Chances are you’ve been to a wine tasting or two at a vineyard or perhaps a local wine shop. But now it’s time to take your wine-connoisseur status to the next level – right at home with good company. Here’s how to pull it off like a pro.

Global Wine Cellars Vino Tasting

1. Provide simple glasses. No need to use specific styles for each wine – your small pours won’t be in the glass long. As long as you have one glass per person and a water pitcher for rinsing between tastes, you’re good.

2. Make each glass personal. A variety of festive coasters or wine charms will add a custom element to each person’s tasting. Because assessing lip-prints shouldn’t be the way you avoid mixing up glasses.

3. Prep the wine before guests arrive. Ideal serving temperatures for white wines range between 49 and 55 degrees, while red wines should be in the 62- to 68-degree range. And don’t forget to let the full-bodied reds breathe. Decant at least 25 to 30 minutes before you plan to taste.

4. Stock up on snacks. Set out crackers and a mix of cheeses. Use one mild – think Brie, Teleme, or Jack; one medium like Havarti, Gouda, or Edam; and one strong blue, like Gorgonzola or Stilton. Finish the spread with grapes or strawberries, crunchy Marcona almonds, and chocolates.

5. Educate your guests. They should be seeing, swirling, smelling, sipping, and swallowing to fully experience each wine. And if they can’t quite pinpoint the flavors? Keep tasting notes on hand to identify hints of plum, lavender, leather, oak, and more.

Ready to host? Stock up on wine and tasting notes in our Global Wine Cellars Boutique, which opened Thursday, May 7, at 3PM ET.

By Chrissy Makkas, Associate Content Editor

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May 10, 2015

Chances are, a turkey won’t be your only visitor next week. Houseguests may be coming, too – but there’s no need to fret. This year, you can give bed-and-breakfasts some serious competition. Here are five ways to make family and friends feel right at home.


Continue reading “Best Host Ever: 5 Ways to Welcome Holiday Guests” »

November 19, 2014

Whether cousins are crashing or a college friend is coming to town, summertime is sure to be jam-packed with visitors. From fresh flowers to thank-you-for-coming gifts, these expert tips will have overnighters begging for an invite back.

How to Prepare for Guests

  1. Declutter the entryway so friends know right where to drop shoes and purses.
  2. Place a list of must-see sites on the bedside table (next to bottled water and fresh flowers).
  3. As a thank-you-for-coming, leave a small gift – like a scented candle or hand-painted tray – on the bed.
  4. Tape labels on the back of each remote with how-to-use instructions.
  5. Keep towels, toilet paper, and soaps in plain sight so guests don’t have to search.
  6. Preset the coffeemaker so overnighters wake up to a fresh brew.

Don’t be stressed by spontaneous visits. The Guest-Ready Home: Inviting Furnishings Boutique opened Thursday, June 5, at 11AM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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June 5, 2014


1. These cute hors d’oeuvres and cocktails are the perfect excuse to throw a party.

2. Setting the table is an important part of any fete.

3. Almost as important as the food? The décor and party favors.

4. How soon is too soon to plan a summer soiree?

5. If only we could choose just a few of these mouthwatering appetizers.

Can’t get enough Pinterest inspiration? Check out past boards that caught our eye.  

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February 26, 2013