How to Host an At Home Winetasting

May 10, 2018

White Tasting Mat with Red Wine in Glasses Set Up for a Wine Tasting

Winetasting should be fun and exciting and by no means overwhelming or stuffy. Wine is a beautiful thing and we at Flora Springs, enjoy educating and hosting people from all over the world. Wine appreciation doesn’t just have to happen at a winery or tasting room, but it can also happen in your very own home. Here are our tips for pulling together a fun and educational winetasting event that you can host with family and friends from the comfort of your own home.

Tasting wine is a tactile experience that allows a person to use all five senses. When tasting wine there are typically five different components a balanced wine will have. Look for sweetness, acidity, tannin, fruit and body.

There are also different ways that you can run the tasting:

  • Do you want to do a vertical tasting of the same wine with different vintages or do you want to consider doing a horizontal tasting which includes different wines from the same vintage?
  • Another thing to consider is doing an unbiased tasting by running it blindly. Blind tastings are always educational and fun to see which wine comes out on top. Be sure to bag each wine so your guests won’t know what they are tasting until the big reveal at the end. It will also help to have a pen and paper for guests to record their notes and rank the wines based on their preferences.

Now for the process of tasting, an easy way to remember the steps of winetasting is to remember the five S’s listed below. A few things to remember, it is always better to use a white tablecloth and the same type of glass when doing a wine tasting so that you can truly see the color of each wine and have an equal comparison by having each wine hit the same part of your palate, especially when comparing wines against each other.

  • See – Once you have wine in your glass, look at its color. Look at the wine in the bowl of the glass as well as the color of the wine on the edge of the glass. Is it different? The color can offer clues as to whether the wine has been aged in oak, is oxidized or can offer hints to the variety of the grape.
  • Swirl – Next, before tasting, swirl the wine in your glass and give it some air by allowing the aromatics and bouquet to fill up the bowl of the glass.
  • Sniff – Now, use your sense of smell to assess the wine’s bouquet or aroma. Is it intense or subdued? Is there an odd smell or a pleasant smell that reminds you of something familiar?
  • Sip – Fill your mouth with a generous taste of wine and hold it on your palate for a few seconds. It is common to also slurp in some air with the wine to help your palate appreciate and recognize all the textures, flavors, weight, and overall structure that the wine has to offer. How does the wine travel across your palate? Is it full and broad in body? What is the fruit or oak profile like as it travels across your palate?
  • Savor – Now swallow the wine and make note of its finish. How long does the taste stay with you? Was the wine balanced in only a few or all of its components?

By following these steps, you are now ready to host your very own wine tasting at home! Below is a recommended list of items you will need:

  • Flora Springs Wines: Visit Our Shop
  • White Table Cloth or Placemat
  • Wine Opener
  • Drop Stop
  • Wine Glasses
  • Spit Cups
  • Wine Bucket
  • Pen
  • Paper for Notes
  • Water Crackers to Help Cleanse Your Palate During the Tasting
  • Single-bottle Wine Bags
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