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Have you ever wanted to host your own wine tasting party? You could just round up a bunch of wines you want to try and make an evening out of it, but that’s only a little bit fun. I want you to have a wine tasting party that’s a lot of fun. So, I decided to compile a list of Wine Tasting Party Games & themes.
So, whether you’re hosting a wine tasting birthday party, bridal shower, anniversary, or just because you want to taste a lot of wine party I’ve got you covered. Here’s my favourite wine tasting party themes and games to inspire your next event.
First of all, it no matter what kind of wine tasting party it is, you should know the order.
Wine Tasting Order
Wine tasting is like a fine meal. You start with light appetizers or hors d’oeuvres and end with dessert. First start with sparkling wines: these are your Champagnes and similar bubbly types. They’re light. So are the white wines like Sauvignon Blanc that you serve next. Moving on, you offer your guests the more bold whites like Chardonnay.
Once the whites are through we compromise with Rosé before moving into the light red wines. Pinot Noir is a good choice here. Logically the bold reds would follow, but this is also where you serve those reds with higher alcohol content like Cabernet. Don’t confuse your bold reds with dessert wines here though. Those come last. Finish the wine tasting with dessert wines like Port.
What Are Some Good Wine Tasting Themes?
There’s a lot of options for how you want to choose the wines for your party. What you decide is going to depend on your budget, the occasion, and how many people are attending. Here’s some of my favourite ideas.
- By price. You can do something like “only $10 bottles of wine” or have everyone bring a $20 bottle of wine.
- Traditional vs new. Compare Champagne from the region with your favourite bottle of sparkling wine.
- Regional. Do you want to just get wines from Napa Valley, France, or Italy? You could also have everyone bring a wine from their home region and compare.
- Dessert wines. Serve them with dessert, of course.
- One grape. This is an interesting way to help you better understand the variety of wine. Pick up just one grape variety in multiple price points.
- Fancy wine. Get the best, the boldest, the most elegant, the lightest – whatever you want to sample – from around the world.
- Bridal shower. This is a great way for the bride and her wedding party to sample potential wines for the wedding.
- Wine ‘o clock or Mother’s Day. You know, the typical girls or mom’s night out.
- Wine and… . Chocolate, cheese, grapes, whatever you want to pair it with. Choose the wine that pairs best with your food of choice. Check out our Delicious and Easy Appetizers for ideas.
Wine Tasting Party Games
Some of these will require a little bit of advance prep and someone to be “in” on it so they can’t play. When planning games it’s always good to have a few extra planned, but don’t force them if people aren’t interested.
- The blind taste test. Have everyone write down what they think the wine is and see if they’re right!
- The price test. Have them guess the price of their wine. You’d be surprised!
- Match the wine with its description. Do you think you know what those wine descriptions mean? This is a great way to find out.
- Wine trivia. Look up wine related trivia and either quiz your guests or have teams and host a mini trivia night.
- Murder mystery. Turn the entire evening into a game with a murder mystery party! Everyone comes in character and you work together to solve the murder.
- King’s cup. It’s a drinking game and you can find the rules online. Really, you can play any kind of drinking game you want at your party though, why not!
- Boxed wine pong. After the wine tasting is done why not pull out some cheap boxed wine and set it up in solo cups like beer pong.
More things to consider:
- Will your taste tests be blind? This is great for price-based ones, especially comparing expensive and cheap wines or different brands of similar wines.
- Will your guests be drinking the wine? Of course we all know typically fancy wine tasters don’t drink it but most likely you and your guests will. Keep that in mind with how much wine you serve.
- Should you hire help? Either hiring a bartender or hiring a wine expert can make your wine tasting experience that much more fun.
- What kind of food will you be serving? If you don’t know what kind of wines will be coming (like if you crowdsourced them) then just serve an assortment of foods that pair with a variety of wine. Check out our post Sweet Wine and Dessert Pairing Tips for ideas.
Wine Tasting Party Shopping List
- Enough wine for everyone. You’ll need about half a bottle per guest. If all guests bring a bottle you’ll be fine.
- Enough glasses. If you’re wanting to use correct glasses for each type of wine make sure you have enough for everyone. If it’s a more casual party you can probably get away with something a little more generic.
- Decorations! If you’re doing a themed party (France, Italy, etc) or a birthday party, bridal shower, or anniversary make sure you have fun decorations.
- Food. You should always feed your guests when serving alcohol. Decide if you’re having a dinner party or just serving an assortment of snacks that pair well with wine.
- Blindfolds. If you want to go blind with some of your tasting this is a fun way to do it.
- Paper, pens, etc for guessing games and evaluation sheets.
- Paper napkins and other servingware.
- “Dump buckets” if you think your guests will not be drinking the wine.
- Wine tasting evaluation sheets.
- Bags to cover the bottles. If you’re doing a blind tasting this is a great way to hide what’s inside. Make sure to label them in some way so you know which is which!
- Water and other non-alcoholic beverages.
The biggest thing to remember when hosting a wine tasting party is not to take things too seriously. You can choose to have wine tasting evaluation sheets (and make sure to explain them to your guests) or keep it casual and just discuss with each other. Just enjoy yourself and hopefully discover your new favourite wine!