Wine Party Ideas
Wine tasting party themes are all about curating the type of wines you’d like to serve. Instead of themed décor, your goal is to choose a theme that ties your choice of wine together. You want your invitees to leave your party having learned something new about wine, all while having an unforgettable time. Simplify your party preparation by selecting a wine tasting party theme below to go with your wine party invitations.
Wine Party Ideas
As a parting gift, consider giving your guests a customized wine glass as a charming party favor. This is an ideal gift for groups of 15 or less that allows you to personalize your wine tasting experience a little more. You can customize your wine glass party favor with the guest’s initials or use a humorous saying about wine to make your gift standout. Wine tasting parties are perfect for celebrating bridal showers, engagements, bachelorette festivities, birthday parties, Mother’s Day and more. These are special occasions where loved ones will appreciate the style, customization, and functionality of your wine glass party favor. Pair your favor with gourmet chocolate to complete your favor bags.
Wine Party Ideas
Blind Wine Tasting: Turn your wine tasting party into a game by having guests enjoy their wine using a blindfold. Ask participants to then guess which type of wine they’re drinking, along with the region and year for increased difficulty. Alternatively, you can also wrap each wine bottle in foil or gift wrapping paper to conceal the wine’s identity.
Wine Party Ideas
Vintage Wines: Host a vintage wine tasting party in which you choose 1 wine brand and type. After you’ve chosen your featured wine, do your best to find as many vintage bottles of that same wine as possible. Guests will enjoy challenging themselves to taste the difference in each year that you collect. If you can find at least 5 vintage versions of the selected wine, your party planning will be easy.
Wine Party Ideas
Whether this party is dedicated to an honoree or you’re rounding up an old group of friends from college or high school, wine tasting parties can breed some of the best conversation. They can occur year-round, indoors or outdoors, and don’t require an expensive budget for decorations. You just need good friends, good food, and good wine. Try combining any of these wine tasting party ideas with cocktail party ideas for larger occasions.
Wine Party Ideas
Matt’s Tip: Don’t include any strong flavors such as chilli or olives in your appetizers, as this will also affect the taste of the wine. And definitely no cheese! Despite the common pairing of wine and cheese, this is best avoided at a wine tasting. More on this in the ‘Things to Remember’ section of these wine tasting party ideas below.
Regional Wines: Hone in on one region for curating your wine selection such as Napa Valley or Sonoma. You can serve a variety of wines as long as they’re from one region so your guests can get an idea of what a specific region has to offer. Alternatively, plan an outing with your wine party invitees to tour an actual winery and taste wine straight from the barrel. If you have an invite list of more than 20, this is an easy solution for wine tasting.
Focusing on particular countries or regions is a great way to add more themed elements to your wine tasting party ideas. For example, you might want to choose each wine from a different country then you could serve a themed appetizer (or dish, if it’s a seated dinner) to match each wine.
A party like this always calls for food. Supply guests with plenty of gourmet cheeses, crackers, vegetables, bruschetta, cured meats, grapes, nuts, and bitter chocolate. You can explore which cheeses go best with certain wines if you want to focus on wine and cheese pairing. Whether you choose to do research or go with your favorite cheese types, be sure to label each cheese. The aforementioned items are all foods that taste great while balancing your palette, which is key for a successful wine tasting party. Make sure guests are aware that you’ll be serving only hors d’oeuvres on the invitation so they don’t come to the party with an empty stomach.
If numbers are small, say 6 -12 people, I think it’s preferable to seat everyone around a table and structure it like a dinner party. This way, not only is there plenty of space for glasses and bottles, but it creates an intimate environment for everyone to discuss and share. Plus you can control the pace of the wine tasting more easily, moving onto the next one when everybody is ready. So let the size of your table dictate the best number of guests. Alternatively, for a more relaxed vibe you could arrange everyone on soft chairs around a smaller coffee table in the middle of your sitting room. You can apply these wine tasting party ideas to either set up.
Despite wine and cheese being a common pairing, cheese is actually a terrible thing to eat when trying to taste wine. Infact there’s an old French saying that says ‘Buy on bread, sell on cheese’ meaning if you are buying wine taste it with bread in order to get the true flavor, if you are selling it offer cheese as this can help mask the flavors (if it’s a bad wine!).
If you don’t have a good wine merchant near you (or even if you do) there are some great on-line wine suppliers who always run different promotions, clearance sales, and reduced price deals on mixed cases. Often they offer better deals that you could get by going into a local wine merchant. Wine.com in particular has a great deal whereby if you sign up for their email newsletter you get a promo code for 1 cent shipping on your first order.
If you prefer a more traditional centrepiece using flowers, you can still mix in some grapes to tie it in nicely with the wine tasting party ideas. Just remember that if you are taking the wine tasting seriously, the scent of the flowers may interfere with this). Here are a couple of ideas for inspiration (via Something Turquoise).
It’s time to boldly go into the universe of dinner parties. Hosting a dinner party is a great way to build longlasting relationships and create a better community of friends. Turns out, your friends are an ingenious source for good wine. On average, people are willing to spend more on wine for a party.
Champion the often overlooked part of dinner and host a dessert party. For a dessert party, pick wines that are sweeter than the food. If you would like to know more about why wine should be sweeter, read 5 tips on food and wine pairing. Get your friends to bring the desserts based around a theme (i.e., chocolate, fruit, frozen, etc.) and you can provide the booze. Perfect for girls night in, bachelorette parties and weeknight dinner parties.
I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this picture of candles in wine bottles (below by tom mannion via This is Glamarous) as this look can be quite hard to pull off without it looking like a 1970’s French bistro. The reason I think it works is because the bottles are all clear glass and they are arranged en masse. So, if you’re going to include this in your wine tasting party ideas be sure to recreate the look as faithfully as possible. If you use less bottles you may not achieve the same look and it’s a fine line between it looking stylish like the photo, and cheap like a 70’s bistro.
If you’re including some wine and chocolate pairings, it’s also a great way to show which chocolate pairs best with which wine, as shown in the photo below. Don’t forget to check out my other page on wine and chocolate tastings here.
For larger numbers, you might want to create a number of different buffet / wine stations around the room to encourage flow. If people are going to be standing, use these buffet plates with wine glass holders so they can keep hold of their wine as they’re mingling. Alternatively, use these chic mini slate cheese boards as plates. Both available from supplier 3.
If you’re feeling really adventurous, try doing a little extra research on how the acids, tannins, and sugar in foods interact with wines. Try tasting bitter chocolate, salted nuts, acidic lemon, or creamy cheese alongside the same wine to see how wine reacts to various components. This is an excellent lesson in food and wine pairing. And make sure that guests know what kind of food will be served, so they don’t arrive with an empty stomach, when you’re only serving light hors d’oeuvres.
Now, you can’t pair just any old wine with chocolate, as most chocolate will ruin the flavor of the wine. You have to match intense, fuity wines with high cocoa content quality chocolate. Fortunately, the master chocolatiers from premium Swiss chocolate brand Lindt have done all the hard work for you by teaming up with the winemakers of J.Lohr Vineyards to find the perfect wine pairings for their Lindt Excellence range of chocolate; which includes flavors such as ‘Intense Orange’, ‘A Touch of Sea Salt’, ‘Chilli’, ‘Pineapple’, and ‘70% Cocoa’.