Have you ever wanted to learn more about wine? Well, the best way to learn is to taste! To add to our series of party ideas, here’s how to hold a blind wine tasting party at your home.
Don’t worry, we’ve made the directions easy and stress-free. You can download a free, printable shopping list, wine tags, and scorecards to complete the party!
You’ll find that we’ve selected five red wines, each representing different style categories. The purpose of this tasting is to determine what styles of wine you really enjoy, and why. This is not a graded test! I can’t emphasis this enough — there is no pressure for you to guess correctly. Guests are to first and foremost explore different wines and enjoy.
See below for what wines to choose, your shopping list, numbered wine tags, and a free printable wine scorecard. The scorecard is a way for your guests to rate the wines according to aroma, flavor, finish, and like-ability.
Stop by Bottles to shop these wines, and to pick up brown paper bags for free!
PARTY SUPPLY CHECKLIST
– Wine (5 different wines that represent each of the categories below)
– Wine Scorecard
– Brown paper bags (stop by the store & pick some up for free!)
– Wine Tags, or marker (to label the wines 1-5)
– Wine glasses (for this tasting your guests can re-use glasses, rinsing between wines)
– Dump bucket (doesn’t have to be anything fancy, providing a dump bucket takes the pressure off your guests for finish their glass and allows you to try as many different wines as possible)
– Water pitcher
– Light snacks (nothing too salty or spice to throw off your palate)
– Cheese- Here is a top five list of cheeses for a wine tasting, arranged by style from our resident cheese expert, Liam:
– Soft – Chévre
– Soft and Bloomy – Camembert or Brie
– Sharp – Aged cheddar
– Hard and Nutty – Aged Gouda
– Stinky and Pungent – Blue Cheese
When picking wines for a blind tasting, it can be fun to group together wines that taste wildly different from each other. To simplify this task for you, we’ve broken it down into 5 broad categories: Oaky, Body, Earthy/Herbal, Tannic, and Fruit.
Try selecting a representative of each of these categories…keep reading for our favorite picks!
Body – Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is a solid choice for a red wine with a heavier body. You’ll notice a viscous, heavier mouthfeel, similar to the different between skim milk and whole milk. Look for William Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, or Alexander Valley Vineyards.
Earthy/Herbal – Gamay
We’ve chosen Gamay, a grape varietal with general flavors of cranberry and mushrooms. Drouhin Beaujolia-Villages or Château de Chaize Brouilly are solid choices to represent the earthy and herbal flavors in wine.
Tannic – Tannat
What is a tannic wine? Think about that astringent, dry feeling in the mouth when you have certain red wines. A go-to example of tannic wine is Tannat — pick up Bodegas Carrau Tannat or Laffitte Teston.