Six Steps (and Three Tips) to Throwing an Amazing Wine Party

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We’re in the business of wine tasting and wine education, but there’s no reason learning can’t be fun. In our classes, tastings are a relaxed, no-fuss affair among friends (in other words, a party!). Love entertaining? Curious about wine? Great! We want to help you set up an amazing event that will both impress your friends and teach them something, too.

 

Here’s how:

1. Decide what you want to know about wine:

  • Are you planning an upcoming trip to a specific wine region, like Bordeaux or Napa Valley?

  • Do you have a favorite grape variety you’d like to know more about, like Pinot Noir or Chardonnay?

  • Are you curious about how wines differ from vintage to vintage?

  • Do you want to explore wines similar to your go-to brand, but slightly different?

  • Or do you want to choose from one of our signature wine classes?

2. Select a general time frame for the event (say, the month of November). Hosting a tasting just for fun or to connect with friends is a wonderful idea, but you might also want to consider coordinating your tasting with a birthday, promotion, or holiday. Wine parties also make a fun and engaging gift for bridesmaids and groomsmen.

3. Select a few specific dates and times for the event and present them to your potential guests to see which will work best. Yes, we understand it is difficult to get any group of adults together! Consider using Doodle, Evite, or Facebook Messenger to help everyone decide on a date more efficiently (and without a long chain of emails!).

4. Choose a location for your wine party. We recommend a home dining room with a table that can provide a space at least 22” wide x 16” deep at each sitting area — you’ll want everyone to have room for a tasting grid, wine glass, and other sampling items. A simple white tablecloth (or no tablecloth!) is fine. If you don’t have a big table, KnowWines can create the extra space needed with portable folding tables that can be covered with a tablecloth.

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5. Finalize the number of guests based on the results of your Doodle poll (or another invitation tool you may have used). We recommend four to eight participants because it is a intimate group size that can fit at one table and allow the space and time for conversation and questions.  An odd number of people is also perfectly fine.

6. Plan your food pairings. KnowWines will bring crackers to your tasting, and you can provide as little or as much additional food as you like. We’re happy to help with suggestions for additional pairings!

So, you’ve planned the party and are expecting a handful of friends to arrive later that day to learn about wine with you. Here are a few tips for day-of party preparation:  

1. Make sure the table is clear about one hour before the tasting so that KnowWines can arrive to set up the tasting. It’s fine to have cool or room-temperature appetizers and cheese already on the table, along with a pitcher of water.  

2. Don’t light any strong candles or wear heavy perfume the day of the tasting. This could interfere with properly tasting and smelling the wine.

3. Relax and enjoy yourself. We promise to show your guests a great time!