Celebrate the Season with a Wine Tasting Party

Early September is a great time to start thinking about planning some great indoor parties. While you may love the freedom of entertaining outdoors and the great taste of grilled entrees, when the leaves start to change, often time a cozy indoor party is your best bet. Don’t feel that planning a party indoors limits the amount of fun you can have. The colder seasons are great for themed parties. If you’re looking for a sophisticated and fun party idea; think about inviting a few over and hosting Portuguese white wine tasting party.

Choosing a Wine: Your average, house wine may be fine to drink with your daily meal, but when you throw a wine tasting party, you may want to consider going for quality wine. This doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune, it merely means that you want to search for a wine with various characteristics that you can discern during your tasting. When choosing wines to offer at your tasting party, take time do a little research. At the very least, when you’re shopping for the wines read the explanation of the wine that is usually on the back of the bottle. You can also ask the sales associate at your local wine distributor, or browse the suggested wine lists often offered by online retailers.

How to Purchase Wines: The internet is a great place to look for rare and unique items, and wine is no exception. Often time’s gourmet website will have a great selection of wines that you can order over the internet. Since they also offer many interesting cheeses and other foods, search for both food and wine that can create unique palette pleasing experiences during your party. If you don’t consider yourself very internet savvy or need the wine in a considerably short amount of time check out your local wine distributer and ask for some suggestions on what wines to purchase for your party, most sales reps will be happy to help you. I also offer the following suggestion to those who would like to offer a vast selection of wines yet don’t necessarily have the budget to do so. Consider asking your guests to bring a bottle of their favorite wine, or even suggesting a type if wine they could bring. Asking your guests to bring a bottle of wine will be an exciting wine to share favorites or new finds with friends. Helpful Hint: The nature of a wine party is more apt for smaller get-togethers. Invite a few friends (10 guests is usually a pretty good number) that have a love for wine. If you’re looking for a party theme for a large amount of guests you might want to think of something a little more practical.

What Wines to Serve: If this is your firsts wine party and you want to attempt to please varying palettes, I usually suggest serving a minimum of seven wines. Serving this number of wines will allow you to offer three red and white wines of varying classes (dry to sweet) as well as a blush wine such as a zinfandel. It’s helpful to consider what type of foods will be accompanying your wine. There are various types’ food and wine parings, but as a general rule, you’ll want to choose white wines for light poultry or chicken dishes, red wines with beefs or spicy meats, and zinfandels for dishes like stir-fry or other Asian inspired foods.

Preparing the Wines: To really get the full palate experience from each wine, it’s important to serve them properly. This means that the white wines must be chilled and that your red wines should be aerated. It’s also a good idea to supply your guests with at least two wine glasses. White wine is generally served in narrow glass and red wines are served in classes with wide bowls that allow the wine to aerate. Helpful Hint: You may want to keep a pitcher of water and some basic cracker in a bowl to help guests clean their pallets.

What to Serve: The food that will accompany your wines will also be important to the overall experience of your guests. You will want to serve foods that go well with wines such as cheese and cracker. Select various type sof cheeses so you can taste them with assorted wines. With the right selection of wine you should easily be able to pair most foods with at least one wine. However, it’s generally not a good idea to serve foods that are extremely strong in flavor since they may overpower the wines. Since wine is the main focus or your father choose foods that will compliment your wines, not wines that compliment your foods. I highly suggest keeping the menu very simple. A wine tasting is a time for friends to get together and converse over good food and great wine. You will want guests to be able to mingle. Stay away from meals that require you to spend excessive time away from guests and in the kitchen. I also find that serving as meals that will require your guests to adhere to a specific eating and drinking pattern are not as functional as meals that offer the chance to eat, drink, and converse freely.

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