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.
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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