The wine pairing actually improves the taste

How to host a wine tasting: 11 things to know

I like to cook with wine, sometimes I add it to my meal.

- W.C. Fields

Occasionally wonder how to host a wine tasting event but aren't sure where to start? Now is the time to awaken the inner sommelier in you! In this guide, we've looked at everything from wine pairings to the palate cleansers.

It doesn't matter whether it's a black tie event or just a quiet get-together at home; Here are 11 things to know when hosting a wine tasting event.

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1. Where to host a wine tasting

The location chosen for the wine tasting should match the general theme of the event. If there isn't a specific topic, then pretty much any classy venue is suitable.

Here are some of the most popular wine tasting locations:

Host the wine tasting at home? Here are some great tips to get you started.

tip: More extravagant wine tasting locations can be found on sites like TagVenue.

2. Do I need a professional sommelier?

A professional sommelier is not necessarily required for wine tasting. Working with one, however, can make life as an organizer a lot easier.

Because sommeliers can help with the creation of a wine list and know a lot about its creation process and regional origin. They can also help pair the different types of wine with the right food.

tip: A professional sommelier can be rented for around € 200 plus the cost of the wine.

3. How to taste a wine

Unless you have decided on a sommelier and would rather make the effort yourself, you should first understand what a wine tastes like so that the participants can be instructed in it.

A good rule of thumb is to use the 5 points when trying a wine:

  • Checkwhether the wine is clear and has a deep color.
  • Pan the wine to release the flavors in it and check the legs for that.
  • Smell on the flavors to stimulate the palate.
  • Sippy on the wine and suck it through your mouth.
  • Gulps the wine (or spit it out if there is a lot of wine tasting).

tip: Read in advance about wine tasting, how to taste a wine and how you can develop a palate in it.

4. What is a wine tasting sheet?

A wine tasting sheet (also known as a wine tasting score card) is a printout that is given to guests before they begin tasting the wines.

It will help everyone keep track of what they thought of each wine in particular. After all wines have been tasted, the tasting sheets can be used to look up which was the most popular.

tip: You can also use these ready-made templates of a tasting sheet at the tasting event.

5. How many participants should be invited?

There is no limit to the number of attendees who can participate in a wine tasting event. Remember, however, that you should create an intimate atmosphere that also stimulates the senses.

Stick to about 8 to 12 participants. Because too much noise can be distracting when trying to tell an interesting story about a particular wine. It also makes it difficult to have a discussion about the different types of wine that have been tasted.

6. How much wine is needed for a wine tasting?

Again, there are no hard and fast rules for how much wine is needed for a wine tasting. It's always better to play it safe and have some leftovers.

A small glass of wine is 125ml. One tasting is roughly half that. The Sommelier Company recommends that approximately 8-10 bottles of wine be available for 12 guests.

7. Types of wine and grapes

No basic understanding of the different grape varieties used in white and red wine is required. There is actually a lot to do, but let's look at the most common grapes first.

The most popular white wine grapes are:

The most popular red wine grapes are:

Keep in mind that there are over 10,000 different grapes. Many winemakers use different grape varieties to create their unique wine blend.

8. The types of wine glasses

With so many different types of individual grapes and combinations, it comes as no surprise that there are a number of different wine glasses designed to accentuate the flavors.

The types of red wine glasses:

  • Bordeaux
  • Burgundy
  • Cabernet
  • Pinot Noir
  • Rose
  • Zinfandel

The types of white wine glasses:

  • Chardonnay
  • Rose white
  • Sparkling
  • Sweet wine
  • Vintage
  • Viognier

Other types of wine glasses:

  • Ventilating
  • balloon
  • flute
  • port
  • sherry
  • Without a stem

tip: Read more about the different types of wine glasses here so you also know which ones to use.

9. Which wine goes with which food

You now have the grapes and the glasses. So far so good. Now is the time for the wine pairing. This is relevant if a combined wine and food tasting is to be carried out.

Because different wines can match different flavors and therefore a wine and food recommendation table should be looked at more closely.

Here are some of the most common wine pairings:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon + red meat
  • Champagne + something salty
  • Chardonnay + fatty fish dishes
  • Dry rosé + rich and cheesy dishes
  • Grüner Veltliner + fresh dishes
  • Malbec + sweet and spicy barbecue sauces
  • Moscato d’Asti + fruit desserts
  • Dry Riesling + sweet and spicy dishes
  • Pinot Grigio + light fish dishes
  • Pinot Noir + earthy flavors
  • Rosé Champagne + starters
  • Sauvignon Blanc + sour dressings and sauces
  • Syrah + highly flavored dishes
  • Zinfandel + pies, mousses and terrines

tip: Learn more about how and why each wine pairing works so that you can find the right combination.

10. Which palate cleansers should be used?

If the wine is not combined with certain foods, you will still need some palate cleaners that guests can use between tasting the different wines.

The common palate cleaners for a wine tasting are:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • beef
  • beer
  • Cheese (what a surprise!)
  • Crackers or cookies
  • Lemon water
  • Olives
  • Pears
  • pineapple
  • Tortilla chips
  • White bread

tip: Do some research on the differences between palate cleansers so you can better understand them.

11. Use a wine tasting checklist

As you can see, there is a reason professional sommeliers need certification to work in the industry. Since you most likely do not have this, a wine tasting checklist should be sufficient. Here is a selection to get you started:

tip: Our ultimate guide to a successful food and beverage event takes you from A to Z through creating this type of event.

Billetto is a ticket sales platform that helps you plan, promote and host your events. Create a page for your event and sell your first tickets in under 5 minutes!
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Time to taste some wine

You now have a comprehensive overview of how to organize and host a wine tasting. Use the resources in this article to help you plan. Then consider creating an event on a ticketing platform in order to receive feedback or to sell tickets.

Firsthand experience hosting a wine tasting? Are you a budding sommelier? Let us know your experiences in the comment area!

Category: Food & Drink, Event PlanningTags: Resources, Tips, Wine Tasting