How to Plan A Fabulous Wine Tasting Party

Anita Ventura

April 14

Whether you’re hosting a wine themed party for your buddies or want to expand everyones vino knowledge, a wine tasting party is an excellent way to spend time with friends while learning new things.

If your girl gang loves wine, when they read, “You are invited to a wine tasting party” on their invite card, they will definitely save the date. Some things cannot be missed.
 A wine tasting party can come in handy when planning a bridal, housewarming, birthday, or Christmas party. However, you do not need an excuse to host a fun event, and you can have one for no reason at all. 
Planning an unforgettable wine tasting party however, takes some background planning.

What Kind Of Event Will You Be Planning?

You have two options. Do you want this to be an informal/ semi-formal event? A casual event can have a fun dress code, and the aim of this event is for people to enjoy and drink lots of wine. However, for the formal/ semi-formal event, you can set a dress code or hire/appoint a wine educator to take people through the tasting notes. Some people will find the informal theme more fun. However, it all depends on the type of crowd you plan to invite.

Pick A Wine Party Theme

A Selection of Rosé Wines For A Tasting Party

Wine is a versatile beverage that allows you to consider many different themes. Here are some examples to fire up your imagination.

Around The World With Wine

Anchor the tasting party with a selection of varieties from global wine regions. Here, you can travel from country to country through wine.

Pick A Wine-Growing Country

In such a tasting, you can have a Spanish or Italian night and explore the wine from the different areas in that country. You can even serve cuisine from the wine's country of origin.

Make it an Evening with Red, White, or Rosé

Pick a wine color type and try different grape varietals. You can have a red, rosé, or white wine themed party where you only explore other wines of that hue.

Wine Varietal Tasting

You can have a riesling or a Pinot Noir party. Pick a grape and get many wine bottles from different wineries and countries. However, this type of party may be risky because not everyone likes the same wine grape.

Sparkling Wine Tasting Party

You can have an event where all people drink a different type of sparkling wine (Champagne, Sekt, Cava, Prosecco, etc.)

Wines With The Same Style

You can try heavy-bodied red wines, dessert wines, sweet wines, or dry white wines.

Make It Random

You can also have a theme of random, unexpected wines. This is entertaining, and guests can even add their own choices to the selection.

Additional Wine Tasting Party Ideas

  • Blind tasting
  • Bring your own bottle tasting
  • Wines under 50USD tasting
  • Expensive vs. affordable wine blind tasting
  • Award-winning wine tasting
  • Celebrity wines tasting
  • Wine game night
  • Wine quiz night

How Many Party Guests To Invite

Several Guests Drinking Wine At A Tasting Party

Write a list of all the people you plan to invite. Have a list with your guests and their +1s. Also, allow for "gate-crashers" since word of such a delightful party can spread like wildfire. Find a way to control the number of people attending the event. The list can keep changing but have a range and a cut-off point. For example, decide that your party will have 5-10, 10-20, 30-50, or 50-70 guests. Once you figure out how many guests to invite, the sooner you can start your planning. However, keep in mind that a smaller guest list is better to manage and is more intimate than the larger one. A smaller guest list can allow for more creative food options. Having a big group can also be expensive to feed.

Decide On The Date And A Venue

Will you have the event in your house or at a designated venue? Call the space to ensure that they will be able to accommodate you. Have a plan B just in case of anything. Will the location fit your theme? For example, if you have a rosé party, you can book a garden as the wine is associated with summer themes. Ensure that the place you select will not clash with the party themes. Consider the weather report if planning for an outdoor party.

Go Pro Or Do It Yourself?

You can decide whether you need an event planner or if you will do it by yourself. Pinterest is a worthwhile app that you can use to get different ideas on wine events. It is a visual app which can give you decor ideas, food and wine pairings, thank you card ideas and so much more. However, you can also outsource that service to someone else and that will ease your planning experience. Outsourcing is fabulous if you have the budget! Professional party planners have bring unique ideas and supplies. A pro can have access to different things like beautiful chairs, lamps, cutlery and so much more.
If you're going for the diy route, you will need to create a to-do list as well as a supply list. When planning a party, you need to arrange for a variety of miscellaneous items.

Plan The Wine and Food Menu

Various food options that go great with wine

The menu is very essential to your dinner party. Create a wine list with all the wines you need. How many glasses of wine do you expect every person to drink? Account for that and have some extras shelved away in case of anything. Take a trip to a wine store near you and ask them to help you select some good wine given your party theme. The attendants in wine stores often have so many excellent ideas. Sometimes, wine distributors can also sell or give you branded merchandise if you plan to exclusively serve their drink. For example, some may include caps, wine buckets, wine bottle openers and so much more. It does not hurt to ask or share your plan with the brand.
You can figure out the menu yourself, or can always a party catering service. If there will only be a handful of guests, making the food yourself may not be as intimidating. If you're too busy, outsourcing the food is one of the best decisions you can make. This will give you time and energy to take care of other elements to make the party a success.

Print Wine Tasting Cards and Menu

As people RSVP to the event, print the wine and food menu onto cards. Add additional space on the cards. Include a pen each so that they can write notes and be engaged in the party. There are great pre-printed wine tasting party cards you can order online. Why not add the price of the wines that are featured? This will give the guests incentive to pay attention and really focus on their wine.

Wine Tasting Party Checklist

Keep yourself organized with this simple list to plan your wine tasting. You can add or subtract items as needed.

  • Create a guest list
  • Create invite cards and send them to the guests (include dress code, arrival time, date, Google maps link of venue, info on whether to come with a +1, a little hint)
  • Finalise on the dates
  • Book or prepare the venue
  • Create a theme for the event
  • Come up with the venue
  • Buy or rent decor supplies. Ie. Chairs, set up. Buy balloons. Lights etc.
  • Rent or buy glassware for the wine and water.
  • Create the wine list
  • Create a playlist that matches the event theme, guests and style
  • Create the food list & buy the snacks and bitings. Buy the chocolate, water, cheese, fruits, crackers and anything you need. 
  • Buy table supplies like napkins and openers
  • Send a reminder/ call your guests just to enure they got the invite and are still coming.
  • Get a caterer and usher for the event
  • Get a host/ speaker to keep the crowd engaged. Get a wine sommelier or expert to take people through the wine.
  • Plan other activities and games for the event.
  • Print the wine tasting cards and menu.

Everyone Will Have A Great Time at the Wine Tasting Party
On the Day of the Event

On the day of the event, wake up early to tie any lose ends you may have. If you are cooking at home, shop for ingredients the day before. If you are outsourcing some services, make sure everything is going on well. Check the venue, decor and ensure that all items are ready. Chill the wines that need to be served when cool and have all the grassware ready. Decant any wine that will need aeration a few minutes before pouring. Have the space prepared and set the table. If you will have any music, ensure all those little details are ironed out. As the host, you will find that there are always miscellaneous things that escaped your list.
Have a table with all the wines you will be tasting so that guests can see them. If you have a blind tasting, mask the bottles with brown paper or foil. Thereafter, get ready, dress up and enjoy yourself. You have done a great job.

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