How to throw a Wine Tasting Party!

This summer turn your backyard or patio into a fun wine tasting party! Throwing a wine tasting party can be an easy and laid back way to ‘entertain’ without spending a fortune. All you need is a few different bottles of wine (I love doing red, rosè, white and champagne!), light bites and a cheeseboard. Invite your pals over for a fun night to try new wines with unexpected food pairings.

A HUGE thanks to Emmi USA for sponsoring this fun post!
Holding a bottle of champagne on a patio pouring into a glass. Pouring white wine into a white wine glass.

Last year I threw more dinner parties than I could count. We kicked the entertaining season off with a gorgeous Bohemian Dinner Party and closed out party season with a moody 30th Birthday for a girlfriend.

It’s no surprise that I LOVE dinner parties probably more than the average 20-something.

When I polled Instagram a few months ago I realized, that while you guys love a dinner party, you’re also looking for easy party ideas without a full menu and a tablescape.

I’m hear to say, I HEAR YA SISTER!

A cork screw opening up a bottle of white wine.

I had to stay true to my philosophy around here that: ‘entertaining should be easy and fun without breaking the bank and causing you more stress than happiness’.

I love affordable party ideas just as much as the next girl and I am a firm believer that affordable, never has to look cheap! I know without a doubt you will throw an epic wine tasting party! Now, let’s get planning!

Wine glasses, bottles of wine and and tasting plates.

How much wine is needed for a wine tasting party?

A blend of 3-5 types of wine is a nice variety. This is enough to keep the party fun and interesting without breaking the bank.

A standard tasting pour of wine is 2-3 ounces, which is about half the amount of a regular serving. I had a heavy pour for my friends but you can certainly keep it to just a taste! There is roughly 25 oz (750 ml) in one bottle of wine, which will get you about 8-10 tasting portions per bottle.

I threw the party for six girls and I wanted everyone to have roughly 3-4 glasses of wine in total from the tasting. This meant that I needed about 4-5 bottles of wine for six guests. You could easily cut this down or add one more flavor in.

Now that math wine class is over, let’s move onto the fun stuff. FLAVORS!

Bottle of white wine being poured into a glass next to other white glasses.Bottle of white wine being poured into a wine glass next to other wine glasses.

What wines should you serve at a wine tasting party?

My favorite part!

For this party, I served a variety of wine to create an ombrè effect of a red, rosè, white and champagne. Truthfully you can choose ANYTHING!

If you want to keep the whole party themed with rosè it would be SO fun for summer and a red wine tasting would certainly warm any cold winter party up.

For a nice variety at your wine tasting party, try: pinot noir, sweet rosè, buttery chardonnay and a bottle of dry champagne or prosecco.

*Pro hosting tip: Assign each guest to a certain bottle of wine. This creates a ‘pot luck’ effect and keeps costs down. I HATE asking people to bring something to parties, but if they offer, this is an easy and cheap idea that doesn’t make me feel too bad.

Girl in a black top pouring rosè into a wine glass.

What is served at a wine tasting party?

Cheese! In every kind of variation.

A classic cheeseboard or a fun grazing board is great for nibbling on throughout the night while doing your tasting. 

My pals over at Emmi USA sent me over a wheel of their Kaltbach Le Crèmeux cheese to try out for this party. This cheese comes from their Kaltbach line which is cave-aged in the Alpine Valley of Switzerland. I’ve never been to Switzerland, but one thing is for sure… their cheese is amazing!

Find out your nearest grocery store that carries their Kaltbach cheeses here! It’s a must try if you LOVE cheese.

Besides a fun cheeseboard be sure to have one smaller appetizer. You’ll be drinking lots of wine and it will be nice to have a bit of substance. These herbed blackberry and cheese cracker appetizers are elegant and go perfectly with wine. Grab the recipe below!

Wheel of swiss cheese being cut into wedges. Wooden platter of cracker cheese appetizers with greenery.Wooden cheeseboard filled with dried apricots, cherries, grapes, crackers and a wedge of swiss cheese.

 

What are the best food and wine pairings?

This is where you come in as hostess with the mostess and guide your guests through their sensual food and wine pairing experience (how sexy does that sound?!).

Each guest place setting had an al fresco style cloth napkin, four wine glasses and a small ceramic plate with each food pairing for each wine. You can really play this up any way you choose. These are some simple food pairings to try with each different wine. Food pairings usually play off the acidic balance found in each wine. 

Red wine food pairings: dark chocolate, meatballs, plums, walnuts

White wine food pairings: pretzels, peanuts, potato chips, cheese 

Rosè food pairings: apples, grilled cheese, oysters, sushi

Champagne food pairings: white chocolate, popcorn, brie, smoked salmon

Print

Herbed Blackberry & Cheese Cracker Appetizers

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 15-20 crackers 1x
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A simple cracker appetizer topped with macerated blackberries in honey and rosemary. Top a small teaspoon off on an herbed cracker with a square of cheese for the perfect bite. 


Scale

Ingredients

1520 Herb or wheat flavored crackers
1520 small chunks of Kaltbach cheese
1 Pint of blackberries
2 Tablespoons of honey + more for drizzling
1/2 Teaspoon of cinnamon
2 Teaspoons of minced rosemary + more for topping


Instructions

Line a serving board or platter with crackers and top with a cheese wedge. Set aside. 

In a small sauce pan combine blackberries, honey, cinnamon, and rosemary. Turn heat on medium-low and smash 1/2 of the blackberries until just broken up and juices have released. Heat for 5-6 minutes or until bubbly and juices have thickened. Let stand five minutes and then top 1 teaspoon of blackberry onto each cheese/cracker. 

Top each cracker with a small sprig of rosemary, drizzle with extra honey and serve right away. 


Notes

Blackberry mixture can be made in advance for easy assembly. Make 1-2 days in an advance and store in an air tight container. Bring to room temperature before serving on crackers. 

A person holding a glass of white wine.A small tan, ceramic tasting plate with cherries, cheese, apples and white chocolate.

Where to find cheap wine glasses and cheeseboards!

 If you’re going to do a different glass for each wine, this is a great time to build up your glass stash. These are some of my favorite cute cheap wine glasses and cheeseboards that won’t break the bank.

A wooden tray of cracker appetizers topped with swiss cheese and blackberry compoteHolding a glass of white wine enjoying oneself.

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