• Sweetbriar Rose

How to Host the Perfect Wine Party

Is there anything better than enjoying a glass of wine with good friends? Even better, how about hosting a wine tasting party so your friends can learn about fantastic wines, while engaging in stimulating conversation and eating some tasty snacks to round out the evening?

Maybe you have thought about hosting a wine party but aren’t sure where to begin. No worries, we have your back. At Sweetbriar Rose, we have most of what you will need for an incredible wine party you and your friends won’t soon forget.

Choosing Wines

You will want to pick five different wines for your wine party. There is no hard and fast rule about what types or styles you have to have, and you can mix reds and whites. However, you will want to max out the number of wines at five, so your guests won’t be overwhelmed.

A fun way to organize the evening would be to choose a theme for your wine. You can select wines from a particular region or state; of course, we are partial to Texas wines. A quick visit to a local wine shop, like Sweetbriar Rose, or local winery will supply you with all the wine you will need.

A good rule of thumb to follow is to purchase two bottles of wine for six guests. Use one bottle for tasting, and the other bottle to enjoy afterward. When you are tasting, you will generally want to taste lightest wines first and end with darker, heavier ones.

You will need one glass per person; most people go for a Bordeaux glass. However, any wine glass will work for a casual tasting night. Don’t rinse the glasses between tastings as you don’t want any water in the glass.

Put red bottles in the fridge about 15-20 minutes before your guests are scheduled to come. Take out white wines several minutes before the tasting should begin.

Prepare Decorations and Guide

A simple way to make the night fun is to use the instructions or guide for the evening as part of your decorations. A creative way to do this is to use coasters. If your wine party has a regional theme, print off maps of the region you are drinking from.

Check out National Geographic Maps to find a map of the area you want. Simply print out the region you want, trim it down, then glue it to a piece of card-stock. If you want to take it a step further, laminate the coasters for your guests.

Outside of the guide coasters, a floral arrangement, banners, a nice tablecloth, and music can go a long way. Don’t go overboard, your guests are there for your company and of course to enjoy wine.

Prepare Snacks

There are a few go-to snacks that are perfect for a wine party. If you cover the basics, your guests are sure to enjoy the treats along with the wine. Remember, the right food will bring out the flavors in the wine, and the wrong food will ruin the wine.

One of the best options for snacks is fruit. You can go for dried or fresh fruit. Go for fresh grapes, pineapples, or strawberries for the best pairings. You can also go for dried fruit like raisins, apricots, and mango. If your tasting is heavier on the red side, stick to berries and grapes. On the other hand, pineapple and melon go better with whites.

Who doesn’t love chocolate? It’s no secret that chocolate pairs excellent with wine. Choose darker chocolate with at least 60% cacao for full-bodied red wines, like Zinfandel or Merlot. Stick with milk chocolate for medium wines like a Sangiovese. If you are serving white or rosé, serve white chocolate.

If you want to impress your guests, serve pâté. The French serve this dish with Sancerre, a white wine made from sauvignon blanc grapes. Pâté can be served with a variety of wines and is delicious and more substantial than many other traditional wine snacks.

Of course, there is cheese. Cheese is incredibly versatile, and just about every cheese will taste great with wine. For an incredible cheese tray, choose hard aged cheeses, medium cheeses, and soft cheeses.

Finally, olives are another traditional pairing. However, you will want to be careful which olives you serve with which wines. Serve a variety of olives. Choose stronger olives like Kalamata and milder olives like Castelvetrano. Mix things up by serving a tapenade or an olive spread. You can even serve olives stuffed with cheeses or jalapenos.

Prepare the Tasting

When it comes time to tasting the wine, many people might not know the proper method. It is a good idea to give your guests a few hints. Check out our guide on wine tasting like a pro.

Ensure you have good tasting conditions free of overwhelming smells and sounds. Make sure the wine is at the correct temperature, and you have clean glasses. Go over the steps of tasting wine with your guests: the look, the smell, and the taste. It is also smart to provide your guests with paper to make tasting notes.

Stop by Sweetbriar Rose

If you are planning a wine party, stop by Sweetbriar Rose Thursday through Sunday and check out our wide variety of wines we sell by the bottle. Our friendly staff can help you pick out several wines that will make a perfect wine tasting lineup. While you’re visiting, taste a few wines with us. We also sell many wine accessories.

We hope to see you soon at Sweetbriar Rose!

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