Well before we cared about saving money on babysitters by entertaining at home, Alec and I threw a wine taste-testing party. We did a version of this party in preparation for our wedding; we had
a few cheap-o bottles of wine from BevMo and we were trying to assess if any of them were drinkable various wines we were considering and wanted input from our friends.
This event is fun as a co-ed party or just for the ladies and it works for wine snobs and novices alike.
Determine if you want to limit the wines to a single variety or theme (wines from Spain, dry white wines, South America, screw cap, under $10, etc). Ask guests to bring a bottle of wine and a few interesting bits of trivia about the wine, variety, region or manufacturer.
Once the bottles arrive, put them in a plain paper bag to protect each one’s identity. Write numbers on the bag to aid in the blind taste testing. If your theme includes more than one variety, you’ll want to start with the white wines, from dry to sweet, and progress to red wines.
Ask guests to rate each bottle bottle. I created a little chart for my party with rows for each wine and columns for each judge’s name. Each of our friends would write in their vote of smiley, frowny, or in-betweeny faces in their cell (but I suppose you could use a number scale too if you wanted to be classy).
Offer fancy crackers or saltines to cleanse the palate in between.
So, for the price of a few paper bags and some fancy crackers, you’ve thrown a pretty fun soiree. Score yourself bonus points if you also created a tradition (Wines of Chile in September and Argentina in October!) that you can host at your house after the kidlets are asleep on a regular basis.