Hosting Wine Tasting Events: A Step-by-Step Guide

As a wine aficionado, you may have attended many wine tasting events and might aspire to host one for your wine tribe someday. Hosting wine tasting events isn’t just about providing a rich learning and tasting experience, it is also about ensuring that you create the right kind of atmosphere and do justice to all the wines, vineyards, wine producers or regions that you plan to showcase.

To do this, you have to understand the operational aspects of hosting wine tasting events. From curating an exciting tasting flight to choosing a great venue and getting a knowledgeable wine expert on board, here’s a step-by-step guide that’ll help you create a memorable experience for wine lovers.

The venue

Wine tasting is about appreciating various aspects of wine. So, you need an ambience which equips you to do so to the best of your capacity. Here’s what to look for in your venue:

1) It should be spacious enough to host more people than you are expecting to turn up, not less.

2) The venue should be well-lit. preferably with natural or incandescent light.

3) It should be free of any kind of strong odours that can distract the tasters or overpower the aromas of wine.

The set up

You’ll need to equip your venue properly so that you don’t fall short of stock on the big day. How many people are attending the event? How many wines are you serving? A clear answer to these questions will help you plan better. Here’s what all you will need:

1) Clean and suitable glassware

2) Spittoons

3) Notebooks and pens for everyone

4) Nibbles, to help people cleanse their palate or line their stomach

The wines

One of the most challenging and crucial decisions that you’ll have to take as a host is curating the list of wines that you’ll serve. The wines on your tasting flight should be related in some way. They could all be from the same wine producer or region. Or they could be expressions of the same wine, but from different vintages. You can also choose a comparative theme like Old World Vs New World wines or Aged Vs Youthful wines etc.

Here’s another important tip- always order more wine than you’ll need. Even if you strictly serve tasting pour to everyone (75 ml) you’ll be surprised at how quickly the bottles empty out.

The event

For a successful tasting event, it is important to have a wine expert onboard who can handhold all the attendees through each tasting and answer all their questions. Make sure that the event starts on time. As a host, it is also your duty to ensure that the event doesn’t lose its pace so that you can finish on time.

What’s next?

The first thing to do after the event is to thank everyone who made it possible- the attendees, the wine expert, the wine service professionals, the winemakers or producers who arranged wines for you, etc. Don’t forget to get feelers from your guests, so that you can work on improving your hosting skills. The next step is to tidy up the venue once your guests leave. Clean your glassware immediately, to prevent staining and take a stock of your remaining wine. And that’s it, you are done!

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