Who loves wine? Raise your hand! *Me with both hands raised*
I used to plan a girl’s trip to Fredericksburg every fall, and we always had the best time. It’s such a cute little place, but honestly you could really put me anywhere with a wine tasting and I would be happy. I love to try new wines and expand my knowledge. One of my favorite wines right now is a $10 Italian wine from Trader Joe’s that I sampled one Sunday a couple of years ago. Who would have thought??! So after talking about wine tasting with some girlfriends recently we thought it would be fun to have our own little wine tasting. Our theme was “budget wines” and all of the bottles were under $10. Yes you read that right… $10!! Out of 6 bottles, 5 were a hit. None of us had ever had any of them before, and now we all have some new fave wines that won’t break the bank. Win!
Below I’ll break down some simple steps so you can host your own wine tasting at home!
- Budget Wines (How Merlot Can You Go?)
- Country-Specific Wines
- Italy: NebbiYOLO
- Spain: Ready to Rioja
- France: You Had Me at Bordeaux
- Argentina: I’ve Got Your Malbec
- America: Viva la Vino
- Rosè (Rosè All Day… perfect for summer!)
- Sushi and Savs (Sav Blanc is the perfect white with sushi! Order in, and see who brings the best Sav!)
- Blind Tasting (Guests will guess what they think each wine is)
For a tasting, the recommend party size is between 6 and 12 people. The max recommended is 12 because a 2oz tasting pour for 12 people should consume an entire bottle. If you’ve got more than 12 you’ll end up needing to open another bottle… which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just makes things less even and tidy 🙂 If you want to add a little extra fun in for your guests, you can order these tasting score sheets on Amazon for only $3.59!
The next part is food. Obviously you have to have food! Not all wines go with all cheeses and all types of food. Obviously you can pair whatever you want and it will still taste fine, BUT certain foods and cheeses pair better with certain types of wine. For example, a Chianti is best paired with pizza! Or if you’re having Mexican food, go for a Tempranillo. You catch my drift 🙂 At our recent wine tasting we did a charcuterie table… yes… a table. The photo for this post is the proof! It looks complicated, but honestly it’s all about taking what you’ve got and literally laying it out and arranging on the table.
- 5-6 cheeses (I recommend a mix of soft and hard cheeses: aged-cheddar, brie, Manchego, Gouda, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Gorgonzola)
- Fruits (grapes, cranberries, strawberries, apples)
- Vegetables (cucumbers, bell peppers)
- Crackers (use a variety of crackers)
- Breads (Sliced and breadsticks)
- Nuts (candied almonds, macadamia, cashews)
- Meats (proscuitto, salami, pepperoni, soppressata, capicola, chorizo)
- Dark Chocolate
- Olives (green and Kalamata) & pickles
- Hummus & spinach dip
- Optional: appetizers: deviled eggs, spinach balls, pinwheels
Buy a paper-style wrapping paper, and roll it out across the table. Use cutting boards and whatever serving plates you have to give the table some depth/dimension and start arranging your army of supplies! It’s that simple, honestly. Just fiddle with it until it looks the way you want 🙂