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:

Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business  Shanken News DailyTexas governor Greg Abbott has signed into law a measure that vastly expands the number of retail liquor licenses an individual may own in the Lone Star State.
Dragons' Den star expands Calgary brewery to make wine, spirits  Calgary SunThe Minhas Micro Brewery in Calgary is expanding into spirits and wine.
Fine Wine & Good Spirits store on East Shore to temporarily relocate  PennLive.comThe store will move across Jonestown Road to the former H.H. Gregg.
It’s Time to Rethink Wine Criticism  The New York TimesRobert M. Parker Jr., who dominated wine criticism in the United States for roughly 30 years after his enthusiastic embrace of the 1982 Bordeaux vintage, ...
Beverage Distributor - Wine & Spirits Sales Manager - BevNET.com Beverage Industry Job Listing  NOSHWe are a Chicagoland beverage distributor currently seeking a Wine and Spirits Sales Manager for our Chicago, IL location. This position is accountable for ...
Investors buy former Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits warehouse in Tampa  Tampa Bay Business JournalWe purchased the building from an owner occupant, so we will be introducing new inventory to a very tight industrial market with this acquisition.""
Fire Damages Lanes Wines & Spirits in Binghamton  wnbf.comBinghamton Fire Marshalls are looking into the cause of a fire Lanes Wines and Spirits on Main Street in the City of Binghamton.
Time for a wine and spirits trademark tour?  LexologyThe wine and spirits sector has had a busy first half of 2019 in trademark terms. A 'Côtes de Provence' collective mark for China? France's…
The Most Expensive Spirits of All Time  Wine-SearcherAs part of our 20th anniversary, we've been trawling through our database to find some hidden gems. Read the latest wine news & features on wine-searcher.
From the Editor: Good Wine and Good Spirits  San Antonio MagazineIt'd been at least six months since we'd last seen each other when my long-distance best friends, Felicia and Sarah, met me in Fredericksburg for a girl's ...
CannaCraft Adds Wine And Brand-Building Veterans To C-Suite  BenzingaCannaCraft recently announced the addition of two new executives to its team, as the company continues its expansion efforts. Tracey Mason was named Chief .
The Jessica's Secret Index - Wines and spirits ranking for May - The Moodie Davitt Report  The Moodie Davitt ReportThe Jessica's Secret Index for May, published in association with The Moodie Davitt Report, highlights demand among the price comparison app's ...
Inside Japan's Oldest Whisky Distillery  FortuneNearly 100 years ago, the House of Suntory defined what it means to be a Japanese whisky.
Amazon Wants to Open a Tiny Liquor Store in Dogpatch  Eater SFThe delivery giant really just wants to bring you bottles of booze through Prime Now.
Luxury Wines And Spirits Market 2019- Market Status, Growth and Overall Demand by Top Key Players – Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Bacardi, Brown- Forman, ThaiBev, Campari  Market Research ReportLuxury Wines And Spirits Market Report has been studied and presents an actionable vision to key participants working in it. There are different of acute care ...
A Wine and Spirit Festival is taking over the waterfront this weekend  Daily HiveTwo days of waterfront wines, spirits, and beers are on the horizon! The Wine & Spirit Festival is back in Toronto all weekend long.
Oldest Macallan bottling could sell for US$125,000 at auction  The Spirits BusinessA bottle of the oldest Macallan expression to date – a 72-year-old single malt bottled in a Lalique crystal decanter – is expected to sell for between US$100,000 ...
New tax on beer, wine, spirits on the table in Illinois  WLS-TVA brand new tax on beer, wine and liquor in Illinois is on the table as part of the Governor JB Pritzker's budget plan.
Frank Family Vineyards Guarantees All 2017 Wines Came from Grapes Harvested Before the Fires  wineindustryadvisor.com(June 17, 2019; Calistoga, Calif.) — As Napa Valley prepares for another busy summer tourist season, many wine enthusiasts are still asking about the quality of ...
Petaluma Drinks offers a sip of all the best beer, wine, spirits and cider  Petaluma Argus CourierWhether you prefer beer, wine or whiskey, Petaluma Drinks is a weekend tasting extravaganza, celebrating all the great craft alcohol producers in town. Set for ...
Purple Wine + Spirits seeks sizable change to west Sonoma County winery  North Bay Business JournalAs Purple Wine + Spirits reconfigures its administrative and winemaking operations among its California North Coast facilities, the company proposes a big ...
Craft Wine & Beer Shop Coming to 43 Bowers Street, The Heights  Jersey DigsThe former Mahnke's Deli at 43 Bowers Street is set to become Riverview Wine Beer & Spirits who will be hosting a “soft opening” later today.
San Antonio Beer Week: Brewery information & more  KSAT 12It's the best time of the year for local brewers -- beer week! Check out all the area breweries participating in San Antonio Beer Week.
Floral and lush, this $12 South African white wine blend blossoms in your glass  The Washington PostI have two special treats for you this week. The greatest value of the week is a delightful, inexpensive white blend from South Africa, all the more attractive ...
2 men rob Raleigh convenience store of cash, cigarettes, wine, police say  CBS17.comRALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Police are looking for two men who they say robbed a gas station convenience store Monday morning in Raleigh. According to ...
Beer, wine, spirits: Where to grab a drink in Snohomish County  The Daily HeraldDecant Edmonds: The annual festival takes place 5 to 8 p.m. May 25 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N. Enjoy local wine, spirits and beer ...
Foley Family Wines partnering with upstart Florida spirits maker  Santa Rosa Press DemocratFoley will lend its expertise and market leverage to American Freedom, an artisanal spirits producer whose Horse Soldier Bourbon label has become one of the ...
Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits Paris Stock Exchange:MBWS  GlobeNewswireMONTHLY DECLARATION OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF VOTING RIGHTS AND SHARES. (ARTICLE L233-8II THE COMMERCIAL CODE and 223-16 OF THE ...
Meet the Man Who Stocks Hollywood's Top Wine Shop  FortuneMeet the man who keeps the stars stocked with the best vintages.
Wine, Spirits and Beer store - Craft Beer Associate/Excellent Pay Rate - Brewbound.com Craft Beer Job Listing  Brewbound.comWe are seeking an ambitious individual with experience in the Craft Beer industry and eagerness to learn more about wine and spirits. Responsible for ...
Happening Saturday: Wine, spirits, beer tastings at Decant Edmonds  MLT NewsA reminder that Decant Edmonds will take place this Saturday, May 25 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. Enjoy an evening of wine, spirits and beer tastings ...
Wine & Spirits launches upgraded Lebanon store  Lebanon Daily NewsAfter more than four months in a temporary location, Fine Wine & Good Spirits launched its renovated store in The Promenade at Lebanon East shopping center ...
Great Wine at Great Prices  Nanaimo News BulletinGood selection means getting the right wine for you.
Spec's Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods plans fall opening for new Spring location  Community Impact NewspaperA Spec's Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods store currently being built in Spring is expected to open this fall, the retailer confirmed. The new location at 24527 Gosling ...
Wine Industry Anxiously Awaits Supreme Court Decision  Wine-SearcherRetailers and wine shippers are crossing their fingers that the Court will make interstate wine commerce easier. Read the latest wine news & features on ...
Achaval Ferrer Acquires Melipal Winery  PR Newswire UKTransaction reinforces powerhouse winery's status as the iconic Argentine producer and positions it for future development MENDOZA, Argentina and NEW ...
O.Vine Launches Two New Wine-Essence Water Flavors  BevNET.comROSH PINA, Israel– Wine Water, Ltd., parent company of O.Vine, Inc., launches Chardonnay- and Cabernet Sauvignon-essence water to refresh the “infused ...
Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits Collaborates with Women of the Vine & Spirits to Promote Women-Owned Businesses  Business WireSouthern Glazer's is collaborating with Women of the Vine & Spirits to support their new Certified Women Owned Logo and Database program.
The Differences Between Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Aromas, Explained  VinePairWhen analyzing wines, professionals split flavors and aromas into three different categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Here's what you need to know.
June 15: Days of Wine & Spirits at Rancho Camulos  SCVNEWS.comA presentation on the history of winemaking in Ventura County, and wine tasting from a local vintner will highlight “The Days of Wine and Spirits at Rancho ...
West Village’s Summer Wine and Beer Garden Is Closed for 2019  Eater DetroitThe West Village neighborhood's popular seasonal outdoor drinking spot is shutting down for the 2019 season. The Villages Bier & Weingarten announced to ...
Beer Provides More Jobs, Wages, and Economic Impact Than Wine or Spirits  VinePairThe Beer Serves America report reveals that beer contributes more jobs, wages, and cash to the U.S. economy than wine or spirits.
Trade bids fond farewell to Gerard Basset  Harpers Wine & Spirit Trade ReviewWinchester Cathedral provided a fitting setting on Friday for the memorial *service* of Gerard Basset OBE, MS, MW, MBA, MSc (OIV), as members of the wine and ...
How Wine Companies Build Their Brands With Little Advertising  AdweekWhether you were introduced to the brand's signature pink, sweet White Zinfandel as you tip-toed your way into wine drinking or spotted its label—its logo paired ...
Former tobacco executive is making his mark at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates  The Seattle TimesWhen Jim Mortensen, a former executive with Miller Brewing and Philip Morris, came out of retirement last September to be the new CEO at Ste. Michelle Wine ...
The Buzz: Liquor license renewals reveal ins and outs in Fox Cities  Appleton Post CrescentAs liquor licenses come up for renewal, some Fox Cities businesses decide to close. Others hold on with the hope of reopening.
Saugus residents split 50/50 over proposed liquor store - Itemlive  Daily ItemThe owner of Bacci's Pizzeria wants to open a wine and spirits shop next door to his pizza shop but Nasty Nonni's Wine & Spirits across the street is opposed.
After Losing $1 Billion, a Russian Exile Rebounds With Bond’s Favorite Bubbly  BloombergEvgeny Chichvarkin's Mayfair wine shop has shaken up London's wine scene. Now he's adding a restaurant with $800 tasting menus.
Beer, wine & spirits – The liquid gold of the PNW  Vancouver Business JournalRUSTY HOYLE Craft Beer & Wine Festival It's no secret that the Pacific Northwest is home to some of the world's greatest beer, wine & spirits. In.
Wine store is first in country to stock new cannabis-based sangria  Harwich and Manningtree StandardA WINE and record store in Manningtree has become the first in the country to supply a range of CBD-infused wine and sangria.
Nicolas Feuillatte acquires Henri Abelé  Harpers Wine & Spirit Trade ReviewNicolas Feuillatte has acquired Champagne Henri Abelé, which has been part of the Freixenet Group since 1985, for an undisclosed sum. Announced today,...
Driscoll's limited edition rosé wine-flavored berries hitting store shelves  KGO-TVSpringtime is officially rosé season and if you're all about rose all day, here's something to add to your bounty of everything blush.
Waterstones owner Elliott gatecrashes Majestic party  Sky NewsElliott Advisors has joined rival suitors for Majestic Wine's 200-strong UK store network, Sky News can reveal.
Ray's in Wauwatosa plans a Rosé Day Festival and a chance to savor very old sherries  Milwaukee Journal SentinelOn the one hand are wines that are so hot right now, and on the other, fortified wines that have an essence of history to them: Ray's Wine & Spirits in Wauwatosa ...
Like bourbon? Restore white oak trees | TheHill  The HillAll bourbon must, by federal law, be aged in new, charred oak barrels. Wood from American white oak trees is preferred.
Behind America's New Nouveau-Style Wines  Wine Enthusiast Magazine OnlineA number of American producers are taking inspiration from Beaujolais and producing their own *fresh*, carbonic wines meant to be drunk young.
Mon Ami sold to Smith family, owners of Twin Oast Brewing in $1.25 million purchase  Port Clinton News HeraldCATAWBA ISLAND - Quintin and Donna Smith, owners of Twin Oast Brewing Co. in Catawba, purchased Mon Ami Winery with the goal of strengthening the ...
Natural wine is the buzziest and least understood style of wine. Here’s where and how to try it.  Washington PostWhether you drink a lot of wine or a little, you may have heard the term “natural wine” lately. Fueled in part by health-consciousness, in part by environmental ...
Measure Iqaluit beer and wine store’s impacts on surrounding communities, Nakashuk urges  Nunavut NewsPangnirtung MLA Margaret Nakashuk wants the GN to track the effects Iqaluit's beer and wine store has on neighbouring communities. "I want to remind the.
I'm Upset: The only thing worse than craft beer is craft liquor  The OutlineI have the misfortune of living in one of those areas in which the craft brewing industry has somehow become one of the major drivers of economic growth.
6 groceries you should always buy at Kroger  CNBCKroger is one of the largest grocery store operators in the country, offering tons of sales and promotions on everyday products. Here are a handful of items you ...
Oleksyn: Former Willow Park Wines and Spirits owner makes a spirited shift  Calgary HeraldIn 1994, Wayne Henuset entered Alberta's newly privatized retail liquor market with Willow Park Wines & Spirits. Now Henuset is focusing only on the spirits, ...
Ever wonder how a private label bourbon is chosen? Here's how the folks at Doc's do it  The Commercial AppealDoc's Wine, Spirits & More enlisted the help of their customers to choose their next Doc.52 private label release. Here's how the barrel was chosen.
Down the Rabbit Hole: Cirque comes to Kelowna  Pentiction Western NewsLe Cirque de la Nuit performed in Kelowna on June 15.
Father's Day Gift Guide: The Best Spirits (And Beer) For Dad  ForbesThree dads in the spirits industry share what they actually want to be getting for Father's Day—from the still hard-to-find Powers Three Swallow to a Scotch Malt ...
Vine Social: Even If You're Not a Fan of White Wines, There Are Plenty of Wines You Can Savor Over the Summer  Coachella Valley IndependentWe have entered the temperature ugh zone, where the only thing anyone can talk about is how disgusting it is outside. Yes, the next few months will be...
Things to do in Baltimore this week: Dragon Boat Challenge, Chesapeake Crab, Wine & Beer Festival and more  Baltimore SunThe top A&E events in the Baltimore area for the week of June 16-22, 2019.
Celebrate Wedding Season with Colonial Wines & Spirits  KATVTristan Cripps of Colonial Wines and Spirits shares some suggestions on which refreshments you'll need for your wedding celebration.
Amazon looks to start delivering alcohol in San Francisco  The Mercury NewsBeer, wine and hard liquor might soon be on the online retailer's delivery list.
The Best Affordable Wine and Liquor to Pick up at Trader Joe’s  Yahoo LifestyleThrowing parties is fun; buying enough booze to satisfy all of your thirsty party guests is not. Luckily, affordable wine and liquor options seem to get better with ...
Natural Wine Is a Game Changer for the Health Conscious  Hour Detroit MagazineThere is no standardized process for making natural wine — hence its natural peg. Unlike traditional wine, natural wine is often made from organically...
Denomination creates branding for Tread Softly wines  Packaging NewsDenomination has designed the branding for Australian organic wine producer Fourth Wave's new range of lighter-style Tread Softly wines.
Alcohol&Me reaches thousands  Rural News GroupInitially established as an inhouse programme by Lion New Zealand, Alcohol&Me is now reaching nearly 30000 New Zealanders. Jude Walter is the pro...
Exploring Italy Through its Amaro  Wine Enthusiast Magazine OnlineWhile traveling through Italy, our spirits editor found relaxation and exploration through the country's signature digestivo, amaro.
Alcohol industry 'is failing to update unit guidelines on its wine, beer and spirits'  BrinkwireThe alcohol industry has been accused of fueling unhealthy drinking habits by failing to communicate the risks to the public. The self-regulating industry has not ...
Saugus selectmen approve license for Howard Street beer and wine store  Wicked LocalThe Board of Selectmen awarded Lisa's Beer & Wine a license to operate at a Howard Street plaza, an application several residents objected to on the grounds ...

The Stuff of Poetry ? Mead

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

Cabernet Sauvignon Wine

Cabernet Sauvignon is the grape responsible for the wines of... Read More

Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting Component I: LookThe first step you have to... Read More

The Old Fashioned: Two Recipes of an Underrated Classic

Like many mixed drinks, the Old Fashioned has a number... Read More

The Harmony between Wine and Food

Wine is a social drink which should be enjoyed in... Read More

Start Your Wine Cellar The Right Way

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

Hosting A Wine Tasting Party

As your love and knowledge of wine grows, it is... Read More

Using Cooking Wine

Cooking wine is sort of a holdover from prohibition. People... Read More

Beer and The Commodities Market

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

Enjoy Your Favorite Wine - But With Some Rules

The mere mention of etiquette brings to mind various images,... Read More

Tasting Wine

Wine Tasting Component I: LookThe first step you have to... Read More

Tequila

It was once a ritual usually performed by a man.... Read More

What is Corked Wine?

Keeping a wine bottle sealed is probably the most important... Read More

Explore the U.S. Wine Trails

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

Choosing a Wine Gift Basket

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

Carignane Wine

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

Pairing Food and Wine is a Matter of Taste

First off let me say that I am in no... Read More

Riesling Wine

The most famous cool climates for Riesling wine are in... Read More

Champagne

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

Beer, Wine and Your Bones

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

How to Order Wine in a Restaurant

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

Who Made the First Wine Anyway?

Although details are understandably sketchy, it is believed that, around... Read More

Ideal Wine Temperature

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

Guide To Tasting Wine

The basics of tasting wine are relatively simple to learn.... Read More

Pairing Beer With Food

Pairing beer with the fine cuisine has recently come to... Read More