Blind wine tasting parties are a super fun twist on the typical gathering of friends over food and wine. If you’re on the hunt for some fun wine party ideas, these tips will go a long way towards making sure your party is one guaranteed to be a fun wine-filled night of discovery, and probably some hilarity at completely wrong guesses. Read on for our recommendations for how to make sure your party goes down in history for all the right reasons!
Pick a Theme, And then Pick Your Wines
Some great theme ideas include an “around the world” theme with wines of the same varietal from several different countries, wines from only one country or region known for it’s distinct varietals, like France or Chile, wines of all one color but with very distinct varietal characteristics such as all reds, rosés or whites, or wines under a certain price point, like $20. We’ve even heard a rumor of a very mean trick one host played on guests when five bottles of the exact same wine were put out and devilishly revealed guests had described the “different” wines in hilariously different ways. Try this one if you’re the prankster type!
Be Considerate When Choosing Your Wines
While picking the wines, it’s important to consider the wine knowledge level of your guests. Don’t choose a super rare or unknown varietal in a group of guests fairly new to wines. Likewise, if you know your guests are practically sommeliers, make sure the wines you choose challenge them a bit to keep things interesting. Or, don’t worry about picking the wines at all and ask each guest to bring a favorite bottle (you can provide a country, price point, or list of varietals if needed), and then when they arrive, ask them to secretly place their wine in a bag and put a number on it.
Disguise Your Wine And Label it by Number
Some options for hiding your wine are a plain brown paper wrap tied with twine, a canvas bag with a tie at the top, or even just plain old tin foil! Or, you could go all out and actually go “blind” with blindfolds so that guests don’t even know whether the wine is white or red at first and have them guess! Just make sure if you do this to be careful that glasses are stem-less so they’re harder to tip over, or just have guests remove the blindfolds after their initial white/red/rosé guess.
Get to The Fun Part: Tasting and Guessing!
Taste the wines one by one, with each guest swirling, smelling and tasting. Make sure to have a few sheets of white paper around so the color can be seen easily. And, maybe even have a few cheat sheets around with possible smell and taste characteristics that could be picked up on. Discuss each wine and a guess at the type, country, and cost, and pass out a printable form for guests to jot down tasting notes on each one. Pass out fun prizes, like openers, glasses or wine charms for those with the closest guesses on each wine!
Provide Wine-Friendly Noshes and Nibbles
Finally, don’t make it all wine and no food! Make sure you provide a variety of foods that are specifically chosen to pair with the wines. You might even offer the foods as a hint at the type of wine based on the pairing and label them with numbers that correspond with the wine they’d best pair with. Cheeses, charcuterie, fruit, various dips, skewers of grilled steak, chicken or shrimp, marinated veggies, olives, chocolate and spiced nuts are all great, easy and inexpensive choices for your spread. A long table or counter with all of the wines and food displayed along it would work for a set-up for a smaller group, or several stations throughout the room so guests can mingle, sample and discuss for a larger group.
We hope these ideas have inspired you to host your own blind wine tasting party with your group of friends, whether you’re wine connoisseurs or not, it’s sure to be a fun and entertaining evening where most guest will find a new wine they truly enjoyed. If you try it, let us know in the comments below.
Don’t forget to share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest to get the ideas flowing with your group of friends!