HOW TO HOST A WINE-TASTING PARTY

Increase your appreciation for wine by hosting a tasting party.

A great wine tasting party is a lively discussion — there are heated debates and clear preferences but the ultimate equaliser is that everyone shares something new together. Like a stepping stone, it’s an activity that can be used to get better acquainted with the character and flavours of a wine and, ultimately, increase your appreciation for a great drop.

Here are a few ways to host a successful tasting at your own home.

WHAT’S YOUR STYLE?

This is your chance to take guests on a journey with your wine tasting experience – why not relish the opportunity by taking the scenic route? Choosing a theme for the evening helps you choose the wines themselves; it could be as simple as showcasing the bold flavours of the Barossa, or try honing your focus to explore specific styles of wine. Love a red? Make that your theme – from a light pinot to a more full-bodied shiraz, the varieties are endless!

Wine-Ttasting selection

FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE

Not sure where to start when selecting your wines? It’s similar to hosting a dinner party – long sittings with multiple plates don’t typically start with a heavy, saucy lamb shoulder; they ease in with a few light bites, stirring the palate with something manageable before plating up the main event. The order of your wines should follow a similar strategy. Those in the know recommend serving a selection of 2-3 whites and 6-7 reds (not full pours – just a dash of each to taste), with the order of pouring running from lightest to darkest. Ease in with your whites and save your full-bodied bottles for later in the evening.

KEEP IT COOL

Serving medium to full-bodied reds at room temperature is a great rule of thumb if you’re living in cooler climates (16-18°C) – and if things are a bit warmer, it might be worth moving your wine to a cooler, darker room beforehand. And while a chilled temperature is best for whites and lighter reds (around 12°C), if it’s too cold, the flavours won’t unfurl. (Save the ice bucket for a sparkling). Make sure to take your whites out half an hour before guests arrive. This gives it plenty of time to settle into their flavours. Wine and food are inextricably linked, too. When looking for something to go with your mild whites for example, go with something mild in flavour, like a soft burrata or camembert and for your punchier, heavier reds, try a well-aged, hard cheese with a sharp bite. The best rule of thumb? Have fun with pairings and explore new flavour combinations.

Wine-Tasting Guide

SPEAK THE LANGUAGE

Knowing a few wine words can really help describe the experience of wine drinking. Knowing some of the basic terms — like body (the ‘weight’ or feel of a wine in your mouth), ‘acidity’ (how tart a wine is) and ‘tannin’ (how dry a wine leaves your mouth) — will help spark discussion and help you get to know what you like.

VISITING THE BAROSSA? LET US HOST YOU FOR A WINE TASTING!

From food and wine masterclasses to group wine tastings, our passionate team can help you experience the best of the Barossa.

Find out what we have on offer.