How to Host a Wine Tasting Party at Home

Disclaimer: This blog post is brought to you by Elicit.Wine. All opinions are 100% my own. 

I think we can all agree on one thing. 2020 has been a dumpster fire. Sure it's brought some fun things to celebrate, but man, if it hasn't showered down some interesting little roadblocks we've all just been shaking our heads at. I have appreciated relationships that have been constant through this weird time and more often than not, we've been able to sit down together with a glass of wine to just laugh at the weirdness of life we've all encountered. I mean, come on. Who knew that collectively we'd be homeschooling our children, or wondering which mask will match our joggers when we make that grocery run, or what we are even doing with our life on day 5986 of quarantine. 

We are all survivors of this and hopefully, you've had a few people along for the ride to help you through long Zoom meetings and middle school math. In all honesty, it deserves a little celebrating and the best way I can think to do that is with a wine tasting party. I've got everything you need to know so you can host a comfortable fun evening of wine tasting with those friends who have helped you through!

wine tasting party

How to Host a Wine Tasting Party at Home


Inviting Your Guests

An intimate party of 3-5 couples allows your evening to remain manageable. You'll have just the right amount of people to be able to easily converse and take part in the tasting party without feeling overwhelmed. 

To keep it chill, you can gather in the kitchen around an island or sitting comfortably around a coffee table. If the weather holds out, you could even enjoy the gathering outside. With this amount of people, you could also gather around a dining room table and you don't need some royal family-sized thing to sit comfortably. Again, keep it intimate and you'll have plenty of space for glasses and bottles and you can move at a comfortable pace. 


What Kind of Food to Serve at a Wine Tasting Party

Food is important, but your wine should be the star of the party! You'll want to stay away from strong flavors that might inhibit being able to properly taste the flavors of the various wines you are serving. Appetizers are easy and set the tone of a relaxed evening, and most people can't pass up a charcuterie board!


Pick a Theme

You can pick a theme for your wine tasting evening. A fitting one for this year would be a 2020 Survival theme. elicit.Wine Project makes it easy. If you go to the website and click shop, you'll find a drop-down menu on the far left where you can search by occasion. elicit Wine Project created a carefully curated box called 2020 Survival Box with all of their top choices. 


You could also host a blind tasting party where you hide the wine labels and each guest tries to guess different attributes of the wine like where it's from, or what the price point is. You could also select wines from a region, for instance, all of the elicit wines in the Intro to elicit box are from Washington state. You could pair the local wines you select with local foods from your area too.

Another option is to host a price-war type wine tasting where you offer several more expensive options with those that are more affordable and have your guests decide how they rank. You might be surprised how different wines stack up! This is where a subscription service to comes in handy!  You'll have plenty of options!

wine tasting basics

A Few Things You are Going to Need:

  • A corkscrew {and a few backups just in case!}
  • Plenty of glasses
  • Pitchers of water
  • Some kind of glass identifier or charm 
  • Pens/pencil and paper or scorecard to help keep track of the various wines being tried

I've created this wine tasting card that you can print off and use for your party so that your guests can see, swirl, sniff, and sip the wine and take notes of their new favorites. 

You can download the wine tasting card here. Please only use it for personal use only. 

wine tasting party basics

Wine Tasting Basics

It's pretty simple really, you are there to enjoy the company and try some wine! But there are a few things you should know. 

wine tasting party basics

Know when to chill!

People generally serve white wine too cold and their reds too warm. Make sure you are like Goldilocks and you're serving it just right. This will affect the taste, so it's more important than you think!

Refrigerate your white wine, but remove it about 20 minutes before serving it. You'll want to serve your red wine at room temperature, but many people like to pop their red in the fridge when they take out their white so it has just a bit of time to cool. Don't leave your red in the fridge for longer than 15 minutes. 

wine tasting party basics

How to hold the glass

Remind your guests how to hold their glass. Cupping the bowl of the glass can heat up the wine and change the flavor. Hold the glass by the stem.

wine glass

Don't pour a full glass! 

You'll be trying a lot of wine, and to get a good taste, you really only need a sip of the wine to make an assessment. If you are really fancy {or not???}, you can have a spittoon handy, so your guests can swish the wine and then spit it out after they've given it time to sit in their mouths for a bit to get the taste.

wine tasting party basics

Observe the wine's color

You can take note of the wine's color on your scorecard. You'll want to swish it around the glass a bit. If it clings to the side of the glass that's known as the wine's legs. 

wine bottle

Sniff it

Sniff the wine and make note of any underlying flavors you smell.

Swirl it

Swirl the wine around in the glass to incorporate air and then sniff it again. See if you note any new flavors coming through.

free wine card tasting printable

Make notes

Make notes of how the wine feels in your mouth. Some of your guests may be really serious about their wine drinking, and others may be a bit more casual about it. Embrace both mentalities and let your guests be on their own journey.

Don't forget to download the free PDF wine tasting card above for your party!

Cleanse the palate

This is just a fancy way of saying, take a drink of water. You could also offer flavorless crackers or bread to help cleanse the palate as well. 

wine tasting

Pick favorites

At the end of the evening, make sure you ask your guests to share their favorites. This is when those notes come in handy! If your guests love a particular wine, it's easy for you to point them in the right direction of where they can buy more. There is nothing easier than a wine subscription service so you can have your favorite wines delivered at your convenience.

Thankfully, offers unparalleled flexibility so customers can customize the frequency, quantity, and specific wines they want in their subscription. The portfolio of brands includes Altered Dimension, Borne of Fire, The Cosmic Egg Wine Co., Fruit & Flower, INTRNSIC Wine Ct, Liquid Light, MERF Wines, Prayers of Sinners & Saints, and Tenet Wines. For more information visit

wine tasting party

Buying Wine

There are a lot of reasons why you shouldn't stock up on wine at your local grocery store but instead order from a good wine merchant like elicit Wine Project. 

Your guests are probably already familiar with the wines offered at their local supermarket, so why not give them something new to taste and try? Supermarket wines are often not stored properly either {ours are typically found in direct sunlight! eek!}, which can affect their taste. 

elicit wine project

Do yourself a favor, and make it easy, by using elicit.Wine Project to select the wine for your evening. You can build a box with anything from 1-12 bottles, and your discounts increase as you subscribe to a higher bottle quantity. If you are an active subscriber of a box with 4 bottles or more, your discount applies to all orders you make on!

And if you subscribe to a full case, you will receive 15% off with penny shipping! Now that's a deal!

wine tasting party

How Much Wine for a Wine Tasting Party?

Remember, you aren't using a standard pour for a tasting party. A bottle of wine typically has about 10 taste servings. For a party of 8-10 people, you'll want to have two bottles of each kind of wine. You'll also want to have a selection of 4-6 different wines available to taste. Anticipate 8-12 bottles of wine for your wine tasting. 

wine tasting party basics

Hosting your own wine tasting party can be a bright light in this weird time of life. It will offer just the right amount of distraction from daily life and your guests will leave with some new wines they love. And really, right now, can't we all use just a little bit more wine?

Pin this for later:

wine tasting party basics

No comments

Powered by Blogger.