houston® 2019: Best Wine Store  Houston PressIn this year's Best of Houston®, the Houston Press selected Vinology as Best Wine Store.
Tributes paid to the inimitable Gerard Basset OBE  The Drinks BusinessGerard Basset OBE, the esteemed Master Sommelier and Master of Wine who contributed immeasurably to the wine trade over the course of his 30-year career, ...
The 12 best bargain wines of 2018 cost as little as $9. What are you waiting for?  Washington PostAs 2018 spirals to a close, we can at least console ourselves that we drank well while the circus unfolded around us. And we didn't have to drink expensively.
In a Walmart parking lot - Joy riding and guzzling wine from a Pringles can  Independent TribuneThose who read offbeat stories in a futile attempt to block out depressing political news like I do may have seen this viral story by now: A Texas woman was.
Saxco International and its big Solano County packaging-distribution hub sold to Atlas Holdings  North Bay Business JournalSaxco International, a San Francisco East Bay-based adult-beverage packaging distributor, rolled into the North Bay wine, beer and spirits business in a big way ...
Marijuana hasn't hurt booze sales in the three states where weed has been legal the longest, liquor industry group's study says  CNBC"The trends in alcohol have been fairly consistent regardless of whether or not you have legalized recreational marijuana in a state or not, says the chief ...
Women buy 80% of wine sold in Britain but that still doesn't stop men ALWAYS grabbing the wine list  Daily MailThe survey of 1027 people for the Women's Wine & Spirits Awards found 80 per cent of buyers were women, with more than a quarter buying wine on average ...
US Supreme Court appears ready to void Tennessee alcohol sales law  The Commercial AppealWASHINGTON — The Supreme Court appeared ready Wednesday to strike down a Tennessee provision that requires people to live in the state for two years ...
United Spirits sells Four Seasons Wines business  The Indian ExpressUSL said this move towards disinvestment of Four Seasons Wines is in line with USL's strategy to successfully continue to monetise its non-core assets, ...
From sidewalk salt to bread to wine, stores are ready for storm shoppers  Tribune-ReviewMany are doing what they can to prepare for snow, rain and sleet predicted to pelt the region this weekend. 'We're ready to go,' said Steve Cowan, spokesman ...
Constellation Brands Has a Wine Problem and a Weed Problem  The Motley FoolConstellation Brands (NYSE:STZ), the alcoholic beverage giant behind such wine brands as Franciscan Estates and Robert Mondavi, beers such as Corona ...
Wine starts flowing Sunday morning at Tennessee grocery stores  Knoxville News SentinelFARRAGUT – The first minutes of legal Sunday wine sales in Tennessee grocery stores didn't bring a rush to the wine aisles of the Kroger Marketplace in ...
Napa is suddenly abuzz with winery and vineyard sales  San Francisco ChronicleAfter a relatively quiet period in Napa Valley mergers and acquisitions, we are suddenly seeing a flurry of activity. The big headline: Ed and Deb Fitts have sold ...
Distell launches new company for premium wines  HeraldLIVEDistell, Africa's leading wines and spirits producer and marketer, is launching Libertas Vineyards and Estates as a new stand-alone company with ownership of ...
Ramada Inn Wine Festival supports River Institute  Cornwall Seaway NewsCORNWALL, Ontario – For the 16th year in a row, the Ramada Inn held an elegant evening with live music, mingling, wine and hors d'oeuvres tastings on ...
Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany donates $7500 to Camp Nejeda  Parsippany FocusPARSIPPANY — Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany Foundation donated $7,500 to Camp Nejeda at its annual Holiday and Awards Dinner held at Hanover ...
A Third-Generation Woodworker in Rural Maine Deals in Barrels and Craft Beer Controversy  VinePairMatt Albrecht, a third-generation woodworker in rural Maine, provides highly specialized services to some of the most esteemed brewers in the country. “I came ...
Craft Beer Looks Beyond ‘Young White Dudes With Beards’  The New York TimesFaced with slowing sales growth, some brewers are looking to reach a new, more diverse audience.
BUSINESS DIGEST || Vineyards at Pine Lake earns spot on quality wine list  Youngstown VindicatorVineyards at Pine Lake earns spot on quality wine list. COLUMBIANA. The Vineyards at Pine Lake has been recognized by the Ohio Quality Wine program for its ...
Redefining Wine Shop Design, Inside and Out  Wine Enthusiast Magazine OnlineThese modern wine shops create an experience for customers through innovative design, a welcoming atmosphere and a curated selection of labels.
5 ways to get out of your wine-drinking rut and discover something new  Washington PostHere are five ways you, too, can enhance our wine experience. Whether you are a novice who has just caught the wine bug, or an old hand trying to get out of a ...
Glasgow getting another bar, liquor store | Local News  Glasgow Daily TimesGLASGOW – Two years after the countywide expansion of alcohol sales kicked off with a purchase of packaged beer at Haywood Country Store, Barren ...
Car driven into beer and wine store in The Colony  FOX 4 NewsA car was driven through the front of a beer and wine store in The Colony on Wednesday morning.
Dry January: it's never been easier to go alcohol-free | Fiona Beckett on wine  The GuardianShunning the booze this month? Luckily, supermarket shelves are now stacked with tasty alternatives to keep you on the wagon.
The spirit of things: New and reimagined offerings of beer, whisky and gin  Calgary HeraldThe Calgary Tower has shone red for Chinese New Year and the Flames and blue and orange for World Cancer Day. It's adding green to the palette on Jan.
Pasta maker branches out with Trial & Error rum  Associated PressRICHMOND, Va. (AP) — There's a new spirit in the Richmond area — a spirit of the rum variety. In the back of their pasta café and shop at 1606 W. Main St., ...
Americans drank less alcohol in ’18 for 3rd year in row  The Detroit NewsTotal cases of beer, wine and spirits consumed in the U.S. dropped 0.8 percent to nearly 3.35 billion in 2018.
'Wine is not comparable to other alcohols': French minister causes stir with bold alcohol claim  thejournal.ieFRANCE'S AGRICULTURE MINISTER unleashed a torrent of criticism from addiction experts Wednesday after claiming that wine, unlike other forms of alcohol, ...
As Americans Drink Less Alcohol, Booze Makers Look Beyond the Barrel  Wall Street JournalAmericans are increasingly laying off the booze, prompting the world's biggest brewers and liquor companies to push beyond their traditional fare and roll out ...
Are US millennials giving wine the cold shoulder?  decanter.comMillennials in the US are not moving into wine as quickly as hoped, but there is still time for momentum to shift, says a report from Silicon Valley Bank...
Global Luxury Wines and Spirits Market Study, Market Size, Manufacturers Analysis, Share, And Future Prospects 2018 To 2023  Current News MagazineLuxury Wines and Spirits Market Report analyses 2018 covers stakeholders, Luxury Wines and Spirits manufacturers, production, capacity, value, market share ...
Texas woman drinking wine from Pringles can banned from Walmart  WPVI-TVPolice in northern Texas say a woman has been banned from a local Walmart after she spent several hours driving an electric shopping cart around the store's ...
Celebrity Winemakers and Seminars Announced for South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival  Broadway WorldThe first round of featured winemakers and distillers has been announced for the 2019 South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival, taking place April 25 - 28 in ...
Wichita Falls PD: Woman riding cart drinking wine from Pringles can barred from Walmart  Times Record NewsWichita Falls police received a rather unique call Friday morning involving a woman drinking wine in a Walmart parking lot.
Adults Under 35 Are Behind a 'Marked Decline' in Wine Consumption  Food & WineGet ready for a whole lot of "millennials are killing wine" takes.
Wine-by-the-glass subscription service Vinebox raises $5.9 million  TechCrunchOne SF startup wants you to get home from a day at work and polish off a bottle of wine by yourself. Vinebox isn't really trying to get you wasted though, these ...
Is That Wine You’ve Been Hoarding Actually Valuable?  Wall Street JournalSo you have a couple bottles of old Dom Pérignon stashed in a closet. Don't quit your job just yet. The experts reveal how they determine which bottles are ...
Foxborough police searching for armed robbery suspect  Turn to 10The Foxborough Police Department is asking the public to help them find a suspect involved in an armed robbery. Authorities said they responded to Hops and ...
Kazimierz reopens under new ownership — and with a lot of whiskey  AZCentralLess than four months after its sudden closure, Old Town Scottsdale bar Kazimiers will reopen under new ownership as a wine and whiskey bar.
Critical Review: Crimson Wine Group (CWGL) & LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMUY)  Fairfield CurrentCrimson Wine Group (OTCMKTS:CWGL) and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (OTCMKTS:LVMUY) are both consumer staples companies, but which is the ...
Same wine, different tastes: Study pits B.C. oenophiles against Montreal sommeliers  CBC NewsWine educators hope a recent study, published in the Journal of Wine Research, will help demystify the standards used to determine why some wines are worth ...
What Are The Technicals Telling Us About Diamond Estates Wines and Spirits Inc (DWS.V)  Tremont HeraldDiamond Estates Wines and Spirits Inc (DWS.V) are in focus today as the charts are revealing that the Mesa Adaptive Moving Average (MAMA) has trickled.
Espresso, Nutella Pop Tarts and Wine: Welcome to Northside Social  ARLnowThis *content* was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington's top producing residential real estate team. At Northside Social in Clarendon, you ...
North Austin wine store aims to give customers a 'sommelier's experience with average Joe prices'  KVUE.comAUSTIN — With a name like Utopian Shift, you may suspect the owners of this North Austin wine store want to do more than just sell wine -- and you'd be right.
You Can Buy a Villa in This Wine-Producing Sicilian Town For Just $1  VinePairA coffee at McDonald's, one song on iTunes, or a subscription to a monthly razor blade supplier: What exactly is one dollar worth to you? In one town on the ...
Top 50 innovative new spirits of 2018: 40-31  The Spirits BusinessA vegan-friendly zero-abv 'spirit', an alcoholic beverage made from hemp milk and what is thought to be the world's oldest Irish single malt dominate the second ...
2-Day Whiskey Celebration In Montgomery County Starts Jan. 18  Patch.com2-Day Whiskey Celebration In Montgomery County - Gaithersburg, MD - Whiskey Rocks, a two-day celebration starting Jan. 18, will have limited release bottles ...
Best Whiskey 2019 - 12 Whiskey Reviews  Runner's WorldFrom scotch and bourbon to Japanese and rye whiskey, start sipping these high-ranking whiskies to celebrate your training success.
Couple who fell to their deaths in Yosemite were intoxicated, autopsy reports show  NBCNews.comA couple who fell to their deaths from an outlook at Yosemite National Park in California in October were “intoxicated with ethyl alcohol prior to death,” according ...
Rain batters Gibbston, wind to follow  Otago Daily TimesA rainy and grey day hasn't managed to dampen spirits at this year's Gibbston Valley Winery Summer Concert. A large crowd donned their plastic ponchos and ...
Selbach-Oster wines are cellar-worthy and affordable  Straight.comWe look at the astronomical prices commanded by wines from places like Barolo, Burgundy, and Bordeaux, well into the hundreds or thousands of dollars, and ...
The Best Cruises for Wine Lovers  Wine Enthusiast Magazine OnlineFrom mega-ships to yachts, cruises are upgrading their culinary options as well as offering more wine-focused on-board activities and off-ship excursions.
What's on the menu in Wetherspoons' Valentine's Day 2019 meal deal  Hull Daily MailThe deal includes two mains, two desserts and two drinks.
Hudson Valley Residents Prepare for Harsh Winter Storm  Spectrum NewsWith the storm bearing down, many people in Hudson Valley are stocking up. In Newburgh, people were rushing to gather all necessary food and supplies.
A Houston Bar Will Serve Wine Out of Pringles Cans  Eater HoustonInspired by a Wichita Falls woman barred from a Walmart store for riding around the parking lot with a Pringles can full of wine, Spring Branch bar the Branch will ...
Small Bites: Fast-Casual Italian, Prima, Coming to Bethesda; 'Whiskey Rocks' Brings Special Selections to Gaithersburg and Bethesda » Bethesda Beat  BethesdaMagazine.comFast-Casual Italian, Prima, Coming to Bethesda. Fast-casual Italian restaurant Prima will be replacing Taylor Gourmet at Bethesda Row. Prima, 7280 Woodmont ...
Best Buy closure ‘hard to believe’  St. Albert GazetteWith its lease expiring and nowhere to go, the store is moving employees to other locations.
The Modern Craft Cocktail Movement Got Its Start During Prohibition  Smithsonian.comSomething needed to be done to mask the taste of bootleg alcohol that could include ingredients ranging from dead rats to wood tar.
Milk and bread? In Rochester, we stock up on beer, chips and shrimp as storm nears  Rochester Democrat and ChronicleWith a major snowstorm looming this weekend, it's time to run to the grocery store for some bread and milk. Or at least that's the running joke. But I wondered, is ...
How Jumbo Liquor was used to launder Bosasa's bribes: Angelo Agrizzi  SowetanLIVE Sunday WorldAngelo Agrizzi, the former COO of Bosasa, prepares to give testimony on January 16 2018 at the state capture commission in Parktown, Johannesburg.
Man who killed his friend 3 years ago confesses due to ‘haunting image’  Bangalore MirrorThe story starts on March 16, 2016, when N Dinesh, a resident of Vinayaka Layout in Nayandahalli was found dead on the Bengaluru-Mysuru railway track.
Why wine lovers should be watching this U.S. Supreme Court case  Rochester Democrat and ChronicleWine is in the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time since 2005. It could mean changes that will affect wine-related businesses as well as consumers.
New food service operator needed at Canton's Partridge Run golf course  WatertownDailyTimes.comCANTON — Golf weather may be a few months away, but village officials are planning ahead for the upcoming season at the Partridge Run Golf & Country Club.
Giant begins wine and beer sales at Huntingdon Valley  Bucks County Courier TimesLOWER MORELAND — Giant Food Stores has begun selling beer and wine and offering tastings at its Huntingdon Valley store at 737 Huntingdon Pike.
Low-cost grocery store ALDI coming to Clovis, along with its award-winning rosé  The Fresno BeeA woman and child walk from a Aldi food market, in Salem, New Hampshire. Low-cost grocery chain Aldi says it plans to add more stores in the United States ...
Wicked Weed Brewing plans new South Slope restaurant with Asheville chef Jacob Sessoms  Asheville Citizen-TimesThe new restaurant, Cultura, will bring wood-fired Roman-style pizzas to Asheville and add to that large-format dishes and vegetable-forward plates.
Luxury Wines and Spirits Market | Global Industry Analysis, Segments, Top Key Pl  AlgosOnlineMarket Study Report, LLC, has compiled an exhaustive research study of the ' Luxury Wines and Spirits market', detailing every single market driver and ...
Guidance? We Don't Need No Stinking Guidance!  Motley FoolConstellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) (NYSE:STZ-B) falls after lowering guidance for 2019 thanks to a writedown in its investment in Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC).
Soon, you can enjoy beer and wine at Argus Farm Stop in Ann Arbor  WDIV ClickOnDetroitIs an Arg-toberfest on the horizon? We sure hope so.
Letter to the editor: No real surprise that Fireball tops liquor sales  Press HeraldWhat news to see that Fireball whiskey has become No. 1 in statewide liquor sales (Jan. 16, Page C1). One might have guessed by all the empty nips along the ...
Winemaking the modern way  Hernando SunBy SUE QUIGLEY HERNANDO SUN WRITER PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALICE MARY HERDEN Gone are the days where grape stomping was used in traditional ...

Wine and Your Health

During the 1990s, a physician voiced on a national TV... Read More

Wine Making and Home Brewing: Whats the Deal?

When it comes to making alcoholic beverages at home, wine... Read More

Start Your Wine Cellar The Right Way

One of the great joys of wine is to be... Read More

How to Order Wine in a Restaurant

Ordering wine in a restaurant is not much different than... Read More

An Idiots Guide To Wine Tasting

Have you ever seen those stiff upper-lipped types doing a... Read More

Tempranillo?s Role As A New Varietal Wine In Australia

Tempranillo is the premium red wine grape variety from the... Read More

The Cocktail Party

A cocktail party can be more daunting than a dinner... Read More

The Truth About Red Wine and Heart Disease

Red Wine, Heart Disease, Hungry Sharks and Knights in Shining... Read More

Chablis Wine

Chablis is thought to have originated in northern Spain and... Read More

Choosing a Wine Gift Basket

During the holiday season, most of us are in a... Read More

France Car Hire

Here is a quick summary of the different French wine... Read More

Rare Varietals Cure Wine Boredom

The future of the Australian wine industry will be shaped... Read More

Beer and The Commodities Market

Most branded products and agricultural products are not commodities. However... Read More

The Stuff of Poetry ? Mead

People have been drinking fermented beverages since the dawn of... Read More

Buying Wine, How to Read a Wine Label and Select a Great Bottle of Wine

I must admit, that for many of us, walking into... Read More

Explore the U.S. Wine Trails

Follow a Local Wine Trail to Discover the Secrets of... Read More

An Introduction to Wine

What is wine?Wine has been made for centuries from just... Read More

Ideal Wine Temperature

The ideal temperature to store wines is between 55ºF and... Read More

Wine Tasting -- The Traditional Way

Wine tasting is properly known as 'Wine Degustation'. It is... Read More

Champagne

Champagne is without question the finest sparkling wine made in... Read More

The Curious History Of Wine Consumption In America

The history of wine consumption in America has been frought... Read More

Bordeaux Wine

Bordeaux is a region in France that produces some of... Read More

Beer, Wine and Your Bones

If you like the taste of a good brew, then... Read More

How Sparkling Wine is Made

There are three methods that may be used to make... Read More

Carignane Wine

The Carignane grape variety is one of the most widely... Read More