Looking for a fun way to mix up your dine out or pot-luck themed weekly get-together? If you like wine, why not host a wine tasting party? Whether you're a seasoned wine drinker or can’t figure out the nuances between a Merlot and a Malbec, there is no better way to find out than by tasting with friends. Hosting a tasting is a great way to relax and literally un-wined after a long week; it's also a fun activity that will fill a rainy weekend afternoon. It’s social, but you also will (likely) learn something about wine and which varietals you prefer.
Choose Your Tasting
Here, you have a couple of options, starting with basic vertical (tasting wines from one producer/vineyard over many years) and horizontal tastings (one grape, one year, many producers). You can also compare new vs. old world wines or choose a theme, like six wines all under $20. First time hosting a tasting party? Jason Haas, general manager at Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles, Calif. (and son of co-founder Robert Haas) recommends starting with a vertical tasting to explore how terroir — or "sense of place" — affects the wine. It's easy to set up and you're sure to learn something new.