Eat & Drink

5 Tips For Hosting Your Own Wine Tasting, According To An Expert

Whether you're at home or on the road, there's no excuse to miss AWOL ever again. Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram.

Lockdown restrictions are slowly but surely lifting, and most states are able to have a few friends over (in a socially distanced manner, of course). Personally, I forsee a throwback to dinner parties, civil games of cards, and sophisticated wine and cheese consumption.

So why not jazz up the wine drinking with a DIY tasting?

Everyone loves to fake knowing what they’re talking about when it comes to adult grape juice, so we asked Kristy Farrell, Wine Ambassador at Pernod Ricard Winemakers (The folks behind Jacob’s Creek) for her top tips to do it right.

5 tips for how to host a wine tasting

#1 Consider the number

Apparently there is no right or wrong answer here, so do you. But Kristy says you should be aware of how into the technical side your guests will be.

“If you have people who know a little bit about wine, they like it, but are looking to improve their skills in identifying wine characteristics, keep it light and go with three wines”.

“For a group who often go to tastings and are quite knowledgeable about wine, I would recommend five to six wines to taste, a good amount to test their tasting skills”.

#2 Pick a theme

Here’s an easy one, Kristy says you can include whatever wine you want as long as you mix it up. Although she does recommend picking a theme.

“Think about different varieties, styles or even producers from the same region. This will help create structure and make it more engaging for everyone in the tasting”.

“[It] could be wines of Barossa Valley for example… This way you can identify some of the key characteristics of a wine from the region”.

#3 Create a tasting mat

“Step the tasting up a notch and give your tasters a unique experience where they can see the wines placed on a tasting mat, with a fact or even have a section where they can write notes,” says Kristy.

If you’re having trouble creating it yourself, there are heaps of printable suggestions just a Google search away.

#4 Do your research

Kristy suggests you do your own research ahead of time, rather than just winging it on the night. Especially if you want to impress your guests.

“Research about the wine, the region, winemaking process and the varietals that you are tasting,” she says. “Provide unique insights, facts about your wine and tips for your guests to take away from the tasting and feel like they’ve learned something”.

#5 Encourage feedback

The whole fun of a wine tasting is how different everyone’s personal choice is. Kristy says you should get your guests talking and feeling comfortable to share their opinions.

“Empower people to talk about what they liked or didn’t like about a wine, what flavours stood out to them. The wonderful thing about wine is it is subjective. Everyone’s taste is different so what one person tastes can be completely different to the next”.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jacobs Creek Wine (@jacobscreekwine) on

All this to say, just have fun. You’re drinking wine after all, and just being able to have guests again is a real treat. Just picture me like the woman above.

(Lead Image: Pexels / Fotograf Jylland)