How to Host the Perfect Wine Tasting at Home
Looking for a date night with a difference? Then how about home wine tasting that means you can still have the same experience but without having to go out!
Wine tasting is a great way to really get a feel for wine and can be great fun done at home yourself or via Zoom.
Wine tasting at home set
the great thing about wine tasting is that you can invite your friends to a virtual wine tasting too. There are loads of UK companies that offer a fun night in with friends.
Waitrose Virtual Wine Tasting – Waitrose offers a great wine tasting experience at home. You start by choosing the experience you want. They then ship the bottles to you and the expert will talk you through each wine.
Bolney Wine Estate – Bolney Wine Estate offers wine tasting ay home kits that give you everything you need for a fun night in with your family. You pick the experience and they send you out the wine plus tasting notes and quiz sheets. This makes for a great evening full of smiles and laughter.
Virgin Experience Days – Virgin Experience Days gives you wine tasting at home for two. Book your tickets on their website and book in for a tutored session for two. They will send you six bottles of wine and send you a link to the Zoom call. Enjoy the evening with a full discussion on the wine you are drinking.
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Private wine tasting at home
You can easily set up your own wine tasting party at home.
Learning some wine tasting essentials will add enjoyment to the tasting experience for both experts and novices on the wine trail.
Knowing that wine tasting is more than just smell, swirl, and spit will make for a more satisfying experience what you know what you are meant to be smelling and tasting.
Here are 7 wine tasting tips to make sure that your party goes off with a sparkle.
Have a strategy. Do you have wine glasses or tasting glasses? Which fine wine are you going to buy? Make sure you have a mixture of red wine and white wine to try.
Make sure you plan some food in too. Are you going to stick to cheese and crackers between wines? Make sure you have a full stomach as even though you may be spitting if you like the wine you may end up having a sneaky glass or two. I mean, you’ll at home after all!
Don’t chew, smoke, or wear perfume. Chewing gum, smoking, or wearing perfume will interfere with anyone’s wine tasting experience.
The Tasting Process
Get educated. Become familiar with the grape varieties and the aromas and flavors to be expected from each wine by reading the descriptions in the tasting “menu”.
Start by serving the whites, then reds, then sweet or dessert wines in that order, like a winery would.
This will ensure that you can start with the lighter wines and then work up through the heavier, fuller-bodied wines, which could otherwise overpower the taste buds if served first.
Swirl before sipping. “Taste” does not mean to only taste with our mouths. Observe the color of the wine, then take a sniff. Next, swirl the wine in the glass a few times and take another sniff. The aroma (fruity? spicy? floral? vegetal? sweet?) should be much stronger than the second time since swirling aerates the wine and better releases its aroma.
Take a good mouthful. Sip enough of the wine to ensure that all of the palate and tongue are exposed to the liquid. Draw in a little air through the mouth to further aerate the wine to better assess all its flavor dimensions.
Are the dimensions of fruitiness, sweetness, acidity, or other flavors in balance, or is one overpowering? Is the wine light or full-bodied? (i.e., how unlike water is it?)
After swallowing, note if the aftertaste is pleasant or not, then evaluate the overall impact of the wine. Any remaining wine can be emptied from the glass into the “spit” bucket (they aren’t really for spitting!)
Don’t rush. Wine tasting is an experience to be enjoyed, so don’t hurry through it. Discuss with each other what was liked or disliked about each wine. Write down what you think so you can read it back later. This also means that they all won’t merge into one.
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Other Wine Tasting Essentials
Try something different and go bold. This is a great opportunity to sample unique grape varieties that you may not have tried before; don’t be afraid to be adventurous.
Blind tasting is a great way to really get the taste of the wine. Blocking off one sense really does boost another.
If buying the wine feels overwhelming then have a look online for some inspiration. Many Wine Specialists list their favorite wines on social media.
Remember that the wine should never overpower your taste buds or any food that you are serving.
Have a glass of water on hand and some bread rolls to help cleanse your palate in between drinks.
Enjoy yourself. It doesn’t have to be professional looking. Take the pressure off yourself and enjoy a really good night with your friends and family doing something that you wouldn’t normally do.
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