How to Host a Spectacular Holiday Wine Tasting
Just when Thanksgiving dinners end, it’s the beginning of December holiday parties. What is better than celebrating the holidays with friends and family? Hosting a holiday-themed wine tasting party, of course!
In this reading, we have a helpful guide that will help your holiday party stand out amongst the rest this year.
What You’ll Need to Get Started
Good wine glasses are a must when hosting a spectacular holiday wine tasting. Wine tasting is designed to impress your guests with inviting aromas, textures, and flavors. Beautiful, high-quality wine glasses are specifically designed to enhance those elements.
(Need help with tasting basics? Read our article here.)
Before you host, you’ll need a good variety of glasses from Riedel, Zalto, or Schott Zwiesel. These luxury wine glass companies recognize that the taste and aroma of a beverage are affected by the shape of the vessel. For wines that are white, rosé, and bubbly, Master of Wine Jancis Robinson’s all-purpose glass is perfect for these types of wines.
You will also need water, dump buckets, palate cleansers such as crackers, as well as paper in case anyone wants to take notes.
Choosing and Buying Wine
Choosing a theme is your best chance for making the holiday wine tasting feel cohesive. Instead of buying whatever bottles off the shelf, it’s best to have a game plan when you go shopping.
Try to shop at a store with a large selection of wine, and choose a theme for your tasting, whether it’s all white wines, reds, or all bottles from California.
Pick out some on your own, but don’t be afraid to ask staff for their recommendations. They may be able to show you hidden gems in the store.
How much wine to buy depends on how many guests you’re entertaining. For a small party, featuring five to seven wines is just the right amount. If you decide to feature five wines and host 12 or more people, you’ll want at least two bottles of each wine.
A good rule of thumb is to have more wine than you think you need.
Plan Your Food Options
What kind of food do you serve at a wine tasting party? The biggest decision is whether to go with passed bites and plates or to cater a seated meal.
If a full meal isn’t in the budget, you’ll typically want to provide light finger food for your guests to snack on so they’re not drinking on an empty stomach. A cheese board with fruit and meat is always a great option, but you can also put together an array of delicious appetizers for a wine tasting.
The Music and Atmosphere
Spend time compiling a Christmas playlist that fits the theme of your party. If your space can support it, live music is always best for a holiday wine tasting party. Next, create a warm, inviting atmosphere, with lighting dim enough to be moody but bright enough to see the wine.
For holiday decor, incorporate red and white linen napkins, garland, pinecones, Christmas ornaments, a Christmas tree, and metal flatware next to decorative plates. Unscented candles are perfect for lighting decor without interfering with the aromas in your wine glass.
And, if you are planning the event outside and live in a warm climate, be sure to have some sort of unscented bug repellent available for guests.
Host a Holiday Wine Tasting With Metro Wines
Tasting wine is an activity that is perfect for the holidays, and it will impress your friends and family at your Christmas party this year. If you don’t know where to start, Metro Wines can help you pick a curated theme for your party. We offer a wide selection of wines focusing on pairing just the right wine with any dish or event.
You can talk to any of our wine experts who are always available to answer questions, offer suggestions, share experience, and work with your caterer or event planner. Visit our shop on 169 Charlotte St. in Asheville, NC, or browse our wine inventory on our website.