More from Grits & Gravy

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Host a Blind Wine Tasting Party

Last year, two of our colleagues and friends entered into a debate about whether or not the price of the wine determined its quality and tastiness. The conversation resulted in a blind wine tasting party that is now a Fitzgerald tradition. If you enjoy wine, at any price point, I highly encourage you to host your very own blind wine tasting party. You won't be disappointed with the results!

First step is to identify your guest list. This year, we intentionally brought together couples that we keep hoping to connect with but for some reason or another, our schedules do not seem to match up. J and I enjoy bringing together friends from different aspects of lives. It is both fun and an open space for us to truly walk in community with others.

Once you've determined your guest list, you can invite them to bring their favorite bottle of wine. We like to leave it up to guests to choose a white wine or a red wine, and award a prize for each category. You could have folks sign up if you'd like or even assign regions from around the world. There are lots of fun ways to personalize this aspect. Our guests this time around really loved red and we ended up not having a white wine in sight {fine by this red wine lover!}.

Part of my wine love involves the bites to eat that often accompany the sips. Our guests were also asked to bring an appetizer to share. Wine + small bites for dinner. My kind of party, for sure.

For my food contributions, I made a healthier buffalo chicken dip and a baked brie in phyllo cups with a walnut and craisin garnish.

As guests arrived, we invited them to choose a number to attach to their bottle of wine. I found this free printable here.

When the tasting began, each guest received a scorecard to rate the tasting. I like to give a few minutes in between tastings for chatting and preparing for the next sip. As we tasted each wine, we identified the number on the bottle but keep the secret of whose bottle it was and what type of wine it was. For us, it lead to a lot of fun guessing as to who brought it and what type it was.

We prefer to provide mini cups for the tastings and then toss them out each time. You could also provide guests with one glass and a dump bucket if you preferred that. I also recommend some palate cleansing snacks such as: crackers, goldfish, etc. for guests to munch on in between samples.

After all of our tastings were complete, we asked guests to vote for their favorite white wine and favorite red wine. In the case that all of your guests bring one type, liked ours did, have them vote for their top 2. As we announced the top selections, the bottles were revealed! After that, everyone was free to enjoy glasses of any wines they chose.

The winners of our categories took home gift certificates to the newly opened Mini Doughnut Factory, a personal favorite of ours {get the cotton candy one!}.

Of course, decorating for your party is also a fun aspect. Or at least it is for me. A few little pretty things go a long way.

For this party, I used a roll of brown butcher wrapping paper to create a table runner, picked up a fresh tulip plant, and used some thought provoking cocktail napkins to spur on conversation. {I pick up cocktail napkins all the time for this purpose and to be sure that I always have fun ones on hand.} You can use any embellishments you'd like to represent you and add a little fun for your guests.

Write down your own great ideas and invite your friends over for a lovely and lively night with good wine and even better company!

If you're curious about our winners from this year, the favorites were:

Cupcake Black Forest

Dreaming Tree Pinot Noir

Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon


1 comment:

mackyton said...

Hey!! This blind wine tasting party seems to be very interesting. Will plan it at one of San Francisco venues. Will use your tips in arranging it as really want to make my day an enjoyable one. Thanks for this awesome post.